Best boy grip Sloane Schoeneberg on the set of Exposed.
Actors are being coiffed, grips are hauling equipment between sets, Joey Stewart is barking at his crew, and Jon Keeyes is being a great guy. This could describe a lot of film shoots that have taken place in North Texas in the past 10 or so years. This particular project, Exposed, is being financed by big time studio Warner Brothers. So when I visited the final day of shooting last Saturday at The Art Institute of Dallas, why did a set production assistant ask me not to use his name if I posted his picture?
“Eh, I’m really a producer, and this is just for the Web.”
Supervising producer Joey Stewart in the inner sanctum.
“It’s the Metaverse,” says supervising producer Jon Keeyes. What Jon calls the Metaverse, I call transmediating, a term purloined from a book that rocked my world, Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins. Transmediating is telling a story through several media platforms simultaneously. Most famously, The Wachowski brothers transmediated The Matrix series; you could go see the movie and then go on with your life OR you could play the video games and read the comic books, too. The optional platforms don’t just repeat the films, they add exclusive information and make the whole Matrix universe a lovely onion screaming to be peeled (really bad but vivid metaphor by me).
Supervising producer/great guy, Jon Keeyes
For Exposed, one character will have a MySpace page with alternative perspectives on each webisode through blogging, social networking capabilities (with real people), and possibly even additional footage. (You might think interactivity and corporate copyright cannot mix, but the Hogwarts camp is doing an excellent job, from what I’m told.)
The details on Exposed:
– North Texas cast and crew (the lead actor was born here)
– Thirty episodes, each three to four minutes long, spread out over 16 weeks
– National promotional campaign, televised
– Coming soon to a computer near you (http://www.thewb.com/). Premieres November 3, 2008
I was on set for two hours when it dawned on me that I hadn’t asked about the plot (former Russian Mafia guy escapes his tormentors by posing as an American college student/janitor), then I realized my fascination came from form, not content. The Metaverse is here, baby! And it’s the wave of the future, so surf’s up, North Texas. The medium is the message.