Sonic Realms

Mission Statement

The following was written by Thor Tempestas, the “Woman behind the Man behind Sonic Realms”

This is a rough draft that will be refined. For now, its a casual announcement to let you know the ideology behind Sonic Realms.

Greetings Adventure Seeker, Audio Enthusiast, role player; thank you for seeking out the tale behind the growing project we’ve lovingly entitled Sonic Realms

 

Sonic Realms was created to address three huge societal issues Paul sensed in our world: In the realm of entertainment, thoughtfully crafted, creative, risky endeavours had been replaced by guaranteed, money-making formulaic reboots. In the realm of business, corporate CEOs and middlemen created an environment wherein they can take most of the money earned from a cooperative venture while doing, proportionately, the least work. And in the personal realm, the individual has begun to feel, as the norm, powerless, overlooked, and insignificant.

 

What if Paul could create a way to fix these inequities, improve the realms of entertainment, business, and the individual? What if he could simply propose something new, something different? Instead of fighting to correct an old paradigm, introduce a new, better one instead? Thus, the purpose of the Sonic Realms was conceived..

 

The goal of Sonic Realms is to usher in a new form of engaging storytelling entertainment, while simultaneously pioneering a new business model that focuses on hierarchical equity. We believe Sonic Realms exists to facilitate the transition from the gamers’ imagination to immersive reality. To help fantastic stories be heard and enjoyed, the envisioned events fully experienced by avid gamers and simple podcast seekers alike. All while simultaneously pioneering a new business model that focuses on equity, and is secured by community esteem and involvement.

Shitty Movies

So, as we’ve proposed, there is something that could be improved in the world of movies today. More and more, studios wish to bank on formulaic reboots, success-then-sequels, and big-name celebrity razzledazzle, instead of wholly original content and carefully crafted storytelling. Movies are becoming less guided by artistic principles and imagination, and more by the bottom line: will it make money? What elements do we need to include in this movie to guarantee we’ll make a return on our investment? Can we redo a past success? In this way, financial return and thoroughly-researched formulas become the guiding force behind movies, often restricting and handicapping the expression and options of the creators. They become products-designed to make money, rather than projects created to stir emotion and stoke imagination and thought.

 

 

Our modern “Heroes” possess natural good looks, and triumph easily over obstacles, alienating us even as the red velvet rope separates the audience further from the creatives behind the movie, and the silver screen safely separates the viewer as if watching someone through a window. Instead of connection created by engagement, audiences are “hooked” by cheats like emotion-manipulating music, sudden, high-volume shock sounds, or the aforementioned ‘good looks,’ as audiences naturally are engaged automatically by attractive faces and bodies. In a world where the cost of visual fx can be half of the movie’s budget, the effects are just another cheat, used to placate, more than inspire, and pump up marketing with “exciting trailers.”

 

What would it take to breathe new life into the entertainment world? What form of entertainment could enmesh itself within the technologies of today, and add elements of uncertainty and chance into a more dynamic, real, immersive fantasy experience?

 

We’d like to find out. The Vision and Mission of Sonic Realms is to create a thriving community of Role Players, Story Tellers, Audio Drama enthusiasts and movie fans. Everyone would bring their own strengths to the table, combine their efforts, and bring forth a new Genre of entertainment. An interactive universe of realms listeners can not only immerse themselves in, but participate in and be woven into the tapestry of for others to enjoy. Eventually, we seek to upend the stale movie industry with a new, more volatile and dramatic formula: The freedom for the characters we watch to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences of their actions.

 

Now, imagine if you could step outside of time and reality to view a multiverse of realms; Limitless versions of the past, present, and future laid out before you. You could choose to incarnate in any one of these realities, in a body of your choosing, and be temporarily bound to the physics and rules of that realm, just to experience what life would be like. You would find yourself in the middle of living a life, complete with memories, traits, and possessions. Where you go from there is entirely up to you. This concept is at the heart of Role Playing Games. 

 

The stories that are generated in this fashion are very different than traditional stories, yet have a similar feel. These stories have an unpredictable nature because they are co-authored by chance; a roll of the dice. Similar to normal life, sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. This is at the heart of what makes sonic realms different than anything else. 

 

Sonic Realms’ chief goal is to work with listeners’ imaginations to bring these stories and realities to life. Unlike a traditional three-act structure with a predictable ending in mind, you would simply be listening in to beings living their lives in fantastic locations, making decisions and dealing with consequences in real time, sometimes risking life and limb. 

 

We would like to give anyone the chance to be a main character, a hero, someone important, because all too often we feel unimportant, powerless, and overlooked. We would like to give people a chance to step outside of their own story and into another one, if only for a little while. We would then like to offer that story to the world for anyone to enjoy and live through.

 

These are our core tenets:

We exist to facilitate the transition of stories created in games from imagination to reality, to help fantastic stories be heard and enjoyed.

