by Shawn deLoache
When Kyle Walters and I set out to build our version of Neverland we knew one thing we wanted was to have a very interactive transmedia experience. We wanted to open the world up to the fans as much as possible and make them feel as much a part of the world and town of Neverland Ohio as we could. We absolutely love playing in the world of New Peter and Wendy and wanted to make sure others got to share in that. That’s the whole reason we did this series in the first place, to share our love and our story with others.
While our hearts we’re in the right place, our actual knowledge of how to do this was limited, so we brought on the transmedia God us mortals call EMMETT FUREY. Emmett guided us in how the transmedia world worked and created twitter accounts for all the characters and helped us to create special side stories and events that happened only online. Before we even launched the show, the world of Neverland was growing thanks to Emmett and thanks to our amazing fans. Within hours of the New Peter and Wendy account going live on twitter we started having people create shops in Neverland, and personas of town people that live there. It was absolutely incredible, and as the writer of the show I started taking notes on what and who was being created because, if I can, I want to give as many shout outs to our fans as I can in our future episode. What seems to be forgotten by many people in this industry is that without our fans we’re nothing, this is not something I, or any of us at NPW, have or will ever forget. We love our fans and are incredible grateful for each and every one of them.
BUT I DIGRESS, sorry, I go on tangents from time to time…and by time to time I mean I’m always going on tangents. What this was all leading up to was that our fans were helping us expand on the world and history of Neverland in a truly magical way, and we were paying attention! So when they came up with having a Midsummer’s Masquerade Ball, we knew we wanted to be a part of it. By sheer lucky, or perhaps pixie dust, the ball was falling the day after Episode 15 aired. In this particular episode, Peter was taking Wendy on a scavenger hunt. In the script that’s where the story ended, but inspired by the fans we decided to have that scavenger hunt lead to Peter asking Wendy to the Masquerade Ball. SO, Kyle dusted off his Penguin suit, and Paula donned her pirate gear and the two set out to do a photo shoot commemorating the moment while Emmet and I came up with all the clues for the scavenger hunt pulling from the world we created and the ones the fans were helping us create….and in the end…the fans LOVED IT. They were so excited that we took what they created and made it an official part of our world and our lore, but as I mentioned earlier, how could we do any less for our amazing fans.
(Kyle’s note: you can see the scavengARR hunt by clicking right here)
NOW usually Emmett Furey runs all the character twitter accounts, BUT on the night of the ball he was having a party of his own…his birthday! But we couldn’t go through all of that and not have Peter, Wendy, and the gang show up…so I stepped in! I was visiting my folks in Texas and wouldn’t be able to attend Emmett’s party anyway, so I might as well spend my night in Neverland!
It had been awhile since I’d done any sort of RPing. I used to do it a lot when I was younger, mainly hanging out in Marvel’s online Danger Room pretending to be a mutant having awesome epic battles! (Well…I thought they were awesome and epic.) But many moons had passed since then so I was a bit nervous…but then I just reminded myself that I make shit up for a living and to just go have fun.
To be honest, taking control of the characters was like coming home. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them till I got to step back into their shoes. The night was amazing. Some of the fans even dressed up for the event and posted pictures of themselves in costume. I got to lead the group in doing “the sprinkler” as Michael, I got to go through proper shoe polishing etiquette as John, and I got to have a romantic and sweet lovers’ first dance with Peter and Wendy. But most importantly, I got to play with the fans. When all was said and done I had spent 3 hours hanging out with my fellow Neverlandians yet it felt like no time at all because of how much fun I was having.
So what’s the point of my ramblings here…it’s to say thank you, people of Neverland. Thank you for an amazing night, thank you for all your support, and thank you for being so incredibly wonderful. You guys are the magic and I am humbled by you.
Your loyal scribe,