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March 29 2007

Sanctuary, new innovative web series with a buffy-esque heroine. It is a new show produced outside of studio involvement for distribution online first, and will feature Dr. Helen Magnus(Amanda Tapping), "157-year old woman who seeks out all manner of terrifying and monstrous creatures" and her daughter Ashley Magnus (Emille Ullerup) "more kick-ass and Buffy-esque". Interesting aspects : mostly green screen, shot in HD, interactive gaming and social networking, direct contact between makers and fans.

I have to admit I have been following this closely not just because of the interesting story concept but also in the way it is being produced and released. If this works out with people paying per webisode or subscribing, then it means more genre work can be made without studio interference especally if there is a dedicated fanbase.

Additional info:
- 2 minute trailer(HD or lower resolutions) is released and can be seen at
- The first 4 webisodes will be free after that there is charging.
- In built media player that allows people to take snapshots and store to computer.
- Writer/producer blogsite :
- Backgrounds used for the actual show will be used for the game.
- Shot in Vancouver, BC. Go Canada!

Sorry for the overload there, but I am really really excited!

[ edited by kurya on 2007-03-29 19:20 ]

Dunno if this'll last cos the Buffy/Whedon angle seems pretty thin (hope it does, it may well have cross-fandom appeal) but i've been following this on Gateworld for a while now (here's an interview with Damian Kindler the creator, beware *SPOILERS* for SG-1's 'Bounty' to those outside the UK or who haven't seen it yet) and i'm also very keen to see how it pans out. It's really a first in many respects, tremendously brave and basically exactly the sort of project the big studios/networks should have been trying if they really were committed to embracing the new media paradigm.

(note in the interview where he talks about how the content, or 'assets' as he says, is *free* of sharing restrictions and protectionist measures like DVD regioning - these guys really seem to 'get it' and I hope a) the show's good and b) it's then a deserved success)

And the guy who wrote 'The Other Guys' deserves to do well IMO ;).
Well I hope this stays up, because when I first heard of the concept, I immediately thought of Buffy as one predecessor. Especially the description of the daughter before this interview.

And I have an alterior motive of a sort to post this and follow this development. I know its not really possible with the firefly/serenity stories themselves to be done in such a framework since they are owned by the studios right? But it would be interesting for me if Joss uses this as a framework to tell his stories either in the firefly verse or in a new story. It would be a way for him to return to serialized story telling without having to go through networks etc.

Of course this would require lots of work and uncertainty, but at least for Joss like this project there is already a hardcore online fanbase. And if this Sanctuary idea works out, maybe he can get private investors etc. The 100% total creative freedom on the parts of the producers is a huge appeal for me. And like you Saje pointed out there aren't any restrictions in terms of the media. I think it has been said in numerous interviews that there will be no DRM's.

And for more information, here is an interview done by a fans site here. Its a long interview, but what was interesting was how he is attempting to write the female characters as strong but they are different the mother and daughter and how quirky they are, and it reminded my of Joss Whedon's take on stronge female characters.
This looks pretty darn good, judging from the trailer. At least the production values are remarkably high.

I'm confused, though, as to what exactly it is, besides an episodic web-based TV show. What sort of "game" is involved? What sort of interaction with the creators (is it just that they have a forum, or what)?
Looks interesting. Somebody remind me in May. :-)
It looks pretty, but unless the writing is comparable to Joss' I won't be watching for long. He's set the bar too high - there's really nothing left on TV that interests me. Thank the FSM for the DVD sets.
Septimus, my impression is that the web-TV show is the beginning of something they intend to expand on if the support's there (sort of like we've discussed on here before re: subscriptions for Joss to produce stuff or episodes released monthly on DVD or whatever) but Kindler has mentioned in interviews First Person Shooters probably using the actual graphics generated for the show as the maps.

In the interview kurya links to, he also talks about simpler flash games (as well as a client that may allow you to watch the show simultaneously with up to four friends - a sort of virtual 'Sanctuary party') and because the content is not DRM, using show graphics in 'Second Life' or other online communities/games is also a possibility. I'd imagine with the cross-platform, community driven way they're thinking, mobile gaming, possibly even mixed-reality gaming could also be on the cards.

A lot of it's probably a ways off and dependent on the show generating enough interest to work as an ongoing concern (like Joss though they're starting off with an inbuilt fanbase that Kindler and Tapping - among others - bring from the Stargates). If it works it really could be a model for others to follow (by which I mean especially our occasional Purple Visitor ;).
They already lost me, they want me to register just to see the trailer that seem counter intuitive.
Ledfeather, you can download the trailer to your harddrive without registering. In order to view the trailer in their media player (streaming etc) then you need to register.

[ edited by kurya on 2007-03-30 01:05 ]
This looks very interesting. Have to do some catch-up reading on this.

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