EQAL Expands Whodunit for Web

NEW YORK Web production company EQAL, best known for creating the teen-oriented online video series lonelygirl15 and KateModern, will attempt to translate a mystery novel to the Web.

The Los Angeles-based firm has partnered with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker to build a Web offshoot for Zuiker’s crime novel, Dark Chronicles, which hits bookstores in September.

EQAL in July launches a Web site for the show that will feature original video content as well as blogs and a social community tied to the upcoming book.

Once Dark Chronicles hits stores, the plan is to add more content to the site geared for those who are in the midst of reading the book. After every five chapters, readers will be instructed to enter a code on the Web site to unearth new content — ranging from videos to audio files to photos. Zuiker will pen the novel and produce all related Web content, said officials, with EQAL providing the Web platform, associated tools and services.

Dark Chronicles is not the first such attempt at a coordinated Web/novel endeavor. Last year, the Michael Eisner digital studio Vuguru produced the online video series Foreign Body, which served as a prequel to the Robin Cook novel of the same name. That series generated relatively low viewership, though it was not directly tied to that novel’s reading experience.