Friday, July 27, 2012

Web Series Review: RCVR

Status: One Season of Six Episodes Completed
Credits: David Van Eyssen – Creator/Director, Daniel Bonjour (Weber), Lexi DiBenedetto (Charlene)
Winner IAWTV Awards: Best Drama Web Series, Best Male Performance (Drama), Best Cinematography.  Also Nominated for Best Writing (Drama), Best Directing (Drama), Best Design (Art Direction/Production), Best Makeup/Special Effects, Best Visual Effects (Digital), Best Editing, Best Web Site Design

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Synopsis: Taking place in 1974, a mysterious organization known as SIGMA investigates UFO sightings and alien contact and tries to convince people who have had these experiences that extraterrestrial beings are not involved. The agents of this organization, though, are actually looking for people known as RCVRs, humans who receive knowledge from alien intelligence that results in huge leaps in the human race’s technical skills.

Commentary: This 2011 web series snagged the Best Drama Web Series category at the recent IAWTV Awards, and I can see why as it has first rate production values (it also won Best Cinematography), decent special effects, and good acting as well (picking up the Best Male Performance Drama award). Think of it as somewhat of a retro-X-Files, but with Mulder and Scully demonstrating a more sinister intent (at least based on what we saw from the first season). The six episodes from Season 1 (which average about seven to eight minutes each) set up the premise and establish the main characters and the central mystery driving the story. And Van Eyssen’s very professional directing helps propel the series forward so that it never wanders or goes astray. It does fall a bit short of fully exploring its potential during its first season, but that effectively just leaves the viewer eager for the story to continue with a second set of episodes.

RCVR is an ambitious, transmedia property that also offers a conspiracy-laden Twitter account and blog (lings below) where the fictional Alvin J. Peters is tracking the government cover-up of the people who have had contact with alien beings. And Van Eyssen has visions of this branching out to a TV series and possibly a movie as well. And currently the web series has something that few other similar productions can boast: a corporate sponsor in Motorola. I’m not certain how much they contributed to the funding of the project, but they can definitely help this one get some good exposure, and with the show grabbing some big wins (and a ton of nominations) at the IAWTV Awards, a second season seems almost assured.

RCVR shows the potential of the web series format and it makes good use of supplemental content on the web to help build up its mythology. It is definitely worth checking out for all sci fi fans whether they are new to web series or well-seasoned with the format.

Links/More Information:
You can begin watching the series from episode 1 on YouTube at this link.
You can watch the entire first season in one video (46 min) on YouTube at this link.
Browse through the Sigma Agency mock website at this link.
Visit the ProjectRCVR website where Alvin J. Peters provides more info on the government conspiracy at this link.
Follow Alvin J. Peters’ Twitter site at this link.
Read an interview with series creator David Van Eyssen at at this link.
Trailer for RCVR:

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