Post Thumb

In June 2008 YouTube enabled “annotations” for videos. This allows various people who upload videos to annotate them with hotspots, text bubbles, subtitles and highlights. It can be used to place a link within a video which, when clicked, launches another video or jumps along the timeline within the video.

Examples of jumping along the timeline

1. The YouTube Electric Guitar. This is a good example of a video that jumps along the timeline. It is by Adam Ben Ezra and allows you to create your own tune by clicking on the notes across the bottom of the screen.

 2. Flybmi mobile. I used this to good effect in an instructional video for the airline BMI - allowing viewers to jump to the information they need rather than having to sit through everything.

Examples of jumping to another YouTube video

3. The Teleporter! A good example of an interactive drama made using annotations is any of those made by Chad, Matt and Rob.


The comedy team made their first “interactive adventure” the Time Machine in 2008. It is often described as the YouTube’s first interactive movie. The Teleporter! was their third interactive film and was (reasonably discretely) sponsored by Axe! a range of men’s grooming products from Unilever. The most production values continue to rise in Treasure Hunt. It was produced by Freemantle media, perhaps with an eye to a TV series, and is about 40 minutes long (depending on how many wrong turns you take) It suffers from a somewhat indiscriminantly applied John Williams type score.

4. Deliver me to Hell - Real Zombies Attack is another in the comedy drama vein, this time from New Zealand. It’s well made with good gags.

5. Choose a Different Ending was made for and funded by the Metropolitan Police. It is aimed at steering young people away from knife and gun crime and is shot POV, so that you can make personal choices about whether to carry and use weapons.

 The psychology of this is probably quite clever as you can be as reckless as you like in playing the game in order to learn how carrying weapons can escalate situations.

6. Bboy Joker is altogether more clever. It is a wonderful interactive breakdancing animation where you have to click at the the right time in order to win a breakdancing competition. It’s by Patrick Boivin a stop motion specialist from Montreal Canada.