I’ve been really excited with this fall’s season of Fox’s Fringe. Of course, the episodes have been phenomenal, but at the conclusion of each show, the voice promotes a website, thescienceoffringe.com. I was initially really excited by the sound of the site – the name communicated that it was going to provide a realistic look at some of the scientific/inexplicable concepts the show uses to advance the plots.
But, upon visiting the site, I found that it just merely redirected to Fox’s page about the show. There was one “Science Olympiad” factoid on the page, but this definitely left a lot to be desired for me. This show is such a complex and intelligent organism – why doesn’t the interactive presence reflect that?
I yearned for the days of the Lost Experience, a full-fledged, multi-media AND analog experience that lead me through a whole off-season sub-plot and kept me thoroughly engaged in the show’s mystery. Media and messaging today is about engagement, not impressions. The creators of Lost definitely got that.
I also recall the website that supported the release of the film Memento. Given the non-linear nature of the film, the website fulfilled my expectations by using Flash to take me through a confusing, but rewarding path of events, much like the main character in the movie. If social networking had been around at that time, I have no doubt this team would have used those avenues to disseminate messages in a creative way.
Recently, The Last Exorcism team used ChatRoulette as a viral promotional tool of the film and, in my opinion, nailed what that messaging medium can do at its best. (Video is NSFW, by the way):
So, judging by how much money Fox puts behind the production value of Fringe, it seems as though they could put some funding behind creating a full multi-media engagement to endear their niche audiences even more.