Home » The Wonderful World of ARGs Part 3: A Conversation With an ARG creator

The Wonderful World of ARGs Part 3: A Conversation With an ARG creator

Adam Rosner

*This article was written last year and without the author’s awareness of the accusations currently surrounding the person being interviewed. This article has been slightly edited, as the author did admire the interviewee for his work, so that wording has been changed, but the questions have been left untouched as I cannot change what I said during the interview. This author stands with survivors of sexual violence*

Adam Rosner created TribeTwelve, an alternate reality game (ARG) that centers on Noah Maxwell (and who is played by Adam Rosner), an incredibly unlucky college student who falls down a rabbit hole when investigating the circumstances behind his cousin’s suicide. What starts as a slow going investigation with many pieces of the puzzle and little answers, quickly becomes a nightmare where Noah is stalked by many other worldly creatures (including Slenderman) who aim to drive him to submission through breaking him down mentally. This prolific ARG has spanned over the last 10 years and is still going strong over multiple platforms, constant twists and turns, with much of the success stemming from story telling and  audience interaction.

Click here to catch up with Part 1 and Part 2

Because of his work on TribeTwelve I wanted to interview Adam Rosner and he  answered my questions about his experience of working on TribeTwelve, his thoughts on other ARGs, and the connection between his craft and his professional life.

After the formal questions of the interview, Adam informed me of some disturbing practices of HBO during their production of Beware the Slenderman  that include artistic theft of TribeTwelve, as well as possibly inciting an unjust moral panic concerning the Slenderman as it relates to the real stabbing of Payton Leutner in 2014.

WickedHorror (WH): I just want to let you know that when I messaged you it was sort of a long shot, so I am so glad that you messaged me to talk with me. Again, thank you so much. So basically with my set of articles, there’s three of them and you’re the last one to kind of round it out. I’m really introducing people to ARGs who don’t normally get to run into them. While the first one is an introduction and the second one is an interview with NightMind about investigating and how has he seen, um, successes and failures, that sort of thing. The intent with this last part was to get your perspective as someone who actually created one [ARG] and all the work, you know, your project’s several years old now. Especially since, um, it’s separate from your professional life, which I find fascinating. You’ve mentioned before it was supposed to be just 10 episodes, but now it’s ended up being this huge like magnum opus, so why did you decide to just dedicate the time to making it this enormous project?

Adam Rosner: Well back when I started, like you said, I just wanted to kind of pay homage to Marble Hornets. Cause I really appreciated what they had been doing and I was really captivated myself and I wanted to see what I was able to do. But as I went along I started to get more ideas and I think it was fairly early on when, there was a discussion board that no longer exists. It’s now defunct called Unfiction, and it’s not there. Its not around anymore, cause I think the server died. Before that, back when that was still poppin’, one of my friends who knew about the project, posted my project there and I didn’t really intend for that to happen. They kinda like jumped the gun early and they started a thread there and people were really comparing me pretty harshly to Marble Hornets. Like, oh, this is just a rip off and it was true, I was really copying their motifs and it was at that point that I was like, I have more ideas about this. I want to go a lot deeper than just this. And I decided to make my project like more than just a silly copy, I wanted it to be like a rolling, like a legitimate, standalone series. So after that I started really doing a lot more original stuff, dropping all of the motifs that really tied me directly to Marble Hornets. And I started to put my own originality in there, look around and see what else has been done and there was nothing really. There was EverymanHYBRID I believe and I saw what they were doing, but I thought they’re really convoluted. I wanted to do something a bit more straight forward and I wanted to put myself more into it. So I started going in my own direction doing, trying to do something new every episode, trying to do interesting original things and do something new and interesting every episode, something novel, new to the table. I think people really started to notice eventually and they’re like, oh, this is very different than Marble Hornets. And well, it went beyond that too, a lot of people just started to gravitate towards me because I offered something very different. I remember back in the day I was, I was thinking  I wished that, uh, like right when I was watching Marble Hornets it would be really cool if there was somebody who could, you know, come together and then put their own spin on this and go deep into special effects. And I am realizing now that I became that person, that’s really cool.

WH: Speaking of which, you hit on some of the other points that I wanted to hit. So one of the biggest reasons why yours [ARG] stands out, especially I wrote in the first bit how EverymanHYBRID and Marble Hornets were cool, but like the first time that the Observer [character in TribeTwelve] showed up and did the beady eyed and teeth thing, I gripped my arm chair so tightly that my hands were sweating. I did not write in the article that I almost peed my pants [laughs], but there was something so inherent about like seeing something so visually stunning from like a series that was supposed to be make believe. So your editing skills for me at least stood out, as well as other people. I did notice though after I’ve been re-watching for the last week or so, there’s a lot of eye symbolism and ironically you’re studying to be an optometrist. So is that life imitating art or art imitating life?

Adam Rosner: I’d say it’s a little bit of both, but when I was younger, my uncle or my cousin, I forget now which, I went to their practice and I was a little captivated. I really enjoyed what I was seeing cause I was always fascinated by just eyes and the fact that there’s this squishy organ in your body that allows you to see. And it was so interesting to me and so delicate and intricate. I was like wow, so interesting. I always loved just the anatomy, physiology, of just the eyeball. I always loved that and I figured, you know what, I went for it [optometry school] because I always enjoyed science and medicine as well as helping people on the path to a better health. In that regard I did pharmacy too. So I was very interested in just ocular science and general from a young age. And then just aesthetically I loved eyes and how just beautiful they are. To be honest, I’m also just really interested in combining science and art together. I like exploring a topic that I really love in a variety of different avenues. So I just sort of gravitated to eyes over the years and it’s really hard to pinpoint exactly why, but like I really enjoy just eyes.

WH: So there are some moments where it’s obvious that the chunks of videos are filmed together or at least were filmed within days of each other, but they’re spaced out over months or even years. So how far in advanced do you have to plan the story when you’re filming or presenting?

Adam Rosner: Initially when I started, I didn’t plan too far ahead. Like I said, it was just sort of an homage and I wanted to just make 10 episodes, maybe end it on a joke. But as I kept going on, I started to get more intricate in my planning and I started to really just grow as a filmmaker and an artist. And I started to get a lot more complex with what I wanted, like the vision that I wanted to create. That was one of the main reasons I kept going is because I had this vision and I wanted to realize it. And as I got better at creating and just training myself cause I’m really a self taught learner and I’m a self taught artist. I really wanted to just fully create this vision that I had and as I kept going year after year and gaining more experience and refining my artistic talents, I really just became so good at realizing that vision. I got to the point where you probably saw my, my most recent video. I don’t know if you watched it. [you can view this video here]

WH: Yeah I watched it last night.

Adam Rosner:  I’ve gotten so good at just like making any real thing I want appear in the video and look realistic. So, on the planning process, I do a healthy amount of planning in the structure, but leave a healthy amount of room for spontaneity. I feel like a lot of the best juiciest pieces of  iconic work that I’ve done, is really spontaneous, like especially when it comes to filming and editing. When I’m out there in the field and I have a script made and I need to get all the shots I always like leave some room for just a spur of the moment idea. Like a lot of the best stuff I’d say from the recent video for example, was done like the last few days of editing. And now that I can see the whole picture right in front of me, I will go, oh, I can do this too. And I just take my time to make that work and I feel like it’s worth it. It does make the production stall a little bit more, it takes a bit more time to get those effects, but I want to feel they’re very much worth it. Some of the best content that I put out is just spur of the moment, last minute and these spontaneous ideas are the most talked about for some reason.

WH: So with these moments that you leave for spontaneity, are there times when you filmed or when you planned and when you get there you just change the story? Or after you film something, you’re just like, nope, I don’t want to go further with that. I want to go in a different direction?

