One of the benefits of writing this blog is the opportunity to engage with some profoundly talented people working in the creative arts. Over the last month three projects have landed on my radar, all coming from creators who I have previously reviewed. In support of their future endeavours, I decided to dedicate today’s post to promoting their upcoming works.

Up first is Strange Bedfellows. Strange Bedfellows is/will be an anthology of political science fiction, edited by Hayden Trenholm. Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing Mr. Trenholm’s environmentally themed anthology, Blood and Water. Powerful and evocative, the collection left with the same sense of looming dread that penetrated my soul upon finishing Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Needless to say, I’m eager for any anthology which puts Mr. Trenholm in the editor’s chair.

Strange Bedfellows is also notable in that it successfully mobilized crowd sourcing as a means of augmenting the pay scale for its writers. This from Strange Bedfellows’ indiegogo campaign,

Our goal of $2800 will let us increase our rates from 1.5 cents a word to 5 cents a word.  Additional funds will be used first, to increase the length of the book to a maximum of 90,000 words, and, second, further increase the rate of pay to the writers.

As of this post, Strange Bedfellows had passed the $3000 mark in its fundraising with a little less than two days of fundraising to go.

Kudos to Mr. Trenholm and Bundoran Press for supporting writers and the Canadian science fiction community at large.

Next on the docket is Job Hunters, a web series which created its own sub-genre as a dystopian roommate comedy.

I honestly had no idea what to expect going into the first season of Job Hunters. Never did I suspect it would turn out to be a particularly clever commentary on unemployment and post-college disillusionment. This sharp writing combined with outstanding cinematography, skillful directing, and first rate post-production to deliver an experience that demonstrated the power of the web series as a medium.

Why support season two? Because the first season ended on a huge cliff-hanger and I need to know what happens next. There’s also the fact that the series mobilized some amazing talent who pulled something out of almost nothing in terms of production budget.

We created our first season with about $14,000 and a crew entirely made of volunteers. We want to bring a more rigorous schedule to Season Two and we need the funds to deliver you bigger, better stories from the characters you love.

As of this post Job Hunters’ second season is a little more than 20% funded. Head over to their season 2 kickstarter page to learn more.

Finally, I want to talk about a project that is a little outside my usual realm of critical discussion, and by a little I mean almost the exact opposite of my usual oeuvre. I’m talking about contemporary dance.

Dance by Day is a web series concept currently under development by Jonathan Robbins and Jason Leaver. Readers may know Robbins and Leaver as the creators of Clutch and Out With Dad, respectively. So why am I supporting a web series about a struggling dance troupe?

The easy answer is that Robbins and Leaver are tremendous as writers and directors. Clutch was recently nominated for a Streamy award in the “best action series” category and Out with Dad was nominated for “best original series for digital media”  at the Canadian Screen Awards. Collaboration between these two highly talented individuals is sure to result in web series gold (no pressure there, Jonathan and Jason).

More importantly, Dance by Day seems perfectly positioned to be a reflection on the perpetual downward march of government funding for the arts within the Canadian cultural landscape. Such discussions are all too often marginalized or flat out ignored in the face of realpolitick, especially amid a bad economy. Creating a web series on this topic could potentially mobilize a new base of support for the arts in a union of new media and old-guard capital-A “Art.”

Dance by Day is currently seeking funding from the Independent Production Fund. The best way to support its bid is to watch the proof of concept video, share it with others, and comment on youtube.

 

And there you have it. Three projects which I look forward to seeing in the near future. I think I may have to make something like this a bit more of a regular feature.