October 6, 2011
Role: Production Coordinator (Interactive), Community Manager
Produced by Stitch Media for ACTION TV and Paul Pope Productions and supported by Bell Broadcast & New Media Fund
The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour is a television series from the former Trailer Park Boys. The guys take over the town of Port Cockerton to film their variety show, The Happy Funtime Hour. A mad scientist discovers the local berries are hallucinogenic and spikes the cast & crew food. While high on the drugs actors believe they are actually their characters and run rampant.
The Interactive Quest helps fans dive down the rabbithole and become a part of the story. Fans participate in a scavenger hunt to collect hallucinogenic berries for Dr. Funtime’s drug factory. Players are guided along by character videos to find 80 minutes of exclusive footage hidden across multiple sites.
Each interactive episode links the television plot together – each episode ends with the boys eating Dr. Funtime’s hallucinogens and every episode starts by sobering up in a bizarre situation. The quest reveals what happens during these drug trips and fuels the story by finding more drugs for the doctor. The purpose of the interactive quest was to give new and old fans alike an opportunity to dive down the rabbit hole and become a part of a new story. We wanted to increase the accessibility of the ARG format by stripping it down while retaining the core motivations of the user as the investigator in a fictional world. This presented many technical challenges, including making a seamless experience across three different URLs using Facebook Connect.
For nearly a decade the Trailer Park Boys had a dedicated fan based with several distinct fan-created communities existing online. When Mike, J.P., and Robb decided to return with a new series, they wanted to embrace and engage their fans in an unique way: one which would allowed them to transition their brand and retain their audience. When we created The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour Interactive Quest, we worked with several members of this fan community to create something truly special for them. We used social media and existing fan communities to reach out and engage new and old fans. Features to accommodate fan-creation include a sex-tape scandal featuring the hideously deformed Liza Fugginsworth that lets fans prank their friends by uploading their photos and dynamically inserting them. Meanwhile, the Drunk and on Drugs launch party brought fans and the cast together in person and online. If you posted a photo of yourself and a sign saying “This Friday night, I will be DrunkandonDrugs.com” you were invited to attend. Screens at the party showed Twitter and Facebook feeds and live camera crews captured responses via UStream and YouTube. We saw explosive growth in the weeks leading up to the launch, through the series run, and continues to grow after the television show’s initial run.
As production coordinator and community manager for The Drunk and on Drugs Happy Funtime Hour interactive, I was responsible for managing and liaising with our interactive team. With each key creative member operating in a different city and all located separately from where the television show and interactive content was being produced, I was presented with an unique challenge. I approached this challenge by having bi-weekly skype meetings with the entire team, utilizing cloud computing, and scheduling a series of soft launches and internal usability tests; this allowed us to problem solve, design, schedule, share, and develop the project in a truly collaborative environment. As community manager I spent the weeks leading up to the launch of the website and television show managing our various social media pages, taking on the voice of the Drunk and on Drugs brand, and relaying fan requests back to the show creators. We collaborated on ideas that would allow the boys to interact with their fans in a unique way that fueled the excitement leading up to the premiere. Following the premiere I continued my community management role by acting as the point person and supervisor of our team of moderators.
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