Today’s an exciting day because we are about to witness the birth of an original series on Twitter. That’s right folks, today The P@ssionate and The Privileged Twitter series goes live! Ok, so today the WEBSITE goes live and the show premieres in two weeks on Tuesday March 8th at 3pm EST but still that’s very exciting and this highly anticipated show is one step closer to a reality! As far as I know, this is one of the first if not the first scripted drama on Twitter and I for one am excited to see what happens.
In typical soapy fashion there’s a love triangle…actually there are several love triangles, family secrets, murder, intrigue, sex, lies, money and of course passion…LOTS of passion! It wouldn’t be much of a soap without sexy love stories and The P@ssionate and The Privileged has something for everyone.
The shows website (http://www.pandptheshow.com) launches today but season one, episode one premiere’s Tuesday, March 8th at 3pm EST with Episode two taking place just a couple days later on Thursday, March 10 at 3pm EST. That’s right it’s on twice a week and each episode lasts one hour. Another little treat to keep your fix going during the rest of the week is character interaction. During the week when the show is not on, you as the viewer will have the chance to talk directly to the characters. That’s right I said characters, not cast so please keep that in mind. Also, the actors behind the characters will not be revealed right away so expect your favorites from daytime soaps, television, film and Broadway to make an appearance. You might even find a few friends from Twitter voicing a character, you just never know!
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Spoiler Alert: If you pay close attention to the graphic posted below the jump, the first of many couples just might be revealed!
The last time we talked you were knee deep in beta testing and building the cast as well as troubleshooting. Where does The P@ssionate and The Privileged stand now?
Hope Royaltey: Oh I’ve climbed a Twitter mountain and I’ve made it to the other side of it! I need a prescription for some new glasses from eyestrain over the last three months!
You know the last time we spoke I had sort of dipped into the Twitter API (Application Programming Interface) and I made plans for what I was going to do after reviewing it and leapt into it when we last spoke but like any unknown thing that has never been done I had some very interesting revelations in November of last year around the time I originally wanted to launch. The first one being Twitter with its regular streaming API that you hook into has what they call “latency”. And this latency is actually a delay between tweets that I guess Twitter uses to control the flow so you don’t end up with the fail whale. They also have a rate limit that they impose upon their users for the same reason allowing only a certain amount of tweets per hour which Twitter users will know as TTO (Twitter Time Out) and I’m sure there are other terms people call it but in the end you’re banned from Twitter, you can’t get on and it feels violating frankly.
Those two factors when put with my needs were hurdles. I really had to think of other ways around them because the delay when I started testing the actual live show with the actors…if someone tweets and it takes sixty seconds a tweet to show up to someone else and then the cast to tweet then it’s another sixty seconds after they tweet. Because the actors have to see the tweets in order to tweet their next line the delay for the audience is actually double because they have to wait for the first actor to see the tweet then respond and then they have to wait the next sixty seconds for the second actor. So when I started doing my beta testing it was reeeeeally slow. I didn’t know what to say about it but I just felt like it wasn’t conversational and it wasn’t how I envisioned the pacing of the show. I knew that it wasn’t going to be acceptable to make this work the way that I wanted to. I tried to think of other solutions, having the actors have a separate chat box so they could tell each other that they tweeted or tweeting without actually seeing it…that just seemed like a recipe for disaster. Luckily there’s a happy ending!
Twitter has a new streaming API that they came out with late last year and this particular stream is what a lot of the bigger applications I think are going to start using. I know TweetDeck, I believe, is using that right now and I think they may be one of the first to use this super duper fast streaming API. It’s something that I thought was going to be really difficult for me just as a producer sitting in my apartment in New York to utilize. It’s kind of built for the big kids. But I did end up like I said, after a lot of hair pulling and just knowing it was the only way out, I did end up getting it set up on my site and oh my God the difference. It’s real-time! It allows me to control the pacing. Instead of a two-minute delay between tweets of dialogue, it’s now ten seconds. That was a huge breakthrough and it also allowed me to do lots of really cool things with the streams. Since I’m controlling it because the information comes from Twitter at a ridiculous rate to my database on my server and then my browser pulls it in I can control it which allows me to do cool thinks like have different fonts for different characters, a pause button and a play button…I want The P@ssionate and The Privileged to be like any other soap. The kind of show where you could be on the phone while you’re watching it, have one eye on it, be amused by it but if something riveting happens you’re screaming at everyone to shut up. I want it to be something that can coexist with everything else they’re doing on their computer. The pause button allows people to watch the show with a flow. The tweets just come in and you don’t have to reload your browser, you just watch them as they come into the stream.
Another fun feature is the use of in-line video and pictures using Twitpic that will show up right in the stream. The show will open and close with a Twitpic and don’t be surprised if you see a few throughout the show as well. And if you’re worried about the pictures linking out to another page you can rest easy because the pictures will appear within the stream. You wont lose your place or have to have a million windows open at once.
