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A 6-episode documentary series on the people and culture of videogames.
A 6-episode documentary series on the people and culture of videogames.
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4,396 backers pledged $247,481 to help bring this project to life.

Outerlands in 2016


Starting today, there’s going to be two backer updates every month. One written, one live-streamed. We’ll advertise the live stream date in the written update and on our other social media. The written updates will mostly focus on backer rewards, the live streams will focus on episode post production (and can be skipped if you don’t want any spoilers). Backer rewards and written updates are pretty much going to be the only interaction I (Matt Chandronait, the person writing these posts) will have with Outerlands until it’s time to do graphics and animation for the episodes; which bums me out, but it’s better for everyone—I’ll explain why in a bit. You’ll start hearing about digital rewards first because, well, they’re the easiest to get out there.

Our next live stream will be on Monday, February 29th, next written post on Monday, March 14th. During the stream, Ryan and Jason will be showing off bits and bobs from two episodes that are in a “Rough Cut” stage. We’re totally retooling the Cannons episode so that won’t be one of them. But what are the other episodes we’re working on, you may ask? Well, while we’re only doing 6 episodes, we’ve actually acquired enough content for 7. We’re not entirely sure which will end up in Outerlands and which will end up as extras in the Special Edition, but here are the 7 possibilities. Also, we’re not sure yet what order to put them in and titles aren’t set.

  • Inventors — We look at the birth of videogames through the eyes of their original creators
  • The Cannons — The story of twin brothers who altered the course of fighting games 
  • Anita Sarkeesian — How a humble $6,000 Kickstarter changed a woman’s life
  • NAVE — A 20 day tour across Argentina with a one-of-a-kind game cabinet
  • Lessons of the Past — The fight to preserve our videogame heritage
  • Train Jam — A 3-day, 2,400 mile rolling indie game jam in public
  • NYC— In a cultural capital of the world, we dip our toes into a game scene that’s just as unique and diverse as its host

As I mentioned above, I’ll be taking a lesser role in Outerlands post production. The reason is our twofold plan for 2016, both parts of which we need your help on! Not with more money—we committed internally from the very beginning that no matter what happened we would go fabulously into debt rather than ask for more money from backers—but we do need warm bodies for both our client work and Outerlands. The first part of the plan is to dedicate only a single one of us to the client business—that’s me. But I can’t do it alone! While we have several regular contractors we use for various parts of the production process, I need more! We have some great, regular clients in the tech and vidoegame worlds that I need extremely reliable, self-directed people for that I can contract out to. If you’d like to work on stuff like the trailer for Rez∞, the videos for Outer Wilds, GeForce Garage or with clients like Oracle, Sony, and IDEO, then let me know! From Producers down to Production Assistants, Directors, Editors (junior and senior), Graphics & Animation, Grip & Lighting, Sound Recordists, DPs and Camera Ops, Storyboard Artists, Scriptwriters, occasionally even just a driver! Essentially, I need to develop teams that I can mold into low-impact strike forces that at first I’ll oversee but that eventually I can point in a direction and simply let rocket go. To be clear, this part of our business, like most of Hollywood and the production world in general, is all freelance and contract-based. Our dream has always been to get enough of this work going to be able to hire more people internally, even if only to manage clients, but that’s still a ways off. Maybe you can help us get there. We pay good rates to our contractors because we demand quality and speed, but even if you’re just looking to learn and don’t mind interning for free for a bit while you get your feet wet every production can always use an extra set of hands!

Second part is, of course, Outerlands which everyone else will be working on. If you’re looking for a great editing internship for a semester or a season and live in the San Francisco Bay Area, let us know! We’ve had a couple interns over the years and they’ve gone on to some great jobs. If you can speak Spanish, there’s one episode of Outerlands, in particular, that we need you for! If either of the above interest you in any way, fill out our contact form at ( Those emails go directly to my inbox so I’ll see ‘em as they come in.

So, Where’ve You Been?

We knew from the beginning that making six films was a huge task—particularly because we could never let go of the client work entirely. We’ve always been ad-hoc about switching roles half-in and half-out of both pillars of the business: original content and client work. All of us want to work on everything, and admitting that we can’t do it all was a lesson a long time coming. There’s a particular friend of ours (you know who you are) that over an evening of drinks at a dive bar just straight up told us that we needed to ask for help and that triggered a long internal discussion that resulted in the above plan of action.

On the side, we’ve been in talks with several folks about distribution deals for Outerlands that would have given us not only an exact timeline for Season One but would have funded a Season Two as well. For many months those deals always seemed to be just a week or two away and I thought writing a post about such happy news was just around the corner. That and the ad-hoc nature of our roles mentioned above are the two main reasons we’ve been so quiet since around the time of XOXO last year. None of that excuses our silence, but we felt we should tell you what’s been going on.

Without equivocation, we apologize for not talking to you. For those of you that are still skeptical of the outcome, we intend to earn back your trust and, even more, get you excited about Outerlands once again.

Outerlands Livestream 03

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The Cannons Episode on Vimeo, Learning from XOXO, & the Next Livestream


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Season One Trailer, First Episode Coming Your Way, & We're @ XOXO!


Hello friends, backers, and friends of backers!

Dropping next week will be the entire first episode! Dropping during this post is the trailer for the season as a whole—we think you'll like what's coming in the rest of the series:

If you've watched our livestreams then you've seen the first episode coming together. It's on Tom & Tony Cannon, the twin brothers who are the force behind the launch and growth of the largest fighting game tournament in the world: the Evolution Championship Series. If you've backed at $25 or above, next week you'll be getting an email from the wonderful folks at Humble Bundle with a link to download a Blu-Ray-quality file of this first episode. Yes, initially the plan was to release the entire series at once all Netflix-style, but since we're way past our projected deadline, we figured anything that we have done should just come to you ASAP.

Finally, in Portland this weekend? Area 5 was invited by the kind folks at XOXO in Portland to come and show off a bit of Outerlands during their Film and Animation festival this Saturday. If you happen to be at the event, come out and see us! It's not until 11:30 at night, so you'll have to stay up pretty late. XOXO is giving us the largest block of time during the Film and Animation event and we are insanely grateful for the opportunity! We're looking forward to seeing what Outerlands is like for people who aren't our backers or pre-disposed to liking what Area 5 does. I'd be lying if I said we weren't a little nervous. Our plan was to get the Cannons episode out to our backers before XOXO, but we're STILL polishing up the episode and we don't want you to have to download an unfinished version. 

We hope you enjoy this first bit of content and through it can get a good idea of everything else that's coming.


Outerlands Livestream 02 Live!


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