Dam and I worked together three years on Psi Factor, and we then went on to co-write several episodes of syndicated genre television including Beastmaster, The Lost World, and The Immortal. Then he surged forward to spend four years writing and producing for Stargate: SG 1 and Stargate: Atlantis.
Good guy. Fun in the room.
His new baby, Sanctuary, is unique in that its a 'straight to web' series, and premieres (initially for free, then pay per download) only on the web this Monday May 14th with the first of eight fifteen minute webisodes. Described by Mr. Kindler as The X Files meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sanctuary looks to grab those hardcore scifi fanboy/girls that populate the web while capitalizing on the public's newfound taste in all things that are internet.
The concept: To create HD, series-based entertainment using the Internet as the pipeline to a global audience. The pilot project is a sci-fi series starring Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1) and Robin Dunne (Dick and Jane vs. The World).
The revenue model: Pay per download. Given the worldwide appeal of sci-fi content, this is hoped to sustain production for a full season.
"We have the benefit of possessing more data about our audience than Neilsen ratings could ever provide for a TV network. Once our audience is in place, advertisers will find that very attractive. We'll be able to pick and choose which products we want to advertise and how - making the ad model for Sanctuary as clever, entertaining and unobtrusive as possible."
The biggest challenge: "Making people understand the huge impact delivering high end content on the Net will have on the media world - period," says Kindler. "Once we prove that millions of people truly want to access their entertainment via the Internet, we think everyone will be forced to reverse their traditional paradigm of TV/DVD first and Internet dead last - and then only as a promotional tool.
"We want to be the first series to nail the web/TV/DVD trifecta - with all three formats pushing back and forth to each other."
Yes, that's right...it stars Amanda Tapping...rowrrrr...
So some links to help set the stage...
The Official Sanctuary website. Here you can view a five minute preview of the series plus a teaser trailer (and links to all kinds of other cool stuff).
A Vancouver Sun article that discusses the logistics of financing such a project and the straight to internet factor.
An interview Damian gave to Gateworld where he discusses the mucho involvement of various personnel from the Stargate franchise.
And another Damian interview with Piers over at Between Pavement And The Stars that nicely covered all bases, from genesis of the idea to execution in the green screen/HD universe...
Stay tuned, our email chit chat begins tomorrow...