We exist to make stories developed in role playing games as immersive and real as possible, making the perceived events feel almost like memories with comrades.

We exist to enhance the collected stories from role play games into something all can enjoy and experience, no matter their background.

 

Financial and Societal Inequity

So, on to another issue. Do you know who recorded, mixed, and mastered Thriller, the greatest selling album of all time? Probably not (it was a team effort between Matt Forger Humberto Gatica, Bernie Grundman, and a handful of assistant engineers. I’m sure their names will be forgotten by the end of this paragraph.) Even though they worked for hundreds of hours, and touched the record with their own mix of magic, art, and acoustical science, bringing the music to life for the masses, they will likely be forgotten forever. What they did isn’t sexy to watch. Yet it was vital to maximise the emotional impact of the album. They weren’t celebrated the way they deserved.

 

In the current mode of business, only the top 1% of musicians and studio professionals see financial returns large enough to live off of, with the majority of the profits going to middlemen, executives and record labels. Take that in, because it’s a problem society-wide. Facilitators take a huge cut from the profits made by those that produce the “product.” The majority of the world’s artists are left to scramble for scraps, even though they work just as hard, perhaps harder, than millionaire radio stars and producers. Studio engineers receive less recognition for their contributions… And perhaps even less money. The pyramid wouldn’t be possible without it’s base, yet the pay structure seems to say the opposite, with those at the very tip getting the foundation’s worth of reward. It’s upside-down, and threatens to topple. We see that in the current events of our day.

 

 

Even though profits are higher than they’ve ever been, it’s not the average employee who has benefitted. In fact, the disparity has grown to an unacceptable level. The working base often receive just enough to afford to come to work the next day, even if that security is a shaky one, cobbled together by two, sometimes three different jobs or “hustles,” while watching the administrators, bosses, or CEOs live a life of luxury and abundance, likely never even able to spend their vast fortunes in their own lifetime even if they tried. Many of us don’t know, couldn’t begin to fathom, what that kind of security and comfort feels like. We are tired of unfair greed enabling. We are tired of offshore accounts. We are tired of cheating through loopholes. This inequity is on the rise with no foreseeable way to stop it…

So, we tell you, Great Listener, Great Changer of the Future– Outside of these fantastic Realms is a story of limitations, restrictions, scarcity, and inequality; the story of  unchecked capitalism. A world dominated by cold calculations of debts and assets, ruled by the bottom line of earnings. A  terrible tale of woe: without earnings the whole thing could not survive; the sad truth is, Sonic Realms, as most things, is intertwined with the reality of finances for now…. But in the future…?

 

Let’s be a part of a better story; the story of the Beginning of a Better Way. We hope to make the story behind the rise of Sonic Realms a triumph of imagination in a world dominated by cold calculations of debt and assets. We would like to be an entertainment company that encourages freedom of expression rather than the bottom line of earnings. 

The Vision and Mission of Sonic Realms is to create a thriving community of Role Players, Story Tellers, Audio Drama enthusiasts and movie fans. Everyone would bring their own strengths to the table, combine their efforts, and bring forth a new Genre of entertainment. An interactive universe of realms listeners can not only immerse themselves in, but participate in, and be woven into the tapestry of, for others to enjoy. To create the freedom for the characters we watch to make their own decisions and deal with the consequences of their actions. As we seek to upend the stale movie industry, which seems to only be interested in baking on formulaic reboots and sequels, with a new, more volatile and dramatic formula, we seek to upend the “inverted pyramid” structure of pay and admiration. 

 

What if there was a different kind of company that used a different value structure? Not an inverted pyramid, where profit shares reflect a skewed value of labor burden, but more of a network of people where resources go to where they’re needed? Not only that, but what if the process could benefit everyone, and even be kind of fun to do? Where creativity is rewarded and greed is impossible?

 

We want to do just that. Sonic Realms’ goal is to usher in a new form of storytelling entertainment, while simultaneously pioneering a new business model that focuses on equity, and ensures success by fostering a caring community. One that ensures reimbursement to, and appreciation of, actors and supporting cast and crew.

 

Here’s how the completed vision would work: Role Players would pay a small fee to submit recordings of their games to Sonic Realms. In return, Sonic Realms would turn those recordings into immersive movie-like audio dramas, and post them on it’s netflix style website for all to enjoy. If the story generates a certain threshold of income, the players would be compensated for their work, and be able to listen to and enjoy their adventure-made-movie having paid nothing. This would allow them to continue to play the game to submit more recordings to Sonic Realms. The players, the listeners, and Sonic Realms all benefit from this arrangement. 

