Warner Premiere To Debut Slick 'H+' Web Series
It wasn’t long ago that “lonelygirl15” represented the height of Web-based programming.
Showing just how far the industry has come, Warner Bros. unit Warner Premiere is about to debut “H+ The Digital Series” -- a live-action Web series produced by Bryan Singer of "The Usual Suspects” and "X-Men: First Class" fame.
Although no Hollywood blockbuster, the online series -- set to premiere August 8 on YouTube -- boasts a production value that would have been impossible just a few years ago.
Directed by Stewart Hendler, the futuristic series stars B-list talent like Alexis Denisof -- best known for his work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” -- and Amir Arison, who viewers might (or might not) recognize from “Law & Order: SVU.”
What the series lacks in household names, however, it tries to make up for in online innovations like easy access, viewer engagement and interactive features. Said Singer, the project gave him the “freedom to engage fans with new content that is immersive, interactive and is tailored to be enjoyed online.”
Singer pitches “H+” as an episodic journey into the future where consumers are rapidly installing a chip called "HPlus" into their nervous systems that lets them access the Web with their minds. Things get interesting when a related virus kills off a third of world’s population overnight.
Trying to build buzz, viewers can already subscribe to the “H+ The Digital Series” channel on YouTube.
Leading up to the launch, Singer -- along with co-producers Warner Premiere and Dolphin Digital Entertainment -- will use YouTube, along with a dedicated Facebook page, to whet viewer appetites with teaser content, like clues into story plots and subplots.
The effort is part of a broader effort by YouTube to move away from throwaway videos (think dogs on skateboards) and toward premium, brand-friendly fare.
Beyond YouTube, the Web is attracting more talent and resources. Yahoo, for example, just debuted its glitziest project ever. Along with Tom Hanks’ Playtone production company and Reliance Entertainment, Yahoo’s new animated series, “Electric City” is set to make its global debut on July 17 on “Yahoo Screen.”
The “H+” series is being distributed by Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.