A new TV show from HBO and Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh entices viewers with a brand new, multi-platform experience. Mosaic is a six-part TV series will air in January of 2018, but before then viewers can download an app starting in November that will enable them to choose a character and follow their specific experiences. Mosiac promises to put viewers directly into the characters’ points of view through an iOS app.
Directed by Soderbergh, the legendary filmmaker has been working on the series – which is described primarily as “a new story-telling experience”– for over three years. Mosaic is a murder mystery starring Sharon Stone as murdered Hollywood actress Olivia Lake, alongside Garrett Hedlund, Frederick Weller, Beau Bridges, Paul Reubens, Jennifer Ferrin, Michael Cerveris, James Ransone, Jeremy Bobb, and Maya Kazan. Mosaic also stars Devin Ratray (best known as Kevin McAlister’s mean older brother Buzz in Home Alone) as Detective Nate Henry, who is investigating her death.
The interactive storytelling experience will be available on the Mosaic app, which hits in November. You can check out the full trailer for Mosaic below:
Soderbergh has always tried to branch out when it comes to storytelling. His film Bubble went straight to video-on-demand before there were almost any VOD platforms, and direct-to-video was seen as a badge of failure. He was also an early adopter of the switch from film to digital which has now become commonplace in the industry. Recently, Soderbergh’s return to feature-length film, Logan Lucky, bypassed any studio and the film was marketed almost exclusively by the director himself.
In conversation with film critic Elvis Mitchell during the Future of StoryTelling Festival, the award-winning Soderbergh debuted the first look at this “interactive storytelling experience,” which comes in the form of an app that allows viewers to choose both the point of view of the story and how it goes — like a “build your own adventure” book for adults.
Soderbergh goes on in more detail about the process, and the interactive series itself:
“It’s a branching narrative piece. Branching narratives have been around forever, but technology now allows, I hope, for a more elegant, intuitive form of engagement than used to be possible. We spent a lot of time on how you touch this thing. I wanted to make sure that it was beautiful and simple so that when the opportunity arises for you to decide whose perspective you want to follow, it feels organic and not like an interruption—like the thing is just stopping cold. So there was just a lot trial and error about how that would work. I’m really happy with it now. The question now is if a million people log on at the same time, will it crash? It’s supposed to come out in November.”
Presented by PodOp, Mosiac was developed for HBO by Soderbergh, Casey Silver, and writer Ed Solomon. The app will be available for free download beginning in November, followed by a six-part miniseries on the network in January 2018.