Ok, so they put it on pause, they accumulate a library of tweets and when they come back to it there’s a deluge of tweets?
HR: Exactly! When they pause they can let the tweets build up and they can go grab a drink or jump into a meeting and they’ll come back to find a one hundred and twenty new tweets. The entire show is ready for you to watch!
This way it gives the user some control over how they’re going to watch the show. I think people are used to that in video and I wanted to give them the same thing on Twitter.
I also did achieve, which I mentioned in our previous interview, adding translations into other languages so the screen will be translated. Now it’s Google translation so I can’t vouch for the actual translation…
But it will be translated into multiple languages.
HR: Yes and they can watch it streaming and the tweets will come in translated.
So we just have to forgive it for whatever faults the Google translator…
HR: Blame Google if it says, “I ate my own hand” don’t blame my writing. But I do think that if someone completely has no command of the English language at all, hopefully it will help them figure it out or else they’ll think “Damn this show is written terribly!”
I think I achieved everything and more that I had set out to do the last time we spoke, it just took a little bit longer than I thought it would and I basically had to make love to Twitter and marry it. I feel so close to it now! I just feel like I know it so well. I’m trilled, just thrilled!
Also, people will be able to tweet live from that page from the stream itself. You click on a button and it opens up a box and it allows you to retweet stuff…
But you wont be able to tweet directly to the character during the show right?
HR: You can tweet to them; they just wont see them through that stream. However, if they have a stream of mentions they’ll see it any time P&P or the characters are mentioned. So I’m hoping for some play-by-plays during the show.
Ok, I’m a new user but I hear there is this cool new show that has something to do with Twitter. Where do I go and what do I do?
HR: You’re going to go to www.pandptheshow.com and that’s going to be the main website. It will have everything you need to know about the show, all of the achieved episodes in case you’ve missed one. You can view them in their entirety as tweeted except I’m reversing the order and putting the tweets to read from top to bottom. Pandptheshow.com will also have spoilers, bios, the family tree, essentially everything you would need to know about P&P.
As far as watching it, you can go to the website and half and hour before the show goes live there will be a button that will take you to the live feed and you can get your popcorn out. If you don’t want to watch it at www.pandptheshow.com with the fancy pause and play you can watch it on your phone, you can follow lists. That list will have all of the characters and the narrator so you can watch it live from the list or you can create your own list.
You also have the option to follow the characters, which allows you to interact with them during the week in-between shows.
Last time we talked you were pretty tight-lipped about the cast. Can you elaborate at all or is all still a big mystery?
HR: I’m still keeping quiet because I still have the philosophy that because this is Twitter I don’t want any specific visual in someones head when they’re thinking about a character. But I can say that the cast is compiled of some really awesome actors from film, television, soaps and some of those really great hilarious people you find on Twitter.
HR: Being and executive producer and director on Venice, through that experience it became important to me to deliver something to the LGBT community, what I believe to be an under-served audience and to tell that kind of story. As a writer I’ve never had the chance to tell that type of story. I, for the most part, wrote very commercial scripts. I have never written myself a gay or lesbian storyline and it was thrilling to be able to do so. The love story between the two women is…to say they are like oil and water is an understatement! They are so different but they do compliment each other in their own strange way. Watching their relationship grow will be a fun experience. It was fun for me to write. They go from being enemies thrown together by some twist of fate to finding one another in the middle of a situation neither one could have predicted. I think the audience will find it fun and entertaining.
Because it’s on Twitter I can do anything I want. I don’t have any budgetary restrictions so I could have them go to the museum gala together with a hundred extras and celebrity guest stars. So it’s been really fun to play around with that relationship and not have any restrictions with it.
I also have a very plot twisty storyline with gay men. It’s this wild love square and that one is really fun. I would say the women are more of a psychodrama but in a good way. The gay male story is more of a thriller with lots of plot twists and mistaken identity. I really like the storyline. I think it’s going to fun to follow as well. And not to leave anyone out, I’ve got some interesting, really cool straight romances as well. This is a soap so I’m putting in the romance! Everyone is having a romance and I’m going to give a wink on that one because there are characters that are in a romance that probably shouldn’t be in a romance and I’m not even going to tell you what I’m talking about!
Such a tease!
HR: I’m leaving no stone unturned.
So everybodys gettin’ some lovin’, huh?
HR: Yes! And like I said it’s just been so fun to use ideas, to use circumstances…just anything that would be difficult to film or simply wouldn’t be done on television or film anyway.
For more information about upcoming episodes, characters and of course the official trailer, visit http://www.pandptheshow.com!
Follow it on Twitter from the beginning: @pandptheshow
Official List: http://twitter.com/pandptheshow/p-and-p-official-list