Pixel is thrilled to announce a new project
It started with the development of our film POSSESSION and has grown into something really original and exciting. We're calling it MONSTER OF THE WEEK, an open-source series.
So what does that mean?
Great question. Well, the title MONSTER OF THE WEEK is self-explanatory. Each episode in the series is a standalone horror, sci-fi or thriller (or hybrid) story running ~30 minutes long. Stories can span to fill multiple episodes, can be completely independent of the characters or worlds in others, or bring back popular characters and arcs from prior episodes to explore further. It does for linear storytelling what the "open-world" genre has done for video games. Granted, this is nothing new. It was executed to awesome extent with programs like "The Twilight Zone" in the 1960s and 80s, "Are You Afraid of the Dark" in the 90s and somewhat similar to "American Horror Story" of today. And let's not forget the one-off episodes of the "X-Files" that popularized the term we're dedicating our series title to: Monster of the Week!
It's a fantastic way to have a lot of fun with open-ended storytelling. A throwback of single serving sci-fi, thrills and chills on an ever-blank canvas. There are absolutely no rules other than telling great stories in fun ways. One episode may feature ghosts in the backwoods, the next a grisly murder mystery in the suburbs, followed by an alien invasion of the creepiest kind. In short, it means all bets are off :)
What about open-source series?
That's where the fun begins! Open-source is a term from the computer/software world where the source code of a certain program is made available to the public. This invites improvement and innovation through the diversity of contributors and the variety of applications for a given program. This has nothing to do with filmmaking (and frankly we'd make terrible coders) but we're exploring this same principal for creativity in storytelling. In a similar way that an open-source program is opened to the community, we will be opening MONSTER OF THE WEEK up to submissions from storytellers. (No coding experience required). No filmmaking experience required for that matter. We want to open MOW up to established writers, aspiring writers, or even non-writers who think they may have an awesome tale to tell. Anyone, anywhere. There are no barriers to entry other than a great story that stands out.
This is an exciting way to involve audiences and fans of the genre in their own entertainment. It opens the show to a fantastic array of diversity and creativity while offering aspiring and up-and-coming writers a way to tell a great story and work with new faces - all for the purpose of scaring someone. What could be more fun than that?
There's a lot of planning to be done. We want to make sure we implement the program in a way that fairly compensates any writer whose story pitch is selected regardless of their experience level, and (what we're most looking forward to) brings a given writer on-board to collaborate with our team for the development and execution of their episode. (Ironically, there is some real coding work required as we set up a system for receiving and cataloging submissions.) We'll also want to gauge community interest to make sure that we run the series in a way that fans will want to participate in. Now that we have the heart of the show figured out, we want to make sure we bring it to life - and plan its release(s) - in a way that's efficient, fun, and effective.
Developing any content is challenging enough - we're essentially planning a slate of several mini-films. It will be plenty of chaos requiring even greater amount of coordination. We're using our upcoming film POSSESSION as a test run for this. We're shooting this fall and posting this winter with an eye for release in spring 2016. From there we'll gauge its response and plan MOW accordingly.
So in the meantime: sit tight and plan your story.
We'll learn a lot about how we'd like to assemble this show as we bring POSSESSION to life. At the same time you can be writing, polishing or seeking out stories. You can follow us on social media for updates on the production and news about the show itself. Pitches are not yet open but you may register your interest with us at this time. We'll keep your name and email address on file and notify you when submissions have begun.