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HBO launches Soderbergh's choose-the-order storytelling app and show Mosaic

HBO launches Soderbergh's choose-the-order storytelling app and show Mosaic
From TechCrunch - November 8, 2017

What if a mystery TV series let you decide to follow one characters story to the end, or jump between characters as the action unfolds? Thats the idea behind Mosaic, a 3-year, $20 million project by the acclaimed director of Traffic and Oceans 11, Steven Soderbergh. Today, HBO launches the Mosaic app for iOS and Apple TV that allows viewers to decide the viewing order of a 7.5-hour murder mystery mini-series of the same name starring Sharon Stone. Soderbergh has two more made-for-Mosaic series on the way, and plans to open up the platform to other filmmakers.

The outcome and the events of the story dont change based on your choices says Soderbergh who avoided making Mosaic an overly complicated video game. Its merely what information do you have about the story based on what youve been following. Some people like to just keep making choices and get to the end of a path, some people like to mine sweep jumping between separate characters in chronological order.

On January 22nd, HBO will air a 6-hour linear cut of the Mosaic series that follows how two men interweave themselves with author Olivia Lake, played by Stone. But on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and soon Android devices and the web, users can explore the story at their own pace. The branching narrative lets you choose which scene to watch next when you complete one. And along the way, you unlock appendices call Discoveries that let you watch extra clips, listen to voicemails, and look at documents to dive deeper into a part of the story beyond the central narrative

For an easy analogy, imagine how you can basically watch the first few Marvel superhero movies like The Incredible Hulk and Captain America in any order, but they all lead to The Avengers. You have choice, but not enough to disturb the overarching story. That separates Mosaic from Netflixs true choose-your-own-adventure shows for kids that debuted earlier this year, or TellTales Walking Dead story games.

Originally Soderbergh had scripted over 40 different content nodes for the app, but tightened Mosaic up to around 15 so the decisions dont feel as arbitrary or like a chore. Im not a gamer. I want to be told a story he tells me. I didnt know what to watch to get ready for this. So we just kind of started he laughs, noting how useful it was to work closely with the tech team to flesh out the Mosaic story and app in tandem.

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