New Sci-Fi Series Skips Networks in Favor of the Web

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‘Tunla the Series’ is a new Southern Gothic thriller currently in development for exclusive release on the web. Part science-fiction, part supernatural horror and part Appalachian folklore, it features an original Roots-based soundtrack and a complex, 5-season story-arc. Song demos and a trailer for the series can be found at http://www.tunlatheseries.com.

Fans were outraged when it was cancelled by FOX and when they rallied together, their outcry resulted in ‘Serenity,’ a feature film that continued the story.

Television executives, infamous for their often inexplicable decision-making, have long borne the well-deserved brunt of late-night comedy monologues. Being keenly aware of this, the producers of a new science-fiction series are bypassing the networks, placing the series’ future squarely in the hands of viewers.

The series is called ‘Tunla’ and the show-runners – Stephen Boatright, Kevin Joiner, and Jason McMahan – are inviting fans to become personally invested in the future of the show. Through a fundraiser hosted at Kickstarter.com (http://kck.st/9qvNMW), a platform that uses crowd-sourcing to finance creative projects, they aim to raise a substantial portion of their pre-production capital.

“We’re not television moguls or descendants of Hollywood royalty,” says executive producer and series director Stephen Boatright. “First and foremost, we are fans. We’ve seen some of our favorite shows go unsupported by networks, only to be cancelled because no one knew how great they were until it was too late. We want to put that power in the hands of other fans like us.”

“A web series offers the multimedia artist unprecedented opportunities to present their vision to a large audience, without fear of cancellation,” says executive producer and series co-creator Kevin Joiner. “There are no timeslots on the internet and your only limits are your imagination, your ability to pay for the project and the talent you surround yourself with.”

“I'm proud of our success in bridging the democratic world of new media and the corporate entertainment industry,” says series co-creator Jason McMahan. “We've recently teamed with Franne Lee, who has designed costumes for Broadway and TV (including ‘Saturday Night Live’), and with sister-rock-trio Everlife, who have toured North America with some of today’s top selling artists. I believe when people recognize quality, it doesn't matter to them where the idea comes from, just that they can be a part of it."

Boatright, Joiner and McMahan believe audiences are more intelligent than they are often given credit for and that viewers want to commit to programs with intricate storylines and complex characters. “Joss Whedon’s ‘Firefly’ was a perfect example of this,” says Boatright. “Fans were outraged when it was cancelled by FOX and when they rallied together, their outcry resulted in ‘Serenity,’ a feature film that continued the story.”

In exchange for using their wallets to cast a vote for ‘Tunla,’ fans who donate through Kickstarter will get rewards from a tiered system of tangible incentives. These range from having their names placed in the credits to actually owning a piece of the show. “Some backers will get shooting scripts and storyboard sketches, some will get actual props and costume pieces, and some will even have characters in the series named after them,” says Boatright.

The kickstarter.com fundraiser launched on June 27th and will run for 45 days.    

‘Tunla the Series’ is a new Southern Gothic thriller currently in development for exclusive release on the web. Part science-fiction, part supernatural horror and part Appalachian folklore, it features an original Roots-based soundtrack and a complex, 5-season story-arc. Song demos and a trailer for the series can be found at http://www.tunlatheseries.com.

Tunla, Tunla the Series, and tunlatheseries.com are registered trademarks of Terra Verto Productions.

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BRIAN MAYES
Nashville Publicity Group
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