This article was originally published on Ferretbrain. I’ve backdated it to its original Ferretbrain publication date but it may have been edited and amended since its original appearance.
This is the third of an inadvertent series of articles. The first one described how Marble Hornets had formed the nucleus of an intriguing YouTube microgenre. The second discussed how, as their various imitators ran the whole Slender Man thing into the ground, the brains behind Marble Hornets – Troy Wagner, Joseph DeLage and Tim Sutton – had stepped up the professionalism stakes by running a Kickstarter for a home media compilation of Marble Hornets, as well as a Patreon for supporting future endeavours by their new production company, THAC (the name being an acronym for Troy Has A Camera, the YouTube account where the trio posted their more light-hearted non-Marble Hornets work).
The decline and fall of THAC is a somewhat convoluted story, and to a certain extent this article is going to boil down to a summary of egregious Internet drama. This isn’t the sort of thing we usually put up here, but in this case I think it’s justified. First off, having told the beginning and middle of the story, I think it’s genuinely worth telling the end of it, particularly since it’s a classic example of how going into business with your friends and trying to monetise your hobbies can backfire catastrophically.
Secondly, Troy is still soliciting money for THAC projects via Patreon, and since some of the story involves a certain amount of unethical behaviour surrounding money – genuinely unethical behaviour, not “ethics” in the GamerGate sense of “Succeeding Whilst Female” or “Aiding And Abetting a Woman” – I think it is important for potential backers to be able to read a summary of what has gone down here so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to back Troy’s activities. This is particularly the case because a lot of the information here is spread amongst a bunch of forum posts, and also needs a certain amount of context to properly understand, so I think there is genuine value in collating all of this information into a single article.