Rubenstein, Goodfried, Beckett & the OpAphid-Lonelygirl15 connection

May 16, 2008 at 11:32 pm 1 comment

On Saturday March 03, 2007 Glenn Rubenstein appeared with Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried at the ARG-Fest-o-Con conference on Alternate Reality Games in San Francisco, California.

The panel, which ran a little over thirty minutes, provided insight and detail on how OpAphid and Lonelygirl15 came to collaborate on a crossover between their series. Of course, this collaboration is what further led to Glenn Rubenstein’s involvement on Lonelygirl15 as a writer, director, and story editor for the popular internet show.

Note: Glenn Rubenstein had been slated to appear on a different ARG-Fest-o-con panel originally, but for the sake of topical relevance, the trio appeared together on one panel covering both of their series. This panel was the only ARG-Fest appearance by Rubenstein, Beckett, or Goodfried at the convention/conference.

The group’s discussion also goes into great detail on the initial confusion about Lonelygirl15 being envisioned as some sort of interactive ARG from the start, which it was not. As Miles Beckett explains it, the series was originally conceived as a straightforward narrative and not as an interactive series or Alternate Reality Game. But because of the way it was launched via YouTube, people believed that the main character of Bree was a real girl at first, but soon became suspicious that the series was some sort of viral marketing experiment.

LG15’s Greg Goodfried humorously riffs on what it was like for himself and Beckett (along with his wife, Amanda, and also Lonelygirl15 co-creator Mesh Flinders) to have their lives under intense scrutiny from interested fans who were fiercely determined to uncover who was behind the popular series in the summer of 2006 (before their identities were public, and shortly before they reached out to Rubenstein with ideas towards a collaboration).

Glenn Rubenstein also discusses his inspiration to turn his original screenplay into an online series through OpAphid, and talks about how impressed he was by the online ARG Cassie Is Watching, which had built a following for itself as a YouTube series through the perception of an overlap with Lonelygirl15. Rubenstein goes into a fair amount of detail on the inspirations for his story, and the mechanics of the series puzzles through the characters of OpAphid, Tachyon, and 10033.

Goodfried and Rubenstein both also joke about how Lonelygirl15 originally approached OpAphid online about hooking up a potential collaboration and crossover.

As explained here by the group, this led to Rubenstein working on Lonelygirl15 and developing the show’s interactivity, which expanded upon the format of his work at that point with OpAphid. Rubenstein ends the panel by expressing his gratitude for sites like Unfiction and ARGN (ARGNet) and talks about what he had learned thus far about the strain of working on an interactive series.

The three creators also took questions from the audience about Lonelygirl15, OpAphid, and the state of online video. There is a lot of information and detail, which you can check out in this video of their talk (linked from YouTube):

(from left to right: Brian Clark, Greg Goodfried, Miles Beckett, Glenn Rubenstein)

The moderator of this ARGFest panel (seen on the left-hand side of the video) was Brian Clark. Clark has previously worked on alternate reality games such as “The Art of the Heist” and “Who is Benjamin Stowe?”

Jonathan Waite from does the video’s introduction, before turning it over to Clark.


Entry filed under: lonelygirl15, OpAphid. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. OpAphid meets REDEARTH88 « OpAphid  |  September 1, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    […] To learn more about the history of the interactive video series OpAphid before REDEARTH88, as well as its earlier story arc that crossed over with the popular online series Lonelygirl15, check out this report and video: OpAphid Glenn Rubenstein with Lonelygirl15 creators at ARGfest-o-Con […]


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