The innovative new web series H+, a project helmed by Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men), is set to roll out its first episode on YouTube August 8.  The multi-perspective, piecemeal narrative revolves around a deadly virus unleashed on a futuristic population implanted with an HPlus chip, designed to enable instant and continuous internet access.  But it’s not only the series’ online venue and big-name backers that make H+ particularly ambitious.  It’s the potential for audience interactivity with the order in which the story elements are presented.  As series creator John Cabrera recently explained to Wired:

The H+ story is also well-suited to nonlinear viewing that the web makes possible. Cabrera said the episodes, which average roughly four minutes in length, can be watched in a variety of orders, depending on “what feels right to the viewer.” The sequence-your-own-storyline option, powered by YouTube’s playlist tool, lets audience members explore pieces of the larger story in unique ways.

“YouTube viewers essentially curate their own content so you could form your playlist to watch H+ through the eyes of one character, in chronological order, in reverse-chronological order, by geographic location,” Cabrera told Wired in a phone interview. “Our hope is that audiences take H+ into their own hands.”

Singer promises all the pieces will fit together in the end. Since it doesn’t depend on linear chronology, H+ functions more like a wheel, with all episodic spokes leading to the hub event — the malfunction of the H+ implants.

Directed by Stewart Hendler, H+’s large, international cast includes Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Amir Arison (Law & Order: SVU), and David Clayton Rogers (Jane By Design).  Click below for the trailer.

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TNB Arts and Culture Editor CYNTHIA HAWKINS teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Most of what she thinks she knows comes from movies, including how to tango, how to take someone down with a ballpoint pen, how to curse in French, and how to catch a moving train. Her work, on movies and otherwise, has appeared in literary journals and magazines such as ESPN the Magazine, Parent:Wise Magazine, The Good Men Project, New World Writing, Strange Horizons, and numerous alternative weeklies and anthologies. You can find Cynthia on Twitter and at cynthiahawkins.net.

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