1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus is a Docu-Drama adaptation of the novel by the same name. It was given 1,204,361 dollars for the production of the show by itself. It was given an additional 56,250 dollars for rich interactive media, which is going to be delivered via it’s website. It has the full range of trans-media elements, from the physical book, rich interactive media, as well as the television show.
The show has a Facebook account that followed the creation of the show live. Amazing photos of sets being built were posted routinely on the shows Facebook page. The digital aspects of the show have already managed to attract a certain amount of attention. The Facebook account has some 500 followers, and a surprising amount of racist vitriol for a show that has not aired yet, although administrators do take these down periodically. This may in part be because the novel 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus is the winner of multiple awards. The writer Charles C. Mann has given multiple interviews about the adaptation of the show.
The website is less impressive. The photos and content are not organized very well, and the website itself has been published in a WordPress format generator. The content is also mostly an imitation of what’s previously been published on Facebook. The website might be rebooted when the show actually airs.
The shows target audience is people living in the Canadian Aboriginal community. It also has immense value as an educational tool for high school age students, and anyone else who is interested in that time period. There are not a lot of shows that are from the perspective of Native Americans that make it the mainstream consciousness. This seems like an ambitious project though, and it has already begun the process of laying foundation for a property that can be interacted with in many ways.