By Janine Saunders, December 1st, 2010

Most people know Kid Koala as a world famous DJ and turntablist. But the soundscapes he composes are only one element of his expansive creative universe. His newest project, Space Cadet, is a sketch-board graphic novel about an astronaut girl, her guardian robot, and their adventures through space. Partly inspired by the recent birth of his daughter, Space Cadet is accompanied by a hypnotic soundtrack, recorded late at night so he wouldn’t wake her. Kid Koala explores a wide variety of instruments and visual tools to craft this wintertime lullaby and storybook.

Relevant sites:


CREATED by Lance Weiler & Alex Johnson
DIRECTOR Josh Cramer
EDITOR Jawad Metni
DP Kieran Crilly
The Slew “You Turn Me Cold”
Space Cadet work-in-progress tracks by Kid Koala

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Posted in RADAR ep comic movies music season 4 storytelling

Janine Saunders is a producer, media collaborator, and DJ living in NYC.  She has worked as a producer since a very early age, in music, video and publishing. She has worked closely with writer/ documentarian/ graphic novelist Douglas Rushkoff, and directed and edited Life Inc: The Movie.

By robert pratten, November 18th, 2010

Welcome to Transmedia Talk a new podcast covering all things story. Transmedia Talk is co-hosted by Nick Braccia and Robert Pratten and looks to shed light on the topic of transmedia storytelling with commentary, interviews and tips on how storytelling is moving into the 21st century.

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NB: If you’d like to give  us feedback, recommend yourself as a guest or suggest topics to cover – please email us at or Tweet away with the hashtag #tmediatalk

Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Robert Pratten from

Dee Cook, independent interactive writer
Tom Dunbar, producer of Resonance

00:17 Resonance
30:55 SWSX Transmedia Panels

Safeguarding the Future While Allowing Fan Collaboration

In this podcast Tom mentions the problems of allowing audience participation in a way that still allows for the Producer to commercialize the work and without jeopardizing future revenues.

There are a number of useful links to research in this area including:

1. the problem of copyrighting story characters

2. Scott Walker’s interview on Collaborative Communities

3. Emily William’s article on Collaboration

Recently I’ve been working with the international law firm Duane Morris LLP on a number of intellectual property and technology matters and after the podcast, on behalf of listeners, I emailed this question to Jonathan Armstrong a Partner in the London office.

How do I protect my story and fictional characters so that I retain the rights to all commercial opportunities while still allowing fans to (a) contribute to the work and (b) share, copy and remix it?

His reply was:

I think the issues around protecting the story would be many and varied and will depend on the countries involved.

If it were the UK I’d be looking at the following  4 simple steps:

1.       Firstly do a trademark search – you’d need to make sure when you pick the name of the character that someone else hasn’t already trademarked it.  If they have you might be committing a criminal offence and in any event its pointless building up a brand you might never be able to properly protect

2.       Its always best to check a shortlist of names rather than your favorite.  Its surprising how often with characters the one you like best is the hardest to protect – maybe it’s because subliminally we’re already familiar with it sometimes.  Check the final 3 and build protectability into your choice process.  Again you’re going to invest a lot of time and effort into the character as a brand – make sure you choose wisely

3.       Think about then registering your own trademark.  This can give you control over the character and further down the road might give you licensing revenue to support the project

4.       Even if you’re using Creative Commons make it clear what the terms are for other contributions or use of the characters.  This needn’t be overly legalistic.  The best way of looking at this is like the rules of a sport.  People enjoy the game more if everyone is clear about the rules from the get go.  All sports have a clear set of rules everyone signs up to.  Imagine the chaos if this were not the case (e.g. a batter refuses to be out after the 3rd strike, a ‘touchdown’ can be made anywhere past the half way line).  It’s simple good sense to lay the groundrules down and make sure people sign up to them.  The rules can include stuff like who owns the IP (including copyright) in the original work and any works which derive from them.

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Posted in Transmedia Talk storytelling transmedia

robert pratten Robert Pratten is CEO and Founder of Transmedia Storyteller Ltd, an audience engagement company and provider of Conducttr, an pervasive entertainment platform. He has more than 20 years experience as an international marketing consultant and has established himself as a thought-leader in the field of transmedia storytelling. He is author of the first practical book transmedia storytelling: Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners.

