4-Way Narrative: HBO’s Video Cube Installation

In a move that aims to enhance the storytelling experience, HBO has unveiled a four-panel video installation that offers four different perspectives...

Janice Chow
Janice Chow on September 21, 2009.

In a move that aims to enhance the storytelling experience, HBO has unveiled a four-panel video installation called the HBO Cube. It’s a unique new effort that offers four different perspectives on the same scene simultaneously. In telling the same story from four distinct points of view, each side of the cube stands alone as an engaging film, and as a piece of a larger puzzle. As viewers move around the cube, they watch the story unfold from different perspectives, forming different perceptions of the characters and plot.

Greg Hahn, Executive Creative Director at BBDO explains:

“There is always a twist and turn on things. Instead of creating a linear 30-second piece, the story is told at four different angles and you can see how parts of the plot can be hidden. But as you walk around the cube you will see that each shot of the cube is part of a much bigger story. “

The imaginary video cube was envisioned by BBDO and The Barbarian Group. It features two films, Heist and The Affair by Noam Murro of Biscuit Films.  Each are two minutes in length and played twice successively on a rotating basis.

BBDO’s Executive Creative Director Michael Smith:

“We wanted to engage people in storytelling in a way that lets them explore and process the information.”

4-Way Narrative: HBO's Video Cube Installation

If you can’t physically go and view the cube, you can view the interactive version online. The Barbarian Group created, a microsite which features an interactive storytelling experience where users can choose what films they want to see. There are over 41 pieces of content, including short-and-long-form video, audio files, and news stories that are connected to each other like a web. The user can navigate the story by unlocking and viewing the content. As characters are uncovered, the connections and motivations driving them are revealed. The interactive feature is great because like in gaming, the story reveals deeper surprises as you watch the layers of the plot unfold.

Photos by Billy Siegrist and Janice Chow

HBO Imagine