Late last night, Ryan Copple and Kaleena Kiff, the producers of Riese, announced that due to an agreement with Fireworks, the UK based digital distribution arm of ContentFilms, all current episodes of the series were being pulled from the Internet while Fireworks negotiates various deals on behalf of the series. One question which remained from the announcement was how this decision would impact the release of future episodes. Today I had the opportunity to talk to Ryan Copple who confirmed that for the time being the release of new episodes is on hold.
Clearly, this was not an easy decision for the producers to make. In the end, according to Ryan, it came down to a question of sustainability. Riese is a very expensive, independently financed show. The producers decided that fans would rather see a completed story with a, hopefully, short hiatus rather than an incomplete one. In order to ensure that they would be able to complete the story they needed to secure additional financing. The last thing an audience wants is to watch three-fourths of a compelling story.
As one online commentator stated, “…this kind of shoots the series in the foot here, stranding the core online fan community that helped garner the series its early support.” Nevertheless, so far fan reaction has been largely supportive, even if the announcement’s timing could not have been worse. Riese had recently started its second chapter, a chapter which promised a significant progression in the story and boasts several high profile cast additions. Riese is not the first web series to take an extended production break. Hopefully, the hiatus will be short and the producers will garner the necessary funding needed to complete the series.