I Made America–a project with great fun potential

I Made AmericaThere’s a new trans­me­dia project out there called “I Made Amer­ica.” The premise is this: six of our Found­ing Fathers have been kid­napped and trans­ported to modern-day Amer­ica by a fic­tional group called “ARFF” to be used as polit­i­cal props for the 2012 elec­tion. Hilar­ity (pre­sum­ably) ensues.

My take? The site is well thought-out, and well-photographed. Also, the cos­tum­ing and pro­duc­tion val­ues in the videos are excel­lent. Not so much on board with the story, though. One major dis­ap­point­ment of mine is the glar­ing need for a bet­ter copy­ed­i­tor for their prod­uct: “A well rep­utable lawyer and pub­lic fig­ure as myself?”–one would guess that John Adams had a bet­ter grasp of gram­mar than that. Espe­cially when deal­ing with peo­ple of such repute as the Found­ing Fathers, good-quality writ­ing is a must. I was pulled right out of the vir­tual world sev­eral times by poor writ­ing and gram­mat­i­cal errors.

I had the same prob­lem with the videos–each “Father” has a per­son­al­ity that appears to be more dri­ven by the actor play­ing him than by any real­is­tic recre­ation. Not that I’m really that much of a stick­ler (this is com­edy, after all), but in this case I think it would have been far fun­nier to see how hor­ri­fied these men are by what we’ve done to their nation, than to have them join in the debauch­ery, doing keg stands dur­ing the first week of episodes.

All-in-all, the project really intrigues me, but the actu­al­ity of it leaves me cold. There is so much fun to be had with this idea (which is bril­liant), but it comes off as a quickie skit pro­duced by an improv com­pany. That won’t keep anyone’s atten­tion for very long. For an under­tak­ing of this mag­ni­tude, I would have liked to have  seen a bit more research, so that an audi­ence actu­ally gets really sucked into the story. What I’ve seen so far is a string of ade­quately writ­ten sketches filled with sopho­moric humor, tied together by con­trived hooks.

I think I’m more dis­ap­pointed in the “almost great”-ness than I would be if it just sucked outright.

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