Entry #1021
12:11 PM, April 1st, 2010:
One year ago today I launched the idea... (exactly 150 entries ago, of course) and now, it starts...

For the first time in 11 years, 4tvs.com will have no mention of 4tvs, no mention of The Journey - it will be the home of all things "FOUR" as I try to launch the Four Square reality show into the universe. Every Sunday a new episode will go up (starting with Episode 2 this Sunday), and I will devote all of my free time to spreading the word and getting the hits per episode as high as humanly possible. This was never my intention, but after Atom Films dropped out... I'm left with little choice. I have to do this by myself, and hope I gather enough interest to properly fund the idea. Story of my life.
The "FOUR" Journey entries however will be a nice little catharsis for me as I can finally let everyone in on what's been ruling my brain for the last few months. This series has been an editing feat I never could've dreamed. I thought The Egos series on CBS was time consuming. Nothing close to this. The learning curve for this has been astronomical. Now that I know the design of everything? Sure, I could knock out an episode in probably 30 hours. Roughly the time it took to make an Egos episode. But the devil is in the details and simply put, that's all this show is. Layers upon layers of scores, rankings, little special effects, sound effects, camera angles, interviews, storylines... it's just gargantuan. All the while, designing and redesigning everything. You finish a couple episodes... then, no - doesn't work. Start over. If there's a second season? I will more than likely redesign it again. Is it just 'cause I'm insane?
Don't answer that.
The answer lies in what you're really editing. It's part video game, part sport. As well, it's a sport that has really never been televised, really never had a scoring mechanism to it (I completely just made that up), and it's 4 fucking scores at once. It's a mess. I'm not completely sure I've done it right, but because of the "golden bar" you are able to follow who the leader is, pretty well. First up, the current episode...
I've been showing this to people for the past week or so and several of you are confused by the scoring/ranking etc., so I apologize up front - because the entire point was to make it simple. And somehow in the description, I made it more complicated. Funny, because everyone who has played the game, thinks the description is perfect. Which tells me, once you start watching the games? It'll all make sense. It really is as simple as 1, 2, 3. And future episodes will show that.
Now as far as the opening story - it's 100% true. As I mentioned during the making of the series last year, there's something about this game that gets under your skin, and makes you act like a 5 year old. You're nearly always playing aginst yourself... much in the way golf makes you nuts. It's never the other dude's good shot, it's your STUPID shot that drives you nuts. The foundation of four square is that the majority of the time, had you just played it safe and passed the ball off to the next person? You'd still be in. But you get lulled into thinking offensively, trying too hard - and getting yourself out. It makes for mental meltdowns that are just wonderful. I'm telling you... this is an Olympic Sport. It can also work on television, and because the game requires alliances that can change on nearly every play? It's perfect for a reality show. Blah blah blah, I'm done selling, if you're reading this - you believe me. It's now onto how the hell to make everyone else believe.
I've contacted every possible foursquare organization I can find, and unfortunately the biggest ones seem to be snubbing me. There are some fansites on Facebook that are close to 10,000 people, yet the administrator of the biggest one wrote:  "You can't message me from the fan page, haha sorry. :P" when I asked how to contact him/her so they could post the video. (Sigh). As well, I had one administrator of a site say the show trivializes the community building aspect of the game. Sweet JESUS people, we're talking about a playground game. I honestly expected the four square community to be excited about the prospect of this on TV (some are), so the backlash is annoying to say the least. Without that initial support, this is gonna be very difficult to help go viral.
So if you're wiling to help by either emailing the links to friends or just posting the video on Facebook? PLEASE CONTACT ME. I need to get several thousand views per episode almost immediately... and then over the span of the series, continue to bump that up. 4tvs.com will help, because I assume people will go through all of the ones up at one time, since they're so short. Oh and that's another thing...
In reality? The entire series is 4 half-hour shows. It's maddening that I have to space it out for months. When I was initially going to have them on Atom Films, we were going to release 2 episodes a week. I would LOVE to be able to do that, but I need the time to properly market each episode. And two links is simply confusing and asking too much of the person you're marketing to and one of the links won't be hit. For those that are already into the series however? This will make you crazy. I apologize. As a storyteller it feels wrong. I may just offer up a DVD with every episode on it for $10 or something, just so people don't have to wait. Then again, I am a bit ahead of myself, let's get people actually interested first.
So there it is. 4tvs.com changed for the first time since I started it in 1999 for something I actually do believe could be a bigger deal than a certain stage show. Heartbreaking. But, the truth. Even today, it's the truth.