Heart of the City

22 Sep 2009

What if Kanye West met Lord of the Rings…?

we don't just dream of flying...

we don't just dream of flying...

The Story
Our transmedia story Heart of the City is a narrative set in the surreal world of urban teens, rife with mischief, rabbit holes and romance. The storyworld encompasses a web series, ARGs, original products and a feature film.

magic hides infront of eyes

magic hides infront of eyes

It all begins one hot day in Brooklyn when our two heroes, Jai and Sash, buy a dusty talisman from the back wall of their local bodega, thinking it might hang nicely from Jai’s chain. But when they discover that it has the power to unlock daydreams – turning them into flashes of reality – the boys find their lives and their path forever changed.

In their mind’s eye and on our screen, they now skate with Tony Hawk, smooch Santogold and freestyle with Pharrell. New York City morphs into a vast playground as Jai and Sash explore its nooks and secrets, joined by a purple sasquatch-dragon and bold fashionistas.

But something’s missing.

They must find the meaning of the talisman – what are its rules, how can it help them, how long will this magic last?

Just as heroes before them have learned, from Dorothy Gale to Peter Parker, with great power, comes great responsibility. Time is fleeting. Evil lurks. And so begins their quest.

mischief in the man and the dog

mischief in the man and the dog

The Market
At Desedo HQ, we are excited. (we just won the Pixel Pitch:))

In creating Heart of the City, we wanted to make new heroes for a massive, multiracial audience. Jai and Sash are from the optimistic youth of the Obama generation, from a new era in American history.

These teens are at the vanguard of digital, mobile and gaming. It’s a group whose hobbies include comic books, skateboarding, and fashion. And they were weaned on hip-hop.

As we wrote in Ad Age, most advertising and entertainment that targets this audience does not reflect their many interests. It overlooks both their depth and digital smarts. Yet in a shrinking economy, these minority markets are growing in both size and spending power. It’s a demographic we see reflected and refracted in spaces like Grey’s Anatomy and Kanye West’s collaboration with Takashi Murakami, Disney’s Cheetah Girls and our 44th president.

Heart of the City is the first transmedia property built to engage multiple minority markets. Our heroes and our audience hail from the same world of early adopters, one encompassing Black Nerds, Asian BBoys and Wassup Rockers.

As our characters plumb the city for adventures, our audience sees itself reflected in values and style, in language and in attitude. Jai and Sash are the heroes they’ve been waiting to see onscreen.

Heart of the City is the new hero narrative for this generation.

Photos by Jason Lewis and The Brink


  1. 22 Sep 2009 Ron Brodie

    Sounds fresh! I need a screening, and I wish the best of luck!

  2. 28 Sep 2009 sean


  3. 1 Oct 2009 Al

    Deepest congrats and best of luck, family <3

  4. 16 Oct 2009 Mike Hedge

    congrats! excited about the project!

  5. […] We’re giddy. We just won Babelgum’s Pixel Pitch award in London for our transmedia tale Heart of the City. […]

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