It starts with a contagious virus, and explodes into the biggest conspiracy mankind has ever seen. In the epic new web series thriller THE INCIDENT, set to debut in Fall of 2013 with an eight episode first season, written and produced by Jonathan Perkins and Rodney Cummings, and directed by Perkins (with a companion graphic novel illustrated by Chicago’s Columbia College grad and veteran artist Matthew Sargent), Chicago blogger, activist and conspiracy theorist Nick Porter (played by Mark Penzien) searches for his best friend, in the midst of a severe outbreak of a mysterious illness that plagues the city. Nick’s younger brother Robbie, plus “girl next door” Amy, and Kate, a Doctoral grad student who has her own mysterious side, band together to solve the mystery of the illness that’s sweeping the city, a mystery that leads to a frightening battle against black SUV’s, government “suits”, and police quarantines, as the virus builds into a disaster that’s 70 years in the making.

Perkins developed the show in 2010, with Cummings writing a 90+ page script for the series’ first season. The show itself may be one of the most cinematic in its overall scope, featuring a cast of 25 actors, and a dramatic, expansive storyline unlike any other web series before or since. “The thing that’s unique about The Incident is its ambitious story and scope. What we see a lot of other series doing these days is playing it safe… They are making short 3-5 minute comedic episodes which play out some kind of simple skit. There are a lot of series out there that are short and funny but they fall into a very crowded space and many can never seem to break out into a more mainstream audience,” Perkins says. “We are treating this series much like a epic film trilogy. The plot line goes really deep and we are going to take our time to make sure this story is told right. The writing is smart and the characters are multifaceted.”

The show is also supplemented by Sargent’s graphic novel, which, according to Perkins, further compliments the web series, and lets the story expand beyond the time restrictions of web video, giving more time for character development, but that’s only one platform that allows viewers to experience the story. “We are using the Graphic Novel and a variety of other platforms including character-run Facebook profiles, blogs and video blogs as well as live/active websites for entities within the story that fans can visit and interact with to explore the world we are creating. We have this powerful tool called the internet and we are going to use all of it to tell our story.” In addition, a crowd-funding campaign for the show is set to begin later this Spring.

Many factors, from his interest in politics and conspiracy theories, to his enjoyment and appreciation of good filmmaking, led Perkins to create THE INCIDENT, but perhaps the biggest one, he says, was the lack of quality product on what is currently the biggest platform for web series creators: Youtube. With THE INCIDENT, Perkins and Cummings are prepared to provide viewers with a web series experience unlike any other, one that  “We are trying hard to counter that ‘cat cluttered YouTube’ stigma, and the story we are telling tries to get back to the important things in life… It asks what is important and what isn’t. I hope it makes people look at the government, politics and the internet in a new light and their families, friends, loved ones and even their own lives as being more important than anything else in the world.”



FACEBOOK Fan Group – “The Infected Fans”: