00c6 – new transmedia experience raising awareness about China’s Gendercide

Intro

00c6 is a transmedia project about China’s imminent Gendercide crisis, centering on a fictional post-apocalyptic SciFi webseries. The project was started in 2011 and went through quite a lot of changes, especially in title. To provide a complete understanding of its production and creation process as well as its structure, we created our trademark project DNA map, including all links to every channel.

Webseries storyline

“In a near future, China’s society has developed a critical demographic imbalance. The number of male Chinese increased rapidly. Women become a minority. A greedy subculture emerges, taking advantage of this situation. Ruled by a private conglomerate called “the æ Corporation”, the market for selling the pleasure of a woman for one night to desperate men is a monopoly. The price for this exquisite virtue are the men’s lives!
Set out on the remaining remote archipelago of deserted and flooded Hong Kong, men in groups of three have to compete against each other in a brutal fight of survival. The trophy, a single woman inside a secret compound. Only the last survivor is granted access…”

Phase #1

Let’s untangle the most confusing part of the project first, the title. Originally, this project was the Masters of Fine Arts thesis production of Marco Sparmberg at the HK Baptist University’s Academy of Film. When story development and location scouting began in late summer 2011, the initial idea was a 20min short film with the working title BLACK JUNGLE. Despite the positive experience gained on producing a new story format before (the webseries SQUATTERTOWN), Marco rooted for a traditional short film for his thesis to comply with outdated university regulations and the proven limited willingness of dealing with experimental formats by the university’s lectures and staff.

[concept art]

Soon, as the script progressed, most locations were locked down and pre-production began, the title was changed into HÆXAGON. The Æ became an integral part of the short film’s production design and story. Two project web pages were set up. One, the cryptic 00c6.org that was supposed to function as hidden code and primary project page. The other, haexagon.org, as corporate page for the fictional company from the original story.

logo_evolution[Æ logo evolution]

Updates about the production were mainly given via personal social media channels of cast and crew. Only a G+ page was launched to provide the ability to follow the project publicly. Fundraising for HÆXAGON was solely conducted on a private and corporate sponsorship level, no public crowdfunding campaign on any online platform. From the projected HK$300,000 the team was able to raise 1/3 in cash, the rest in soft sponsorship. The film was complete according to production plan by end of April 2012, without major quality trade-offs.

One of the primary challenges of this thesis production was the legal situation. The university did not provide any support on a single legal production issue, which means the team was not able to acquire any form of insurance needed as the university was not willing to stand in as production company. This situation rendered the entire project as an illegal venture under the Hong Kong law.  Hence, we created our own production company, as it is common practice for feature film projects (but not necessarily for shorts).

Also, common practice is to name a production company by the title of the film. In January 2012, Haexagon Concepts Ltd. was founded and HÆXAGON was its first project. The previous fictional haexagon.org project web page was turned into the official company page and 00c6.org became main focus of the project.

web_evolution [00c6.org page evolution]

After the short film was completed, screened internally at the university to fulfill its thesis production purpose, an international festival run was attempted.

Meanwhile, Haexagon Concepts, the production company, was turned into a transmedia IP management & development agency and started regular business operations by producing other content and IPs.

The storyline of HÆXAGON was further developed into a feature film treatment with the title DAMAGE REMOVAL. The short film however, was never screened publicly nor released officially. Screener copies on DVD and Blu-Rays are available but not for sale.

poster_coll [HÆXAGON poster collection]

Phase #2

Despite dealing with other projects and new clients we always felt HÆXAGON, as one of our in-house signature IPs needed a next step forward and won’t just end with the completion of this short film. In late 2012 we always used HÆXAGON for technical experiments and tried to pair it up with new solutions and strategies that emerged. Like a lab guinea pig, it got every media injection available to see how it reacts.

In early 2013 the plan was made to bring the project into its second phase. In order to reduce the title confusion with our company, the project was renamed 00C6 and the short film reedited into a webseries season, adding a number of new content. Hence, five episodes for the first season were created. The story got extended by means of an interactive tumblr blog (access password: 00c6) that functions as whistle-blower character, disclosing secrets from the series’ fictional universe.

First, the series will be available exclusively on Blip.tv and published on YouTube on December 6th, 2013.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYOVrBoA.x?p=1 width=”640″ height=”388″]

Objective in this phase is to provide a stronger focus on the project’s non-fiction aspects. A new Twitter account is used to provide articles, writings and other background documentation about the real Gendercide situation in China. While 00c6.org functions as fictional extension to the webseries that is hosted at video platforms alongside with other videos about the production, Flickr (make sure to log-in otherwise you might not be able to see all pictures) is used to host the incredibly powerful set photography of Jonathan van Smit that tell their very own little stories. Combining platform of fiction and non-fiction elements is Pinterest, providing an array of pin boards on both topics and all major project content.

00c6_YTthumb_trailer [web banner]

With this strategy, we created a number of entry points for new users/participants. Depending on from what side 00c6 is being approached, there are always interconnected links or additional information that lead to another platform without duplicating content in different channels simultaneously. The range and versatility of the non-fiction project part will be growing within the months to come.

Phase #3

Right now, we just started Phase #2 and want to test the general response on the project and what kind of feedback we get from online/mobile audiences in order to develop further storylines and project extensions.

We already experimented with some technology last year and were planning to create a hiking experience. A trail that leads to the locations where the webseries was shot with either an augmented reality overlay app (image recognition like Aurasma) or hidden NFC check-ins where hikers can watch clips from the project that were shot at that respective location. This experience would tap into the local Geo-cashing community and needs specific incentives to be conducted successfully.

map

On the non-fiction side of the project, we are currently talking to other related organizations that deal with a similar topics and exploring co-operations and future side projects. Hence, there is much underway but primarily it depends on the audience and where it wants us to be headed with 00c6.

Klout and Influence in a Transmedia Universe (Part 3)

Hi everyone, welcome back.

So, continuing…

First, let me state something that I might have missed before – Klout in HK has almost to no influence in the market… there are no local perks, no local events or even any advertising in the city, all my connection to the site and its influence over me/those I know, was by getting information on it and browsing through the internet, something that is the M.O. for most silicone (or there about) companies suffer from, in this part of the world (Asia, East Asia, China, Hong Kong – where we are based).

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A month had past. It was the 3rd of June. At this point, things started to become complicated.

As we had just shot a short-film a few months back (Haexagon), we were needing @ HC to start pushing it online in our common social network channels. Having a different social/transmedia tactic than the previous product we had done at the company (Squattertown), the film wasn’t to be shown online, like most of what we do… it was to be teased with several types of videos (making of, deleted scenes, imaginative teasers and trailers, tests, sfx videos, pictures, events) until the film started being shown at local/international film festivals, to then, at a later date, us starting to figure/test out which monetizable, distribution channels might be interesting to pursue in the local market.
But… rather than being able to push those videos on my stream, I had to do it through the company Facebook page (HC) and that’s where some of the interesting differences between being a lurker, an active user and a Facebook page maintainer began appearing (at this stage there was no possible differentiation between me as a user and administrator at the page, something that since then has been changed on Facebook).

Klout_the_new_page_rank

My strategy (if it can be called that) on my network of most influence (Facebook personal page) has always been – since I watch, read, go through so much virtual information every day, I should post only the best/most interesting videos/texts/pictures, I’d find through my morning rituals (a 2/3 hour “browse” through my immensity of bookmarks, favorite sites, rss feeds, twitter feeds and Facebook/Google+ walls) – this tactic was also to maintain at least a following that when I’d post my personal/professional projects, they’d be interested in watching them since I’d have been curating my channel for a while. 

This of course, had to change drastically on my influence over the page (Haexagon Concepts Page, not my own), having to be more contained and cautious over what was divulged, advertised or pushed through HC. At first it was extremely complicated because as an impulse, the moment I’d see a good vid/text/whatever, I’d immediately go towards the share/like buttons that are readily available in most sites and having my face “covered” I couldn’t do anything… most content being completely different from what should be posted on our company page, this of course created a lul in my attitude. But, after a while, I learned to contain (relax rather), over what should be pushed online, having more fun over what was readily available through my sources and seeing how they’d become available on my personal streams, trying to figure out how/who/when/for what they’d appear online.

I digress…

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Let’s get back to the results:

So…. 1 month had passed:
What was I still you may ask? A Specialist… no change there. I was still Focused andConsistent.

Still, I got 1 new topic:

8 Topics – Photography, iPhone, Macau, YouTube, Hong Kong, Films, Entertainment, Cannes

Apparently I became rather influential on Cannes (funny as the only thing I’ve ever posted on Cannes was that a Portuguese kid had won a short film award there a few years back… and it wasn’t even at Cannes… it was at Cannes Lion)

Thee expected, of course, started happening (mathematics is of course, rather predictable and converting human interactions/actions into algorithms, like in every social/natural science makes us humans and what we do, mere variables in vast calculations… don’t know if I should be fascinated by this… or like with everything that can be manipulated according to “higher callings” – weary…)

On the 90 day analysis (so between my last postdate and this one) I had reached a peak of 57 on the 10th of May – almost a week where I’d been radio silent coincidentally. My score at the time of analysis was at 53.14.

In Twitter I had 7 Retweets, 64 Mentions, had lost 2 Followers – now 79, but had kept my Following the same – 353.

On Facebook the numbers started becoming weird (or rather, very variable). I had 260 Comments (down from 265, which means that for a 1 month period where I was inactive, in the 90 day counting system at Klout, I had only commented 5 times less…. like I said… weird…). I had 613 Likes (lol) and had received 50 Wall posts, 6 down from the previous month and in the 90 day stretch this would make, in my rather un-mathematical observation, rather similar between being active and inactive.

Untitled

If you’ve noticed a pattern, yes… my thinking of the 90 days of inactivity is intimately connected with the 90 days it takes the Klout computers to assert their calculations. 

By this point Klout also started integrating Google+ and Linkedin in their calculations but they only started presenting my results from my Google+ account.

During my first month of inactivity, I had 1 +1s, 0 comments and 2 reshares. Rather pointless statistically but we’ll continue this further down the next posts.

At this point in time, my true reach – reached the enormous hights of 1284 @ 11/05 but had gone down to a still rather flattering – 895 people reached.

My Amplification reduced drastically to 32 and my Network Impact was 42 (having had a Highest point @ 48.33).

So a little dip in my stats, but nothing to worry (or even to almost note about)

My Klout friends for which I had any influence, just like me, also slowly started to dip down so… I just gave my dip to a “general inactivity” on the networks I use.

Their numbers:

People I Influence – Marco Sparmberg – 52 (Down from previous momth)

Mariana Silva – 47

Alexandra Ferreira – 43 (New user so for now, irrelevant)

Rui Abreu – 40

Jenson Cheung – 22 (I stopped being influential to him, so his score was the same)

Huang Jianhong – 14 (Another New user so for now, irrelevant as well)

First take back from my analysis… it’s not just how I’m affected by my inactivity in my network… it’s how it affects everyone around me (rather egotistical I know…).

Those who influenced me also started to change (although slightly)

Influences –  The Hollywood Reporter 75 (Rather predictably, stopped being influential to me)

Casey Lau 64 (Down)

Juergen 60

Andrew Leyden 57 (Down)

James Marsh 56 (Stopped being influential)

Kevin Ma 48 (A new addition)

Marco Sparmberg 52 (Down)

Angelo Costadimas 51 (A new influence)

Paul Fox 40 (Down)

Sean Tierney 38 (And another New influence… funny how they became it, only after I became innactive… hmm…)

So… first conclusions for the first month of lurking through the internet social circles:

There was in fact a dip, but it was either insignificant, or unnoticeable in accordance to what almost everyone else suffered in my network.

My reach is decreasing and therefore, certain “channels” of communication between me and my network are closing.

Lastly, some of my online habits had to be adapted/changed drastically so… at least for the first month of tests, I’d consider it a success.

Other than these 3 points… no big achievements:

Untitled3

Join us next week for month 2 of this “odyssey”.

Part 1

Part 2

dissecting the Haexagon posters

Our recent short film and soon transmedia project HAEXAGON has several poster artworks. Apart from the official poster by our concept designer Eric Chu, which got a more B-movie like style approach, there are 4 teaser posters. Those artworks do look like they are simple 1-shot photos but in fact they are large compositions a la Andreas Gursky out of various photos made by our set photographer Jonathan Van Smit. To give you a better understanding here a small making of in pictures:

1) The official poster:

7313657666_e3a5dcee21_b

2) The teaser posters:

Poster4_analysis2

3) Dissecting the teaser poster:

a) Original:

Poster4s

b) Colored parts of the photo collage (12 layers):

Poster4_analysis

c) Ground material (excerpt):

Poster4_analysis3

[ http://00c6.org | all photos by Jonathan Van Smith – http://www.flickr.com/ photos/n_ipper/ | artwork for 1) Eric Chu | artwork for 2-3) Marco Sparmberg – http://m-sp.net ]

launch party 23.06.2012

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Last Saturday we did our official launch party, finally. Having started the company back in January 2012 we were quite caught up in projects that, hence it took some months to get things settled. The party was located in an old industrial space in Fo Tan and we screened some of our recent projects.

All pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/medienmarco/sets/72157630276103606/

Tweets from the evening: https://twitter.com/#!/search/%2300c6

Recored video from the video live-streaming: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/haexagon-concepts