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THP – Offline Twist

February 28, 2009

We released a “big” episode on Thursday. Spoilers in this episode ahead…..

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So…. Hayley’s gone. To be honest, this concept of taking our hero Hayley and having her either 1) be killed on camera or 2) abducted was one of the original ideas of The Hayley Project. Of course, I couldn’t talk about that until now, since it would have ruined where we were going with the story. However, we always wanted to pull a Psycho, where the focal character is ripped away from the audience. The ambush at the end was also partly inspired by an old screenplay my friend Alex and I worked on many years ago. It was called “The Revisionist”, and we loved the idea of scary shadowy figures emerging from the background to do “bad things”. The slight head tilt by the perpetrator is a specific idea we always found eerie.

Now that Hayley is gone, the question becomes, “what now”? The comment boards have reacted nicely to this twist. In less than 2 days, we’ve already had more comments for this episode than any of our others.

I’ll admit that at one point, Jato and I toyed with the idea of ending Season 1 on this episode in cliffhanger style. A lot of the thinking behind that option was more a function of the difficulty in scheduling the climatic episodes. Once we figured that out, we no longer planned on pulling a cliffhanger ending.

Personally, I hate it when TV series do that, although I understand why they do it. Regardless, we have six episodes left and we will finish the season in March. However, our plan is to take 1 week off to try and bolster our viewership for the final run. We hope that this twisted episode helps word of mouth reach new viewers. We also plan on running a viral campaign on Monday in hopes of upping our numbers.

Jato and I have discussed a Season 2, but we will really need to evaluate how big of a splash we made with this series vs. all the work it takes to produce THP. I do believe that the second half of THP was more entertaining than the first half. And I also believe that in the end, we set up nicely to continue the series, but it really will depend on what we feel the return on our sweat equity is.

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