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How Noob went from an amateur web series to a record-breaking crowdfunded saga

  • Bibliophile

You may have already heard of the French web series and success story: three movies, a European crowdfunding record and 681 046€ collected.

Our trio of unlikely heroes: Gaea, Bandaid and OmegaZell

For the newbies, here’s a little reminder:

What is Noob? A six-season web series, based on a MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) universe

Who are these guys? A Toulon-based group of unknown but loveable buddies, gathered around Fabien Fournier.

Where are they located? On the Internet. The web series started on Youtube.

So what’s this all about? The web series is pretty much structured like a RPG game: in the world of Olydri (you won’t find it on a map!), the Noob guild tries very hard to gain some experience and level-up in the game. As you might’ve guessed, this isn’t the most smashing guild you’ll find in Olydri.

More importantly, Noob is a brand-new, unique universe created by Fabien Fournier and friends. Complex levels, original characters, diverse worlds with their own geography, language, fauna and flora, astronomy, all gathered to build an authentic, independent universe.

But the thing that made Noob really different was its rapid evolution to a transmedia franchise. Novels, comics, goodies were launched to enable auto-funding, a key-element in the web series independence.

After six seasons and 8 years of intensive production, Noob has built a strong, faithful fanbase of more than 262k followers on Facebook and 273k on Youtube. So, why did it work? Quality content, of course. But more than that, an overall feeling of authenticity. “The audience can feel that the show was made by real fantasy fans, not opportunists who wanted to snatch the geek community”, Anne-Laure Jarnet (who plays Gaea in the web series) says.

Being the only ones on the French Youtube who offered this kind of content to the gaming community, Noob benefited from rapid success. Yet, the Noob team deplores the lack of fantasy universes in the French audiovisual sector. “You can’t find science-fiction or heroic fantasy content in France. What little we do have available, comes from abroad. No French producer is willing to take the risk, whereas in the UK, they put the spotlight on this universe with much lower budgets than in the States. We simply don’t do it in France, even though we had Jules Verne and other visionary authors. We could’ve done amazing adaptations. We have a great heritage and we’re falling behind.”

So, what’s Noob been up to?With a groundbreaking success on their Ulule campaign, the movie turned into an epic trilogy. February 2017, the grand finale took place at the Grand Rex, a huge movie theater in the center of Paris, with the premiere of the last movie – gathering more than 2700 fans!

In September 2014, Noob won the award for Best International Web Series in Los Angeles at the Streamy Awards show.

Yet, breaking crowdfunding records doesn’t come without hard work: more than 13.000 backers to manage, hundreds of rewards to send, 1000€ contributors to invite on the shooting set…

But the Noob team is as enthusiastic as ever. “In the future, we might try to launch another movie with a semi-professional crew and the Neogicia franchise, a Noob spin-off”, says Fabien. And despite their success and the many opportunities coming with it, they don’t plan on leaving the Internet any time soon. “We’re getting more professional, says Fabien, but we’ll always offer Internet-based content. Maybe, one day, we’ll make another movie, but it’s only because we’ve been volunteers for so long.” Whatever happens, stay tuned with Noob – on your computer.

 

 

 

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