What would you do if you woke up one morning to find a mysterious black cloud descending on top of the city of Los Angeles, killing everyone around you?
If you’re a real Angeleno, probably nothing – you’ve probably been taking smog for granted for years already. But this isn’t real life, this is The Black Dawn, a new sci-fi web series from New Renaissance Pictures that debuted January 31st on WebSerials.com and YouTube and has followed a weekly release schedule.
The Black Dawn is four episodes into its 24-episode schedule. So far, the first couple episodes have focused on a handful of surviving college students and their attempts to regroup and figure out exactly what is going on amid the confusion, panic, and sudden death. The first few episodes feel a bit like Jericho in a college setting, but it begins to establish its own path shortly thereafter.
The show itself is supplemented by lots of “integrated content” – a series of video blogs by many of the characters called Before The Black Dawn, director’s commentary features, and even an online comic that explores the story of The Black Dawn from other angles. Watching the show via WebSerials.com also gives you access to a set of forums and a comments field for each episode of the show, which adds a neat fan-community function to the whole experience. What’s more, impatient fans can skip the weekly waiting period by buying HD versions of the chapters edited together for $1.49 a pop and give back to the community.
“With all of this supplemental content, we’re ultimately creating an online world for audiences to explore,” explains executive producer Joshua Sikora, “We wanted to combine the interactivity of the web with the dramatic power of film—not in a gimmicky way, but in way that truly gives the audience the power to engage the story in their own way, at their own pace.”
If The Black Dawn piqued your interest, you might want to check out Project X and Cataclysmo, two other original web series from New Renaissace team. Also see previous coverage of another WebSerials original, Trunk.