Cinemax's new original action series Banshee is the first-ever TV series to premiere as a GIF. Cinemax teamed up with Buzzfeed, a social news website, to make the entire first episode available to view as animated GIFs here. (Warning to the uninitiated: it's a little trippy.)
From the creator of HBO’s True Blood, Alan Ball, Banshee follows the story of Lucas Hood (played by Anthony Starr), an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the Banshee, Pa., sheriff as he continues his criminal activities while shady gangsters he betrayed in the past try to hunt him down. Hood may have to watch his back, but from the looks of a teaser GIF (below), he’s not a man to be trifled with.
The series will also feature cinematic short-form sequence GIFs from the show on a new Tumblr site, the Banshee GIF shop, which launched today and offers more than 80 GIFs you can caption and send to friends via social media.
The Tumblr site is one of many ways that Cinemax is giving viewers different opportunities to engage with Banshee across multiple platforms. Custom-edited GIF trailers and animated “collectable” lobby cards will be available through partner fan sites. The website Welcome toBanshee.com will also debut with the premiere and feature never-before-seen prequel videos, as well as other content that can be unlocked with code combinations provided in the show’s opening titles. Comic book aficionados will even have the opportunity to read a prequel comic, Banshee Origins, available free of charge at retail comic shops and on digital platforms. Finally, a Twitter story extension will give one character’s perspective throughout the season of what happens in each episode.
All this cool media will reinforce the best way to watch this awesome new show: through your video provider. Banshee premieres January 11 at 10 p.m. on Cinemax and will be available thereafter on MAX GO.