A group of Twin Cities artists from diverse disciplines have joined together to create a cohesive and interactive universe with a dieselpunk aesthetic of stories called Terra Phantasma. The Cruel Painter of Radostdale is one of these stories and premiers at the MN Fringe Festival this summer.
In the town of Radostdale (which is to Duluth what Gotham is to NYC), talk of vampires is striking fear into the hearts of it’s citizens and sparking their imaginations. This is the backdrop against which our stories take place, in live performance, film, comic art, poetry, music and through online and live events which invite the audience to participate in the life (and deaths) of Radostdale. It is a premise which allows us to explore the breadth and depth of humanity, as characters’ reactions to this unseen menace can range from militancy to disbelief, from fear to attraction or opportunism.
Is a horror-comedy that reminds one of Ann Rice vs Abbott and Costello, if such a thing existed. It blends new technologies in el-wire and LEDs with ancient theatre techniques of mime and puppetry to create the diesel punk, alternate reality world of Terra Phantasma.
Based on a short story by Scottish author George MacDonald – who was a major influence on JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis – it tells a story of colliding world views, exacerbated by the effect of vampires on the characters’ imaginations.
by Sal “The Dark Cloak” and Eric Castellanos has already launched. A bi-weekly release that follows the adventures of Octavius the Black (and Blue) and his rag-tag band of thieves as they prey on the fears of the town.
– We have embedded the first clue of an online scavenger hunt in the video and text of our crowdfunding campaign (quite literally, look for “clue”). The second phase was launched by the new Citizen Liaison, elected by fans at a “Town Council Meeting and Talent Show” held June 9th at the Phoenix Theatre. It raises the difficulty level from the first phase and started here.
– The vampire believers and fans in Radostdale have a blog at fangfiles.tumblr.com
– The proponents of reason in Radostdale have a blog at fangfreedom.tumblr.com
– An episodic series from Paul von Stoetzle of Killing Joke Films, loosely based on the true story of Scottish grave robbers Burke and Hare, is slated to be released in the fall.
– Post-Fringe Gallery Exhibit of the work of “Devil’s Brush” – aka The Cruel Painter from the Fringe production.
The simple explanation is that it is telling a series of stories through multiple media. But it is more than that. Binge watching, linking across platforms, and the possibility of connecting with our audience more directly – even allowing the audience to participate in and effect the stories – are major game changers for the entertainment industry. The large studios are all scrambling to figure out how to do this kind of cohesive universe-creation and world-building with their most successful franchises. We are doing it with a collaboration of independent, self-producing artists.
What makes Terra Phantasma different?
– Every artist keeps the rights to their own work.
– The variety of arts involved. Transmedia projects launched by large studios typically stick to books, film, comic books and games. Independent artists tend to collaborate with others in their same field. Our premise and structure is designed to be able to incorporate any artist working in any medium. We are collectively designing and defining the look and rules of our universe. And not all work has to tell a story as such. The poetry and gallery exhibit, for instance, help us to flesh out this alternate reality universe. By connecting work across discipline boundaries, we hope to introduce audiences to new art forms and artists.