Hounded across a devastated world, different from our own, by a fanatical religious sect, Riese, a beautiful young heroine struggling to survive, attempts to piece together the nebulous pieces of her past. On this war-torn world, humanity has lost hope, devolving to a state of desperation and despair oppressed by the Sect and its barbaric practices. The once powerful and benevolent kingdom, Eleysia, is now ruled by the Sect’s power-hungry puppet, Amara, who is responsible for much of the world’s destruction. As she continues her journey to the kingdom of Eleysia, Riese stands as a singular beacon of hope, perhaps humanity’s last hope.
Riese is an ambition sci-fi fantasy series debuting in October from co-creators Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff. The series is filmed using the Red One camera system, for those unfamiliar with the setup, ask a film geek then watch them drool. The result is a beautifully filmed series with production values beyond what is typically seen in a web series. When asked why they decided to go the web series route rather than pursue a television deal, Ryan Copple replied, “…[we] realized we could put together a great television show, but if a network didn't consider it a good fit for their schedule, it would end up on a shelf somewhere. By broadcasting it on the web, we essentially cut out the middle man and can deliver content directly to the fans themselves.”
Helping to give the series its unique visual appeal are the various steampunk inspired elements. Steampunk is a relatively new sub-genre of sci-fi fantasy where modern technology developed earlier or differently from our own technology. Set in an alternate world, automobiles do not exist; however, from the production video there do appear to be large balloon-powered air ships. Further adding to the fantasy mood, are the costumes and the woodland setting. Also, did I mention, Riese’s traveling companion is a large wolf?
The series stars the stunning Christine Chatelain (Sanctuary) as the title character. Riese’s pursuer, the fanatical and nearly inhuman Herrick, is portrayed by Ben Cotton who audiences might remember as Shane, one of the few characters to grow a pair while facing serial-killer John Wakefield on Harper’s Island. A pair of sci-fi veterans Sharon Taylor (Stargate: Atlantis, Smallville) as Amara and Patrick Gilmore (Stargate: Universe) as Trennan round out the impressive cast.
The producers plan to release the series bi-weekly on their website. Five episodes will comprise each chapter, and while the episodes will be serialized, the chapters will be self-contained. The producers also plan to make HD versions available for a price, which with the effort that went into producing the series, HD may be the best way to experience the series. Also, Ryan said that downloaded episodes most likely will include additional content. For more information on the series, check out the official website, follow them on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.