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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

HBO - live on a building

For those of you considering that TV is not for you and the cinema is full of rehashes that suck your soul - there is a new format. The side of a building.

Here is what HBO projected onto 4 stories of a New York building.

You can do an on-line version where you explore it more here. Most interestingly though the funding for this project is from the marketing department.


deepstructure said...

i stumbled over this a week ago. i liked the vid - but the whole thing is so damn pretentious and reeks of epk publicity. the "behind the scenes" vid is a sycophantic homage to the brilliance of hbo with statements tossed around like "it makes sense that this would be done by hbo," and "hbo is the perfect place for this kind of new ground-breaking media," blah blah.

add to that the fact that the whole thing was dreamed up by their marketing department and directed by a music video director, and you begin to understand that despite all their attempts to seed this virally and create a deep experience website that they hope will catch on and create an involved user-base that will eventually become hbo watchers, this is ultimately nothing more than a expensive promo spot with about as much depth.

Tim Clague said...

I wouldn't be that harsh. I agree that they got the roll out of it a bit wrong and not viral enough - its quite old fashioned almost.

But I do still think that the format has some mileage in it. And for guys like you and me - we can take it and run with it in a direction.

deepstructure said...

my problem with the format is exactly what they mention as a specific in the behind the scenes vid - the acting. it's huge and many of the scenes look like a silent movie.

for me, although the visual setup is very cool, once i started watching individual scenes it wasn't as interesting. which is usually the problem with pieces like this. to actually write eight different stories that take place in one room and are interesting is ridiculously difficult.

so often it seems the problems of any form of dramatic art all come down to the same thing - the storytelling. dressing it all up in fancy new digs is great, so long as you've got something worth dressing in the first place, which im pretty damn sure the marketing department didn't come up with before they launched this. :)

the question is - is there a story or type of story that would best be suited to this way of telling? if it is it's probably very complex and nothing i've ever seen before. if this can coax it into existence that would be fantastic - but our (filmmaker's) failings have rarely been that we don't make our stuff visually interesting or flashy enough, so whenever i see things like this i feel like it's often a solution looking for a problem, because real problems are much more difficult to solve.

Tim Clague said...

More great points DS.

But I think that there might be potential in it for film makers - not so much in a silent movie way - more in a theatrical play way.

Neil Simon style films never get made anymore because having various couples in a hotel isn't very 'filmy' anymore. But the characters and some of the dialogue is great.

This visual technique could be a way to keep it on the big screen - in many ways this HBO idea would look best on a big cinema screen.

But also a film like "Bound" - a tight thriller - would work well.

Anywhere you need to keep the action tight and show the interplay of various pieces of action.

Rear Window did it okay.

Would this idea last a feature - I'm on the fence. But actually its quite a cheap method and if you made something like this it would (have) made an impact.

I also like it because you would have to find a new writing method and a writing style to do it.

Which would keep us all on our toes.

deepstructure said...

"I also like it because you would have to find a new writing method and a writing style to do it.

Which would keep us all on our toes."

absolutely. that's what i think would fascinating about this.