Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"It's alive! It's ALIVE!!!"

On April 11, at 5:00PM Pacific Time, all the passwords come down and the first box-narrative ever produced, Bxx: HAUNTED, will be available to The World.  Check us out at

First, from everyone at Bxx, a huge thank all our pre-Launch registrants for their patience with the current site.  Your feedback and suggestions have been invaluable, and you guys have really helped us track down the bugs in the machine.

Despite the technical issues, the Twitter feedback and emails we’ve received indicate that you’re having a good time burrowing into our nasty little pile’o’narrative.  According to our stats, about 18% of you guys have spent an hour or more exploring Bxx: Haunted.

Second, we’ve decided that Bxx: HAUNTED will remain 100% free to anyone who wants to explore it. 

Third, we’ve added some very cool upgrades to our interface controls which will soon be available (April 11) by toggling your dashboard into ADVANCED MODE:

  • Set Viewer Default Size - Oh my gosh, these viewers are opening too big/small for my teeny-tiny/monster-ass monitor and I keep having to manually adjust them after they open! Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  Every nerve-cell in my carpal tunnel has torn open a mouth and is shrieking in agony!  Wait… what’s this button marked “SIZE?”  Oh, hey, look… now all my monitors are opening as big or as small as I want!  Cool!
  • Default AutoPlay - Oh my gosh, every time I select a clip, I’ve got to click “Play” to get it started!  Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  The sheer stress and redundancy of the excess clicking is eating a hole in my stomach-lining!  Wait… what’s this button marked “AUTOPLAY?”  Oh, hey, look… now all my viewers automatically start playing as soon as I open them!  Cool!
  • Improved Timeline Interface - Oh my gosh, this timeline won’t behave!  Why can’t I just enter a day, an hour and a segment number?  Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  Massive carbuncles are erupting all over my body!  Oh, hey, look… they fixed that!  And even though the slider doesn’t work (yet) on my tablet’s touch-screen interface, I can control it by entering the info in the fields above it!  Cool!
  • Twitter Feed – Man, I just found an awesome clip that totally explains who stole the coroner’s report, but I have to leave Bxx to lay claim to the find and lord it over all my tweeps!  Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  I’m having a gran-mal seizure!  Oh, hey, look… a Twitter feed right there on my Haunted dash running a stream of Tweets hashtagged #bxx.  Cool!
  • Stack – Oh my gosh, I’ve got all these damn monitors open and they’re all over the screen.  I can’t see the video or get to the controls!  Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  Steaming cerebral fluid is leaking from my ears!  Wait… what’s this button marked “STACK?”  Oh, hey, look… it just stacked all my viewers nice and neat down the right side of my monitor screen!  Cool!
  • Overlap - Oh my gosh, now I’ve got all these damn monitors stacked up and I’ve got to scroll down into the Ninth Ring of Hell to see the one on the bottom!  Gaaah!  Gaaaahhh!  My eyeballs are bleeding!  Wait… what’s this button marked “OVERLAP?”  Oh, hey, look… it just overlapped them lust like mama does with my French toast and all I have to do is click on their headers to bring the picture up to the top!  Cool! 
And, by very, very popular demand…

  • SyncStart - once you’ve opened multiple viewers and lined them up all pretty-like using the Stack or Overlap buttons, you will be able to simultaneously start them all with one lovely little button.  Ta-da!
Keep in mind, SyncStart only synchronizes the initiation of multiple clips.  Maintaining synchronous video play is dependent on a variety of factors beyond our control, primarily your internet connection, your system configuration and the vagaries of your ISP’s performance at any given time.

Now onto the coolest news of all..

Since the pre-launch, we’ve been slaving over final touches on the transmedia component of the Bxx experience—hours of hand-held video and dozens of digital stills captured by our cast during the investigation, audio files featuring EVPs, diaries, journals, newspaper clippings, police reports, autopsy findings, videotaped interrogations...

You get the idea.

If you’ve checked out the BACKGROUND section, you’ve even had a taste of the material and how it deepens the overall Bxx experience.  For instance, the incident logs have helped some of you find some pretty dramatic incidents.

Once the passwords come down and we go public, this enhanced content will be locked to Guests. Their access will be strictly limited to the clips on the Dashboard and a few files in the BACKGROUND section.  Nor will they be able to activate any of the Advanced Mode controls outlined above.

Once registered, however the freshly-minted Bxxr will receive instant access to the MY EVIDENCE file and the Advanced Mode controls.  However, much of the enhanced content will remain locked, and may only be accessed by opening specific clips. 

For instance, if registered Bxxrs view a clip that features, say, a character discussing a document, they will receive on-screen notifications that they have “unlocked” the video and it’s been copied to their MY EVIDENCE file.

(Incidentally, Did I mention Bxx registration will be free?  I did?  Sorry…)

If you decide to join us, you may find the concept of experiencing the first non-linear narrative a little odd.  Daunting, even.  Like a toddler who's no longer being spoon-fed, the best way to deal with it is to play with your food.  Get messy with it.  Gobble it up.  Choke on it and spit it out.  Rub it in your hair.  Throw it at your brother, Frankie.  Spill it on the cat.  In almost no time, you'll get the hang of it.  

Just remember, there is NO WRONG WAY to experience a box-narrative.  Just pick a moment, find a scene and take it from there.  Backward, forward or sidewaysit's all good.  All that said, the box-narrative isn't once-size-fits-all.  Some people just don't connect with it.  And that's good, too.  

But beware, those that do connect with it do so in a big way, so don't open the Bxx unless you're prepared for a whole new kind of addiction.  And all this giddy fun, by the way, is completely free.  You don't even have to deal with banners, pop-ups, roll-ins, roll-outs or any other damn -in thing advertising booshwah. 

We only ask one favor in return:

Tell your friends.

Twitter it, Facebook it, embed it, shout it from the highest roof-tops.

Bxx: HAUNTED is, in many ways, a crude prototype. 

We have plans.  Big plans.  Lots more stories; bigger, better and more complex; captured by more cameras in HD.  Plus, we’ve learned gobs about the technical hurdles incumbent in capturing a drama in the box-narrative format, and look forward to tackling each and every one the next time around. 

But the only way we’ll be able to raise the budget necessary to put wheels on Bxx is to demonstrate to the bankers that we can deliver eyeballs.  And as you know, Bxx is not a big Hollywood studio. 

Bxx isn’t even a small Hollywood studio. 

We’re just a dozen or so scrappy artists working in a garage in Pasadena.

So please help us out.  Be our P.R. department.  Send us eyeballs!  Lots and lots and lots of pretty, juicy eyeballs.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. How do I access the Advanced Mode? So far, I haven't been able to find it on the Dashboard. I'd really like to try the SyncStart feature.

  3. Sorry. Noticed I wrote "now" instead of "soon." Advanced Mode will be available to coincide with our public launch April 11.


  4. After reading about your site on BigHollywood I visited your Black Bxx and noticed it may not be in HTML5 because when I attempt to access it on my iPad it is not possible. I may be wrong.

    How do I go about logging in on an iPad?

    Thank you for your time,


  5. Oh for the love of God, I need another time sink the same way I need another personality defect. Still, could be fun...