Just another day on the Jane Bennet Facebook page
One of the best parts of doing what I do is that I get to work with some amazingly talented folks. And then after our project is done, I get to become fans of their work.
Which is just another way to say that I just finished the new Lydia book, and wow. I’m not crying, not at all.
And congrats @marykatewiles for channeling the epicness one more time.
I’ve been avoiding the tags until I was done. By now I expect there to be an entire history of New Amsterdam University. Actually, my parents met while studying there in the early 60s.
On her days off, Prairie Dawn works on a YouTube series that she’s trying to get off the ground. There are two episodes online already, and she’s thinking about doing a Kickstarter to fund the rest of the season. It’s an Anna Karenina retelling where Anna and Kitty send vlogs to each other, and Prairie Dawn plays Anna and her friend Betty Lou plays Kitty. If they had some more funding they could do casting for Levin and Vronsky. It happened for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries — why not them?
10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014: Jay Bushman
I’m honored to be included on this year’s list of 10 To Watch from Independent Magazine.
Some of you may have heard me talking about the startup company I’ve been working on. I’m excited to say that this article is the beginning of being able to publicly talk about our company: The Horizon Factory.
In honor of Shakespeare’s 450th birthday today, I figure it’s a good excuse to share an update on the progress of Hashtag Hamlet. I never quite know how much I feel comfortable talking about projects that are in development, since there’s so much potential for things to change. But while we’ve been very quiet about the project, work continues apace.
Most of my projects over the past several years have been designed so that I could execute them on my own or with a small team – and a small amount of resources. This has been by design – when you’re trying to make experiences that don’t quite fit into easily-defined boxes, then the fewer gatekeepers you have to go through the better.
Hashtag Hamlet represents a change in this philosophy. This project has been designed on a larger scale, and as such requires larger resources. And so I’ve chosen to take a more traditional route in order to seek the backing that we need to make the project the best it can be.
Back in the fall, melizabethhughes and I took the project to the Sundance New Frontier Story Lab. We spent five intense days at the resort in Utah, with a whole host of brilliant, engaged and passionate advisor helping us develop the project, asking us crucial questions and pushing us in all the right ways. We returned from the Lab energized and determined.
The past several months have been dominated by numerous conversations with potential funding entities. And while everybody we’ve talked to loves the project and is excited by the potential, we haven’t yet found the right partner. But we’re not giving up, and I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to find a home for the project soon.
In the meantime, I’ve been writing and writing and writing. As currently constructed (and like everything else, subject to change), Hashtag Hamlet is built to run over a span of 26 weeks. Currently, I’ve got drafts of scripts for the first six weeks and an outline for the rest. The plan is to bring on staff of writers to work on the final scripts – once we have to ability to pay them.
And last month, we had a weekend workshop where we took those six weeks of scripts and put them in the hands of some actors to play around with. It’s always a thrill to see actors take the words on the page and bring them to life, and we learned a whole lot. We were fortunate to have some really fantastic performers, including friends from LBD and WTS like Ashley Clements and Vanessa Chester. As you might expect, they were amazing.
So for now, things continue on – I’ll be rewriting the scripts and refining the outlines based on what we learned from the workshop. And we’ll keep having conversations with potential partners who can help us bring Hashtag Hamlet to life.
But that’s not the only thing on my radar at the moment.
If you follow me on LinkedIn, you’ll have seen that I recently updated my profile with a new position: Chief Creative Officer at a Stealth Technology/Entertainment Startup. We’re almost ready to share publicly what it is we’ve been building, and I’m very excited at the prospects. I can’t wait to share more when I’m able to.
Storium is a new and very exciting storytelling game. They’re currently Kickstarting the release of the game, and they’ve enlisted a whole host of amazing writers who are creating custom worlds for the game. There are some really gaudy names like Elizabeth Bear, Chuck Wendig, Saladin Ahmed, Mur Lafferty and Seanan McGuire. There are worlds from my friends and transmedia comrades Andrea Phillips and JC Hutchins.
And today, they unveiled a new round of stretch goals – including a world that I will write and design: MURDER ON THE ZEPPELIN EXPRESS: a steampunk murder mystery. Check it out, and please donate if you can.
I’m also juggling a couple of very cool freelance projects. I can’t talk about any of them yet (so much secrecy! what a drag) but as soon as I can, I will.
That’s it for now. I hope to be able to share more – a lot more – soon.