Zeke Zelker Presents Billboard an Uncommon Contest for Common People!, 11/7
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Zeke Zelker is taking his latest movie project in a bit of a different direction. He will be staging a theatrical production of his web series that acts as a companion piece to his latest movie "Billboard an Uncommon Contest for Common People!" on November 7th , 7:30 PM at the State Theatre in Easton, PA. The staged production is titled, "The Great WTYT 960 Billboard Sitting Contest Live!". Imagine what happens when four people who don't know each other, live on a catwalk ten feet wide, by forty feet long, twenty feet in the air, in front of a billboard to win a mobile home and "nine-sixty" thousand dollars. This will interactive event where the audience will be able to correspond with the characters via social media affecting the story outcome. This will be unlike anything that people have experienced before.
Tickets are $96 (Gold Circle)/$19.60 and $9.60 for students and go on sale Wednesday, September 18th at 10 am. To buy tickets log onto www.statetheatre.org or call the State Theatre box office at (610) 252-3132. This is an outside promoter event. State Theatre member benefits and gift cards do not apply.
"This whole thing kind of happened by accident," states Zeke. "We were shooting some proof of concept pilots that I created with a team of students from local colleges of the web series for Hulu, and other potential video portals, when I realized I could stage this. With the support of my wife Elaine, producing partner Doug Kemmerer, some local companies and investors I decided to create a stage production of what "might" be part of the web-series. It has been a challenge for people to understand what I'm creating so I figured why not do it as a stage performance. If I can do it in front of a live audience I can do it on-line. I'm hoping this will build momentum for the project and help us raise the funds needed to make the movie and other components of the project."
The Billboard Project is a multi-stage, cross platform transmedia project that all started with the creation of WTYT960.com. Over 400 bands from across the globe have been submitting music to the station. The station's play list is determined by how much the bands promote themselves. The more they promote themselves the more frequently their song plays. Periodically the station holds contests where bands can win things to promote themselves. Currently there is a contest where a band can win a music video. All of the music that is on the station is then eligible to be a part of the movie's soundtrack. It's all about discovery and giving creative people the vehicle to gain exposure.
The current phase of the project started a couple of months ago, where we have been traveling around the country auditioning people and inspiring them to create a contestant video stating why they feel they would be a good contestant in the Great WTYT 960 Billboard Sitting Contest. This is part of the casting/audition process and we're hoping to discover some amazing talent for the project. We're letting everyone become a part of the project and this phase will continue for another couple of months until we can lock in our cast.
Because the project is so multifaceted and blurring the lines between fact and fiction enables brands to become a part of the story world in some really fun and interactive ways. We're first reaching out to Lehigh Valley based companies, then Pennsylvania, then beyond. "There are so many ways that companies and brands can get involved within the story telling apparatus because the story is about a radio station hosting a billboard sitting contest and I would love for companies from the Lehigh Valley to benefit from what we're doing. We are really trying hard to have the feel of Pennsylvania. We've also been reaching out to investors and will be hosting various fundraisers in the coming months. People are beginning to see my vision and it's really exciting!"
Zeke and company will be putting the movie into production in the spring of 2014 and in the midst of everything else is trying to locate the perfect location to build the set for the movie. The sooner we can find the location to build the set, the better. We're looking for a location that is secure, near a major road, that is safe, yet is iconic Lehigh Valley.
This just isn't a simple movie project it's an experience!
Zeke is available for interview.
Zeke has been on the bleeding edge of the transmedia movement where instead of simply creating a linear storyline, he create story worlds. He produced the first transmedia project at the Sundance Film Festival and most recently produced part of David Cronenberg's Body Mind Change. He has also taught classes on it at Lehigh University and lectures about the cross marketing power that transmedia creates for story tellers and marketers. His last film InSearchOf is in the top 10 all time viewed dramas on Hulu.