Tag: lg15 (page 1 of 2)

Lonelygirl16? Here’s What You Might Have Missed

whatever-happened-to-lonelygirl15

Ten years ago, Bree Avery started vlogging on a relatively new social platform called YouTube. To celebrate that milestone, a new video was uploaded to her channel yesterday. So, let’s try something a little different. Watch Bree’s first video blog. Got it? Great. Now watch the most recent upload to the channel.

Confused about how a girl making funny faces at the camera could evolve into some sort of cult indoctrination video? That’s perfectly understandable…this anniversary video wasn’t really designed for people with limited exposure to the lonelygirl15 universe. So here’s a brief initiation into one of YouTube’s earliest phenomenons.

Lonelygirl15: Bree’s not real…or is she?

Lonelygirl15 started so innocently. As a geeky, home-schooled teen with overbearing parents, Bree turned to YouTube with the help of her friend Daniel. Most of her early videos were opportunities to talk about her studies, complain about her parents, or just have some wholesome, pointless fun with her boy who was also a friend. Par for the course for the early days of the video sharing site, although the YouTube Community quickly pointed out that the quality of Bree’s videos were suspiciously high for a teen vlogger, and the two teens often seemed to offer more candor to the camera than each other.

More than anything else, lonelygirl15 is remembered for this blurring between the lines of fiction and reality. As the channel rose to be the most-subscribed channel on YouTube at the time. During this heady time of uncertainty, the author John Green wrote a blog entry about the situation, positing that

[Bree] gives viewers a sense that the story might be really real, and that we can uncover its really realness by paying close attention. It gives us a compelling reason to focus intently on the work…books, with few exceptions, cannot mimic this kind of realishness.

Green goes on to note that he hopes the realishness of these projects do not replace the written word since “I’m not good in front of the camera. Text is my only solid medium, and I need it to hang around.” Four months later, John and his brother Hank created the vlogbrothers YouTube account.

Four months after the channel launched, fans tracked down conclusive evidence that lonelygirl15 was a fictional project. The Guardian did an exceptional job of explaining how determined fans unmasked the show’s creators in a recent retrospective piece.

But while this is where the story ends for lonelygirl15 as a pop culture phenomenon, it also marks where the show’s actual story begins.

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“Hooking Up” with Lonelygirl15’s Jessica Rose: Not Quite What I Anticipated

hookingup.jpgImagine, for a moment, half of your favorite YouTube stars going to the same college, obsessively using all your favorite social networking programs. It’s almost like some alternate reality where obsessively twittering, texting, Facebook stalking, and playing Halo is the epitome of coolness.

Apparently HBOlab has an active imagination, as they’ve gathered together Jessica Rose (Bree from lonelygirl15), Phil DeFranco (sxephil), and Kevin Wu (kevjumba) to produce Hooking Up, “a College Comedy Series about Relationships and Communications.”

Starting October 1st, “Hooking Up” commenced its ten episode run, with new episodes released weekly. HBOlab is showcasing the project at the American Film Institute’s DigiFest 2008, billing it as “a cross-platform alternate reality game” seeking to “explore how [an] online narrative series might integrate cross-platform promotions to build both intrigue and audience.” AFI’s Digital Content Lab is working with HBOlab on the production.

So far, the interactive and cross-media elements of “Hooking Up” are admittedly sparse. This may change after adding the characters to my social networking profiles, as the site claims you can “Become friends with your favorite HOOKING UP characters…and be part of the hidden story!” The Hooking Up homepage features “bask-book”, a social networking Facebook clone for the fictitious Bask University and its attendees that leads to MySpace and Facebook profiles, where the characters communicate (and miscommunicate) with each other. A post by Kevin Nalts implies that the series will expand to include access to e-mails between the two main characters. The site also provides links to bonus video content.

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Lonelygirl15 sequel proves that resistance isn’t futile after all

LG15: Resistance logo

“The fountain of youth is real. It’s in the blood of innocent girls scattered across the world. They’re hunted, murdered, sucked dry of their precious lifesblood. We are The Resistance. We fight to protect and save these girls.” (from LG15: The Resistance)

When we first met Bree, the original lonely girl of YouTube fame, it was clear that there was more to the seemingly innocent girl than met the eye. After all, after only a handful of webisodes, clues tucked into them revealed Bree’s affinity for the occult, and exposed the darker reality hidden behind Bree’s seraphic surface. Now, two years later, the series continues down a path that is more Hannibal Lecter than High School Musical.

