Living in Los Angeles has its advantages, the most recent being the ability to attend the L.A. premiere of the new transmedia web series, “The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy”.
“The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy” is a modern adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy” told as a romantic comedy through twice weekly episodes (for a total of 24 episodes) and through various other online media forms such as twitter and The Kensington Chronicle website.
This delightful series was co-created by Kyle Walters and Shawn deLoache and written by Shawn. Kyle is most recently known for his role in Welcome to Sanditon. Walters decided to cocreate the series with Shawn based on his experience interacting with the fans during Welcome to Sanditon, and meeting them at events such as VidCon. Another appeal of expanding the storyworld across properties was the ability to enrich the story beyond the limited funds available for the A-line story that is told across the main videos.
Already, his fans from Welcome to Sanditon have surprised him, joining the story and creating their own parts of Neverland, Ohio. People have even moved to Neverland from Sanditon! While unexpected, this was exciting and they are looking for ways to work this interaction into the story.
The trailer shows the charms of the series and how heartbreaking growing up really can be.
I also got the opportunity to ask some of the amazing women on the series about their involvement. The “darling” Paula Rhodes (ElfQuest, Barbie) portrays Wendy Darling, online advice columnist for the news media organization her family owns. Jenni Powell (Emmy winner for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Geek & Sundry) brings a wealth of experience to her role as producer. Pemberley Digital alum, Katie Moest also came on board as the Production Designer.
What drew you to the project?
Paula Rhodes: I was drawn to the team, the mythos, and obviously, the chance to act. I submitted and auditioned old school style. I’ve loved the story and wanted to work with Jenni again for eons, so I put my all into the audition. I seem to have a theme going with being drawn to characters I’ve loved (with Nightfall from ElfQuest, to Lady Door from Neverwhere last year, to Wendy – I’m going to wake up any second right?). Playing in a world you’ve loved for so long, however adapted, is nothing short of magical.
Jenni Powell: I was drawn to the project when Kyle Walters came to me to ask for advice on whether I thought the project would do well if it was crowdfunded. He had me at “Peter Pan”. I basically told him that yes, I thought it would do fantastic…and could I please work on it? He was kind enough to let me come on to cast and then as a producer.
Katie Moest: I was really interested in the idea of a modernization of Peter Pan from when I first saw Kyle Walters talking about his Kickstarter campaign for the show. It seemed like the creative team had a really fresh take on the source material and I actually backed the Kickstarter myself because I wanted to support them. When Kyle approached me a month or two before production began to ask me to come on board, I was thrilled. I had such a blast working with Kyle on Welcome to Sanditon and I was really happy to be working with him and with Jenni Powell again.
How do you think the Transmedia elements add to the story?
Jenni Powell: The transmedia experience is already enhancing the story going as far back as into the crowdfunding campaign; it was already set up that backers would be invited to play in the sandbox that is Neverland, Ohio. It gave the opportunity to really launch the show with the heart of the town in place. It’s been really motivating to us to see people already invested. It’s been so rewarding in that respect. And there is a lot more in store! Emmett Furey is doing a fantastic job and you guys are in for a really fun ride.
Paula Rhodes: I’m loving my “Wendy Tells A Story” adventure that I fell into (not a planned part of the transmedia by any means). A fan asked me to tell a story and I started telling (via tweets) a story I had outlined out and registered after a very vivid dream. Now I’m posting it as notes on my fan page but it’s making me get it done and it’s super fun! I also love love love that fans are role playing as in world characters they’ve created as Neverland residents! It’s amazing! I want to live there for real. The entire project and team radiate love and I’m thrilled to be a part of Neverland. Come join us!
If you haven’t had a chance to check out The New Adventures of Peter of Wendy, I recommend checking out the 3 episodes (and prologue) that are now available on the EpicRobotTV YouTube channel. I personally enjoyed the refreshing take on a classic tale.
More of my articles on transmedia storytelling can be found here.