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By Janine Saunders, November 17th, 2010

Michael Margolis is the President of Get Storied, an education company that teaches people how to feel, think, and see in narratives. As an evangelist for storytelling and the creative process, Michael works with clients ranging from Audubon, Omnicom, and . Michael is also  author of Believe Me: a Storytelling Manifesto for Change-makers and Innovators, which is available as a complimentary digital download.
believe me

WorkBook Project: How do you see storytellers adapting to changes in authorship and the realities of a participatory culture?

Michael Margolis: Ownership is a false and outmoded concept. If you’re a Digital Native, you accept that everything you do online is recorded, and therefore shareable. You naturally borrow, adapt, and remix. Anyone who is creatively using the web, can’t help but recycle existing ideas, graphics, and concepts. It’s just inevitable. In a word of infinite knowledge, everything is a derivative in some fashion. We have to learn to let our egos get out of the way.

WBP: What are some of the interesting approaches that you’ve seen in regards to storytellers embracing these changes in authorship?

MM: Don’t get me wrong, we all deserve to be compensated for our hard work and efforts. What people will pay for is packaging the idea in a variety of formats, from freemium content to deluxe packages and premium experiences.

Especially if you’re trying to make a name for yourself. Since trust is low, you have to break through the noise and lower the risk of trying/experiencing your content. Musicians, book authors, and consultants all embrace this concept.

Consider the Gift Economy – which is a primal human instinct to offer gifts as the social lubricant of relationship building. In indigenous culture, gift economy is a demonstration of status and power. You are so confident and secure in your position, that you can share your bounty with others. That’s how you build and gather a tribe in today’s information overload environment. Give away something of high perceived value, and through familiarity and rapor – the money will follow.

WBP: In your opinion what’s the value of creating a personal brand and what’s the best way to go about it? Can you give us 5 things to consider?

MM: Perception is reality. You already have a personal brand: it’s called the stories that people tell about you. So whether you’re thinking about it or not, people are forming an impression in their mind as who you are, what you stand for, and what they share in common with you. Personal branding from a story perspective is about inviting people into relationship.

1. What do you want to be known for? (how can you embody that?)

2. What is your back story? (We want to know where you come from)

3. What are you willing to fight for? (People want to hear a point-of-view.)

4. What imperfections can you share? (quirks, vulnerability, make it real)

5. What myth or archetype do you embody (think of a persona others will relate to)

WBP: It’s been said that story will drive the next generation of social networking and app development can you explain why?

MM: We have entered the Age of Storytelling. Because in a era of infinite knowledge, we are struggling to find real meaning and understanding. As humans, narrative is how we make sense of things. Narrative is how we express ourselves. And narrative is how we connect with each other. There’s no accident that storytelling is a huge cultural meme reshaping the landscape of media and communications in all forms. There is a movement a foot to rehumanize business and culture. It’s no wonder our more basic human technology, storytelling is at the center of the equation.

WBP: What’s thing that you’ve learned the hard way that you wish someone would have told you?

MM: The old adage – that we teach what we need to learn most. In my case, storytelling is my medicine. My father is an inventor and my mother an artist – so living in a world of possibilities always came easy. I also grew up across many cultures, and in the process often felt lost in translation. As a social entrepreneur, I experienced my share of success and failure. Yet, I could never shake the feeling of being misunderstood. No wonder, I’ve devoted the past decade on decoding the role of narrative in our work and lives. Sort of like – we create the drama we seek. Yet, as I continue to imbibe my medicine, I not only heal myself, I heal the world. And thus take a few steps further in fulfilling my mission.

So, what’s the riddle you’re trying to solve? Get clear on what’s driving you forward, what fuels your curiosity and passion. There’s a new level of clarity that emerges when you learn how to shape the stories that shape you. We are no longer a victim of our own story. Instead we get to reinterpret the arc of our lives as we see fit. That’s the heart of reinvention.

WBP: Why the Reinvention Summit and why now?

