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HBO Launches 'Mosaic' Interactive Storytelling App

22 Nov, 2017 By: John Latchem



HBO has partnered with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh to present the Mosaic app, an interactive experience that experiments with the conventions of storytelling.

Three years in development, the app uses new technology to present a full-length story that lets viewers choose which point of view to follow and build their own experience from the material. The app was created by media technology company PodOp to be driven by narrative rather than technology after the filmmakers challenged the engineers to serve the story rather than the other way around.

“While branching narratives have been around forever, technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant form of engagement than used to be possible,” Soderbergh said. “At no point were we reverse-engineering the story to fit an existing piece of technology; the story was being created in lockstep with the technical team. The fluidity of that relationship made me feel comfortable because I wanted it to be a simple, intuitive experience.”

The app introduces users to a children’s book author (played by Sharon Stone) and two men in her life. Users then craft the story by following it from one of their perspectives. The app lets viewers dive deeper into the story by exploring additional content and go back and view perspectives they missed.

Viewers can compare their version of the story with Soderbergh’s when Mosaic is presented as a six-part limited series starting Jan. 22 on HBO, starring Stone, Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, Jennifer Ferrin, Devin Ratray, Michael Cerveris, James Ransone, Jeremy Bobb and Maya Kazan.

The app is available for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, and will be available soon via Android.


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