The Countdown has begun
Leading digital agency Soap Creative, Roadshow Films and Screen Australia have collaborated to launch the transmedia experience The Countdown – an immersive ’interactive prequel’ ahead of the release of Australian apocalyptic thriller These Final Hours, which asks “How would you spend the last six months on Earth?”
In keeping with the film, The Countdown is set in a vast hyper-realistic world where you can explore the story of a humanity-ending asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Along the way you learn that things are not quite as they seem and realise that every decision has a drastic outcome for you and your friends.
To fully immerse you in the experience, The Countdown pulls in your closest Facebook friends, integrating them through stylised IMs, videos, emails and tweets. These personal stories – combined with cameos from media personalities (including Nelson Aspen, Dan Ilic and Alicia Malone) – support a broader global narrative of government deception and the breakdown of society. Overall, more than 900 pieces of unique content have been created, including over 20 minutes of video.
Created in close collaboration with the writer/director of These Final Hours, Zak Hilditch, The Countdown confronts you with realistic and thought-provoking moments that pull you into a fictional world – especially the first-person ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ sequence at the climax of the experience, which was shot on location in Perth by Zak and producer Liz Kearney.
The Countdown finishes 12 hours from the end of the world, which is where the film These Final Hours begins.
Michael Hughes, Creative Director at Soap said, “The opportunity to create interactive content beyond the traditional two-hour film format highlights the potential of cinema and digital working together.”
Phil Oneile, Marketing Director at Roadshow Films said, “We are excited to have worked with Screen Australia and Soap to develop such an immersive transmedia execution that really sets the scene for our release of These Final Hours on 31 July. It’s great to be able to have a campaign that is as unique as the film itself.”
Zak Hilditch, writer/director of These Final Hours, said, “I'm thrilled to be able to expand the universe of These Final Hours and encompass the world outside the story in such an innovative way. I feel like we have come up with something truly unique here.”
Screen Australia COO, Fiona Cameron said, “This initiative encourages filmmakers to engage with audiences in dynamic ways. The immersive story experience extends the story world, and has the potential to raise further awareness of the film, and enhance a deeper connection with audiences.”
The Countdown is now online at http://thesefinalhours.com.au, with These Final Hours releasing in cinemas Australia-wide on 31 July 2014.