This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a launch party for an original Web series and gallery exhibition supporting an original digital property. From 8pm on I was surrounded by comic book artists, actors, and a few players in digital media. Who would have thought a Web series about an 88-year-old British woman with Alzheimers could produce an evening as edgy as a Quentin Tarantino film?
Supported by fans and investors through Kickstarter, Agent 88 is extreme comic book style cinematic romp full of martial arts action, special effects and interesting characters. Agent 88 is the story of the world’s deadliest assassin who makes being an octogenarian with a disease feel like a kick in the head.
Entering the event was a feast for my eyes. Hosted by the Petra Gallerie in Beverly Hills I was surrounded by 88 pieces of art portraying Agent 88 by 88 different artists. That’s a lot of the number 8 isn’t it? Each piece had its own unique style for the principal character, which I thought was very interesting. There were also a few guitars that were covered in art in honor of the Web series. As I was perusing through the gallery I knew that the person behind this event knew what they were doing and how to market digital media. As an added bonus, the artwork has been printed into a book which will help pay production costs on future episodes. Heavy Metal published the books, which made the book even that more special. I was a fan of Heavy Metal Magazine growing up and still have most of the copies I purchased as a kid.
As I walked out the side door into the back of the building, the parking lot was set up as an outdoor screening room. This was a brilliant idea for two reasons: 1) the creators really thought about the crowd and how to handle the gallery hitting maximum occupancy and 2) the weather in Los Angeles is usually balmy in May so the venue took advantage of the warm evening. There was also a bar that was sponsored by a beverage company I had never heard of. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo of their marketing materials or the folks behind the bar wearing t-shirts with the company logo…oops.
To my delight, I ran into quite a few people I knew so I didn’t spend much time at the event alone (I sometimes like to step away at crowded events and take a breath). There was one person in particular who I hadn’t seen in a long time and found out he is currently living in Portland producing his own Web series with a very talented crew. After about an hour of discussing his creation, I congratulated him on his efforts. I remember two years ago when he was pitching the idea around town and after pursuing his dream, he took action and made it happen. How cool is that?
As the evening went on, I mingled with anyone that was within listening distance. This wasn’t too hard, as the party was wall-to-wall people with very limited breathing room. With drinks and food within reach, I kept myself nourished to continue the good fight of networking. This activity kept me active until the screening began. To the delight of the crowd, the entire cast was introduced, as well as the creator of E! Television.
If you’re interested in seeing Agent 88, check out their website by clicking here and go to the “Episodes” page.
An event like this reminds me that creators can take full control of their own properties. With a little creativity and a lot of courage, anyone with vision can take a step into the unknown and bring their dreams out of their heads and into the material world. You know the old saying: To the victor belong the spoils.