Entertainment

Open casting call for fantasy web series World of Chaldea

Posted July 27

The World of Chaldea is a transmedia graphic novel series currently in production by Chaldea LLC. It is themed within the world of high fantasy with traditional creatures such as humans, elves, halflings, vampires and mermaids.

Because of the availability of smart devices and streaming digital media, Chaldea offers a new way to experience graphic novels. The web series will blend illustrations, music, sound effects and live-action film into a single cohesive narrative.

"I like to say that fantasy is simply a window-dressing, like downloading a 'Game of Thrones' cover for your iPhone," said Peter Adkinson, Cheldea's CEO. "We love fantasy, but story and characters are the most important." The company's artists are creating all kinds of characters to populate the new world, and these characters will show up at various times within the tale's story-lines.

The supporting characters in the novels need names, faces and descriptions in order to come to life, so Chaldea is looking for fans of the series to get involved. Fans can become characters in the graphic novel. Those who want to participate should take two photos of themselves in costume. One shot should be a full body shot and one a medium shot of the upper torso and face.

"How much fun would it be to see yourself as a comic book character in a web series?" said Adkinson. "There is no need to spend scads of money. Toys can stand in for weapons. Pots and pans can become armor. Be creative!"

Chaldea is based on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that has been running for over 30 years and has traditional fantasy roots. It is a world with dragons, elves, demons and creatures. It has been mixed with real-world places and times in history, like ancient Rome and Babylon.

"I’m a lover of history, so most of our human cultures are inspired by some real-world place and time, and may even have real-world names or names that hint at it," said Adkinson. "Chaldea’s Akkadia is inspired by real-world Neo-Babylon, 7th century B.C., except it’s female dominated; Hesse is inspired by 13th century Rhineland; Ta Shemau by ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom and so on."

Once fans have taken a couple of photos, they can post them to social media with the hashtags #WorldofChaldea and #PartOfThePicture. Submissions can also be given through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Participants should be aware that the World of Chaldea will have a fair amount of adult themes and situations.

If a fan's photo is chosen, it will be transformed by Chaldea's artists into a custom character and immortalized forever in the World of Chaldea graphic pages. The submission period started June 21 and will end Sept. 15. All photos must be in by 12 p.m. on Sept. 15.

Adkinson is also the director and executive producer of the project. In the past, he created a company that fantasy gaming fans would know called Wizards of the Coast. He has a lot to do with the proliferation of the games Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons. We had a chance to catch up with him and ask him some questions.

What would you say was your first introduction to fantasy gaming?

Tolkien. My cousin let me borrow "The Hobbit," and I read it in a day. I was already a war gamer, having grown up playing them with my father. But "The Hobbit" made me a fantasy fan. The next time I was in a game store — at age 17 in 1978 — instead of buying a war game called The Atlantic Wall I grabbed a Dungeons & Dragons blue box set, purely on instinct, because it had a dragon on the cover. That’s the moment. That’s the threshold that, once crossed, the world was never the same.

What type of setting is the World of Chaldea? Pure fantasy? Steam punk? Tech fantasy?

I’d say it’s pretty traditional fantasy in terms of the races, which are mostly humans, halflings, elves, dwarves and gnomes. On the darker side the world will contain orcs, undead, dragons and, well, evil versions of the prior. Also, the setting is fairly epic. The gods aren’t old and nearly forgotten — they are young, active and arrogant.

Is there magic? How does the magic system work?

There are many ways to practice magic, all of which will feel familiar to a fan of fantasy. Some examples: shamans cast magic by tapping into the power of spirits, like in Burning Wheel; mediums summon dead souls to possess the medium and give it teachings, but often demand some service in return; druids tap into the magic of nature; alchemists study the true nature of natural, non-living elements, and others, like necromancers, illusionists and conjurors do pretty much what their names imply.

Astrology is a big deal. Ships use it to navigate The Great Sea, and the constellations in the sky are actually a race of spirits called the Anumians. Ships that sail the sea use astrologers, not navigators.

How did the idea develop to do a motion comic?

Budget. We would have loved to have done this all in a combination of live action and special effects. But that’s just too expensive. And our story is an epic one, on this we could not compromise. This reality forced us to be innovative, and we came up with an interesting blend of live action and comic book art with voice over, sound effects and musical scoring.

Have motion comics and graphic novels always been a passion or is this something that developed in recent years?

I’ve always been a casual fan of comics, especially Thor and Preacher. But my creative partner, Steve Conard, has been a big Marvel nut for decades.

What are some of the reasons a person would want to respond to the Chaldea casting call?

Why wouldn’t you? Ha! It’s super easy, just send us photos.

If I am accepted and a character is created in my image, do I get paid? Is this a volunteer position for bragging rights?

No, you won’t get paid. I wouldn’t use the word “volunteer” as that sounds like work. There’s no work required. Just send in your picture. Yeah, this would be for bragging rights!

What are you most excited about regarding the world of Chaldea comic series?

The story and characters. I love fantasy, of course, but the most important thing is that the story is good.

Additional details about the casting call can be found at the World of Chaldea website.

Email: rmorgenegg@deseretnews.com

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