Amid the prosperous years of post World War II America, the dangers of nuclear war and the emerging threat of the Soviet Union were ever present.

Across the country, millions of citizens were taught to “duck and cover” as the terrifying possibilities of nuclear attacks cast an ominous pall over everyday life.

While the American government was busy building advanced technology that would combat Russia’s military might and would eventually lead to the first man on the moon, in 1966 a group of Los Angeles based scientists were secretly working on a powerful series of “living” weapons that they hoped would save the world, and, quite possibly, change the course of human history. Those experiments came to a tragic end 7 years later, when its participants were killed in a sudden bomb attack on the underground compound that housed them.

Fast forward to the year 2000, where in Detroit, Michigan, a new group of researchers, armed with the latest technology, would attempt to resume the work that had begun under their predecessors. However, that attempt to develop the groundbreaking weaponry ended in even more disastrous fashion than the first. Now, in the new web series APOTHEOSIS, the shocking truth about what really happened will finally be revealed.

Created by Detroit-based James Fernandez of Tyghtrope Productions, and co-produced by Los Angeles-based Allison Vanore (PRODUCING JULIET, COST OF CAPITAL, etc.), APOTHEOSIS is set in the year 2015, where a disparate, yet interconnected group of people seek to discover the origins of the U.S. government’s secret experiments on “living weapons”, as well as the deadly purpose behind them.

The series is currently running a Kickstarter campaign which seeks to raise $25,000 for production of its prologue episode. (See links below). The campaign will run through September 17th, and if successful Fernandez hopes to produce up to 10 more episodes for its first season. In addition, Fernandez says he hopes to release the show’s pilot episode late 2014/early 2015, should the campaign achieve its funding goal.

The Los Angeles based portion of the cast includes Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Morrison, a covert agent and the mentor of an elite team known as “The Sanzaru” (played by Tanya Ihnen, Robb Padgett, and Steven Lekowicz).

Seeking to find the truth behind what caused the disastrous results of the original experiments, Morrison and the Sanzaru track down one of the key doctors who helped make it possible: Dr. Robert Watson (played by Maxwell Glick, THE LIZZIE BENNET DIARIES, GOLD: NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIE KING).

Two of the primary test subjects for those ill-fated experiments, Cal (David Bauer) and Diana (Jessica Nicole Webb) remain held in a secret facility known only as “The Acropolis”, as they have been for over 40 years. Incredibly, as the decades passed, they never aged a day.

However, both Cal and Diana’s lives change drastically when the man who led the original 1966 experiment, Dr. Joseph Cartwright (David Nett, GOLD: THE SERIES, PAIRINGS), suddenly reemerges – after having long been feared killed in an explosion that destroyed the testing facility where he and his fellow scientists worked. Even more amazing is that Dr. Cartwright is none the worse for wear himself, and remains in the exact same physical state he was in some 40 years ago.

On the other side of the country is Detroit, Michigan, where the second set of experiments took place in 2000. The cast for that story includes Michelle Jubilee Gonzalez as the savage Mikayla, one of the second experiment’s primary subjects; a trained hunter/killer who’s imprisoned in another secret location called “The Mausoleum”,

Her prey is the 3 test subjects who survived a cataclysmic event known as “The Storm”, and is now under the care of Dr. Benjamin Brooks (Wayne Bibbs). Dr. Brooks and his partner Dr. Murrow (Michael Lopetrone), seek to transform the once violent warrior into a civilized, normal member of society.

Amid the otherwise humdrum pace of daily life in Detroit itself lives one of the escapees from “The Storm”, Jason (David Aguila), who’s done his best to live a new, uneventful life, while managing as best as he can to conceal any signs of his past experiences and extraordinary abilities. Unfortunately for Jason, his past, and his true identity, will soon wreak havoc on his otherwise ordinary existence.

Inspired by the work of DC Comics writer Mark Waid, particularly his comic book KINGDOM COME, Fernandez developed APOTHEOSIS out of a strong desire to produce an adventure that was truly different from popular, pre-existing comic book movie and TV franchises – in more ways than one.

With that being said, Fernandez found that trying to bring his story to life would lead to a vast series of production and logistical challenges, including arranging two casts of actors on opposite sides of the country. For him, though, the biggest task was to create a quality web series that didn’t rely on overt violence, elaborate visual effects, and extravagant cosplay costumes, while not presenting itself as a cheap knockoff of pre-existing properties.

“If you want to see an incredible sequence using a large selection of established comic book characters, you can probably find it on YouTube alone. But it takes so much time, focus and resource to give you that sequence, they have nothing left to move it beyond that point. Even if they did, they’re usually using some corporation’s intellectual property, which can get shutdown at anytime, which brought me a second challenge: can I make new characters that aren’t just Superior Man’, ‘Night Vigilante’ and ‘Wondrous Amazon’?

