Monday, August 11, 2008

Year Zero coming to HBO?

Trent Reznor has been in talks with HBO about turning his 2007 concept album and alternate reality game Year Zero into a two season maxi-series.

Nine Inch Nails - Survivalism [2007]

"It's the most exciting thing on the horizon; it's the thing that when I wake up in the morning it makes me say, 'God it would be cool if that happened,' " Reznor said while sitting backstage before a Nails concert in Toronto.

"So it started with me trying to write it as a piece of fiction. ... I started by writing a kind of world bible about what life would be like around 15 or 20 years from now if things continue on the same path. I spent a few weeks filling it in with the events that could lead to this kind of time and place. Then, as an experiment, I started writing songs about people in this place and from different points of view.

"I just pitched it to HBO two weeks ago in L.A. It went great. Ideally, we're trying to get them to do a two-year limited series. I prefer that over a film. We would have a second ARG tying into the second album and ... the series, and they all happen together with a budget needed to pull that all off. There would be a tour down the road. The record completes the story, the ending that no one knows. I know what happens. I knew when I started it. And it's not what people think."

The Year Zero album and alternate reality game provided fragmented windows on a much larger narrative set in a near-future dystopian America ruled by a totalitarian Christian regime, with the deliberate intention of showing a possible future reality if the current sociopolitical path in this country continues. Both the songs on the LP and the puzzle-like game offer non-linear perspectives from a variety of characters... a first for Reznor, who until Year Zero wrote only from the first person perspective.

Eames Demetrios - Road to Edinburgh (pt 10)

The non-traditional storytelling method makes me think of Eames Demetrios' Kymaerica - a fictional alternate universe which is being slowly exposed in fragments over a wide variety of media. Eames explained to me that Kymaerica began as a story he told to his children. The important thing is that it isn't merely a Tolkenish alternate universe. It is about looking at the world around you from a different perspective - from the wide-eyed and untainted perspective of a child's imagination. Not only do Demetrios and Reznor want you to look at your own world in a different light, but brilliantly utilize every media at their disposal to tell their story.

If everything goes as planned,Year Zero will be an groundbreaking and exceptional experiment in storytelling... and that's what I'm really interested in.

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