Adam Rosner: Yeah, that happens a lot. Um, for one reason or another, like early on, the actor who played Milo, dipped very early during the first submission cycle of my videos for whatever reason and I had to work around that. Luckily back then I didn’t have a huge plan so I wrote around them as I went along. That was a challenge, but I feel it’s a healthy practice for artists to have limitations to challenge them to think outside the box and challenge their own creative limits. And I’ve been face with that pretty much every time I have to make a new piece of content. But I think that’s very important to come up with interesting new approaches to make something that’s a challenge for yourself as well as the viewer in terms of what they’re willing to digest.  I have had a lot of obstacles myself that I had to work through it and it’s annoying, but within reason, they are healthy for building yourself as an artist. You can expand yourself in a way that, that especially over the course of years, you really can see the progress. And I think a lot of that is, it’s in part due to the limitations and caps on freedom that you’re willing to give yourself, cause if you’re given too much freedom I think you could have a tendency to go in a place that people are not okay with. I’ve seen some artists do that, like musicians go into a new place that people are not really not keen on cause they’re so used to you being a certain thing. As much as it’s healthy to push yourself beyond what your style is to do something new, I think it’s really kind of dangerous, if you don’t know what you’re doing, I think it’s good to stick with what you’re best at while also, you know expanding in, in a reasonable way to get something new, keeping a fresh, while also not straying too far from what makes you iconically you.

WH: So, you’ve mentioned yourself as an artist, but you’re also a man of health and science. How do these things work together? Is TribeTwelve your artistic outlet for this very rigid, academic life that you live?

Adam Rosner: I think it’s, it’s one of my biggest outlets. I like to be a renaissance man in the modern age, I want to do a lot of different things. I don’t want to be a one trick pony, so I have a lot of other artistic endeavors like making music or graphic design and just a few other things here and there. Nothing as deep as TribeTwelve, but when I was in college, I had a bio [biology] major and I was really working just mainly towards science. And then halfway through I was overwhelmed and I was like, I’m not really enjoying this as much as I want. So I wanted to do more art stuff and expand my horizons, see where it would take me if I did some artistic stuff. So I switched my major to um, science and communications, where I had bio as my minor and just film as my major. When I was done with that for two years, I realized that I just don’t like the film industry and its not what I wanted to do. My hobby was really my video and that’s the reason I went into it in the first place, just like to have fun and realize my visions and see them finally on screen. I realized doing like commission work or try to realize someone’s else’s vision really taxed me and I didn’t like it. It really sucked the fun out of my passion and it made me just  not enjoy it. I realized that like didn’t want to do this for a living, cause if I did that, I would just turn my passion into something that was work and I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to keep it a hobby. So I looked back and I said I really like science and medicine and I know that is stable, I can make a legitimate career out of that, while keeping my hobby a hobby. I’m not saying that’s the best way to do things, but for me as a person, I felt it was perfect for me because I could keep my passion on separate from deadlines at work and it will never become work in that sense. I know people like to throw those boomer quotes out there like, “Oh, if you love what you do, than, your work is never work”  I don’t believe that. I believe that anything that you do that’s turned into a career and you have deadlines and time crunches, I think that’s where the work and  your passion starts to starts to decay a bit and you start to lose sight of why you went into it in the first place. I’m sure there’s people that really enjoy what they do and they do it for a living, just for me personally, I don’t think doing film or making art would be a good career choice for me. I think right now this is a very good, healthy place for me to be.

WH: Did you always imagine that this was going to play out over this many years or did you think, oh this is kind of fun and then I’m going to be done with it in a couple of years and then that’s it?

