The Bloom Portland Oregon Screening Marquee

Looking Back On The Webseries

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS ON THE INITIAL RUN

The original webseries was born from deep within the DNA of our story. We created a unique cultural product that found an audience around the globe—but looking back, it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of our rookie iteration. Coming from within the story itself and discovering the medium to tell this story, the webseries is better viewed now as a low-budget proof-of-concept. This is the raison d’etre for the TV series—to make the definitive, world-class version of this exhilarating story. We hope you’ll agree there’s enough substance to deserve truly proper treatment.

Many elements that made the original special will remain, but here are the top things the new series will improve from the original run: 

 

1. Anchor The Story in Narrative

Originally conceived as a follow-up to my TED talk, the webseries reflected my philosophical bent and bias towards intellectual analysis. Filming the festivals and conversations with producers, participants, and artists around the world was key to revealing the ethos of this global phenomenon. This approach, of course, runs counter to the usual way people experience story-telling: through character-driven narratives. While the cultural inquiry remains essential to our series, the new show will focus on select characters and their stories, offering a more intimate glimpse into the challenges and triumphs of their journeys. This will reduce the number of participants, but convey a more powerful glimpse into the lives of those we follow.

 

2. Tackle The Drama Head-On

In this focus on ideas, we missed opportunities to convey the dramas that were also a part of our journey. Most obviously, the two tragic deaths which occurred at festivals we filmed come to mind. While they were included in Episode One & Three, the deeper stories behind them were not portrayed. This drama inherent in life and the way these challenges are faced must be part of the show. Our narrative certainly won’t seek to be conflict-driven but must portray the testing moments on our quest among the uplifting discoveries. 

 

3. Strengthen Our Inquiry With Better Framing

Another shortcoming was the insufficient framing of the themes. Looking back now, I realize that due to being overly-immersed “in the bubble” of the story, their understanding was taken for granted. This was a mistake. The new series will strengthen this crucial aspect through a creative segment introducing each episode. Connecting our theme first to our regular experience of reality will establish the conversation taking place and make our subsequent exploration more immediately relevant and impactful in contrast.

 

4. Adjust to the Shift in the Zeitgeist

The webseries was produced within “the bubble” of the positive, affirmative culture that is the norm at festivals. Looked at today, the tone feels too soft. With Trump’s reign, climate change’s intensified impacts and the tragedies of everyday news, the mood of the moment is justifiably overwhelmed, concerned and cynical—the world feels precarious in a way that it hasn’t before. While still being personable, the new series will take a more journalistic, objective tone. It will be more pointed and answer the questions of skeptics within the series itself.

 

5. Overall Level Up in Filmmaking

My knowledge as a filmmaker has expanded, working on more projects and deepening my craft. With a professional team dedicated to this story, it can only raise the product many exponential levels. Expect more creative, epic camera work and immersive story-telling. The picture-quality will also reflect improvements in camera technology since the original run. 

 

While all the good things stay the same…

While these improvements are necessary for The Bloom to fulfill its promise, many aspects of the original webseries will carry forward: the heart feels, beautiful visuals, powerful insights, inspiring visionaries, dope music and whirlwind pace of an adventure. Put together, the series will illuminate, in a uniquely entertaining style, all the greatest gifts of one of the truly remarkable phenomena of our time.

 

What do you think of our critical reflections and changes in approach?

Leave a comment below!

 

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