There are only so many Snapchat videos we can take of users lip-syncing with the latest filter before it starts to get old. While Dubsmash does offer a way for users to create more funny clips of themselves being dubbed over quotes, there is a video app that recently launched that combines elements of these two popular apps to provide an entertaining platform made especially for movie and TV fans.
ROLR is the video app that allows users to act out their favorite movie scene with other users around the world.
Think of it as an app where people can perform "movie karaoke," a platform where they can transform into their favorite characters and recite lines from their favorite movies or series.
"I was an actor for a long time — for almost 20 years, mostly television, but also films — and over the years I often had people come up to me and ask me what it was like to be an actor," ROLR founder Edward Kerr told Tech Times. "There is also an interest and fascination with acting; certainly people are huge fans of television shows, fans of characters from shows, fans of celebrities, but there has never been a way for people to actually act in a virtual environment. So we set out to build an acting machine."
Kerr's "acting machine" replicates what it's like to role-play with someone — all from the convenience of their smartphone. Users are given all the tools they need: the script, teleprompter, their acting partner and soon, filters and other voice changers, so that they can embody characters and recreate iconic scenes and share them with a community.
After downloading ROLR, the user is given a brief tutorial to get familiar with the app's main features and how to navigate. Then, it drops into the main feed, which works similarly to the feed of Musical.ly, where there are featured performances and performances of people the user follows.
The user can opt to play a role opposite a user who already filmed their part, replay or join in on scenes, or tap on the plus sign to start their own scene and invite their friends to respond to it. This includes acting out lines from Pulp Fiction, Bridesmaids, Deadpool and Suicide Squad — just to name a few.
"You are either reacting to someone else in a role that they've done, or you choose your role to record by yourself and invite others to react to you," Kerr said.
What's interesting is that, instead of the users acting together live, they are actually having a conversation with a recording. The user records their part opposite the other user's recording, which is then either shared publicly on the app and can be seen by those who follow the user or be made private.
This allows users to pick and choose the other actor they want to cover the scene with (by swiping through people, kind of like Tinder), while not having to wait around for someone to join so they can act anytime, anywhere. Because they are either acting or reacting, parts are interchangeable and there is still the ability to roll with whatever is thrown their way.
"Anyone who records one part of a scene can match up with anyone else in the world who does the other part," Kerr said. "It's kind of a very unique portal."
For example, any user can play Kristen Wiig's role in Bridesmaids, and then, anyone in the world can react to that performance in Jon Hamm's role and vice-versa. This can keep on going for an endless amount of recordings and connections.
"Almost an unintended consequence of what we created is we think it really breaks down so many geographic, cultural, socioeconomic obstacles because you are literally pretending to be a character in concert with somebody else, and everything else is stripped away," Kerr stated. "We have this ambition of getting the world to act together. When you are in ROLR and you're interacting with somebody, you are having a private human moment with them, but it's with a stranger that's in a context that's not threatening."
The app allows people to connect with each other over their shared loved for a particular movie or TV show character that instantly bonds them together, despite any differences they might have in real world.
ROLR sets itself apart from other video apps by focusing on collaborations where a user's personality is front and center. These people range from those who just love movies to those who really have some acting chops who can use it as a platform to express themselves and get noticed.
"I don't think there has been anything like this before," Kerr said.
Also, since personality is key, users often find ways to get really creative in their roles.
Who knows, maybe one day, users will be acting alongside Jared Leto or Margot Robbie on the platform.
"We were really encouraged by the success of Dubsmash and Musical.ly because it proved to us that people really did want to engage with pop culture content," Kerr said. "And it was really neat to see lots of different celebrities begin to leverage Dubsmash to build a deeper connection with fans. We hope the same thing will happen with ROLR."
New content is continuously added to the platform, so there is never a shortage of roles to play. ROLR makes sure it hones in on the most memorable parts of film and TV to be able to give fans and amateur actors exactly what they want.
ROLR is available to download for free for iOS, and the version for Android is expected to launch in early September.