Adam Rosner: Yeah when I started out it was sort of like, again, with the homage, I didn’t really expect it to go that far, but I got more and more ideas as I got more interesting concepts that I wanted to like realize. So then, you know, the timeline just kept going farther and farther, to a point where after college I was like it’s just gonna go until it’s done. I wanted to finish it every year, but I kept having more and more ideas. So I just became fine with it’s finished when it’s finished, cause I feel like I work best when I don’t have a schedule, when I don’t have an ultimatum and I’m just loosely just doing it for fun. So as I kept going, I kept realizing that, oh yeah, this is gonna take a while, but I’m fine with that. And my fans were fine with that cause they realize that it’s quality over quantity and I appreciate that. The people who don’t like that can stick to like their serials and stuff that updates more on a more rigorous schedule. But when people subscribe to what I’m doing, they soon come to realize that yeah, it takes a while to do what I do in order to get the standard that I set myself. I’m very much a perfectionist and despite that, over the years I’ve come to realize that even though I’m a perfectionist, I’m trying to train myself. You know, people are not going to realize that the small little tiny little pixel that’s off like I do. Its come to the realization that, you know, perfection is fine, but it’s not real life and its fine, enough to get the job done is fine. Cause they’re not going to realize that the magic the true magic that’s working behind the scenes, they’re just going to see something amazing and, and accept it. But you know, I try to compromise as least as possible and when I do, I try to re-purpose what I could put in my work right there somewhere else.

WH: So I’m not going to obviously ask you what it is, but do you have an end to all this or is it still kind of a vague idea that you’re working toward? Do you actually have a concrete end that everything is gonna funnel into?

Adam Rosner: As you can imagine, over like a decade now, my ending has gone through a few phases. Initially it was just going to be like a joke, but it wasn’t serious. Then I had a sort of had a loose ending and then it started to like snowball into this very, you know, convoluted and complex mishmash of plot and continuity over the course of all these years. I tried to get everything together in a very nice delicate bow on this, on this huge endeavor. Yeah, now I have this ending planned out, I actually have everything. When I moved to New York after getting accepted to my program, I was like, okay, I don’t know the next time I’m gonna be back here [film site]. So I filmed as much as I could and I’d say, a good 95% of everything I needed. So I had to, you know, finalize everything I needed to do before I left. If there’s something else I really need though, when I visit and go back, I’ll get it. Or I’ll get my, I’ve got my parents to film little things for me around the house to finish little things that I forgot. That happened a lot for this most recent episode. But yeah, the ending is mostly solid, but it’s still fairly loose, I’m just still getting to that point. I’ve put the most effort into this most recent arc with the red videos when Noah is at the boardwalk. So once that’s done and I’m not really not sure when it’s going to be done, I’d say a good two episodes of it left. But once that’s done, I’ll be able to get them out at a better rate. I know that’s just me being optimistic.

Especially in the editing process, it always turns out to be way longer. Like I figured, oh its gonna be maybe, you know, 10, 15 minutes, no, 25 minutes now? So it always tends to mutate and get longer and longer. But I don’t wanna really like compromise myself, especially on a platform like YouTube where I have no limitations except as much as I’m willing to upload. So yeah, I want to do as much as I can to realize my vision and not compromise myself. So when it comes to my ending, I want it to be faithful to my own ideas as well as the canon of my entire story. So, you know, when people look back on it, they’ll be like, oh, everything has a purpose. Everything is not filler, everything is here for a reason. There was not nothing, but very little that I didn’t need to watch. I don’t want to just do stuff willy nilly, I want everything to, you know, harken back to itself, give itself credence to exist.

WH: You’ve mentioned these themes of adaption and kinda being a little bit amorphous, especially, you know, it’s not on a strict schedule. You can choose when everything’s edited and when it comes out and how the story goes, but I’m interested in something specific about how change happens after something isn’t well-received, where  nobody picks up on it or nobody cares about it. So in the aftermath, then how does the story evolve? Specifically, I’m talking about the deal with Scriniarii, where there is this character and nobody’s taking them seriously on the subreddit. But then all of a sudden here comes this video from the official channel, which says, no, you should have listened. [Note: People on subreddit for TribeTwelve that the user Scriniarii was a fan that was making things up rather than a serious part of the story]

Adam Rosner: Oh, that was very fun because we were like thinking me and my think tank of a few other people that I work with, we were thinking, what can we do? And we all of a sudden, one day we came up with this idea [Scriniarii]. Okay, this happens in our community where people, because its so mysterious, there’s always people that jump in and make their own account and be like on various levels of convincing, claiming they are part of the story. They’re called game jackers. So we’re like, what if we make a game jacker, that’s not a game jacker, whose actually part of the story. And berate people when they don’t accept him.

WH: So that was like the ultimate intention to begin with?

Adam Rosner: Yeah, it was very much the intention to begin with because we want it totally stupefy the viewer base and the fan base. So when it happened, we wanted them to be like, WHATT. It was totally catching them off guard and making fun of them because we know what they would do and they did it. They’re like, oh, what are you doing? [to the Scriniarii character] Get off the reddit, like come on, grow up. And then it turns out to be real and they’re like, wait a minute. Oh my God, what? Anything is possible.

WH: Right. And then everyone’s spending like weeks trying to find the archive [the character Scriniarii spoke about an archive, but since his posts were deleted they could not find the links or clues] because no one knows where the hell it went or where they are supposed to find it.

Adam Rosner: AR: I really wanted to expand what makes our ARG work and add new elements and so we really tied that into the Discord [online chat forum] that we made. We wanted to make a crossover with the Discord, cause we do crossovers with other series, but we thought it’d be cool to do a crossover with the fans and make them a working part of this machine. And I think it really worked out. Its hard if you don’t follow everything, so this type of stuff is more for an active participation type thing, the more ARG aspect. It’s kind of optional, but if you put the work into understanding it, then it’s rewarding for you, which is really the whole series. But that is a whole other level that if you’re really deep into it. If you’re an active participant for sure, you can shape the way the series goes cause I have different avenues I have ideas for depending on how they interact. For example, earlier on when Noah was taken by the observer and took over Noah’s Twitter and he’s like asking them [followers] questions. If they didn’t answer a certain way, then different things would happen. So, I had all those things planned out, but that happened too with the whole Scriniarii thing. Oh in the discord, like if they asked certain questions, different answers would get given to them. It was really interesting. It went a certain ways that I wasn’t expecting, but it is really interesting to see the community like working together. That’s such a fun thing, it’s so engaging and I love that, seeing the whole community working together for a common goal.

WH: Right, exactly. That was my main thing that brought me personally to ARGs in the first place was this notion of something more than just watching. Now usually I’m a lurker because I’m terrible with puzzles, but these people can figure out, these long, you know, winded things.

Adam Rosner: When we made some puzzles with friend Key, who are my right hand man on working on all this stuff, especially the puzzle aspect. They’re my puzzle master cause they know a lot about like ARGs and puzzle making. So they really got me into thinking about new ways to present myself and the series. We were just blown away by how fast people were able to figure out our stuff. We’re like, okay, this is gonna maybe take a few, like maybe a week or two to figure it out. And they figured it out in hours and we were dumbfounded. So we had to give each node of the puzzle, like with the Scriniarii thing and we kept trying to think of ways to make things last a bit longer. Like sending somebody a package for example or having them figure out something and then it leads to another thing that takes a little bit longer to understand and cipher. But yeah, we were really like we could have them hack the Pentagon if we wanted them to. Given the task, these people will set aside their entire lives to get the answer cause it’s this nagging itch. It’s really fun to present that to them and see them like the rats run in the maze.

WH: You said earlier that you’re among the team of people and that did occur to me when I’m re-watching the series again that there are some moments where if you, even if you’re the person that’s in control of the story, obviously there has to be other people doing things.

Adam Rosner: Yeah.

