US TV network HBO, which is behind some of our favourite ever shows like Game of Thrones, Sex and the City and The Wire, has a new show on the horizon. But the catch is that it might not even fall under the category of "television show." The newfangled thing is called Mosaic, and it will be, first and foremost, an application. As per a press release from HBO, Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky) and Casey Silver (Godless on Netflix) developed Mosaic in conjunction with writer Ed Solomon (Now You See Me, Now You See Me 2).
The application is basically choose-your-own-adventure, HBO style. As viewers, we'll get to pick a point of view from which we can enjoy the story. For instance, if this were Game of Thrones, you might be able to opt for an only Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) narrative.
At the Future of StoryTelling Festival this month, Soderbergh announced that the app would be made available (for free!) in November. A television series corresponding to the app will air in January of 2018. The idea is that you concoct your own story using the technology, then you get to watch it unfold on screen the way Soderbergh decided to arrange it.
"While branching narratives have been around forever, technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant, intuitive form of engagement than used to be possible," Soderbergh said. His team developed the story as they were developing the app; so, narrative and technology fold seamlessly together.
Explained Soderbergh, "We weren’t reverse engineering the story to fit an existing piece of technology; the story was being created in lockstep with the technical team."
Based on the trailer, Mosaic is a murder mystery, which seems like a fitting genre. With the app, you can explore the narrative clues the same way a detective would. The trailer demonstrates a user clicking on a 25-minute clip titled "Meet Olivia Lake." Sharon Stone plays Olivia Lake, a children's book author whose murder appears to be at the centre of the story.
It's not all video, either. You can listen to voicemails, scroll through photographic evidence, or read articles about the events themselves. (One demonstrated in the trailer is an article describing Olivia Lake's murder.)
The show — er, experience — also stars Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, Jennifer Ferrin, Devin Ratray, Michael Cerveris, James Ransone, Jeremy Bobb and Maya Kazan.
Watch the full trailer for Mosaic, below.
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