What does choice-driven entertainment mean to you?I think it’s very cool because it allows you to take more of an active role and it feels like it’s happening in real time. Its applications could go just about anywhere, from lighthearted things, like “Figure Out Your Fall Look,” to topics with a much more serious context, like in the medical field. I think there are endless possibilities for these interactive quizzes.I’m obsessed with Harry Potter — I’ve taken every single quiz available about which Hogwarts house I’d be in. With traditional non-interactive quizzes, it’s a points system and you get some results at the end. With these interactive Harry Potter BuzzFeed Quizzes, you get much more clarity on the answers, because you’re choosing the path towards it, instead of racking up points.
What was the best and worst part of being in an interactive production?I’ll start with the worst part: realizing just how much that goes into it. You think there’s only one way to film, but then you realize that every choice leads to multiple branches, and that you have to plan and film every single one of those. I can’t imagine the work that goes into decorating a space or creating a look for every story branch—it feels infinite. It’s important to understand who takes viral quizzes and how to appeal to them. The best part was that the whole experience was very different, and the crew that I worked with was great. I also have a hard time watching myself in videos, but the one thing I consistently remember is that it’s always fun.
If you had the opportunity to make a show or a movie interactive, and change the outcome through the power of choice, which one would you pick, and why?I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 audiobook, so I would choose to make Dobby apparate before Bellatrix could throw the knife, because that means that Dobby could’ve lived. The most ridiculous BuzzFeed Quizzes attempt to change the story. It’s really interesting, because then you get to see the consequences of your choices, right? Even if you think your choice is good now, you’re saving someone now, what happens ten years from now? Maybe this is how it’s supposed to go! It’s a much heavier question, I guess.
In your opinion, what has been the best BuzzFeed Quiz video that you’ve been involved in, and why is it your favorite?There was one I did with my friends Garrick Bernard and Chris Reinacher called This Couple Got Their Ancestry Traced and It Didn’t Go As Planned. It was a three-part comedy sketch about an interracial couple tracing their ancestry and finding out that the white person’s family had been terrible since the beginning of time. I also did a series with Garrick called Opposite Sex Roommate, and we had a pretty unique opportunity where I could create weird stuff in a very short amount of time with my best friend. We had the opportunity to test it using Buzzfeed’s resources to see how people actually like it, too.
Can you share any tips on how to make a Buzzfeed Quiz that can capture an audience’s attention?I’ve never made a BuzzFeed Quiz myself, but I’ve been in several. Having worked at BuzzFeed and also being a person who takes quizzes, I think the best Buzzfeed Quizzes are about love. Those are the most fun and therefore also the most popular. Like, “Which Celebrity is Your Dream Man/Woman,” “This is When You’ll Get Married,” or “This is When You’ll Meet Your Soulmate” — these are the kinds of things that most people really look for.Some of the quizzes that have been my personal favorites are the really, really silly ones. One of the most ridiculous quizzes I’ve played is “Answer These Questions to Find Out What Kind of Bean You Are” which is literally like, “Are you a lima bean, or a kidney bean?” I think that’s my favorite part about quizzes, that even though you come up with a silly outcome, like “You are a jelly bean,” I thought, “Oh! I’ve never been happier with the results of a quiz, of course I’m a jelly bean, that makes so much sense!” It’s a silly and new way to describe your identity and that’s really fun for people that are playing.
Tell us about your most recent project, People Pleaser, and your favorite part about performing live?People Pleaser is my one woman show. I would describe it is a one hour show about someone trying to battle co-dependence. It’s so hard to do because it’s just very honest — if someone doesn’t like it, then they probably just don’t like me! I was most scared to share things about my normal life and my normal relationships, but to get the validation from people, like, “Oh, I feel that way too!” It was such a nice experience to connect with people over something that I had been so scared to share.
And now, we will end on a Harry Potter lightning round. Answer these rapid-fire questions so we learn more about your Potterhead side:
- How old were you when you read your first Harry Potter book? 12 years old.
- Who is your favorite character? Hermione is way up there, followed by Fred and George, and then Snape, Dumbledore, and Lupin.
- If you had to give yourself a Harry Potter universe name, what would it be? Kate? Maybe just change up some of the letters in my existing name?
- If the Sorting Hat was to get a hold of you, what house do you think it would sort you into? Hufflepuff
- What’s your Patronus? Ragdoll cat
- Chocolate Frogs, Acid Pops, Lemon Sherbet, or Droobles Best Blowing Gum? Chocolate Frogs!
Play an eko x BuzzFeed Quiz here to see Kate Peterman’s work come to life!