WH: Like the livestream incident specifically, you know, you’re live streaming but then somebody is tweeting back at you. But like you can see where your hands are, so you know that you’re not the person that’s writing back as the Observer. So obviously like you’re not Noah and the observer at the same time cause you could see it because it’s like—

Adam Rosner: Well…

WH: Uh-oh.

Adam Rosner: Well though, I strategically had certain positions where you couldn’t see what I was doing. So, when it comes to that stuff, like my hands were at the keyboard, and I had like things that were pre planned up. Like, for example, just multiple windows where I had the different tweets like queued up and just had to click a button and there it went. Very subtle things like that. but when it comes back to that whole filming portion, like on the video where you see another me, what I did for that in like the livestreams was that I filmed myself interacting as if there was somebody there. And um, after it was all done, I just looked at my movements, I really studied with how I moved and I had somebody else take my camera and filmed me from that position and I mimicked my movements with like, uh, another camera that I had to look like, oh, this is me. From that, that viewpoint and that perspective, I, when in reality it’s already filmed, it’s just another angle, from a different take. But I’m just mimicking myself as best I could and it came out pretty well. Um, to the point where people were like, there’s a video out there where they put next to each other all of the parts that happened in conjunction with one another. And like the timeline for the livestream incident and I really painstakingly planned it so that they all timed up in exactly the same time so there were no discrepancies in terms of when they happened. And when you play them, they sync up and people notice that eventually like, whoa, that’s awesome. That’s really fucking cool. Not only that, I had it planned like years in advance. Like, when I discovered the device, I had a strategic sound clip that I played very low in the background  when knocking on the door, when you listened to it in both videos, like the livestream incident and that, that’s the same piece of audio. I had this planed for a long time. And people love that, they love that continuity porn and I love to execute that. It’s such a gratifying thing to see it like actually work and people appreciate what you’ve done.

WH: So in your opinion what makes an ARG successful? TribleTweleve and EverymanHYRBID fall in what’s known as the Slenderverse and you have other ones that are fairly successful, like The Sun Vanished and Daisy Brown. But, what in your opinion makes one successful compare to one that doesn’t make it?

Adam Rosner: Well when I really got into ARGS, I think was in around 2009, I forgot when they were doing the whole Cloverfield ARG. I was always into those things that were mysterious online and you have to figure out on your own, like escape rooms and stuff like online, I love those. But I think it was the Cloverfield ARG that really opened me up to the possibilities of just what you could do as an entity making this story that people had to figure out information for. And it was different cause it was a corporate thing, but it really didn’t feel like it, it felt more like an adventure that it wasn’t like shoved down your throat. It wasn’t babied. And it was this interesting thing that you really had to figure out on your own to truly understand it. There were communities that were discussing it and trying to figure things out and they had their own breakthroughs here and there. And I loved that, I think it really worked because I think the element of mystery is very important. I guess characterizing that it’s not corporate because you can really tell nowadays that things are kind of corporatized and babied and watered down for a generalized audience to really understand. Um, but there, there’s other ARGs, there’s tons out there now much more than when I started in like 2009. A lot of this happened in the last 10 years, uh, where it’s a, a lot, some of them are really great at just, um, being their own entity and not coming off as like contrived or I mean contrived in that sense of being like, oh, this is a business ploy. We get it. Okay, so your logo is over there. Okay. Versus something that’s a bit more mysterious. And I think that the allure of not knowing is both terrifying but also very appealing. Its what people keep coming back to my series for, its that element of unknown. Uh, it’s so, um, what’s the word? Like, it’salluring, but it’s a source of both fear, but also attraction. I think that’s one of the biggest points that people come back to.

