DRIFT uses multiple platforms and multiple protagonists to lead audiences through a complicated and spiraling storyworld.
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Ellery Kirk is a rainbow-bright, charismatic spitfire with a new astronomy degree (and nowhere to go). When she returns home for her father's funeral, she's met with lies and half-truths -- and is determined to uncover what actually led to her father's unusual passing.
DRIFT is a brand new transmedia experience that utilizes the multiple perspectives of four separate protagonists to lead audiences through a complicated and spiraling storyworld.
Transmedia is this hip new buzz-word in the entertainment industry. Basically it means an immersive, interactive narrative experience told across multiple platforms.
Transmedia is breadth of story and depth of characters. It's a story splintered across multiple channels and platforms. It's an interactive, immersive, and engaging narrative that permeates an audience's daily lives. It's more than a story, it's an experience.
With the increases in technology and societal naturalization of social media – the world of Transmedia Entertainment is an unclaimed frontier. Everyone is trying to adapt and make a business model, but most are advertising, or redirect to a traditional (film/TV) entertainment property.
For the past seven months we have led a collaborative team of interdisciplinary students to develop a custom transmedia experience that is designed for the web. We're starting production on a prototype, which we will use to pitch to potential investors to fund the full production. In the meantime, the finished prototype will be public and free to enjoy.
Basically our idea is this: the audience will be able to choose which character's perspective they experience the story from. There will be three main characters, each the protagonist of their own story, that all contribute to a larger story and a larger mystery.
As you watch the show, you will unlock the other POVs, and unlock clues that allow you to dig into the bigger mystery. The more you dig below the story's surface, the bigger your reward.
Our prototype will consist of the first chapter of the first point of view, and the interactive experience that supports that first pilot episode.
We need your help
Filmmaking costs money, and though a lot of our production costs are subsidized by student volunteers and department resources, there are some basics that we need to cover (food, production design, sweet sweet makeup/hair design).
In exchange for your charity, we'll keep you updated on how things are going on our end. Also, depending on how much you can afford to give, you'll get different show-related souvenirs.
If you can't afford to help us out, please share our project on facebook or twitter. It's free, and the literal least you can do :)
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This is an enormous (but incredibly rad) project, which is why we're focusing on a prototype right now.
There are implicit challenges working with any project, especially one as vast and as interdisciplinary as this one is. But not only are we teamed up with qualified and capable mentors guiding the process, but the show's creators have almost a collective decade working in film production and New Media, and have been involved with other award-winning New Media productions and branded entertainment.
We've already overcome the biggest hurdle: project conception and design. Now we just need to execute. And our large and exceptionally capable team is already hard at work. We just need a little help from YOU.
The story is divided into three perspectives, which are divided into chapters. As you watch the chapters, you will unlock chapters in the other perspectives; at which point you can watch the show in the order you please. You can jump around between characters, or follow one of them all the way through first.
After those initial chapters, there will be a call to action within the story that applies to the audience as well. The audience will be able to establish their own identity in the world of the story, and enter a community populated by fellow audience members and fictional characters (and the ability to distinguish between the two won't always be easy).
Fictional and non-fictional resources will be available to scour through, and the integration with technology will be tight. Audience will be able to interact with the larger narrative using their tablet or cell phone -- and there will be times where the story talks back.
This project is different than a movie, a television show, or a video game in a few ways. The biggest way is format. It's broken up into pieces, and all the pieces are online at one time. It's up to the audience member to pursue. It's also shorter form. All-together, if you just watch the initial 3 POVs, your experience will run about 90 minutes. But, if you want to keep digging, the storyworld of this show will be substantial.
We want the show to be accessible on computers, tablets, and smart phones, but we'll also be including social media elements, building a community of audience/character interaction, and connecting directly to the viewer using texts, phone messages, and emails.
To unlock the POVs, you just gotta watch an episode. And keep watching to unlock more. That won't come until the full project is made, however.
The clues will be there the whole time. The trick will be learning to recognize them.
We've definitely concepted the project, but the design is still in progress. We're still leading a development class (Writers, User Experience, Marketing) that's helping us strategize how to make this show compelling and fresh. One of the reasons that we're building a prototype, though, is that we need to test these concepts. We need to see how the story works and how the bigger user experience works before we're ready to produce the whole she-bang. So the reason there aren't more details on how we're going to accomplish our goals is partly because we're still exploring and figuring that out. It's a large undertaking, and there is a lot of incredible work that's come before that we are learning from – and though we have a lot of slick ideas, we aren't at the stage where we'd want to commit ourselves to some of the directions we're exploring (at least not publicly). We're still students, and we are reserving some privilege for that learning process.
The other reason is as hinted above. We're doing something new. We're being careful with our level of disclosure. We want to control the release of information, and there are some details that wouldn't be appropriate to reveal at this time.
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