Artwork by Reinier Clabbers.

Between January 21-31, cinephiles and celebrities will converge on Park City Utah for the annual  Sundance Film Festival, immersing themselves in a rich tapestry of stories from independent filmmakers around the world. However, the immersion will start a few days early for Lance Weiler. Seize the Media’s upcoming transmedia project HiM was selected as one of twelve projects for the Sundance Institute’s Screewriters Lab. Weiler and his co-writer Chuck Wendig will spend the five days leading up to the Festival at the Sundance Resort honing their writing.

Over the course of the workshop, writers meet one-on-one with a distinguished group of creative advisors. Reflecting on his experience, 2009 Sundance Lab Fellow Avi Weider explains that the Lab served as “a great opportunity for everyone who got to go to really work intensively on the script and not to be able to hide from any of the soft spots that are lurking in all of our writing.” Weiler notes that he looks forward to the one-on-one sessions as a chance “to not only be able to workshop the script, but to be able to talk about ideas about how [to] deal with pacing and focus, and how [to] execute across multiple platforms effectively.”

Michelle Satter, Director of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, notes that this is the first time the Lab will support a transmedia project. The Sundance Institute Screenwriter’s Lab has supported an extensive list of award-winning independent films in the past including John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, Kimberly Pierce’s Boys Don’t Cry and Quentin Tarantino’s Resevoir Dogs.

HiM has attracted attention at CineMart and Power to the Pixel for the elaborate transmedia narrative planned. Weiler admits that some of the game’s content has been out in the wild since the end of Hope is Missing in 2007. Sometime in 2010, these assets will be complemented by the release of geo-locative applications for the iPhone and Android tied to the experience. Later in 2010, Weiler hopes to begin shooting the feature film, which will serve as “just one larger component within [the] whole story world.”