MM: We’re in the midst of a dramatic shift. Just about everyone I know is in the midst of reinvention. redefining their careers, rethinking values, revitalizing an organization, or rebuilding community, etc…Talking with thousands of people over the past year, I discovered how reinvention is the new normal. The old assumptions of how the world worked are no longer true. For one, job security is an illusion. So why not follow your passion and live your truth? Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a vocabulary for how to navigate through the reinvention process, or translate that desire into a sustainable economic path.

Connect that with the power of storytelling and its ability to reinvent our world. Narrative is the fundamental language of reinvention. So we all need to learn and deepen our knowledge of narrative principles. That’s the intention behind the Reinvention Summit: 2-weeks, 32 sessions, 400 participants, who all believe that story is core to their work and mission.

We’re gathering a new tribe of storytellers: change-makers, marketers, creatives, innovators, and seekers – who see storytelling as fundamental to their work and mission. And in the process, the Summit is breaking out of the silos  - exploring the role of narrative across a range of topics: branding, marketing, social change, community building, transmedia, career development, spiritual growth, social media, and more. Its a bold experiment to expand the discussion and re-story possiblities.

Hope you’re readers decide to join us, they can still register and join midstream. Sessions are also all recorded for playback.

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Posted in education event experience storytelling

Janine Saunders is a producer, media collaborator, and DJ living in NYC.  She has worked as a producer since a very early age, in music, video and publishing. She has worked closely with writer/ documentarian/ graphic novelist Douglas Rushkoff, and directed and edited Life Inc: The Movie.

By Jason Hood, November 16th, 2010

Past the quaint, stroller-lined streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn, there lies hidden a secretive establishment dedicated to serving those who serve this city in the name of truth, justice, and looking really awesome. I am talking, of course, of superheroes.

And did I say “secretive establishment”? I meant, a shop right on 5th Avenue with a big flashy sign. And a slick website. Hey, even superhumans could use a little advertising.

I may be a bit late on this, but I only just saw Kick-Ass a couple days ago. And when the title character wonders why no one has ever decided to be a superhero before, he must not have known about this place. (Or maybe he didn’t want to have to navigate all the way to Park Slope? I don’t blame him).

But no matter what, it’s an interesting concept that I’m surprised no one has tried before: a store providing those aspiring to be superheroes with all sorts of various gear, costumes and manuals to help them live out their comic book-inspired dreams. And while this writer doesn’t advocate readers putting themselves into dangerous situations in an effort to clean up this city, there certainly appears to be something for everyone here, including a rather tongue-in-cheek “secret identity program” for those heroes who have trouble fitting in amongst the masses. This includes costumes ranging from “cranky head chef” to “suave airline pilot,” secret identity T-shirts, and for a price, a “mild manner.” Every successful undercover superhero is going to be looking for one of these. You certainly don’t want to be the only hot-tempered reporter at the Daily Planet, do you?

For those not so interested in assimilating, there’s also a number of essential gadgets for your utility belt such as a Sonic Blaster, a Thunder Inducer, an Air Cannon, and various bottled tonics such as Mind Control, Truth Serum, and bottled Justice. They also have a selection of capes for heroes and sidekicks, leotards, masks, and glasses, both in the rear-view and X-ray varieties.

And while it may appear to all be fantasy-based, the people behind this store actually do their share of good deeds—all proceeds go directly to support 826NYC, a nonprofit organization that helps students develop their creative and expository writing skills.

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Posted in comic storytelling street art

Jason Hood a recent graduate of the University of Texas, he once co-produced Local Live and The Austin Sessions, a radio-slash-TV show and webseries, respectively, that focused on Austin’s famous independent music scene. He’s also directed a number of 16mm short films, and had a diverse and bizarre series of paid jobs ranging from librarian to travel blogger.

