Tribal Gathering on Facebook
The Tribe was a New Zealand program produced for Channel 5 in the United Kingdom started in 1999. Since then it has been licensed in over 40 countries worldwide, including the US. Over the years they did several tours and gatherings in several countries, including the US. In fact it was their first gathering at Dragon*Con in 2003 that got me into conventions.
The Tribe is about a world where all the adults have died from a mysterious virus. The kids have banded together into different tribes to survive. The show focuses mainly on the lives of one tribe called the Mallrats and their attempts to rebuild the world. The show is also known for the strange styles that characters wear. From mismatched clothes, to strange markings on their faces, and hair that an anime character would think was strange.
The show stopped production several years ago and most countries don’t have it on the air anywhere anymore. This has not stopped fans from still wanting more. Fan fic, fan films, and roleplay groups of The Tribe continue going on. The creators of The Tribe, Cloud 9, started a Facebook page to stay connected with their fans. They have even been able to arrange for a few of the actors from the show to come on and answer questions of the fans.
When The Tribe’s Facebook page received 20,000 ‘Likes’, they decided to hold a special online gathering on Facebook. It went from 7am (New Zealand time) until 8pm (New Zealand time) on Sunday 26th of June; that was 3pm EST until 4am EST on Saturday 25th of June.
The idea of a gathering on Facebook was strange and a little confusing, but it actually worked out pretty well. Fans got to chat with each other, discussing things about the show, ranting to each other; you even had stand outs like you do at cons. Special videos were uploaded onto Cloud 9’s Youtube account as well for all to watch. There was a problem with some people being blocked by FB for posting too many posts too fast, and not letting them comment on any posts. Also through the day many people had to come and go for sleep, work, and food. All of the different times zones joining in, but experiencing them at different times of the day.
The event got started with a special video from the creator of The Tribe, Raymond Thompson. He talked about how happy he was to see all the fans of the show from around the world and that there are new plans for the show still coming. A discussion thread was started on the Facebook page for people to leave questions for him, that he has sworn to go through and answer them all. In his address he pointed out one special girl who had asked a lot of questions about getting into the filming industry and offered her a chance to receive a special phone call from him and to answer her questions. He also did a live chat on the FB page as well.
Throughout the day some cast members were on to answer questions. They had one topic posted under the wall where anyone could post their question and the cast member would try to respond to as many as they could in the same thread. Cast members who were available on that day to take questions were: Dwayne Cameron (Bray) who was also on Power Rangers Overdrive as the Mercury Ranger and Tom Hern (Ram) who was on Power Rangers Dino Thunder as Devon. After each chat, one of the people who had asked questions was chosen at random to receive a phone call with the cast member.
Some of the actors turned the tables on the fans and had video or audio recordings of them asking the fans questions that we all went into the discussions boards to answer. Matt Robinson (Slade), Lucas Hayward (Sammy), and Joseph Crawford (Darryl) all took their turns asking questions.
The music supervisor for the early seasons of the show as well as the album that the show produced, John Williams was available for chats about the musical matters related to The Tribe. There was also a chat with The Tribemaster. He/she/it has been this continuous thing on The Tribeworld website posting as someone/thing living in The Tribe world hearing rumors. His chat was very strange. The other big part of his chat was had supposal brought back to life a major dead character, Zoot. He then answered questions too. I am pretty sure it was just the actor, Danny James, pretending to be his character. They all, except The Tribemaster, also chose someone at random to receive a phone call from.
They upload several special videos throughout the day for people to view on Youtube and can still watch. They included a music video showing scenes from a live Tribal Gathering that took place cat Cloud 9 Studios. One was of greetings and messages that were sent into the studios for the gathering by the various fans. There was a video on the behind the scenes of Cloud 9 and shooting The Tribe narrated by Raymond. A music video by an upcoming singer known as D&C, who is a Tribe fan herself, was shown. You could tell some Tribe influence in the costumes that were worn in the video. She has worked with John Williams on her music. A video message from James Napier (Jay), or the Red Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Thunder, was posted up since he was not available for a live chat.
An open, partially moderated, discussion on the music of the show was held. Two quizzes were held, with the moderators posting questions on the wall and everyone trying to be the first to answer it correctly. The first one was on music and sounds. The second quiz was basic story and character questions. A caption contest was held as well. It was left open for a few days for everyone to have their chance to go through all the funny pictures and create their own captions.
An attempt at roleplay in the discussion boards was also held. Depending who you ask, this was either really fun or total chaos. A costume contest of sorts was held where photos that people had sent were posted up and people got to vote on their favorites by hitting the ‘Like’ button. There were recreations of characters from the show and some were original creations of people’s own Tribestyle. Some of the photos were just sketches that people had done, but were no less interesting.
Details on the release of books and novels about The Tribe were given. The first book, ‘Keep the Dream Alive’, is a behind the scenes look at The Tribe and the life Ray, written by himself. There will also be a book giving more in universe answers of The Tribeworld, from the virus, to the forming of The Tribes, and other expanded universe material. The third book will be a novel continuing the story from where the TV series left off.
At the end, winners from the trivia contests and random people from the ‘answer a cast members questions’ were all posted. The winners were told to e-mail into the studio to find out about their prizes. I was one of those lucky winners. I will let you know when I hear back from them.
During all the other festivities, a sell was going on at The Tribe shop on Tribeworld. A 20% discount was offered on all merchandizes. Items included Ray’s new book that was on pre-order, a new commemorative DVD of past tribe gatherings and other special footage, and products from both Atlantis High and Revelations.
Several hundred people were online for this special gathering. It really helped bring back the love for the show we all had. People of different ages, races, religions, nations, and whatever else you got coming together to share. There is already talk of doing it next year if not sooner. Several groups are even trying to arrange in person gatherings in different countries.
Power and Chaos