Harry Potter and Optimus Prime: A Little Something On The Side

Hey everyone, Flobo here!

Today, I want to talk to you about something pretty cool. RPGs and Amusement Park rides! Wheeee! OK, more specifically:

Highway Patrol is getting out of hand…

This weekend I had the privilege to experience the Transformers: The Ride 3D twice over at Universal Studios Hollywood. While the small park sometimes hardly justifies having an annual pass, in this case it was the credential needed to grant you access. Now, I was NEVER a fan of the films. I always thought they were loud, overlong car wrecks with scores of inconsequential characters (Tyrese, anyone?). HOWEVER, the ride is a different beast altogether. I got to experience the ride both alone and with friends and let me tell you, the ride is AMAZING.

It’s like if The Simpsons Ride/Back To The Future Ride made sweet, sweet love to Disney’s Indiana Jones Ride and the baby came out wearing 3D glasses!

Here’s where it got interesting. Since I had such a good time on the ride, I actually had the desire to go back and give the movies a SECOND CHANCE.  Believe me, if you knew how much I disliked the movies, you’ll know that is a monumental feat. It got me thinking, sometimes supplemental material can help you with your main works. Supplemental material, whether it be a “free chapter” of your book, or  preview sketches, or exhibitions can do wonders to get those fringe people to engage with your brand.

The pre-ride “queue” has you going through a bunker at N.E.S.T., which is like the film’s in-world military branch. I now have a renewed interest in seeing the films to see how accurate the queue was in comparison to the film’s production design. I found this fascinating.

Oh, and if you think you have to develop a theme park ride to get people to check your work out as an author/poet/artist/ let me commend you on thinking big, but it’s unnecessary. Let me tell you about another franchise I skipped:

“Harry Potter” is one of the most successful franchises of all time. The stories, revolving around a wizard to be living in a world where magic is not only the norm, but taught and encouraged, the books and films have made literal billions of dollars  worldwide. My mom (bless her heart) gave me the first book as a child to read and I for the life of me could not get into them. I have no idea why, but it went over my head. Anyway, flash forward a couple of years and we now have:

Flobomore is coming soon.

Pottermore, a free online game based in the Harry Potter universe just recently opened the door to the general public “muggles” a couple of weeks ago. The game allows you to go through the books as if you were Harry Potter while picking up new information about them along the way. Admittedly it’s a clever way to release more material about the books instead of just releasing another volume (which may seem like a money-grab stunt) and making it into a “game” helps people who were intimidated by the page counts of some of the books (like yours truly) actually step up and give it a crack. I have no idea what’s going on in the game at the time of this writing, save for the fact the “Sorting Hat” says I’m in the House of Ravenclaw.

Good, because I hate those Gryffindor wusses…

Anyway, with “Pottermore”, it makes me kind of upset that I walked around the mountain instead of climbing it when it came to experiencing the books. Will I go back and try to now? Who knows? Although I give the creators props of putting that seed of regret in my head where there previously wasn’t one. Kudos.

Supplemental material can enhance or drum up interest for an upcoming (or undervalued) work. Try some different things and see if your material benefits from them.

–Flobo

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