When we set out to create a show about modern-day magic, we knew we wanted to do something different. We wanted to explore the fringes of society and culture, where the weird people hang out making their incredible dreams into reality: steampunks. circus performers. arts collectives. traveling musicians. burlesque dancers. cosplayers. fan fiction writers. indie filmmakers. the people who decided it was better to create our own cultures than to participate in whatever the mainstream wanted to feed us.
Then we learned about "strowlers" from an old English book, long out of print: The Dictionary of Thieving Slang (1737).
n. Vagabonds, Itinerants, Men of no settled Abode, of a precarious Life, Wanderers of Fortune, such as Gypsies, Beggars, Pedlars, Hawkers, Mountebanks, Fidlers, Country-Players, Rope-dancers, Jugglers, Tumblers, Shewers of Tricks, and Raree-show-men.
And we said "This is us!"
Zombie Orpheus began with a radical idea: that fans could be empowered to engage with and create within the worlds that they love. We could release our works for free, under a Creative Commons license. We could share and create collaborative art. We could bypass the advertisers and sponsors and middle-men and distribution networks and be a community that made awesome films together.
For seven years we've been doing exactly that. And from the beginning, Strowlers was the impossible dream that kept us going, the next step toward something new. "What if we radically opened up a story world, allowed anyone to create and share and sell and fund their own works within it, and took it global?"
This Kickstarter begins a new journey (sorry, "quest"... you get the idea) for ZOE, one that we look forward to taking with all of you. We're tossing copyright out the window, we're tossing traditional ideas about profits out the window, and we're pushing the edge of what's possible. We're asking what would happen if we trusted each other to create art together, on the fringes of society, telling stories that Hollywood would never touch.
In short, we're Strowlers. And we think that you might be one too.
Thanks for your help funding these first Strowlers: Preludes! We can't wait to see where the journey takes us.
Sincerely, Ben Dobyns The Strowlers Story Team & Zombie Orpheus Entertainment