This message, hidden in an encrypted note found in a Parisian hotel room, finally gave some closure for JC, the protagonist in Supernatural Oddities. JC embarked on a journey to investigate the supernatural after his brother JC disappeared 20 years ago, driven by the motto : “Supernatural is Normal!” On April 29th, JC discovered that Fred became a matchmaking angel, and that they would probably never see each other again. Nicolas, one of the players of the Finding Fred alternate reality game joined JC, his mother-in-law Simone, and his wife Muriel in the hotel room for the discovery. A few days later, the community watched the epilogue to the ten-day long investigation on JC’s mockumentary webisode Life Really Is a Funny Thing, guest-starring Nicolas as a full-fledged character in the fiction.
Jane Doh introduced ARGNet readers to the Finding Fred ARG, part of the Supernatural Oddities transmedia project produced by Happy Fannie in partnership with Orange. In recent years, Orange, a French public telecommunications company, has moved its core business model from selling telecommunications pipes to global production in the mobile, web, and content sectors.
Sandrine Girbal, co-founder of Happy Fannie and executive producer of the project, explains that “Supernatural Oddities is the first transmedia fiction project for TV, Internet and social media in France. We partnered with Orange who wanted to take part in this experiment. They also wanted to try and find original content for their cable TV Channels, Orange Cinéma Series / Choc.” She explains that the main challenge was to change viewers’ habits :
Fiction is a very formal genre in France, very few attempts have been made these last years to change that. Supernatural Oddities is our attempt to cater to an audience hungry for more interaction with the fiction and the characters! Supernatural Oddities’ challenge consisted of a 4-month real time story developed for several media platforms. More than a simple TV program available on different platforms, our wish was to go further in terms of storytelling.