Its why  Slenderman himself is such a captivating character is because he’s so entrenched in the unknown. If you were to open your closet and see a zombie, you know a fairly good deal of background. Like, okay, it could be this or this or this on like a virus or a rage zombie. You understand what he could do to you if he gets you. But if you open your closet door and you see Slenderman, you don’t know anything cause he doesn’t have a solid backstory or origin, it’s terrifying because you don’t know. And it’s presented on like a blank canvas for so many artists to just put themselves on and put their own ideas to, you know, within reason. But it’s still, most of the stories have this just background that’s unknowable. That’s like part of it. That’s part of the intrinsic part of why he’s scary and what he is as a character is that he is like not explained and unknown. It’s just there, very, uh, like bizarre. Uh, partly like it’s one of the things that gravitated me towards TribleTwelve, I love the aesthetic of having everything being very fine and normal except for one thing that’s very, very off. And I love that. And I think that’s one of the things that makes him very compelling as a horror character. Just the fact that he’s unknown.

You can like put your own take on it and you can have your own theories and your own interpretations. But fundamentally in the end you will not know that’s part of it. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s so captivating is that element of the unknown and that’s why people keep coming back is because they like getting more answers while at the same time, never truly understanding, but it’s up to the viewer interpretation ultimately. That’s what I loved about Marble Hornets, because eventually it had like an explanation for a lot of the things, but you really had to work to understand it like through NightMind stuff. He was able to explain it very well and I appreciate that. But I mean a lot of people have their own different takes on it and for the most part it’s a very compelling mystery. Given all the content that was presented, I’d say that the projects that don’t do it well are the ones that just really spoon feed you. And I’ve gotten away from that. I used to do that a lot, but now I think it’s come to a point where like it’s more about the puzzle seekers and the people who are dedicated to really looking at all the subtleties.   Pausing and going frame by frame to figure things out and seeing oh that pixels off. Its very rewarding for them to figure something out that’s like in plain sight that no one else has seen and wanting to like just be the one who discovers the truth of the correct sequence to get the right answer. It’s very important for them to feel that they actually discovered something that was hard to figure out.

Adam Rosner

Original video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-Vg7oCZvlA&t=183s

WH: In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about creating an ARG or being a creator of an ARG?

Adam Rosner: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that everything is planned out. I think a lot of really big creators that have these long over arcing stories, people look at it and think, oh well they’re absolute geniuses. Like they have this plan from the very beginning and that’s not the truth. Back when I started, they just have these like very loose ideas that were just kinda like seeds that I planted, not really sure where they were going to lead to, but now later on I can take those strands and tie them together with something else and give them real purpose. I think a lot of people do that, a lot of writers do that. They start with these little ideas they’re not really sure where they’re going with it and then they, as they keep going along, they have more ideas than they a find a way to make them have purpose. And I really, sometimes it works out really well in ways that make it look like you’re a fucking genius when in reality you’re just winging it. It’s really evident when it comes to things like Home Stuck with Andrew Hussey. I think he just sort of, I’m not guaranteed on that. I haven’t really read his interviews, but I’m pretty sure because he has, he’s very notable for doing like this in the whole continuity porn thing. Like something very, seemed minor from the very beginning comes back, years down the line I’m like, oh, I remember that. See that was important all along. Something like that.

April: What is something you wish everyone knew about args period?

Adam Rosner: I guess I wish they knew the amount of time and effort that we put into this and that it seems kind of simple, but it’s actually pretty difficult to get something like the world building like I’ve done off the ground. I know a lot of people, look and they see me at the top this pedestal and are like, wow, how did you get there? And they don’t see like behind the pedestal, this long staircase that I had to walk up. I didn’t just jump and climb on this thing. I had to like walk for years of this staircase to get to this point. And people don’t realize that, and I wish they would. It’s a lot. It’s takes a lot of work and a lot of long, slow cooking cycles of ideas. Like a lot of ideas have been like bubbling in my mind for years now and you know, creating this delicious fond at the bottom of the pan that you can’t get if you don’t have it like setting on the oven for a long time. I really am just very fortunate that my work was picked up and I was able to have the  opportunity to flourish and grow myself and my talent and realizing my vision through my series. I’m just very fortunate for the community and the other creators that helped to get where I am, I wouldn’t be where I am without any of them.

