It’s been an extremely exciting week for the Riese team. Not only did they pick up a Streamy win for Best Cinematography at Wednesday’s Craft Awards, they also teamed up with legendary ICM New Media agent George Ruiz. Ruiz also reps web series standouts like Felicia Day, Alex Albrecht and Brigitte Dale.
And as if that wasn’t enough, then came the exciting news Thursday that SyFy has acquired Canadian series Riese for both online distribution and possible development for television. This will mark a return to the web for the series that had been pulled offline a few months back when it linked up with international rights distributor Fireworks.
Tubefilter had a chance to chat with Riese creator Ryan Copple (little bit of trivia: he actually originates from Omaha, Nebraska) on the team’s reactions to the deal, how it will effect future production, and how the fans feel about the development.
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Tubefilter: How did this deal come about?
Ryan Copple: Once we pulled our episodes down from online, per the request from our distributor Fireworks, they began an aggressive campaign to find the show a good home. Jonathan Ford contacted SyFy Digital, who were extremely interested in the property, and we spent the next few months negotiating the licensing.
Tubefilter: How will this effect future production?
RC: It bodes well on many fronts. The episodes we’ve produced thus far will be featured on SyFy.com and other NBC/Universal affiliates, specifically in the US, so we’ll be getting great exposure. Plus, SyFy has already expressed a large interest in developing the show for broadcast. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of Riese.
Tubefilter: How is the Riese team feeling about all this? You’ve accomplished quite a bit in such a short time.
RC: We’re thrilled. It’s a bit surreal at times, honestly. I hope we can be another good example that you can do it yourself. You don’t need anyone’s permission to go out and tell your story and have people see it. And it makes me so happy to see that every single person who worked on this show tirelessly with us can see that it all paid off.
Tubefilter: Any plans for future interactivity (which was a big part of the lead-up to the premiere of the first season)?
RC: We’re pushing for it. If Riese were to move to broadcast, we still want to have a large amount of content available only online. I think utilizing online content in conjunction with televised content makes such a rich viewing experience. Plus, interactivity is so much more fun that just watching.
Tubefilter: Have you gotten any fan reactions yet? If so, what are their thoughts?
RC: They’ve been overwhelmingly supportive. We’re so thankful they were patient and understanding when we had to take down our content. It’s a testament to the amazing community we’ve established. And, without them, none of this would have happened. They’re as much responsible for all this as we are, and I’m incredibly thankful for each and every person that gave our show a chance.