Referring to “Dirty Work” as a “show” is like calling Fourth Wall Studios a “production company” – they’re crimes of immeasurable reductionism, also much like when people simply label me as a “hot, tasty piece of man-cake.” “HEY, we’re much, much more than that!” is what I’d indignantly exclaim after jumping out of my chair if I actually ever heard someone similarly simplify “Dirty Work,” Fourth Wall Studios and me all in one breath while I also happened to be sitting in a chair. And of course, I’d be right to do that (minus the forceful finger pointing and foaming-at-the-mouth action that I didn’t mention but that would probably occur) –“Dirty Work” is a groundbreaking web series that is less show than experience, and its creator, Fourth Wall Studios, is less production company than super collective of creative visionaries that participate in toy helicopter battles during the work day. And I am of course less hot piece of man-cake than man eating piece of hot cake.
For those that haven’t been privy to it, “Dirty Work” is a comedic web series about a crew of nighttime crime scene cleaners. Besides being professionally produced, well-acted, beautifully shot and the whole TV-quality in a web series nine yards, it’s most groundbreaking in the way it attempts to immerse its audience in an engaging and natural way. The series attempts to transform passive viewers into active participants through transmedia elements like text messages, phone calls and emails from its characters all while the viewer is watching the show. For those qualities and more, “Dirty Work” and Fourth Wall Studios, the leader in online interactive entertainment programming, just won the Emmy for “Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media.”
NMR was able to take a full deluxe tour of Fourth Wall Studios, and I had the opportunity to sit down with its three founders, CEO Jim Stewartson (aka the business and big picture guy), CCO Elan Lee (aka the ex hacker and alternate reality game pioneer) and Head Writer Sean Stewart (aka the wordsmith and man I lobbied to adopt me as a son). Although each founder is very different in apparent ways, they’ve found a perfect balance together — watch the video below to see what Fourth Wall Studios is all about in their own words: