Who is Jay Ferguson?
My name is Jay Ferguson and some people refer to me as the creator of the project. I think of myself as the ringleader. I am, very fortunately, surrounded by a group of very talented people. The co-producers of the series are behind many successful television shows such as Odd Job Jack and Project Unplugged. Many of the people who work on the Guidestones team are recent university graduates who are vastly underpaid and terribly overworked, but are passionate about this show and the model we are creating. These people are proving that a group of dedicated people can create something amazing!
Have you accomplished everything with Guidestones that you set out too? If not, what would you still like to accomplish?
My intention was to create a new model that can reach audiences directly. I also wanted to finance as much as possible through brand partners plus create a unique interactive experience that so far does not exist. To date I am extremely happy with the results. I feel like we have done a great job doing all of the above. Plus, since our launch in February, we have been nominated for ten major industry awards across the globe including prestigious European and U.S. based awards. We have also been asked to speak at conferences in New York, Marseille, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Banff, Halifax, Toronto, and Geneva to share our insights into the development of this groundbreaking format. We have also gathered a large audience and group of dedicated fans, but I want to grow that even further. This is what we are focusing on now. Expand, expand, expand. Anybody who sees the show loves it so it’s just a matter of getting the word out.
You’re one of the first web series I’ve seen that’s interactive, have you found it to have a positive impact? How much harder is it to create the extra content/step? Do you think it’s what’s needed to help them become more popular? Do you think it would help with the transition from web to television?
I’m so happy with the reception to the interactivity. People really like it and the great thing is that if you are not an ‘interactive person’ you can just ignore it, watch the story, and your experience will be just as enjoyable. It certainly was a lot of extra work to create. A post-production process that maybe should have taken 6 months ended up taking over a year. It was a tedious process with so many extra steps…integrating the interactive elements into the show itself was really quite involved. It certainly has opened the show up to an audience that otherwise may not have watched. Right now I am experimenting with this interactivity for television so I will let you know how that works out in the near future.
How much research/work is put into making it seem as accurate and realistic as possible? How do you go about figuring it out?
To start with, I spend a lot of time on Google Street View and Wikipedia. In fact, I was feeling bad about using Wikipedia so much that the other day I made a substantial donation. I could not build this series without it. I have to find the locations and as many details as possible so that when I show up to shoot I know the place already. We do not have the money to scout locations in advance. The fact that every location in the series is an actual location that you can visit (either in person or online), makes it more difficult to shoot as well. We can’t fake it like we usually do in this business, for example when Toronto doubles for New York!
Do you have any other projects or ideas you’d like to share/discuss?
It’s really just Season 2 for me right now, with the occasional commercial shoot and a side project creating some content for something called DIRT ON GREEN. It’s a really cool web based series that compares the environmental benefits of different things. For example, one episode compares hand dryers to paper towels and explains which is more environmentally friendly. They really look amazing and I’m very excited to launch them. They should be out in March.
If you could scream 1 thing out to the masses, what would it be?
I WANT YOUR IDEAS FOR GUIDESTONES SEASON 2! HELP ME MAKE IT BETTER!
JOIN THE GUIDESTONES EXPERIENCE!