LOS ANGELES—The creative teams behind the award-winning Web series Star Trek: Phase II and eScape have joined forces to produce a new science fiction-adventure series aimed at tweens and teens.
eScape, a reimagining of a series created by MovieQuest Productions, will tell the story of a group of kids who wake up to find all the adults at their summer camp have disappeared. They soon discover they are trapped in a video game that grants them amazing abilities. But in the real world, this game is the object of a power struggle between powerful corporations and mysterious military interests.
The original series, now in its third and final season, was created and produced by Mike Feurstein of MovieQuest Productions. The series was shot in and around Albany, N.Y., and starred local schoolchildren and actors. Runic Films plans to re-imagine the original series, casting professional actors and scaling up its production values.
“The original series tells a great story in the same vein as Lost,” said Runic writer-producer Carlos Pedraza. “Young and older viewers alike connect with its characters’ struggles to make the right life choices in the face of danger and unimaginable odds.”
Pedraza and his Runic partners — director-producer Ben Alpi, cinematographer David Berry and visual effects supervisor Joël Bellucci — had been shopping for a new project after their recent departure from the Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Web series, Star Trek: Phase II. Alpi had contributed visual effects to the first two seasons of eScape and introduced the Runic staff to series creator Feurstein.
“The series premise really struck us with its originality,” Alpi said. “Mike has been able to create a deep and complex world with some spectacular visuals all with very limited resources. This is a wonderful opportunity to launch a great concept onto a broader stage.”
Runic’s lead visual effects artist, Matt Jolly, is also joining the eScape co-production.
Meanwhile, Feurstein and his child actors have produced movies that have won gold medals in New York state competitions and regional contest top prizes. Feurstein himself earned Best Local Filmmaker kudos in readers’ polls from the Albany, N.Y., Times Union, and the Metroland newsweekly. He has also produced an international educational DVD series on autism, contributed to the blockbuster award-winning Guitar Hero video game and owns Cucumber Alley, a film lighting rental company.
“It’s been great having the help of Ben, Carlos and the rest of the Runic guys with the third season of eScape,” Feurstein said, “and I’m looking forward to working with them on the re-imagining.”
Feurstein’s MovieQuest Productions is currently shooting the final season of eScape on location in the Albany region.
Runic Films is a full-service HD, film and visual effects studio offering cutting-edge development, production and post-production services. Founded in 2001 by two brothers in upstate New York, it has grown to a full staff of award-winning writers, directors, artists and technicians with presence on both coasts. Runic Films also specializes in rich media content for Web and next-generation devices.
MovieQuest Productions, based in Schenectady, N.Y., was created by Mike Feurstein to produce eScape.