NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL LAUNCHES AMBITIOUS SECOND-SCREEN EXPERIENCE FOR "KILLING JESUS":
Three-Hour Television Event, Based on Best-Selling Book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
and Produced by Scott Free Productions, to Premiere Globally on National Geographic Channel
on Palm Sunday, March 29, at 8 PM ET/PT
(Washington, D.C. - March 10, 2015) National Geographic Channel today launched the second-screen experience for the upcoming three-hour television event KILLING JESUS, one of the network's most ambitious digital undertakings ever. Available now at natgeotv.com/killingjesus, and designed in collaboration with digital agency Mullen, the site builds on the story depicted in the film by providing an interactive, multi-point-of-view experience.
The site - created by the Emmy-winning team behind the network's Live From Space digital experience, the Emmy-nominated team behind Killing Lincoln and the multi-Cannes-Lion-winning team behind Killing Kennedy - is designed to give viewers an even deeper dive into the time of Jesus from three key perspectives, each symbolized by a different crown: the crown of thorns representing Jesus and his followers, a crown of laurels representing the Romans led by Pontius Pilate and a headdress representing the Jewish high priests of the time.
The site is broken into eight chapters, reflecting pivotal moments in the story of Jesus: The Birth, Boy or Messiah?, The Prophet, The Tables Turn, A Challenger, The Last Supper, Jesus on Trial and Crucifixion. Each chapter contains three or four key scenes that can be explored through the three different viewpoints.
"Giving the audience the power to transition between these key perspectives in each chapter provides a 360-degree view of Jesus' story, reflecting the film's approach of exploring the political, social and economic forces that led to the crucifixion," said Matt Zymet, executive director of digital media and digital content for NGC.
Each of the more than 72 interactive scenes is brought to life through 2-D photo-realistic original illustrations created by French illustrator Bastien Lecouffe DeHarme that capture the faces, scenery and costumes from the film, immersive soundscapes and cast voice-overs. The scrollable panoramas were created with 3,080 illustrated images and animated with 14,364 hand-placed keyframes. As users scroll through the chapters, they can explore expanded timelines that provide fascinating archaeological, historical and sociological bonus content, allowing an even deeper dive into the story.
The site contains a whopping 290,094 lines of code, which is four times the size of NGC and Mullen's previous two sites together, Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy, combined. The audio for the site is composed of 184 custom soundfx, music tracks and voice-overs.
"We were looking to tell the story in a way that allowed people to see it from several different vantage points," said Allison Rude, VP, associate creative director at Mullen. "Our war room on this project resembled the wall from 'A Beautiful Mind' as we pieced together historical fact, religious scripture and custom illustrations to provide three unique perspectives in the most innovative way possible."
A video trailer for the site is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xynvgqJjKpQ&sns=em.
Supplementing the second-screen experience is a robust KILLING JESUS film microsite featuring original articles on a variety of topics including Jesus in popular culture, the missing years of his life and what happened to the apostles; behind-the-scenes video clips; extensive photo galleries; deleted movie scenes; and cast Q&As.
Additionally, the network blog is showcasing a 40-day campaign called "Killing With Kindness," inspired by what is known historically as Jesus' encouragement of people to be kind to each other. Every day through April 5, NGC is putting a daily spotlight on organizations that help to spread kindness in the world. These organizations can be found online at http://tvblogs.nationalgeographic.com/ or on social media using #killingwithkindness.
KILLING JESUS, a three-hour television event, will premiere on Palm Sunday, March 29, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel in the United States, globally in 171 countries in 45 languages and in Spanish on Nat Geo Mundo. Produced by Scott Free Productions and based on the New York Times best-selling book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, the film dives deep inside the historical story of how Jesus' message and preachings led to his persecution and execution by a group of conspirators who saw him as a threat to their power.
KILLING JESUS is produced by Scott Free Productions. For Scott Free, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker and Mary Lisio are executive producers along with Bill O'Reilly and Teri Weinberg. For National Geographic Channel, executive producers are Charlie Parsons and Heather Moran. Tim Pastore is NGC president of original programming and production.
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About National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in over 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.