Just how Fernandez responded to that challenge played a key role in how he developed APOTHEOSIS’ characters and storyline.

“Making sure to avoid those problems allowed me to create a story from a different series of angles; a story that really felt like something different to me. Not because it was necessarily new, but because I was able to say ‘you don’t usually see this type of character make this choice’, and see where that choice took me,” he adds.

An innovative project that features both Midwest and West Coast based actors and production talent, plus an interconnected story that spans both sides of the country in equal measure, APOTHEOSIS also spans the far reaches of time itself. As Fernandez explains, the contrast between past and present plays a key role in the show’s storyline; one that viewers won’t have to do a lot of guesswork in order to follow.

“In Los Angeles, we focus on people that are discovering the existence of the projects, and the first project from 1966. In Detroit, we focus on members and subjects of the second project in 2000, one of which is hiding in plain sight among us, day-to-day. Two sides to the same story, told in way that will lead to each other. You won’t need a flowchart to follow this, we promise. If you can handle GAME OF THRONES, this will be a piece of cake.”

However, Fernandez adds, the prologue episode won’t necessarily feature that bi-coastal interconnectivity, at least not initially. As he says, the decision to keep both parts of the show’s storyline separate in that introductory episode was due to the obvious complications caused by filming the series on both sides of the country.

“For the prologue, I made sure that the sides of our story don’t physically cross yet. They could if we get to season 1, but they don’t yet. This makes the logistics more akin to shooting two separate shows, instead of the expense and complexity of mixing them right off the bat. We’ll do that when we can budget and schedule for it. This split still won’t be easy, but it’s more than possible with the teams assembled, and I don’t mind the challenge. I’m looking forward to it.”

Although Fernandez gathered his talented company of actors that would comprise the show’s cast, he did so without a casting director. Through an extensive series of auditions in Detroit and Los Angeles (the auditions there were conducted online), the long process of auditioning and casting began.

“The rest of the L.A. cast was assembled by 60+ hours of Skype/Hangouts (over 2 weeks) in a 3-stage process. Then, I was able to do in-person auditions for the Detroit side. All in all, we had over 2700 total actor submissions for the 9 total roles I was casting for over both cities. Like I said, casting directors: I want to go to there and get me one, someday,” Fernandez says.

Another key aspect of APOTHEOSIS that truly makes Fernandez’s project unique from other web series is its approach to crowd funding. Although he says that raising money to produce a single pilot episode with the potential to become a full series has been done before, Fernandez adds that the benefits of such an approach are readily apparent for all web series creators.

“The approach isn’t new, (but) what’s best about it is the potential to efficiently create series-pilots independently, and in the creative team’s own vision. If the idea catches on becomes a hit, that team gets leverage, when pitching the series to any given type of network, to continue to make it their way, since it’s already worked for an audience.”

While other shows try to raise money to produce full seasons of shows, APOTHEOSIS’ method of fundraising goes far beyond just getting potential viewers to funnel in the dough. As Fernandez explains, APOTHEOSIS’ Kickstarter campaign will keep its supporters involved in the show’s development and production long after the fundraising ends.

“Their input starts at their choice to support to the project in the crowd funding campaign, then continues by their viewership and interest in the story we present to them. At the end of the day, it’s about making something people want to see, discuss and follow. If we can hook an audience, get them to come back, and tell their friends, who also comeback, the options to continue may very well present themselves,” he says.

Through APOTHEOSIS’ Kickstarter crowd funding campaign, Fernandez’s ultimate goals for its success, and quite possibly the success of APOTHEOSIS as a continuing series, are clearly evident.

“I want to entertain the strong, varied audience that I know exists for this by presenting a different type of story in a genre I love. A lot of the same is presented over and over as the accepted formula for telling a live-action comic book story. But I believe there are a lot of choices, possibilities and angles you can take within these kinds of worlds, and we want to give it our best shot to prove something different can work.”

Furthermore, Fernandez hopes that its innovative story and compelling, relatable characters could pay dividends for both him, his cast and crew, plus those who make it possible through its Kickstarter campaign…but only if they support it.

“If it succeeds and we can move into a full season, I look forward to rewarding the audience that took us there with what I have planned in this world. However, none of this comes to the light of day if the audience doesn’t want it. This is their Jason Todd moment. If the audience reading this gets that reference, APOTHEOSIS is definitely a show they’ll want to consider supporting.”

(Note: While Fernandez says he does plan to add closed-captioning to each episode of APOTHEOSIS, he notes that adding subtitles for foreign audiences will depend on his access to the proper resources, as well as on the show’s overall success.

“When it comes to subtitles for foreign audiences, I’d love to do it if the opportunity arises. I don’t have the ability or resources to do accurate translations, however, so I’d have to seek that out. Also, the story would have to be interesting enough for them to want to watch it in the first place,” he says.)

For more information on the show’s Kickstarter campaign, including how to contribute, visit: