Friday, November 9, 2007

My thoughts on the creators recent behavior regarding the site and interaction.

So, there is much to be said for Lonelygirl15-

The webseries that dared to ignore the line between entertainment and reality and inspire millions, my self included.

About a year ago I found out about Lonelygirl15 when they revealed to the world that it was fake, and I thought to myself "this girl must be some actress to get them to think she's real" so I went over to the tube and started watching it. At the start I failed to acknowledge the subtle clues, I just thought it was like an interactive drama. But I checked Bree's profile every few days to see if there was a new video. At that point there really wasn't anything, in my mind, worth subscribing for.

Of course, after the third character Gemma was introduced I figured it was easier to just subscribe and check out the main site. At one point it was bluntly obvious that Bree's "Religion" wasn't one that anyone had ever heard of and it would play a key factor. After Bree mentioned "OpAPHID" in one of her videos I noticed how the comments blew up.

Curious, I did a youtube search on found a video from Lordgreystoke, ranting about this secret society. I found Op's profile and it scared me to death, enough to the point that I wanted to stop watching. But, then I met Tachyon, oh so sweet little Tachyon. The girl worried about herself and stuck in a world where she did her best to escape Bree's nutball religion.

The best thing about the OpAphid series was, that it was all user generated fan videos. I was shocked to learn that these videos had been integrated into the plot when they didn't start out as such-

Much of LG was that way at the start though-

There was an official chat, where characters would hop in from time to time and even the creators themselves would sit and spin a yarn for everyone. The creators would mention fans in their videos from time to time and the characters would come to YOU for help and advice.

During mid-December of last year I decided to fully immerse myself. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had never found Tachyon...

Anyway, fans were invited and even encouraged to create their own videos and create new worlds and story lines in the "Breeniverse". Even saying that they were interested in picking up other story lines like what they had done with OpAphid.

and then, around late March this year, it all fell apart.

Outrageous claims against Glenn Rubenstein (the creator of OpAphid) unfolded and the creators decided to take that opportunity to announce that he was no longer involved with Lonelygirl 15, although the claims themselves weren't the reason for this parting they damn sure made it sound like it.

There was no conclusion, no goodbye. Nada. Zip. They just moved on with the next arc that would eventually bring about the next heartbreak of the breeniverse. The loss of Bree, herself.

In-between that time there were great droughts of character interaction and fan participation, they did do a good job with the Hymn of One seminar (but, only a limited amount of people could go and if you weren't in LA, well sucks to be you! Why isn't there more east cost stuff? You know what, I'll save that for another time) but other than that I can't remember much going on with the fans.

For a while I'd been hearing rumors that Jessica Lee Rose didn't renew her contract (and not for the reasons we were given mind you) and when Bree died on August 3rd I wasn't surprised. But there was a small piece of me that waited and waited for the screen to turn blue and to hear "WHAT TIME IS IT?" followed by Bree being saved at the last minute. But it never came. I don't blame the creators though.

Not too long ago the creators posted the Terms of Service, which makes sense legally, however- it's not entirely fair to the guy you left unemployed with a story to tell and a deep hole to bury himself out of because of the shape of the storyline you left him in. I love you guys, but come on, there's got to be a small exception if only long enough for Glenn and Jeromy to figure things out and break away from LG15 all together.

Recently though, you guys have been doing an awesome job- the irc chat is a great idea and it's a good way to meld the communities back together. And when Daniel posted a video for Greg I thought I'd crap myself-

It was also great of you to let Jenni into the conference you had a while back and plug our videos. Crazy mad props! Katemodern has also been doing a great job in general. It's looking good guys.
Also, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to Jenni about our profile situation and updating the site so much. I think if you keep this up Lonelygirl will get a piece of it's spark back.

But I'm not going to lie, it's going to be hard for me to get over the situation back in March with OpAphid.

So, you're going to have to do a bit more for me to fully believe that you're doing this just because you care about the fans.

-PJ (Other parties, such as Jenni, Jeromy, Glenn, Greg etc though mentioned had no say in the overall message of this blog, these thoughts are my own and if they are shared by others it is only by coincidence)

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