Yesterday afternoon, we received word that EQAL, the company behind LG15 and Kate Modern, is preparing a sequel to begin in September. For ARG fans, we have exclusive news that there is, indeed, an alternate reality game – now playing and full of surprises – preceding the launch of the debut video.

According to an inside source close to the project, the game includes assets that go beyond the online videos which have become a signature of the brand. In the mix are crowleycollection.com, lifesbloodlabs.com and verduspharma.com/press/, the latter of which outlines a legal battle between a pharmaceutical company and an experimental R&D sub-division gone rogue. Of the three, the one we connected with the LG15 mythology immediately was the Crowley Collection site, as it was the picture of occultist Aleister Crowley which began the speculation about the truth behind Bree.

As a bonus for our readers, we can reveal that entering the code 1103 at the Crowley site will yield information important to the game. This code was interlaced in fliers handed out at ComicCon and at various comic book stores, and has only been delivered to a handful of LG15 fans — we’re the first news site to reveal this code.

For those interested in following along until the new video series kicks off, there are a number of threads on the Lonelygirl15 forums, such as this thread, discussing how to get into crowleycollection.com, and this thread, which documents many of the developments of the last few weeks.

Lonelygirl15 producer to launch Scary City this week

Scary City logoAs lonelygirl15 proved, the new age of storytelling is upon us, and according to a recent article, a web-based endeavor by one of its key production staff is going to be a very big deal. Earlier last week, Unfiction forums member jlr1001 posted a link to an article at ThugLifeArmy about Scary City, which will include two separate but interrelated editions of the series running in the US and Japan. The international effort doesn’t stop there, as there may be possible expansion into Korea, Israel, the UK, France, and Thailand.

The article points out the extravagant cost of the Scary City web site, which was designed by IMJ at a reported cost of $1.4 million, which may or may not be part of the overal project budget of $5.2 million. Another press release reveals details about casting, as videos will be released on August 26th describing he process of getting a part on the show.

Oh, and as for any alternate reality gaming elements, Yumiko Aoyagi (formerly the executive producer for lonelygirl15) reveals that the web site will “include interactive online Alternative Reality Games,” according to the ThugLifeArmy article. Wait… games with an S? That sounds intriguing, especially with the international elements involved — it could mean that a Japanese ARG could run concurrently with an English ARG, with intertwining plots or characters. As things start to kick off in two short days, we’ll keep our eyes and ears on Scary City.

Chew on This: More LonelyGirl15 Product Placement

lg15.jpgOn Valentine’s Day, Steven Gould’s novel Jumper will grace the silver screens. However, if you look carefully you can already find signs of the film. Hayden Christensen can be seen “jumping” into a Hewlett Packard advertisement starring Serena Williams. And now, the movie is jumping into LonelyGirl15.

LG15 Studios are no strangers to product placement. Last March, the 158th installment of the series was sponsored by Ice Breakers Sours Gum. Similar product placement followed in June with the introduction of Neutrogena into the story. However, the introduction of a Jumper-themed subplot seems to be taking product placement a step further, as followers of the series meet Jack, a “Jumper” who interacts with series regular Taylor.

The integration of stories from other universes is not a new concept, as Perplex City linked up with the BBC’s game Frozen Indigo Angel to promote Radio 1’s Big Weekend music festival. However, 20th Century Fox’s innovative advertising push for the film serves as a reminder that new media content creators have options in funding projects.

Image courtesy of danielbeast of the lonelygirl15 forums, via The Guardian.

Sammeeeees PM Looks a Little Lonely

Recently, ARGNet learned that Jan Libby, solo PM of the popular indie game Sammeeeees, has joined the Lonelygirl15 team. She began by writing a recent Lonelygirl video, “Sing With Me,” and it sounds like we will be seeing a lot more of her work in the future.

“In addition to writing videos, Jan is also taking a leadership role in implementing more puzzles and interactivity into our show. We are thrilled to be working with her,” says Greg Goodfried, an executive producer for the series.

Jan herself adds, “I have found my eternal song with LG15! 😉 Seriously, Greg, Mesh, Miles, and Amanda make the collaboration process so much fun. I’m having a blast — although this ‘no curtain’ PM stuff will take some getting used to.”

We congratulate both parties on what we hope will be an exciting and productive relationship on both sides of the curtain, and look forward to seeing what’s in store for LG15! We would also like to congratulate the team on their recent Webby award — a well-deserved accolade for this engaging series.

Catch up on the Lonelygirl15 series at YouTube, or discuss the announcement at Unfiction.

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