June 19, 2013

Creative Moment in Web Film History: HBO's Voyeur Project, 2007

In 2007 HBO made advertising and marketing history with their HBO Voyeur project, in which we were invited to view events occuring in eight fictional New York apartments. The highlight of the campaign was the projection of a five minute film on the side of a building on Broome and Ludlow Sts, New York, between June 28 and July 1, and again from July 5 – 8, 2007.




The film, set to music, aired on a web site and featured 8 rooms/8 films all scripted to work together.

Apartment 1A, “The Tempted”
Apartment 1B, “The Departure”
Apartment 2A, “The Discovery”
Apartment 2B, “The Proposal”
Apartment 3A, “The Killer Within”
Apartment 3B, “The Grown-Up Table”
Apartment 4A, “The Delivery”
Apartment 4B, “The Temptress” 

“For the main film, everything had to be scripted so that the timing of the individual stories would match up, as some of the stories were related," explains Teressa Iezzi in "The Idea Writers." The film was shot one floor at a time. Shots were stacked on top of each other in post production. The film crew used a counter on set that enabled certain cues to be performed, such as a character running up the stairs from one level to another to make the pieces work together seamlessly. The post production team animated  the lighting changes on matte paintings.

“HBO is known for being great storytellers,” said creative director Greg Hahn (as quoted by Iezzi).  “You could write lines and spots that say how HBO is a great storyteller, but we wanted to do something that embodied that. We wanted to create a different way to tell a story that was interesting to watch in itself and reflected on the brand that way.”


Behind the building, in the distance, there were four other apartments each with their own story. 

Viewers were invited to go behind the scenes of the 
story by visiting the blog, "the story gets deeper..." 
The Voyeur Project was developed at BBDO New York by chief creative officers David Lubars and Bill Bruce, executive creative director/copywriter Greg Hahn, and senior creative directors/copywriters Mike Smith and David Carter. Filming was shot by Jake Scott via RSA Films, New York, with producers Jules Daly and Frank McGivern, and via Big Spaceship, New York. You can view the archived site at BigSpaceShip
The Voyeur Project won a silver for media at the International ANDY Awards, two Yellow Pencils at the D&AD Awards 2008 (for broadcast innovations and intergrated), and the Grand Prix at Cannes for Ambient: Stunts and Live Advertising, a Silver Lion at Cannes for Best Use of Digital Media in a Promotional Campaign, and a Gold Outdoor Lion for Publications and Media.