Comments on Arthur B's Troy Had A Company

The creators of Marble Hornets have gone their separate ways. Here's how it happened.

Comments (go to latest)
Ronan Wills at 18:20 on 2016-04-14
Ferretbrain: Investigative Journalism Department.

I had no idea so much information about this whole mess had come out, so much thanks for summarizing it. It may be somewhat voyeuristic of me, but I'll admit I'm now very curious to know what caused the bad blood between Noah and the two original THAC members...

The saddest casualty in all of this is probably Clear Lakes. It obviously had some major problems stemming from the rocky circumstances of its production, but I genuinely think it had a lot of promise.
Arthur B at 18:31 on 2016-04-14
I liked the "intercepted broadcast" format and some of the new special effects they were using, but it felt like it was all prologue.

It was also really interminable to wait for - like, there'd be a week or two between episodes, and then it'd literally be just one minute of material and that'd kind of be it, and a lot of episodes didn't really add anything new but reiterate something we'd already seen.

Maybe it would have all come together in the long run - Marble Hornets did, after all. But that said, Marble Hornets wasn't this much of a chore to watch as it came out during its run, and provided way more meat much earlier than Clear Lakes.
Arthur B at 12:45 on 2016-04-17
Further update: Patreon backers are reporting that in the latest update to them Troy has said that he would be winding down THAC LLC and putting out his new material on a different channel, since he wouldn't feel right continuing to use the channels that he'd developed as a collaborative endeavour with Joseph and Tim.
Alasdair Czyrnyj at 21:04 on 2016-04-17
Thank you for compiling all this, Arthur. I'd just gotten into Clear Lakes 44, and I knew something was up with Tim and Joseph leaving, but I had no idea things had gotten that bad.

As an aside, I spent part of March chewing my way through the videos NightMind did summarizing the stories of the three big Slenderman series, and I'm in the weird position of agreeing with you that, in terms of building a self-contained narrative, Marble Hornets was the best of the bunch...but I like the messy sprawling ambition of the other two more.

Actually, it's interesting seeing how the other two series struggled with carving an identity for themselves apart from the inspiration of Marble Hornets. I like to say EverymanHYBRID dealt with the problem by becoming the linchpin of the Slenderman Cinematic Universe; the series expanded their villain roster with the Rake (feral man-beast from Internet folklore) and their own creation of HABIT (Killer BOB by way of Stephen King, basically), they had any number of crossovers with other series, and eventually developed this complex story of past lives and recursive loops the characters are trying to escape. Inevitably, the whole thing has become way too elaborate to work as a hobby, and right now the series has put itself into hiatus by killing off most of its cast and locking the few surviving characters into the apartment from Silent Hill 4.

As for TribeTwelve, they had more difficulty in separating itself from Marble Hornets, but they seem to have hit a good groove as a supernatural spy thriller with the protagonist Noah Maxwell facing off against a cabal of Slendy's servitors (who, by virtue of containing some manner of Slenderman's essence, make them the first attempt to actually characterize Slenderman I've ever seen) on a MacGuffin hunt, a matter further complicated by the fact that Noah himself is (will be?) a rogue servitor who's jerking Noah around to fulfill his own schemes. It's a bit frustrating, really: I like the VFX work and the story that's being developing, but I think it's dragged down by that fact that Adam Rosner, the series' creator, isn't a very good actor, and he keeps playing Noah Maxwell as a belligerent idiot.

(There's also DarkHarvest00, but I have no idea what's going on with that. Cults, maybe?)

Incidentally, I've also found that there are actually a few Slendy series out with women as the main characters: TJA Projects, which spun off a few other stories and seemed to focus on using Slenderman attacks as an abuse metaphor, and Keratin Garden, which I don't know much about but is still ongoing.
Arthur B at 22:12 on 2016-04-17
I think the EverymanHYBRID guys probably deserve some credit for acting as lynchpins of the community and doing all that crossover stuff to lend a hand to other peoples' series, but at the same time it kind of bugs me, partly because I just generally dislike crossovers for reasons I've pontificated about here before and partly because the crossovers rarely seemed to accomplish very much beyond making the production process more complex for both the series involved. Also, whilst throwing in the Rake worked quite nicely (I thought the introduction of the Rake was a particularly effective video because it was this very different breed of nastiness from what you usually expect from this stuff) HABIT was just irritating. Evan's no Frank Silva, ya know?