WH: On another note, how does that feel being a person going to college and then having fans and hundreds of people who are dissecting an artistic creation that have presented over the years?

Adam Rosner: It’s really surreal. It’s really rewarding though when I get messages in my inbox saying I’ve been watching your series for years and it’s helped me through depression, it’s helped me through this and that through hard times. I was in a dark place and watch your stuff and I’m so happier continuing and you helped me so much and it makes me so happy. That brings me to  see what I’m doing is meaning something more than just art. That makes me feel so good. It’s still surreal seeing people like take my logo that I created and permanently tattooing on their bodies forever. And I’m like, wow, that is, wow. That’s a whole nother level, I don’t think I’ve ever get used to that. It’s really, it’s super flattering, but at the same time, wow. I, that’s a kind of crazy commitment, I mean is that they really appreciate my art to an extent that I didn’t really consider. I’m just so honored to do that to, to be kind of force in their lives. Yeah, it’s a super humbling.

WH: Again, thank you so much for sitting down with me. So after TribeTwelve is finished, are you like toying with your next artistic endeavor?

Adam Rosner: Um, I don’t have anything really solid lined up, but I have a lot of ideas. I definitely want to keep doing art forever as long as  my hands work really. But I don’t really have too much planned, I’d like to maybe do like maybe music videos or something, maybe creepy, black and white videos now that I know how to do special effects very well, I can create anything I want to and insert it into a world and make it look real. I know how to do that now. It would be cool to be contracted to make a cool music video or something that I want to do or maybe you work with other people whose vision I appreciate and I want to add to it. I want to do more voice acting too. I really like voice acting and I’m doing something for another project recently that’s like kind of an independent core thing. I’m not really sure if I want to do another like serial series like TribeTwelve, if the idea comes to me that possibly, um, but I think I don’t like thinking about that right now because I don’t want to jump on another project while I had this going. I’m really like proud of like EverymanHYBRID for example, for finishing their series finally and Daisy Brown.  I appreciate what they did because I talked to them cause they also watch my series and I messaged them saying, I appreciate what you’re doing. And I asked right after the last video, saying, “Hey, are you done with this, is this it?” And they’re like, they told me straight up, like I had an idea from beginning to end and I did it and I finished it and that’s it. I’m like, you know what, I really appreciate that, that’s so much better than just keep going on forever without a solid ending and just dragging it out, staying beyond its welcome.

It’s kinda contradicting myself cause I been doing this for over a decade now, but I haven’t compromised my integrity. I’ve instead I’ve tried to like, I don’t like to say I one-upped myself with every video. I like to try and like challenge myself to do new things, but I don’t like to think of like my work as being like something that I want to one-up every time. I like to think of my work now, especially with the recent past like dozen videos. I want to get, um, come to a point now, especially with the past few videos from at the boardwalk. I want to get to a point where I’ve given the illusion that I’m one-upping myself when in reality I can come to a point where I maintained my, like quality in my, my standard to a point where, um, it’s just a, this is how good it’s going to be every episode. Its just, it’s really cool. I think that a lot of my intro videos, with most artists, a lot of people like them. I think they’re cringey and terrible. I wish I could like get rid of them personally. It was me starting out and learning, but, um, it’s the people who stick around them the longest you realize and see my improvement over the years, as an actor, as a creator, as an artist. And they appreciate that. And I really am grateful for those people who don’t just, uh, blow off my series just because the first few episodes are kinda cringey and homemade because it’s the, the people who watch it to see the progression of how good I’ve got. I really appreciate it.


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Written by Syl
Syl is a professional criminologist who shamelessly spends her time listening to true crime podcasts, watching horror films, and bringing real life horror to her written pieces.
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