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By Milton De La Cruz, November 12th, 2010

Auto-Tune the News: Rent Too Damn High! Song

Well the greats of Auto-Tune the News (RADAR Ep.27 – ATTN) have done it again. They have used the evils of auto-tune for good! How you ask? Well they took the already comical Jimmy McMillan and made a musical number out of his speeches during the Gubernatorial debates. It’s hard not to find a comedic note with the Rent is Too Damn High party because of their name and Jimmy McMillan’s facial hair configuration, but the people of Auto-tune the News took it to a whole different place by making a smooth R&B for a party that should have taken office. Try not to giggle too hard when you watch this. Remember your coworkers can hear you. – Rent Is To Damn High Party – the website


Brian Grainger (Milieu) New Album

Brian Grainger, of Milieu (RADAR Season 3), is releasing a new album called ZYUAXOHTVIMIVTHOXAUYS! For those of you that can’t get enough of warped and twisted ambient music turned into melodic rhapsodies be sure to check this album out. His fervor for creating complete experiences has never been this strong. From the beginning of the album you are quietly lulled into a state of engagement by the low key and slow introduction. The shift into genius music goes almost unnoticed until you realize that your speakers are rumbling uncontrollably and you don’t want them to stop. You just have to let the wave of sound come crashing over you. Give in to Brian Grainger and his electronic arrangements. The album is for sale on Grainger’s bandcamp website, and for an extra four bucks you can get the special edition CD-R which should be a fun treat for you electronic heavy addicts out their. You can’t miss this album, it’s overpowering!


Pecan Pie Baby – Sophie Blackall

Illustrator Sophie Blackall (RADAR Ep16 – Missed Connections) has a new book out. She has teamed up with Jacqueline Woodson on the children’s book Pecan Pie Baby. The book focuses on Gia, a young girl who’s mother is about to have a second child. Gia has a hard time coming to terms with everyone’s obsession with the baby on the way. Blackall’s illustrations fit perfectly with the colorful characters, and accentuate the familial sweetness of the tender story. Sophie Blackall received the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award. She has illustrated several award-winning picture books. Her blog Missed Connections features her creating these accessible and quirky illustrations based on the Missed Connections section of Craigslist. Her caricatures are wonderfully whimsy and fun to encounter. Be sure to give Pecan Pie Baby a read if you have a little one of your own.

Buy the Book HERE
Visit Sophie’s website HERE


Dr. Sketchy’s Factory Revival

If it smells like beer and charcoal you know Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR Ep.8) is coming to town. Come join the fine people of Dr. Sketchy’s as they revive Andy Warhol’s Factory days. The troops will meet at the Red Lotus Room, and revive the spirit of pop art eras past. There is no way that an upstanding New York citizen wouldn’t want to attend a debaucherous drawing session in the persona of Edie Sedgwick or Basquiat. You really can’t miss this one because it is sure to be a once in lifetime opportunity to tap into the power of art while you are playing the part of a great artist. Cigarette girls will deal art supplies. Guests will pose for polaroids and confess dark secrets in the “Screen Test” video booth. Drawing jams will take over the walls, art students will become models, and at the end of the night, one guest will shoot Andy Warhol. As always, this event is brought to you by the wonderful Ms. Molly Crabapple! Go!

Saturday, November 13 · 6:00pm – 10:00pm
The Red Lotus Room
893 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, NY


Paris Vs. New York

You always hear the hipster girls in bars say that New York is no Paris. Even some of the older generations of New Yorkers can’t help but bring up how the two cities are the most wonderful in the world. The comparison between Paris and New York is timeless, well except for the bit of history that Paris existed without having New York to be compared with. The two cities embody the metropolitan spirit of the Western world, so it’s kind of hard not to talk about the similarities and differences between the two. That’s where the blog Paris vs. New York comes to play. Over at Paris v. New York, they create graphic representations of aspects of both cities, and take the city out of them. They choose to accentuate just the sensory details that can be encountered when traversing the cities. From Amelie v. Carrie to Quasimodo v. King Kong, their distilled imagery of Paris and NYC iconography is quirky and fun. Who do you root for in these visual comparisons?

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Posted in News RADAR NYC event movies music storytelling

Milton De La Cruz is a soon to be graduate from Tisch at NYU. He spends most of his time traipsing across the streets of the city daydreaming and trying to take videos on his cameraphone. When he's not dawdling around Manhattan he spends his time in museums and art exhibits trying to figure what's new in the art world. On top of that, he loves to do gaff, grip, write, direct, and edit film projects. With a penchant for fashion photography, he's always trying to find a new muse to photograph. His favorite time of day is anytime past 10 PM because it makes for the best lighting in photos.

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