Entirely concur on Tribe Twelve - acting ain't great, but the editing and special effects are great. I check in on it occasionally to watch the wilder videos for the effects but don't bother following the story any more.

As far as DarkHarvest00 goes, I think the cult thing is really that series' strong point. Cults and stuff are kind of a weak, overused plot point, but they're able to make it work in their better videos primarily because they seem to have been able to rope in more friends than the others to work as extras. The video with the ceremony in the abandoned school was great, and pretty much the only Slenderseries crossover I like at all was their crossover with Tribe Twelve, which was absolutely amazing.

It's just... uh... kind of a huge shame that they went with the Guy Fawkes masks as a look for the cult. And the glacial pace of updates makes me think that they're struggling to get sufficient people together to shoot the conclusion they want to shoot at this point.

I like the ambition shown by the other major series too, but I think in more or less each case that same ambition seems to have made it impossible for them to conclude it, and I'm just entirely done with getting into series and investing in them only for them to fizzle out into nothingness. I'm sure Adam will be able to polish off Tribe Twelve eventually, not least because he's cleverly set it up so that he could almost finish it off solo if he needed to. I think it is highly doubtful that EverymanHYBRID or DarkHarvest00 will ever come to any sort of conclusion, or at least any conclusion that will be remotely satisfying or commensurate with the ambitiousness of earlier stages of those projects.

And that's why scaling back ambition might be a good thing in some cases for this sort of project; if the climactic moment of your series isn't your biggest and most ambitious shoot, then it's going to be hard to make it feel like it's a conclusion of a scale worthy of the project. (See, for instance, the final videos of Marble Hornets, where Tim's confrontations with totheark and Alex are accompanied by a really amazing editing job both times on the teleportation chases.)

I watched TJA Projects but don't remember much of it, and couldn't be arsed with the sprawling web of followup projects. Keratin Garden I may see about watching when I get around to it but might wait to see if it wraps up properly before it's done.
Ronan Wills at 23:31 on 2016-07-25
Thought I'd duck back into this comments thread to alert people to The West Records, a very obvious Marble Hornets-esque series that has both it and its many imitators beat in terms of production quality and (especially acting). It also doesn't seem to have anything to do with the Slenderverse, which is nice.

The starts is quite slow, but give it a chance. Once it gets moving it kicks off hard, which is something a lot of these things don't do.

It's still ongoing so we'll have to see if it gets around to solving any of its mysteries, but I'm definitely interested so far.
Arthur B at 00:41 on 2016-07-27
Binge-watched it. Looks interesting, though I am disheartened by the fact that they posted a "We're about to post new videos, guys!" video as the most recent thing and then seem to have failed to do anything for 3 months. That's rarely a good sign with these things.
Ronan Wills at 18:38 on 2016-08-05
A new episode just came out a few hours ago! Look like it's still going.
Arthur B at 12:06 on 2017-04-06
Update: Troy has begun rolling out his Clear Lakes 44 replacement, ECKVA. Initially it was a bunch of mysterious ARG-y stuff at a website (eckva.net) along with short, near plotless videos released on the YouTube channel. The subreddit is perhaps the best place to get caught up on the ARGy elements.

The 6th video, however, seems to have a plot coalescing and some pointers as to what we are seeing. To wit:

- ECKVA seems to be a company which was supposed to have closed down ages back.
- The person running the YouTube channel had some past dealings with them.
- They recently inherited an old house where they've discovered that they can pick up broadcasts from some sort of ECKVA system which was supposed to have been shut down ages ago.
- They have set up equipment in the old house to intercept the transmissions and upload them to the Internet automatically. (Interestingly, we don't seem to have access yet to the "raw" footage that's been uploaded - what goes on the YouTube channel is instead picked out by our narrator and has commentary added. Which has the potential for an interesting late-series reveal if we end up getting at the original uploads.)

This is a way more substantive plot that we got in Clear Lakes 44, so I'll be interested to see where things go from here.
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