As promised, we are at the point where we are ready to reveal our plans for the first season of The Treasure Chronicles. We've got quite a bit to share with you so we’re actually going to break it into two posts.
Building an audience
The most important component of our production quite simply is you - the audience. Our story will literally go nowhere if we do not have audience participation. Interactive media without the interaction just won't work. We need excited and engaged treasure hunters helping the characters in our stories. We also need members.
The concept of creating shows in which the audience participates was driven first and foremost by the thought: "Wouldn't that be fun?!" However, we are also realists and are very aware that the cost to create this would is substantial. You see, we aren't backed by some mega-company with boundless bank accounts nor do we have venture capitalists with bags of money. The creation of Immagix Media and The Treasure Chronicles has been completely self-funded up until now.
We want to create something that is fun, different, and of high quality. No matter what kind of prizes we're giving away, if the video sucks or the website doesn't work - people will flee. With that goal in mind, we've been working to bring together highly talented professionals from both the video production and the technical development worlds.
All of these moving parts require highly skilled people and equipment to bring it to life. Alas, this does not come cheaply. We’ve got our team together and we’ve got all of our plans in place. Now we just need you.
Our next big step is crowd funding.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it allows people to put an idea in front of people to determine whether or not they believe the idea is worth their time - and money.
We prefer to think of our Kickstarter campaign as a way for us to build members with no risk to you. We understand that we don’t have a long history creating blockbuster hits. We’ve tried to be open with you about our plans and goals. We’re not looking for handouts, we’re looking for members. Each of our Kickstarter backers will become elite treasure hunters with all of the benefits that becoming a member entails: Ad free viewing, enhanced voting rights, the chance to win prizes each episode, special access to behind the scenes footage and to our cast, and best important of all – the chance to win the unlimited grand prize.
We felt like crowd funding would be a great way for us to gauge people's interest. You can choose to back us on Kickstarter. If we make our goal, then you are guaranteed that we will complete the first season of The Treasure Chronicles. If not, then you'll have no obligation to become a member and you can keep your money.
Our plan is to launch a Kickstarter campaign during the first week of January. The specific date will become clearer once we've gone through Kickstarter’s approval process, but we anticipate that it will be on the 4th of February.
As you may know from our past blog posts, we've had some challenges around our film permits. The good news is that we've finally been able to get the National Forest Service to evaluate our project! They had a meeting today, the 22nd of January, and we should have some idea of the status of our request very soon.
We do have alternate plans to use private property if our permit is not approved, but we would REALLY like to be able to use the actual locations. They are such amazing spots and they will contribute immensely to our story in ways that will become evident when you see the show.
We intend to begin shooting on location again in February.
We've completed a major milestone this week. All of the pieces and parts to allow you to vote, score, and communicate with our shows has been completed. We still need to put together the web page that our audience will access and then we need to Beta test it.
Our plan with testing is to enlist the aid of our existing audience. We'll be presenting a brief animated series about the adventurer/fortune seeker "Missouri Smith". Think of him as the low budget version of Indiana Jones. You'll follow the adventures of Missouri and hopefully guide him to success. It should be an interesting adventure and we'll be rewarding our beta testers.
Spanish Speaking Audience
We've been a bit surprised (and very pleased) to see tremendous interest and support from the Spanish speaking community (especially Mexico). We've decided that we'll be releasing a separate video with Spanish subtitles. We're very pleased that our first season will be highlighting some of the history surrounding Mexican involvement in the California Gold Rush.
Hemos estado un poco sorprendido (y muy satisfechos) para ver un tremendo interés y el apoyo de la comunidad de habla española (especialmente México). Hemos decidido que vamos a estar lanzando un video independiente con subtítulos en español. Estamos muy contentos de que nuestra primera temporada destacará algunos de la historia que rodea la participación de México en la fiebre del oro de California.
Geocaching and other real world events
In the spirit of banishing couch potatoes and creating a community of interactive audience members, we have plans to introduce a connection to actual events in the "real world". What does this mean? First, we would be sponsoring a nationwide geocaching event in which geocachers in the United States would potentially earn bonus TQ points for everyone in their region. Sorry, international viewers, but initially our geocaching event would only be in the United States, but you would be able to get bonus points.
Second, along the same lines as the geocaching event, we have plans for a scavenger/treasure hunt (in the United States). This would also give our audience members another opportunity for additional bonus TQ points.
We'll be revealing much more about these events as we proceed, but we think it will be a fantastic way to promote the interactive nature of our show.
We've covered quite a bit and you're probably wondering when this is all going to happen? We have a schedule for you. We'll also be posting our calendar online at http://immagix.com/immagix-event-calendar/
It will be updated as our dates become more solid. We'll also be putting dates for other events and activities on our online calendar and we'll be making announcements in social media and on our website.
We realize it is an aggressive schedule, but we've already assembled our team and we're excited and ready to go!
Here are some key dates:
Clue Video released - 1/24/2014
Kickstarter campaign begins - Tuesday 2/4/2014
The Adventures of Missouri Smith Beta testing - Week of 2/17/2014 -2/21/2014
Filming potentially resumes - 2/23/2014
Kickstarter campaign ends - Tuesday 3/4/2014
Release of the first interactive episode of The Treasure Chronicles - 4/22/2014
Much, much more to come!