Thursday, October 3, 2019

SPSU Status Update

If you recall, nearly one year ago I announced the public unveiling of the Second Player Shared Universe (if you don't recall, go here), a multimedia franchise centered around my band, Second Player Score. Well, today, to celebrate the first anniversary of said unveiling, I'm going to provide you with descriptions and status updates on all the projects contained within the SPSU - including some that were formerly top secret - to give you a better understanding of what, exactly, this whole thing is about.
Graphic design by Dave Born
The SPSU currently comprises ten different projects, each designed to stand alone yet still exist within the same continuity. They are connected by Easter eggs and shared references in a manner similar to Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse or the Black Mirror universe. For example, April Hayashi, the star of one of the projects (who was introduced in this particular blog post), is Joel Suzuki's cousin. Or, the Glorified manga appears as an actual comic book in the screenplay for Nobody's Hero. Also, Second Player Score (the band) is either name-dropped or makes a cameo appearance in just about everything a la the late, great Stan Lee. So, here we go:

Fortress Storm Attack
Our ten-song debut album, we also envision this as someday being an anthology series in a manner similar to Love, Death, and Robots (or possibly this), where each episode - to be based on a song from the album - is written and illustrated by a different creator.

Nobody's Hero
Our sophomore record spawned a narrated flash fiction piece, three feature-length screenplays that we're currently shopping around to management and production companies, and a dozen beer recipes - one for each song on the album (except for the last song, which is so long it needed two different recipes). Of the three screenplays, the first is sort of like Deadpool-meets-Spawn, the second is sort of Carrie-meets-Mean Girls, and the third is like Dogma-meets-The Avengers.

Our recently-released third album has an accompanying manga-style comic book series, the first issue of which is now available. The other eleven issues that make up Volume One have been fully scripted and storyboarded and will be entering the formal illustration process soon. We also have a proof-of-concept trailer for an anime-style adaptation of the series that we've been shopping around to management and production companies.

As previously noted in this blog post from August, Four-D is our fourth album, currently still in the writing stage. There is also a related card game for which we've already designed and tested the gameplay, and the accompanying manga-style comic book and anime-style TV show scripts are in the development stage (the concept illustration of the main characters that you see above was drawn by my talented daughter). The basic idea is a mashup of Pokemon, Battle Royale, and Avatar: The Last Airbender: "A grieving grade school student is given the opportunity to be granted a single wish. The catch, however, is that he must win a dangerous contest involving parallel realities and elemental guardians before someone else claims his prize."

As also noted in that post from August, 200BPM is our fifth album that we are writing concurrently with Four-D. The screenplay for the accompanying film - which we envision as being a series of vignettes that you would watch consecutively to form a single movie experience - is in the development stage, and is sort of a cross between Killing Eve and Dexter: "When an artsy serial killer - think Banksy meets Aileen Wuornos - discovers that she has competition, she embarks on an escalating murder spree in an effort to not only outdo her rival but discover their identity as well. Will they end up killing each other, falling in love, or both?"

Whew! Pause for breath.

Okay, now we move on to the non-album-related half of the SPSU, led off by none other than...

The Joel Suzuki Series
I think most of you already know what this one is about. Volume Five, by the way, is currently deep into the rewriting stage, which is coming along nicely.

This is the project that stars Joel's cousin April Hayashi and her best friend, Lydia Sanchez. When I interviewed them earlier this year, the Seattle Mariners were off to a red-hot 13-2 start, prompting Lydia to make the bold prediction that the team would win the World Series this year. Of course, we all know how that turned out, but the question is: why did Lydia feel so confident at the time? Well, it's because of the events of Jinx, a romantic comedy in the vein of Crazy Rich Asians, Always Be My Maybe, and Fever Pitch that we're currently shopping around to management and production companies: "When a die-hard baseball fan discovers that jinxes are real, she seeks out the man who has cursed her favorite team. Now, though, she must choose between her fandom and her growing feelings for him before she loses everything she's ever held dear." (P.S. the Mariners' subsequent epic collapse has provided plenty of fodder for a Jinx sequel, which is currently in development. Also, I asked April and Lydia to do a follow-up interview this month to talk about the collapse, but they declined.)

Hold My Beer
Here's one you've never heard of before! It's a dramedy series that used to be an idea about a guy whose only talent is making good chili (don't ask me where that came from - I honestly don't know) that eventually evolved into its current form after we realized that we know way more about beer than chili. The script for the pilot episode is complete, and the logline reads as such: "After a middle-aged man loses his wife and job, he turns to the one thing he's always been good at: brewing beer. Now, though, he must prove his worth to everyone - especially his curmudgeonly brewmaster father - before his life falls apart even further." This is where all the non-Nobody's Hero beer recipes that we come up with will show up.

The Author
This is actually an idea for a series that I had been kicking around for a while. It's intended to be sort of like James Bond and Doctor Who, both in story concept as well as in the ability to recast the main character every so often, thus keeping the franchise going indefinitely. The basic premise is that an author is given a special pen that can rewrite reality (kind of like Death Note or Scribblenauts) as well as allow them to change identities. The script for the pilot episode is complete, and its logline goes like this: "When a womanizing, alcoholic English professor is given a writing instrument that can essentially script reality, he must learn to use it to take down the bad guys before his own personal demons get the best of him."

Rider Nine
And now we come to the last and latest, but certainly not least, member of the SPSU: Rider Nine, an adaptation of and homage to all the classic Japanese live-action solo superhero (tokusatsu) shows I used to love as a kid. Basically, this would be to Kikaida and Kamen Rider what the Power Rangers are to Gorenja, with a little dash of Miraculous Ladybug thrown in for good measure. Here's the logline: "After a shy middle-schooler's beloved older cousin dies in a tragic accident, she discovers that he was secretly a superhero protecting their city against an evil organization. Now she must take up his mantle and continue his legacy before the evil organization executes their plan for world domination."

So there you have it: the ten main projects that make up the Second Player Shared Universe. On top of that, we also have four short films that have been written and are waiting to be produced, as well as a podcast (called Second Player Speaks) that we recently launched.

But you know what? That's just the music and media quadrant of an even larger overarching pop culture production house that we call the Second Player Syndicate. The other quadrants include ideas for a beverages and brewpub division, a toys and technology division, and, of course, a charitable philanthropic arm. Our goal is to become a lifestyle and entertainment entity that helps make the world a more positive place through the proliferation of pop culture. We aim to inspire, entertain, and enlighten, with our four major points of emphasis being (1) accurate and respectful representation, (2) themes of empathy and acceptance, (3) creating opportunities for new talent, and (4) giving back to the communities that support us. I know it sounds ambitious, but thanks to you, our fans and supporters, we've been able to build a pretty solid foundation so far, and we have no intention of slowing down any time soon.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and keep watching this space for more SPSU updates!

1 comment:

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