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July 26 2006

Joss Whedon gets shout-out from Hanso Foundation investigator. Rachel Blake name checks him in an Entertainment Weekly interview. If you get Lost in all of this, seek Persephone for help.

Ta to Josh for the heads up. These things amuse me immensely.

It sure seemed like that whole Rachel Blake thing at the Lost Panel was a set-up (it sounded rehearsed, plus there are logistics problems with her getting backstage or wherever her voice was emanating from and then getting her hands on a mike) and they all just played along. Or maybe that's what I'm being led to believe.
lol that was funny...the rachelblakeverse
It would have been interesting to see the approach that Mutant Enemy would have taken had their shows still been on the air. I think we saw evidence of a beginning of a Internet Buffy campaign (or whatever you want to call) with Cassie Newton's online diary in 'Help'. I don't think it would have been as elaborate as what Lost are doing but I reckon there would have been a few elaborate teaser sites about the place.
I really enjoyed the teaser websites that Arrested Development put out there. One of them was tonywonder.com, complete with a .gif of Ben Stiller appearing out of a sandwich. Another was imoscar.com, which was a blog.

The whole "Lost" multimedia interactive thing is getting crazy; there's just mounds of stuff out there. There are all those hanso websites, fake ads played during the TV show, mobile phone videos, and I don't know what else. I have less of an interest in "Lost" than I did in the beginning, but the TV show is enough mystery to me. I just go along for the ride until an excellent earth-shattering episode comes up that makes me excited for the next one.

~This Rachel Blake person sure is neat though. I mean, who walks around as another character for a few days and plugs their website? She truly is one of a kind.~ note my sarcasm
I was going to post this, but I wasn't sure it was enough of a reference to pass muster, heh. [Mutters to self, "Trust your instincts, trust your instincts."]
I acvtually think Lost has gone way overboard. In order to fully understand everything, to get THE EXPERIENCE, you have to do all this crap outside of the show- and I have neither the time nor the interest. It is all selling, and those who buy in are all being manipulated.
Actually Simon, The Profiler beat Buffy to the punch when they put up a Jackofalltrades site people could log on the internet to view what Jack was up to. It was way cool and ahead of it's time. Ok, I so loved Dennis Christopher on that show.

[ edited by RavenU on 2006-07-27 00:05 ]
Actually, Dana5140, the point of the Experience -- meaning the creative point, not the commercial point which obviously also exists -- is that the producers of Lost had ended up with a mythology larger, and of a different type, than they wanted to spend time on in the show proper. So they're telling those aspects this way. Much of what's transpiring in The Experience would never have been told in the series at all -- which means, technically, the series can be enjoyed for itself, as is.

I mean, there are Buffy comics. Are they just "crap outside the show" and are those who "buy in" just "being manipulated"?
The Buffy comics are indeed "crap outside the show," which I do not mean in a nasty way- they are not canon, just fun- and yes, we spend our money to buy these comics, so we are being manipulated. And I understand the idea, really I do, but I am not certain the show can now be enjoyed simply as is, since they don't much answer anything about the show on the show any more- which is why I no longer watch.
ut I am not certain the show can now be enjoyed simply as is, since they don't much answer anything about the show on the show any more- which is why I no longer watch.

Erm, if you don't watch, how do you know what they do or do not answer?
I read. Televisionwithoutpity.com mainly, for recaps- takes me a few minutes of time, not an hour.
I've never looked at anything outside of the actual episodes of Lost and I understand everything that's happened on that show perfectly well.
Can I follow this link without being spoiled, given that I am in the UK and so about half a season behind in "Lost"?
Fry: Understanding was not my point; stringing the audience along is.
It's been my understanding that the Lost Experience exists on two levels: first as an auxiliary form of entertainment for the show's most obsessive fans, and secondly as an experimental form of alternative advertising methods for the show's sponsors.

The Lost Experience does not try to hide their use of advertising or deny its presence. We're not talking about product placement, and we're not talking about some annoying banner ad at the top of a screen. We're talking about pictures and videos hidden within the websites of major companies - Verizon, CocaCola, Daimler-Chrysler, and Monster.com, to name just a few. They are functional marketing properties in which fragments of entertainment are embedded - as opposed to typical television, which is often arguably the other way around.

The interesting thing about this marketing structure is that it's very circular. Part of Rachel Blake's whole shtick is her lack of trust in the mainstream media - she's more than once declared her suspicion that Hanso & Co. have had their hands in the pockets of the very companies that the Experience uses. In fact, she's even suggested that the producers of Lost are under Hanso thrall - that they produce their show specifically to further the agenda of the Foundation. And so the lines between truth and reality become blurred - the Hanso Foundation is clearly a fabrication of the show, the show is clearly a fabrication of ABC's producers, but it is all shown to us through the lens of very real companies promoting very real products.

Because this marketing structure is a significant part of the Lost Experience itself, I think it's unfair to say that those who participate are "being manipulated". Participants in the game tend to be aware of its function and design, and embrace it fully. I follow the Lost Experience very passively - I check the LostPedia updates every week or so, and check out the videos as various game participants upload them to YouTube. I never visit the commercial websites to hunt for clues, so it is clearly very possible to enjoy the Lost Experience without feeling bombarded or manipulated by commercial interests.

It's a game, but it's business too. It's at once an innovative marketing scheme and an alternative form of entertainment. It's not the first time the two worlds have joined together in a mutually-beneficial arrangement, and I'm confident it won't be the last.

mjwilson, you can follow the link without getting spoiled. This interview is considered in-game, and since the Lost Experience exists largely outside the Lostverse and is played on an international level, it is spoiler-free. In fact, the game is designed specifically not to spoil international viewers.
Interesting insights on the inherent contradictions of the Lost Experience, binkaboo, I had never thought of it that way. Honestly though, I would like to follow the Lost Experience, but its just so big, I can never find the time.

I really wish I was at that panel when that stuff happened though. Why do all the good conventions happen in California?

Incidentally, does anyone (anywhere) know who the producers of the Lost Expereince are? I mean, who comes up with the storylines, and then coordinates clues, posts, events, etc. across three continents? I'd like to know.

[ edited by Resolute on 2006-07-27 20:09 ]
The Lost Experience is produced by the producers and writers of the television show. One of the principal characters in the Lost Experience, a blogger called Speaker, is actually believed to be Damon Lindelof, one of Lost's creators and executive producers and head writer of the series. Incidentally, Speaker appears to be quite the Whedon fan. He has made multiple direct and indirect references to all three Whedon shows. So clearly, Speaker = good guy.

Lots of information about the Lost Experience can be found here. Any question you could possibly come up with about the Lost Experience can be found there.
binkaboo, thanks for laying it out like that. I never really understood quite what was going on and like others, not a lot of time to find out. I have a hard enough time trying to intuit what's going on in the show. And Damon Lindelof? Very funny guy and easy to understand why he would like Joss Whedon. He's also the loose lips of the Lost set (there are any number of convention reports out there should you care to read them by googling) and almost said more than he was supposed to, which of course, made it all even more hysterical. That was so incredibly fun.

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