Glenn Rubenstein is credited with several positions for his work with the LonelyGirl15 series, a viral phenomenon. A man of many hats, he wrote, directed, story edited and developed story arcs for the series from October 2006 through April 2007. A fan of alternate reality games and stories, Rubenstein was behind about a half-dozen dead drops, or physical clues or objects strategically placed in certain locations, aimed at giving the story a depth of reality. Around the same time he began developing original stories. Enter RedEarth88
, a girl named Rachel at the center of a mysterious scheme to keep her safe from unknown forces. Rachel herself starts keeping a video blog on YouTube chronicling her life and the people in it. The series, which features actress Sara E.R. Fletcher talking to a video camera, relies on simple narratives but is driven by other components in the alternate reality, including her roommate, Aly Zarin, who is on a secret mission to protect her, as well as the “Madison Atkins” series and other elements first conceived in the “LonelyGirl15” series. Since July, the “RedEarth88” series has had 26 episodes posted on YouTube
. The videos don’t rely on gimmicks or tricks—they cost little to nothing to create and can take anywhere between one day to one week to film, edit and publish.Result:
Although the earlier clips have fared modestly, episode 19, “Opportunity Crisis!,” uploaded Oct. 21, was the first to surpass the 100,000 mark, reaching 113,626 viewers to date. After that, the views really took off for the series, with the last eight raking in almost 1.5 million views combined on YouTube. The success of the RE88 series really signals the power of the fan community, which Rubenstein says is the driving force behind all those views and getting new viewers to jump on board. RedEarth88’s last video was uploaded on January 31, but Rubenstein assures that more content is on its way. What was the cause for the break? Fletcher has been filming a movie and Rubenstein has been occupied in talks with potential advertisers and partners. The series is already part of YouTube’s ad partner program.