Imagine, for a moment, half of your favorite YouTube stars going to the same college, obsessively using all your favorite social networking programs. It’s almost like some alternate reality where obsessively twittering, texting, Facebook stalking, and playing Halo is the epitome of coolness.
Apparently HBOlab has an active imagination, as they’ve gathered together Jessica Rose (Bree from lonelygirl15), Phil DeFranco (sxephil), and Kevin Wu (kevjumba) to produce Hooking Up, “a College Comedy Series about Relationships and Communications.”
Starting October 1st, “Hooking Up” commenced its ten episode run, with new episodes released weekly. HBOlab is showcasing the project at the American Film Institute’s DigiFest 2008, billing it as “a cross-platform alternate reality game” seeking to “explore how [an] online narrative series might integrate cross-platform promotions to build both intrigue and audience.” AFI’s Digital Content Lab is working with HBOlab on the production.
So far, the interactive and cross-media elements of “Hooking Up” are admittedly sparse. This may change after adding the characters to my social networking profiles, as the site claims you can “Become friends with your favorite HOOKING UP characters…and be part of the hidden story!” The Hooking Up homepage features “bask-book”, a social networking Facebook clone for the fictitious Bask University and its attendees that leads to MySpace and Facebook profiles, where the characters communicate (and miscommunicate) with each other. A post by Kevin Nalts implies that the series will expand to include access to e-mails between the two main characters. The site also provides links to bonus video content.