Start running Raiders! Zombies are coming to Campus.

Eli Stillman, Editor in Chief

Ideally, we all would love to integrate all our hobbies, and interests into a career.  Creating our own dream job seems like a difficult path, but it’s one that Southern Oregon University senior Chris Applegate is already headed down. Chris has built his own multimedia company that is developing its first project:  Zompocalypse Fitness. Described by its website as a “Cross-Training Mobile Audio Adventure,” the exercise application for Android and iOS devices hopes to entertain listeners while making them sweat. Although it’s being released later this year it’s already gaining buzz around campus, he’ll be posting zombie art in public spaces at SOU.

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This app will take listeners through a post-apocalyptic storyline while they are instructed to perform physical exercises in order to remain safe.  While the basis of this might sound simple, the work of pulling everything together definitely hasn’t been.

What originally started as a layout assignment for a graphics design class quickly turned into an actual business and hopeful career for Applegate.  The founder of AppleDOT Multimedia, who happens to be a fitness enthusiast and zombie fanatic, decided to bring this assignment to (after)life while speculating about what he wanted to do for a capstone as well as a future career.

Chris wasn’t always working with emerging media though. He originally was declared as an environmental science and pre-engineering major but switched when he realized mathematics was not his strong suit.

Applegate found himself wrapped up in the EMDA program on campus.  The instant gratification of coding websites and seeing results piqued his interest as trial and error helped him develop a love for multimedia.

The courses at Southern Oregon have given Applegate the skills necessary to push forward, but the community has been supportive as well.

“More people I talked to gave me a positive response,” Applegate said. “I was having fun making it and realized it has to be done.”

The post-apocalyptic world that Applegate has dreamt up is being brought to life by a handpicked team almost entirely comprised of current SOU students and alumni.  The only non-SOU student involved is the fitness instructor who is putting together all of the workouts. Abraham Hernandez is a Zumba education specialist who is able to put his knowledge to use in the unique workout platform that Zompocalypse fitness suggests.

Self-marketing is a necessary strategy that a cyber project like this needs to incorporate.  For a man who hardly used Facebook this posed a problem.

After a few short months, the social media campaign has been fairly successful.

Quite a bit of attention has come from the app’s Twitter as well its Kickstarter, which was launched in the middle of February.

By releasing progress, pictures, and updates on different social platforms, Applegate hopes to keep gaining interest and support in order to reach his goal of 17,800 dollars by April 4th. It’s a tall order given that he’s at just over 8 hundred now with thirty one days left to go.

Still, the creative writing, animations, and coding going on right now are only part of the plan as Applegate has sights set on the future.  AppleDOT media plans not only to create apps but also to dabble in web design and creating other multimedia for commercial purposes.

Chris will only present his company’s development and a three-episode prototype of Zompocalypse for his capstone but the team is in it for the long haul.  The series is planning to run for at least five seasons with the possibility for side-stories and adventures.

Momentum is picking up as graduation draws nearer, and animations are coming to life. But Chris Applegate is greeting this time-consuming project enthusiastically.  He is proud of his work and believes its unique qualities will make it popular among fitness apps after it’s release this coming Halloween.

“If you like zombies and want to get in shape, it’s for you.”

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