 

The CEO and higher ups of Sonic Realms would only be allowed to make a certain multiple of money greater than the sum of all the employees beneath them. So if the CEO wants a raise, they must, in turn, give everyone else raises first. If they can’t raise wages, the extra money is funneled back into the business for advertising, equipment, licensing, distributing, and other costs. And hey, beyond that, should we make enough, why not branch out and help resculpt the landscape of business, as a whole? A company can dream, right?

This turns the dominant model on its head… like a network instead of a pyramid. The CEO would be nothing without the workers, and they’re all in it together. We’ve seen things like this succeed before. It’s a popular model in Japan that CEO’s make 16 times the average worker (That’s ⅙ of what American CEO’s pull in), and Dan Price, of Gravity Payments, is pioneering a new, more transparent and fair business model here in the US.

The Slow Defeat Of The Individual 

Ok, as we covered before, here’s the test: Do you remember who recorded, mixed, and mastered Thriller, that greatest selling album of all time? Just to honor them, again, it was a team effort between Matt Forger Humberto Gatica, Bernie Grundman, and a handful of assistant engineers. Had you forgotten? It’s ok. They’re used to it. Even though they worked for hundreds of hours, and touched the record with their own mix of magic, art, and acoustical science bringing the music to life for the masses, they will likely be forgotten forever. Remember, Only that top 1% of musicians and studio professionals see those accolades, and more importantly, those huge financial returns.

 

This unfair structure– poorly paid armies of workers supporting the 1% getting disproportionately wealthy– is a model that pervades every sector of business. Many people find themselves in a job they don’t like. They watch the clock and wait to escape, collecting their paychecks on the way out. It’s stressful, takes a lot of time, and often the pay doesn’t reflect the amount of effort that was put in. It doesn’t seem fair to the person losing hours of their lives performing the actual hard labor. This inequality is on the rise, and there’s seemingly nothing stopping it. The vast majority of the population gets screwed over… no one likes it, yet it continues… All too often in life we feel unimportant, powerless, and overlooked. 

We want to change that.

We look for any escape from these feelings, and often find that in media. But it could be more fulfilling. We could be involved, feel part of something bigger, abolish that red velvet rope separating the audience from the “Stars.” We no longer have to just watch or listen to our entertainment from afar… we can BE a part of it. We absolutely cannot stress how much we love this collaborative system where everyone has an equal chance to shine! The worlds become richer and more diverse (and thus more interesting) as more and more people choose to participate.

We want to usher in a new form of storytelling entertainment, while simultaneously pioneering a new business model that focuses on equity and ensures success by fostering a caring community. One that ensures reimbursement to, and appreciation of, actors and supporting cast and crew. When employees are paid fairly and can see the results of their efforts having a direct impact on their paycheck, they will be more motivated to do the best they can, as opposed to just doing enough to not get fired. People will want to stay at the company, which will allow them to be more proficient at what they do and lower turnover costs. 

Unlike the red velvet rope separating the audience from movies, this platform would allow for the audience to participate in the storytelling, from being a main character, to being a random passerby. If someone chooses to participate, they will be woven into the tapestry, adding their own unique signature. 

We would like to give anyone the chance to be a main character, a hero, someone important, because all too often in life we feel unimportant, powerless, and overlooked. We would like to give people a chance to step outside of their own story and into another one, if only for a little while. We would then like to offer that story to the world for anyone to enjoy and live through. 

 

We exist to facilitate the transition of stories created in games from imagination to reality, to help fantastic stories be heard and enjoyed.

We exist to make stories developed in role playing games as immersive and real as possible, making the perceived events feel almost like memories with comrades.

We exist to enhance the collected stories from role play games into something all can enjoy and experience, no matter their background.

The Ethereal Nature of Intellectual Property

Ok, there’s one more important caveat Paul agonises over: Intellectual Property.

By this time, it is a foregone conclusion that music and audio, in fact media of any kind, can and will be easily stolen, copied, and distributed. 

It’s easier than ever to steal, copy, and distribute songs and audio. The record industry can rely less and less on sales of songs and must rely more and more on tours, merchandise, and live performances. The work of Sonic Realms can also be effortlessly stolen and distributed. 

But, we hope to be inherently different. We hope to foster a desire to pay creators what they are worth.

We believe listeners’ knowledge of what we’re trying to do with our business will encourage them to support this model and participate in it, rather than take without giving anything in return. More and more people are aware that they are voting for the reality they want to live in with their dollars, and most people want to see scrappy underdogs succeed and bloated fatcats fall upon their own swords.

We cannot stress enough–The means to make this happen would be a story in and of itself. Outside of these fantastic realms is a story of limitations, restrictions, scarcity, unfulfillment, and inequality: The story of unrestricted capitalism. We hope to make the story behind the rise of Sonic Realms a triumph of imagination in a world dominated by cold calculations of debt and assets. We would like to be an entertainment company that encourages freedom of expression rather than the bottom line of earnings. Join us, Great Listener, Fellow Adventurer, to help change the world!