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Mountain West Burrito (MWB) and Heirloom Restaurant Group (Heirloom) have pushed the boundaries of cuisine in Utah County. Now, with Pick Your Own Adventure films, the restaurant is set to re-think food marketing and film.
MWB recently opened its latest satellite south of the Brigham Young University campus. To celebrate, the venue was home to zombie costume contests, giveaways and prizes, half-priced menu items, and a film premiere over Halloween. “A Mountain West Murder” debuted to MWB diners who were able to decide how the movie should progress at each pivotal moment in the film.
Director Austin Everett approached MWB and Heirloom with the idea of sponsoring the movie. In return, MWB’s location and food would go beyond conventional product placement. It would become the setting and a supporting role in the movie. This unique business opportunity piqued the interest of Heirloom’s CEO, Colton Soelberg and COO Casey Bulkley.
Everett allows moviegoers to determine the trajectory of the plot during various pivotal scenes of the web-based films. “This is a new type of storytelling that the audiences take control using YouTube annotations,” said Everett who shot and edited every last possible scene up until hours before the premiere. With more than 70 choices equaling more than 80 minutes of completed footage, the innovation gives viewers many options to create the story and viewing experience.
PYOA’s “A Mountain West Murder” received more than 5,000 views on YouTube in its first hour. “Austin is a wonderful film maker,” said Bulkley. “We wanted to invest in that type of talent and energy and that they could pull it off with their resources is amazing.”
PYOA has been in talks to develop this unique interactive model for the private sector - company trainings and other projects where participants must react to the scenario to forward the plot.
The award-winning Heirloom Restaurant Group has given street credit to the culinary scene south of Salt Lake County with its dedication to local sourcing and highly skilled cooking in fine, casual, and now, super-casual venues.