“It was to be the greatest experiment ever attempted…to restore the Egyptian people, power and culture from long ago, but something went terribly wrong. Now female Egyptian clones roam the Earth, the clones lust for control and power threatens to destroy the rest of humanity…but the First One, has set out on her own, to correct a wrong…”
Explaining itself as “an immersible science-fiction web-series” in a press release, Journey is attempting some interesting experiments in indie web series production and distribution. First of all, each episode clocks in at a whopping half hour and is only available by purchase for $1.99 on the show’s website. Second, besides a Facebook fan page and a Facebook fan group page, they have done little in terms of traditional PR for the show.
The creator of Journey, Fred Copeland, speaks energetically about the project. Having conceived of the idea over 20 years ago, you can tell this is a project close to his heart and he will often launch into details of the plot with an intricacy that comes from knowing your material inside and out. His plans for Journey extend far into the future: he hopes to continue the series for at least 5 years. But first things first, Russ Cooty (The Resolve) will be picking up the directing reigns for the show after July of next year.
Copeland’s goals in the web series world extend far beyond the show itself. “Journey is a stepping stone for us”, assures Copeland. His ultimate goal is to build a studio ranch where people can go to shoot productions and work on their projects for little to no cost. He explains that his desire to help stems from knowing what it’s like to be the underdog. He also explained that he learned everything he did by doing and wants to pass that on. Copeland has an architect on board to and projects that it could take 3 – 10 years. “That’s my masterplan,” Copeland stated with a laugh.
The problem with doing a show with clones as a concept is that you have multiple characters being played by the same actress. In the case of Journey, that concept gets taken even farther with multiple clones each with several incarnations. Karina Colon, Angelica Montesano and Mabriel Serrano headline the group of remarkably similar looking actors. It takes a bit of extra time to process what is going on and who is who. Some of the sound levels are a bit off as well, with the soundtrack being a bit overpowering at times. Which is a shame because the music crafted for the show itself is quite good at capturing the overall mood and tone of the series.
Despite its small flaws, the show is obviously being created out of a place of passion. And in the end, Copeland is satisfied with how the show is progressing, despite its relative slowness compared to the oftentimes “views at all cost” mentality of the internet. “Normally the industry average for e-commerce on a social network alone is a quarter of 1 percent,” explained Copeland. “Our current average is 1 percent with a video that has been released for less than a week (at the time of our interview). And that is with zero advertising dollars.”
According to Copeland, filming for the first three episodes of Journey is complete. Episodes two and three have a planned release of January 1st and 2nd. The episode four script is written and he’s beginning work on five, he tells us, echoing a sentiment often hear in web series world. “If we had money, we could go a whole lot faster,” he concluded.