Pure Pwnage : Teh Movie

Back in the days before YouTube people shared their web-series, short films and independent features on their own websites, through bitTorrent (legally), Stage6, AtomFilms and iFilm.

I can’t exactly recall how I ran across Pure Pwnage but I remember my friends and I were hooked. I especially loved FPS Doug because at the time I played a lot of Counter-Strike and I grew up on the classics like Quake.

It was a series created by gamers for gamers and I loved all eighteen episodes of it and wished for more when it came to a sudden halt.

The internet has changed considerably since 2004 especially because of YouTube. Video became a standard on mobile devices. Quantity often compromises quality and that’s what independent filmmakers can take of advantage.

In the vast ocean of the internet lay many brilliant series and films that have sunk to the bottom of it but the story of Pure Pwnage should give them all hope to rise again.

Pure Pwnage started in 2004 as a web-series it amassed a cult following in the gaming community and was turned into a television series in 2010 boardcast on Showcase and Australia’s ABC2.

The web-series began with mockumentary style episodes about gamers and gamer culture created by two gamers Jarret Cale and Geoff Lapaire. The series gave birth to several internet memes like “BOOM! Headshot”.

They had success with over three million views and became a part of gaming culture. It’s humor and style connected with gamers around the world. Sadly the series came to an abrupt ending after the death of it’s cast member Troy Dixon in 2008.

In 2010 they got a contract for a television series. Many of their online fans did not connect with the commercial and mainstream feel. Since the show was broadcast only in Canada they could not reach their global web audience any longer.
The show had a strong viewership and was nominated for three Gemini Awards and won Best Direction. Despite it’s success after eight episodes it was canceled.

Announcing the show’s cancellation on Showtime Pure Pwnage co-creator Jarett Cale addressed the topic of the web-series by stating:

“After struggling to continue the web series myself, I’ve now placed it on indefinite hold. While this doesn’t mean it’s officially ‘dead’, that is unfortunately the most likely outcome. In hindsight I suppose I should have stopped work on the web series along with Geoff back in September 2008. In the end, my desire to finish the series only served to heighten your disappointment. I’m sorry for that. I wasn’t and will never be comfortable leaving the story where it is, although that’s something I might just have to accept.”

An eighteen episode web-series with no ending and a canceled eight episode television series would make anyone quit. On Cale and Lapaire decided to make Pure Pwnage: Teh Movie and announced their crowd funding campaign on IndieGoGo.

“We’ve made web episodes with a budget of ten dollars. We’ve made TV episodes with a budget of a million. We’ve had the incredible opportunity to engage in all elements and mediums of video creation… except one. We want to make a movie. But not just any movie, we want to make THE gamer movie, the one that finally does justice to online gaming and Internet culture on the big screen. We feel that Hollywood has continually (and often epically) failed to deliver on this front. So we want to pwn Hollywood like somebody’s mom playing Call of Duty and we need your help to do it.”

The campaign spread rapidly across internet forums and blogs in just 24 hours they reached their goal of $75,000 all together making over $211,300 dollars.

Cale and Lapaire created one of the first web-series for gamers by gamers and left an impression on their audience that was not forgotten. Allowing a community to grow around the series was a great way to build a strong audience which is integral to the success of any series or brand.

Let them know you’re listening to their ideas and complaints while incorporating your own vision and message and you’ve got the ground work for a great series, film or game.

I hope ROFLMAO productions has fun pwning noobs while making their awesome movie.