In early 2012, I put the final touches on the crown jewel of my screenwriting portfolio: a 100+ page webseries behemoth called The Inhuman Condition. The script won me the Best Upper Year Script award at my school’s annual TARA Awards, and was bought by Smokebomb Entertainment, who would go on to produce a trailer and pilot the following year. Not only is this project where I’ve done my best writing, it remains my favourite.
This month, I get to finally share it with you.
Retitled just Inhuman Condition, it is currently vying for a piece of the Independent Production Fund‘s Web Drama Fund for 2014. Securing this fund will allow the show to produce more episodes, as well as making it a more attractive partner if another partner (say, a broadcaster or distributor) starts kicking the show’s tires. So, getting this money would be a huge step for me, and would allow me to finally show you guys that I kind of, maybe know what I’m doing with this writing thing. (Or alternately you can watch the episodes and finally have an excuse to write me off. Who knows. I hope not!)
For the first round, a key measurement they will be looking at is audience engagement. Particularly, how many likes, comments and subscriptions our trailer is able to score after a month’s time.
I hope I don’t need to tell you that this means you can help me in a very concrete way, here. Liking the trailer and commenting, sharing it on your Twitter and Facebook accounts, following the transmedia campaigns, all of it will help us break out and kick ass. And whether or not IPF gives us the nod, I’m determined to make sure we do more episodes of this, even if I have to play all the roles! So please, spare yourself that traumatising sight: help us out.
WHAT IS IT?
Inhuman Condition is a dramatic supernatural webseries.
In a world where the supernatural is known but scorned, werewolves, zombies and beings with supernatural afflictions attempt to live normal lives in human society. Many are closeted. Few are accepted.
To help them fit in, and to navigate the problems in their lives, they come to Dr. Michelle Kessler. A therapist by trade, Kessler is equal parts strong and empathetic, providing her patients a safe space to explore and understand themselves in a world where losing grip could put their families at risk. Self-hatred, alienation. The burdens of carrying impossible secrets. The struggle to feel human.
This is the Inhuman Condition.
Pretty cool, right?
For more info, Smokebomb’s set up a landing page explaining the show and our ambitions to create an ambitious storyworld.
There are a few components of Inhuman Condition to engage with, at this point. The main thing, which is the key to our chances at funding, is the trailer:
Watch it, like it, share it, comment. Even if you don’t have time or energy to engage with the rest of the fun, in five minutes you can do these four things and really help us out. This is the central pillar of the campaign. In addition, two clips from the series have been released!
But, if you want to join the fun beyond just boosting our signal…
THE TRANSMEDIA CAMPAIGN
Smokebomb and I are working together to create a really fun, immersive transmedia & social media campaign to enrich and explore the world of Inhuman Condition ahead of the show. Much of the content from these projects won’t be in the show at all, as the series itself is a slice of life from within this environment. But it will enhance and deepen your understanding of the characters and their situations, and possibly make the case that the show isn’t just one story, but a storyworld that could contain many different stories. Which would be pretty cool, because I’m sure I’ve got more than a few in me.
FIND ALL TWITTER EXTENSIONS on the Inhumans Twitter List.
Clara is the lovely young woman featured in our trailer (played by the luminescent Katy Breier), and one of my favourite characters I’ve ever created. Her story over the course of the season is probably my best work as a writer. So, having her front and centre in this campaign was a must.
Clara’s Twitter: @DeadGirlWalks_
Clara’s Blog: Angry Dead Girl
“Evie’s” Wattpad: Evie Emerson @ Wattpad
The side of Clara seen in our social media campaign is a bit different from the one in the show proper, though I’ve loved writing both. Our transmedia campaign is about fleshing out this vivid storyworld, and Clara’s engagement with it reflects that. As a ‘Walker’, a young woman struggling with Living Dead Disease and facing a no-win diagnosis, she engages with the outside world differently than in the intimate confines of a therapist’s office. She wants her life to mean something. And so, from the other side of her computer screen, she fights best she can to leave a mark without ever leaving her house.
A more vulnerable side can be seen in the Wattpad account where she discusses her past, veiled under the pseudonym of ‘Evie Emerson’. Clara herself will never acknowledge that this account belongs to her, but for those in the know, it should give an enlightening perspective into who she was, and who she’s become.
Her blog posts – “Who is Angry Dead Girl?” and “The World War Z Controversy” – give a taste of the approach we’re taking. Building an alternate world with it’s own pulsing conflicts while fleshing out her individual character. Using a mix of real-world and fictional figures to establish something that stands on its own and feels real. As the campaign continues, Clara will continue to tweet and blog, giving us a key glimpse into her world – and her perspective.
Robert Lincoln (or Linc) isn’t a key character from the original series, but part of its milieu and backstory. Acting as a more radical political voice against Clara’s, he allows her a friend and enemy to converse with online, while establishing his own story and arc. He also gives us a key glimpse into another pocket of this world: werewolves.
Linc’s Twitter: @LincWolf
Writing Linc has been a ton of fun for me, because he’s so different from Clara and the other members of the IHC cast. He’s very purely alienated by this world and walks the line between antagonist and hero, depending on how we see his struggles and what he’s gone through. He’s angry, sarcastic, and vicious, and I’m so glad I’m getting the chance to write him.
Tumblr: We Are All Inhuman
Videos: Take the Otherhuman Assessment Test / Werewolf Symptoms / Living Dead Symptoms
Taking a more pure ‘worldbuilding’ approach are the official Tumblr and videos, spearheaded by Smokebomb. These give the audience a chance to engage and interact with the wider world around these specific characters in interesting ways.
Behind the Scenes
My Twitter: @rjlackie
Smokebomb’s Twitter: @Smokebomb_Ent
Steph’s Twitter: @StephInTeeVee
Carrie’s Twitter: @CarrieHayden87
Dillon’s Twitter: @dillontaylor
Jay’s Twitter: @bennettjay
That’s me (creator & writer), Smokebomb themselves, and then the whole team – Steph (associate producer), Carrie (social media genius), Dillon (social media genius #2) and Jay (the big boss).
So – if you like the concept and the trailer, or even if you just enjoy transmedia and social media storytelling, follow along. Read back in the feeds. And enjoy. I’m having a ton of fun, and I hope you will too!