Daniel Knauf, the creator of the wonderfully esoteric HBO series Carnivále, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new type of video story-telling inspired by the internet: BlackBxx, a non-linear narrative experience in which the viewer chooses from which perspective and in what order they view the show. The bonus is that Knaupf’s first ‘BlackBxx’ project will have a paranormal theme:
For his team’s first project, BlackBxx: HAUNTED, a supernatural thriller in which a paranormal investigation goes tragically wrong, the entire story is confined to the eight rooms of a suburban house, each covered by several video cameras. The format is similar to reality shows such as Big Brother, but with one key difference. Explains HAUNTED producer, Douglas Hunter, “On Big Brother, the contestants are gerbils in a maze. The whole construct is designed to manipulate them into behaviors that the producers hope will be interesting or fun to watch. In a BlackBxx story, a writer scripts a drama and it’s performed by professional actors in real time. It’s like a 48 hour movie, with scenes set in separate locations, playing simultaneously in all the theaters of an 18 screen multiplex.”
Meanwhile, HAUNTED’s director, Cliff Osmond, and the BlackBxx crew will be at a separate location, remotely monitoring the cameras capturing the action. “No cuts, no retakes,” says Osmond, “The cast will live the story.”
Once production is completed, the entire 800-plus hours of video content will be uploaded to a website and supplemented by background material presented in a variety of media, including character dossiers, video interviews, audio files, coroner’s reports, newspaper articles and other archival material related to the story. Visitors will access the story at blackbxx.com by selecting any moment they wish to see on a time-slider, then clicking on one of 18 camera icons positioned within a floor-plan of the house. “They can simultaneously open as many players as their systems will handle,” says Jascha Rynek, who is designing the site. “They can watch action simultaneously in separate rooms, or even at separate chronological points in the story.”
“Each audience-member,” adds Knauf, “becomes the author of his or her own personal BlackBxx experience.”
The project is looking at around $73,000 to get off the ground – at this stage it’s well on its way with $17,465 pledged. Check out the Kickstarter page for what benefits your donation will bestow upon you. You can also read Knaupf’s own story about his journey at his BlackBxx blog.