ONE37pm: What was the very first video you ever made?
Tristan Tales: I made an action movie with my toy dinosaurs when I was a kid and dug a bunch of moats and made volcanoes out of mud, and I'd pretty much like reenacted The Land Before Time but with dinosaurs. Imagine The Land Before Time meets Die Hard, but with dinosaurs. That's pretty much the movie I made when I was ten years old.
How did you come up with the "choose your own adventure" style videos?
Tales: When Instagram first came out, it had the feature where you could tap forward and tap back, where Snapchat at the time didn't have, so then I created a partially animated—where I'd draw with my finger—kind of like a comic book live-action, a choose your own adventure story where the viewer could tap forward for like clip six if they wanted to go into a cave or they could tap forward to clip 12 if they wanted to go around the cave. It was almost like flipping through an interactive book, but instead, you're tapping on a screen and [going] to the page number that you'd want to go to. You could try out all the possible endings, whereas before you were only able to do it in real-time. So that then evolved to YouTube, where now I use the end thumbnails as the button to make your selection.
So when I'm filming a video, I'm realistically filming like 30 videos, because I want them to be able to have as many options as possible. So many different possibilities. And that's what I love about it too, is it allows people to kind of live out their fantasies and see the consequences of their actions without actually having any realistic harms. I like to make them wacky and fantastic in a lot of certain ways. So it's fun. It's an adventure that they get to dictate. And that's cool because it's rare to be able to interact with content in a way that allows you to drive the direction of the narrative. And that's kind of what I liked. I just want to build the world out and then let people make the choices themselves.