So… the novella is finished! (fanfare please). I had three draft copies printed using QOOP to check the look and feel and to have something physical to give away to potential partners.
The writer, Simon Wood, is now finishing up the webisode scripts and then I’ll go out to shoot them during August.
The webisodes will all be voiced by an actor playing the role of private detective Lauren Ortega (30s, American woman of Mexican parents). Any actor interested in auditioning for the role – which is voice-over only at this time – should be resident in the San Francisco Bay Area and should upload an audition piece to the LowLifes Facebook page. It’ll be a non-union paid gig and probably 1 to 2 days work at a mutually convenient time during late August-September.
The big step forward for the project is that we’re now working in partnership with the charity Coalition on Homelessness in San Francisco (www.cohsf.org). As part of the collaboration there will now be a formal transmedia activism component added to the core three-platform entertainment.
For an excellent primer and “how to” on transmedia activism, please visit this site. What I’m presenting here is not quite as it’s prescribed by the site’s authors (Lina Srivastava and Vicki Callahan) but I have borrowed a good deal of inspiration from them.
The project now looks like this:
- The core three-platform entertainment of novella, webisodes and blog with calls-to-action to visit the fictional website of a story character who helps homeless people
- A fictional character website (more below) with various fictional but supposedly ”real life” content and calls-to-action to visit the real world CoHSF site
- A campaign landing page at CoHSF that receives visitors from the fictional website
- Paid media advertising (various)
- Social media promotion
- Some local-level guerilla marketing.
I’ll also be advising CoHSF on a much needed social media and website make-over to better capture support and donations.
There has been some talk of an ARG but it depends if my Transmedia Storyteller platform is up and running in time because without it there’ll be too much work for the resources we have.
Bridging Fiction and Fact
A fictional website will be created for a story character called Joseph “Holy Joe” Rawlings who pays homeless people to report to him UFO sightings. Working with non-actors who have been helped by CoHSF, we shall create several fake “promotional videos” and video testimonies for the Holy Joe site. The people in the videos will improvise their experiences of working for Holy Joe around a loose story outline and combine it with their real-world experiences of fighting homelessness. Links on the site will ask viewers to find out more about the people in the videos. This will take them to a special landing page at the CoHSF site where the same non-actors will explain what’s going on and why your money is needed for the charity.
We have some quite detailed ideas for what will be in these videos on both sites but I’m being a little vague at this time until we get a little further into the project ;)
And in summary…
Here’s the presentation I gave to the charity explaining Lowlifes and how transmedia activism can work for them. I’m totally indebted to the kindness and foresight of the charity directors for allowing us this chance to work together and fight homelessness in San Francisco.
If there are other homeless charities in the USA or indeed around the world feel free to get in touch with me because I have several ideas for how we might roll out the concept to help others beyond SF.