The Overly Complicated, Unexpectedly Nuanced, and Frustratingly Metafictional Background Lore of
Down to Film

Written by Will Thomas and Noah Killeen

The Structure of the Metaverse
The world of Down to Film exists within the ‘Metaverse,’ a fictional plane of existence one-step removed from our prime reality.The entirety of the Down to Film Metaverse is contained by a transdimensional barrier known as the ‘Fourth Wall.’ Beyond the fourth wall, which cannot be physically crossed by any normal means, is the ‘Void’ or the ‘Infinite Dark Room’ which teems with meta-energy.When characters on the show die or are written off, they are cast into the Infinite Dark Room where they exist in endless mundane nothingness which is devoid of motivation or purpose (the only reason for which characters exist). Without a story to sustain them, they slowly fade into non-existence.The unique quality of the DTF Metaverse is that it contains a “weak point” in the Fourth Wall - a place that is highly unstable and subject to tearing. Proximity to this “Metarift” (which looks kinda like a “space vagina”) permits the existence of self-aware narratives. Standing directly in front of the rift and looking within it for a long enough period of time will either drive the observer insane or cause them to understand that they are trapped within a fictional world - that they are part of a show. If this knowledge does not kill the character in question, they are bestowed with extraordinary capabilities (think Neo in the Matrix).Unfortunately, this rift cannot be healed and is a profound weakness within the world's structure. Too much self-referential creativity produced near the rift can cause it to destabilize and warp the fabric of reality around it. If pushed too far, it might even result in the complete collapse of the entire Metaverse.

The Creation of Down to Film
By modern times, the Metarift is secretly hidden underneath the TSTV building. Lord Bacon theorized that TSTV would mostly be filled with un-creative entertainment news programming that was largely uninspired - so the rift would be safe from destabilization. They figured the best place to protect the rift from creativity was beneath a student-run television station.But they were wrong. Conner Crews joined Capital Cineforum, one of the shows which displayed and discussed student films, and eventually pushed for its change in format to a more self-referential narrative and calling it Down to Film. The Pear Shakers were so disinterested in TSTV at this point (none of them watched any of the shows) that this went unnoticed.The sudden increase in creativity (which had never been present in TSTV before) rapidly began to destabilize the Metarift, slowly beginning to warp reality and logic around Down to Film.

Seasons 6 - 8 - The Transition into Meta-Fiction
Causality around the Metarift begins twisting continuity and altering the memories of characters on the show - causing them to forget or completely change their identity from season to season or even from episode to episode. In their minds, the show they are creating and the lives they were living are paradoxically one and the same.The only people immune to the destabilization are those who possess either no personality / character or they are so committed to method acting that they cannot distinguish between fiction and reality in the first place (i.e. Oliver and Austin).The Pear Shakers send Danny Hynes into Down to Film as an undercover agent. His goal is to find a way to cancel the show so that the destabilization doesn't grow any larger. Unfortunately, his mind begins to be corrupted by the Metarift’s destabilization (like everyone else) and he slowly loses a grip on his true identity.“Die Hard to Film” is the show’s first fully narrative-based episode. This is the breaking point.

Season 9 - DTF Saves the World
The Pear Shakers recognize further destabilization of the Metarift after Danny, their original plant, flies into space after becoming the co-Executive Producer with no intention of getting the show cancelled.So, they send Bruce Jackson (a.k.a Wyatt Miller) into DTF as a sleeper agent. He needed to be a sleeper agent to keep his true memories safe from the rapid decrease in sanity and loss of memory that plagued everyone else in close to proximity to the destabilization. His goal is to become EP and then have his memories “re-activated” by a special keyphrase:  “even hitler had some good ideas.” He would then bring an end to Down to Film and give control of the Metarift back to the Pear Shakers. Unfortunately, simply being in the presence of the stupidity of DTF nearly drove him to suicide.At the same time FANNTM sends Marek “Marmlo” Mareshke, a low-level recruit from Poland, to infiltrate Down to Film and repair the destabilization. He is supposed to perform a long dispelling ritual involving significant object’s from DTF’s pre-narrative past, but he was quickly distracted by the “temptations of the american lifestyle” and his “gender confusion.”Throughout this season, many DTF characters die and are sent to the Infinite Dark Room.When Marek finally remembers his job he performs it too late, and the disturbance ruptures and releases upon the world “Dark DTF” - a corrupted echo of the DTF members who had died throughout that season (a shadow of their spirits being pulled back through the Metarift as a result of the destabilization).Ultimately, Marek does fulfill the made-up prophecy that he would be the one to “save DTF and the world,” by using his sausage magic to blow up the leader of Dark DTF, Oliver. This event shatters continuity and pulls all of the dead characters back into the mortal world.Important aside: Oliver’s character (who just shows up in ep.6 of season 9 with no explanation) was born from the Infinite Dark Room, hence his complete lack of personality. His Dark DTF counterpart leads the attack on the HSM. After Marek defeats Dark DTF, Oliver’s proper self is brought to the mortal world, deadpan and all. Nobody’s quite sure who he is, but given all the weird shit that had just happened, nobody questions it.

Season 10 - The End of Meta
Prior to Season 10, Oliver is recruited and trained by the Pear Shakers, for his lack of a personality immunes him from the psychological corruption caused by the Metarift.Even though Dark DTF is gone, the disturbance in the Metarift continues to grow. Celeste Menchaca, one of the original DTF members, stumbles upon the rift itself. After staring into its depths she gains the same self-referential fourth-wall breaking knowledge and powers as Kevin Bacon - which drives her insane. Now with full understanding of all the weird food cults and the power within the rift, she hatches a plan to rip the fabric of the Metaverse apart so that she can rebuild it from the ground up in her image.Mareshke creates a fake alias “Marmlo” - and is able to take up the position of station manager following the previous’ departure. His goal is to cut ties with FANNTM as he now recognizes the danger of tampering with the Metarift and doesn't want any part of it.Danny, after hearing the phrase “shake pears,” a part of his subconscious begins to light up and he slowly re-acquires tidbits of knowledge about the Pear Shakers. This begins to drive him a bit crazy.Bear, another agent of the Pear Shakers, is sent into DTF to act more directly - as Kevin Bacon senses that someone (i.e. Celeste) is tampering with the Metarift and that they need to be stopped.Realizing that Wyatt isn’t who he says he is, Celeste imprisons him in the studio and tortures him with long marathons of horrible movies to try and find his keyphrase. Wyatt escapes halfway through the season without being broken.Bear incorrectly suspects that Danny has willingly betrayed the PS and is actually the culprit of the tampering. He ends up shooting him... but Danny just goes unconscious and doesn’t bleed out. Because of this Celeste recognizes Bear for what he is, and captures him as well.With everyone out of the way, Celeste successfully transforms DTF into a doubly self-referential narrative, absolutely annihilating any remaining semblance of stability in the Metarift. The fourth wall shatters into a million pieces and the “prime script” (the script for Season 10 Ep. 6 from OUR world) falls down into the Metaverse - just as Celeste had hoped. Bruce Jackson’s keyphrase is finally spoken and he regains his memories, but they are all too late to stop Celeste.Danny awakens in the studio and finds Bear bound to a chair. Bear, desperate to save the world, tells Danny the location of the Pear Shakers’ headquarters. Danny comes face to face with Kevin Bacon, who informs him of the of what has transpired with the “prime script.” He re-unites with the crew to go on a quest to find it, as it has the power to rewrite reality.Danny, Bruce Jackson, and the DTF crew get their hands on the prime script, but instead of using it to fix all their problems they just dick around for like ten minutes. Because of this, Celeste manages to catch them off guard and take the script for herself. About to use the script to become a God, the Metaverse begins to fully destabilize. Everything is on the brink of complete annihilation. In a moment of radical inspiration, Danny rushes forward and tears the script in half. This triggers a massive metafictional reset - unwriting all of DTF season 10 and changing many characters identities and memories.As Danny was standing at the epicenter of the reset, he is the only DTF member to retain memories of his experience in season 10.Important Note: When these “metafictional resets” occur, it does not mean that all of reality resets, it just means the lives, memories, and experiences of those in proximity to the Metarift are spontaneously shuffled (usually just the DTF crew).

Season 11 - DTF “The Film”
All of Down to Film Season 11 (not including the last five-ish minutes of the last episode) are a fictional world within a fictional world - a movie created by Danny Hynes and the DTF crew.The film includes elements such as re-telling events from season 9 (i.e. Marek saving the world by shoving a sausage into Oliver’s mouth) and Danny entering the infinite darkroom through the Metarift (as part of a drug overdose) and visiting his past selves from previous seasons, but also putting his own narcissistic David Lynch influences on it to make it seem more artsy.Key Point: This was all an effort by Danny to tell the world about the Pear Shakers and Metarift under the radar, distributed as a film, to keep it under the noses of anyone who may have wanted to stop it, such as the Pear Shakers. He mainly wanted money.Marmlo renews the show for four more seasons. Before Danny leaves, he appoints Marc as Executive Producer of Down to Film.

Season 12 - Incarnate
In the months after Danny’s departure, the film becomes a massive success. As a result, the increase in metafictional content across the globe brings the destabilization of the Metarift to an all-time high (not including the end of Season 10, which didn’t happen), greatly upsetting the Pear Shakers.The increased destabilization of the Metarift allows for several new developments in the reality of the show. Hispanics can now communicate telepathically, and character’s spirits are not permanently anchored to their physical bodies (i.e. they can be brought back as ghosts or transferred into other people or even inanimate objects).FANNTM, recognizing an opportunity, manages to get one of their agents secretly inducted into the Pear Shakers. This agent’s goal was simple: play the long game until you can kill as many Pear Shakers and DTF crew members as possible. Then, FANNTM can step in and seize control of the Metarift for themselves.The Pear Shakers are thrown into a frenzy, desperately trying to find a way to dismantle Down to Film without physically being present in the HSM (as to avoid going insane like all their previous plants). After much deliberation, they recognize an opportunity within the increased destabilization. A small contingent of Pear Shakers agree to have their spirits transferred into the TSTV servers, where they can influence Down to Film without their minds being distorted by the Metarift. The undercover FANNTM agent is among these volunteers.Before they do this, the undercover FANNTM agent kidnaps Marmlo. He inserts a sausage wrapped in prints of DTF episodes on film into his anal cavity. This dark sausage magic begins the gestation of “DTF Incarnate,” a malevolent being that is as evil as DTF is bad, as a means to violently murder the entire crew. This process links the spirits of Marmlo and Incarnate.Nobody hears from Marek until he returns at the beginning of Season 10, under the leadership of the Pear Shaker agents, who now call themselves the “Corporate Heads.”Thomas dies in the first episode, but is brought back as a ghost.DTF Incarnate bursts from Marek’s chest and nearly destroys him, but, since Incarnate needs Marek alive to stay alive himself, Marek’s body rapidly heals.A new DTF member named ‘OT’ (Other Thomas) dies in a sandwhich-related accident, but the ghost of the original thomas possesses his corpse and reanimates him.Most of the Corporate Heads are murdered by an infiltrator within their ranks (the rouge corporate head who created DTF Incarnate). Marmlo discovers Incarnate feels all of his own physical pain. Once he shoots himself in the head and dies, Incarnate is destroyed.The FANNTM agent is destroyed by Benny when he removes an extension cord from a surge protector carrying all of TSTV’s power (the station is just that poorly set-up).Thomas is forced to leave OT’s body after Celeste stabs him. He attempts to ascend into Heaven, but is rejected by OT, and descends into Hell.Benny became the new station manager, having been trained by Marek. He soon quits the position after finding out it paid even less than his original salary, which was nothing.Jake moved to Switzerland and became a codpiece salesman. He was soon forced to return to Down to Film as Executive Producer after an incident where one of his products fell off a customer’s genitals. The customer was Ted Cruz, and it was the smallest size.OT was kicked out of heaven for insensitive jokes and sub-par coffee. He was forced to return to Down to Film.Thomas was sent to Hell, but killed Satan after discovering his extreme Mayo allergy. Thomas took his rightful place as King of Hell.

Interlude - The Rise of FANNTM
After the Incarnate season, the only remaining Pear Shaker is Lord Kevin Bacon himself. He has accepted defeat.Before he decides to leave the Metaverse forever to continue his acting career, he bestows Danny Hynes, the only person he has left to trust, with a special weapon to be used as a last resort in their inevitable upcoming fight against FANNTM. Sir Bacon removes his own belt and channels all of his remaining metafictional power into it. He hands it to Danny.Bacon tells Danny that if the executive producer of Down to Film snaps the belt in front of his or her chest, it will trigger and instantaneous metafictional reset akin to what happened after season 10. The result of the reset, however, will be a reality molded off of the subconscious desire of the EP who snaps the belt. Danny says “Oh... you mean like this?” and snaps the belt in front of him. Before Bacon can say “No wait, it’s only a last resort! You’ll lose your memory of the belt as well!” the Metaverse is reset once again. Many of the characters memories are altered, and many of the events of the previous two seasons are unwritten.FANNTM is immensely frustrated, as all their attempts to conquer DTF and the metarift have been unsuccessful. They manage to capture Celeste, now a DTF alumni, and install a new device of their own design - a “V-Chip” - into her brain. The V-Chip allows FANNTM to, at any moment, take control of Celeste and move her around like a puppet. It also allows them sight into the individual’s subconscious.In the case of Celeste, FANNTM learns something quite useful: previously unknown information about the Metarift and how it works. Buried deep within Celeste’s mind was inklings of her experiences in Season 10. They now understand that the Metarift can be conjured by meta-fictional content, and that if pushed far enough will make it possible for them to acquire the prime script and rewrite the world in its entirety.  Essentially, they are now going to try to replicate Celeste’s plan on a march larger scale.Still not wanting to risk losing their sanity, they act indirectly. They install hidden cameras all throughout the HSM and begin a live reality TV broadcast of the antics of the DTF crew. This reality TV show becomes what we see as season 13 and season 14. This, FANNTM hopes, will be exactly the kind of doubly self-referential narrative that will cause the Metarift to widen even more. ( What FANNTM doesn't realize is that it takes creative meta-fictional content to conjure the Metarift, and reality TV is intrinsically uncreative and idiotic. )

Season 13 - Business as Usual
Danny returns to Down to Film, now station manager in this new reality, and wielding the belt. He has, of course, already completely forgotten its purpose other than “saving” DTF. And, since he is no longer the EP, the belt no longer works for him.Jake, the new EP, takes a much more laid-back approach to the executive producer position, until Danny arrives. As a result of the reset, they do not remember Danny.FANNTM, watching their own show, recognize that Danny somehow has possession of Kevin Bacon’s belt. They being to grow uncomfortable, realizing that it must be some kind of device of great power.Danny, having completely forgotten his reason for being at the station, but still rolling in his DTF: The Film money, takes control of a drug cartel, laundering the money through DTF.Jake’s attempts to leave TSTV (lying to OT about having leukemia) and sell the film rights of Danny’s transsexual drug kingpin story. This angers FANNTM, because Jake is a star of a reality TV that they themselves are producing (even if he’s unaware) and because he is attempting to sell a story that, technically, FANNTM owns. Moral of the story: don’t mess with copyright.FANNTM resorts to killing Jake as a warning to the new co-EPs, Thomas and OT, that insubordination would not be tolerated.

Season 14 - DTF’s Independence Day
FANNTM sends Celeste to frighten OT and Thomas into following their orders. Though the EPs have already agreed never to cross them, FANNTM puts a plan in motion to cause great tension between the two EP’s and eventually remove OT from the equation (making it easier for them to take over the station).FANNTM distracts the crew with an impossible to bring-to-life script while producing all of their everyday activities as live reality television. They are growing frustrated, because the Metarift isn’t destabilizing as they had thought.Once the crew turns on TSTV for the first time and find that their lives being broadcast on live television. They spring into action (with remarkable spontaneous determination) and go to kill the FANNTM members. Danny, now Danielle, arrives with the Kevin Bacon’s belt and says she needs to give it to an EP, having eventually realized she can no longer use it.After a remarkable bloodbath, Danielle is killed by a punch to the face by Marc, who gives the belt to Thomas (the actual current EP).Thomas does not know the purpose of the belt, only that FANNTM is terrified of it and that only an EP can “use it.”  Remembering all the times Danny had snapped the belt in front of the crew, he holds it in front of him and does the same.The Metaverse of Down to Film resets once again, unwriting many of the events of season 13 and 14.

Season 15 - Stan B. L. Zebub
FANNTM has given up. They now recognize that, in all likelihood, DTF will destroy itself before they ever can.With FANNTM and the Pear Shakers out of the way, there is nothing left to stop the Metarift from continuing on its path to complete destabilization. As time goes on, things will get crazier and crazier, and there will be nobody to stop it.In the midst of all this, Satan (a powerful supernatural being and therefore immune to the metafictional resets) is seeking revenge for Thomas’s brief stint as the King of Hell. He ascends into the mortal world to wreak havoc on Down to Film.

Season 16 - The Unbuckler Unbuckles
The power of the incessant belt snapping and devil angering upset the Metaverse, which, now disturbed, undid the Great Belt binding it and the linearity of the Universe exploded turning it into the ‘Multi-Metaverse’. Every season of Down to Film lost its connection with the others and were spread throughout different universes which were reset from The Beginning. A council of higher beings was established to maintain unity between universes, in order to do so, they created a species of being to blend in and join DTF to make sure it will never upset the rift again, known as ‘The Jordans’.The Unbuckler (Maryn McGuire) then bound two universes together (DTF and ADTF) before Unbinding all of reality. However this was all orchestrated by “Real-Life” Evan Parks, head writer of a DTF operating in a Universe of a higher plane. He was inspired by Celeste’s plot and brought it into actuality, becoming a God of lower plane DTFs by writing in their existence through scripts. It is doubtful that he was the actual Real Evan.

Season 17 & 18 - Down To Film’s Fictional Foray
Because these seasons do not follow the fictional show Down to Film, they’re not canon within the universe, but perhaps they are themselves the fictional show being created by a fictional iteration of Down to Film, or they are just “side stories” set in the Down to Film Multi-Metaverse.

Document edited by Holly Anderson