By Lance Weiler, June 14th, 2010

The ubiquitous nature of smart phones and location aware devices means transmedia storytelling can become a local and dynamic experience for the masses. This workshop by Ethan Rublee will serve as a rabbit hole into the technology behind AR and geo-locational platforms. Open source software, some programming gumption, and off the shelf hardware is all that is needed to experiment. Android phone app development will be thoroughly evangelized. Ideas on using local space to connect distant users will be explored. Show and tell includes AR on the Android, hacking the wiimote, anaglyph 3D, browser based AR, video see through head mounted displays, Google Maps api, and more.

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Posted in DIYDays biz dev data storytelling tech transmedia

Lance Weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects.

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By TJ Kosinski, June 11th, 2010
WATCH

Tourist Lane – Improv Everywhere

The folks over at the the public scene-causing supergroup Improv Everywhere have just released a new video called “The Tourist Lane”. We don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say we think there are a lot of New Yorkers out there who are wishing this wasn’t just a prank. While exploring more of their hilarious videos, be on the lookout for RADAR contributor Katie Sokoler (RADAR 011 – Color Me Katie) , who is an Improv Everywhere agent.

LISTEN

You and I – Washed Out

No-fi music maker Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) has just released a new single “You and I” featuring vocals from Caroline Polachek of Chairlift. Head on over to Greene’s merch page to purchase other 7″ featuring Washed Out and another RADAR-featured band, Small Black, and be on the look out for Washed Out touring this summer.

MP3 (via Pitchfork): Washed Out: “You and I [ft. Caroline Polachek]“

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Letting The Style Flow Freely – Luca Laurenti

Check out this interview with Luca Laurenti, the illustrator and graphic designer who won the “Digital Design Tournament in 2-D” category at Cut & Paste (RADAR 006 – Cut & Paste) 2009 in Milan, Italy.

Find new work and events on Luca Laurenti’s blog

GO

The Art Monkey’s Ball – Dr. Sketchy’s

Come on out this Saturday, June 12th, for an evening of life-drawing meets cabaret meets insanity at Dr. Sketchy’s Presents The Art Monkeys Ball. Art installations by Molly Crabapple (RADAR 008 – Dr. Sketchy’s) will be on display, and glitter covered gals will be present. Costume attire gets you in at a discounted price, so gather your most glamorous garb and make a trip to the Red Lotus Room at 6 PM this Saturday.

Saturday, June 12th – 6p
The Red Lotus Room
893 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
Tickets: $15 at the door in costume
Event Info

FOLLOW

@ScottBlake

Artist Scott Blake has a thing for barcodes. He started making art with the sales stickers right before Y2K when he was inspired by the impending digital shut-down, and he hasn’t stopped since. Visit his website to have a look at some of his portraits, including Barcode Jesus and Book Cover Oprah, email him your street address to receive a free barcode art postcard, and experience the interactive Barcode Yourself page.

@ScottBlake

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Posted in RADAR NYC comic movies music storytelling

TJ Kosinski is a freelance journalist who has worked for the Los Angles Times and FADER. He also curates a radical music blog, The Citizen Insane.

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By robert pratten, June 7th, 2010

Last year I posted an idea of how to document transmedia projects. I’m now back with an improved version :)

Note that this is another two-part post… kinda… with more downloadable content related to documentation and project bibles over here.

To illustrate my latest documentation, I’ve use the 10 minute ARG created by No Mimes Media LLC called International Mimes Academy.  If you’re not already familiar with this game, you can download an explanation at the Unfiction forum.

This pictorial flowchart is pretty good because it shows the media and links or calls-to-action between the media and there’s an implied sequence of experience (from top to bottom).

Updating my earlier ideas, the diagram below shows how the NoMimes flowcart would be represented if the media were separated onto it’s only timeline.

What’s good about this approach is that it hits a lot of the goals desired by Christy Dena:

* indicate which part of the story is told by which media

* indicate the timing of each element

* indicate how the audience traverses the media (what’s the call to action?)

Separating out the media like this is particularly useful if it’s being created by partners or collaborators: it shows what has to be created and how it relates to other media. The colored vectors represent the different platforms and the thin arrows between them document the calls-to-action or bridges between the platforms. I’m sometimes a little inconsistent with how I use these linking arrows, erring on the side of better explanation than rigid documentation dogma.

One “exception” I made here  is the inclusion of the final phone call. Typically I wouldn’t include the audience in the diagram but as it’s a concluding part of this experience it felt incomplete without it.

Although this is a nice example to start with, it doesn’t illustrate the strengths of my approach. Hence, let’s take a more complicated example.

The transmedia project documented in the following figures is called Colour Bleed created by Rhys Miles Thomas at Glass Shot in Wales, UK.

The first thing you see at a glance is the experience runs for six months in three phases each lasting two months and you can see that there are Offline and Online platforms.

You can also quickly see what platforms are being used and their relative timings. So, for example, you can see that “live performance” plays a significant role in this production – starting the experience and ending it. Indeed, Colour Bleed kicks-off with impromptu live dance performances at shopping malls and other public place – I’ve called them “flash dances” :)   – intended to immediately draw a crowd and attention. But this is the start of a futuristic story in which kids rebel against an authoritarian regime that’s banned color and creative expression.

At the flash dances, members of the project team hand out business cards that contain the call-to-action to go online and check out the History of Colour website. Note that I’ve shown two types of video production – “our video”, that produced by the project, and “UG video, for user-generated video that we hope will be captured by bystanders on their mobile phones.

Both types of video are hosted at the website and shown as “uploaded”. This isn’t a call-to-action but it does link and explain how video features in the live performance and on the web. It identifies media that needs to be produced and can be assigned a responsibility.

Other notable things in Phase 1 and Phase 2 are the use of a “rabbit hole” to gain access to the ARG, graphic novels given as rewards for completing phases of the ARG and a series of barcodes given in newspapers to access the second phase of the ARG.

Note that the ARGs are shown as a single platform in this diagram but might they will have their own additional documentation showing a second layer of complexity that’s hidden here.

Phase 3 has slightly more complicated documentation because merchandise given away at a series of live events (DJ-led music events and dance offs) offers two paths to revealing the date and time of a final performance:

* A URL to an augmented reality app on the community website that requires the AR marker on the merchandise to unlock

* A phone number to a voice message.

The first video in Phase 3 is shown to require two pieces of information to unlock it – the webcam app and the AR marker on the merchandise.

Note that the final cinema screening is partially colored indicating that although the date & time is revealed, the event can’t happen until the location is unlocked.

Conclusion

This is a pretty good method for documenting the flow across platforms in a transmedia project.. unless you think otherwise?

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Posted in arg cross-media 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. http://twitter.com/robpratten

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By Lance Weiler, June 6th, 2010

How is transmedia production and distribution different from film, tv, video and game distribution? Join Anita Ondine and David Beard as they deliver a practical overview of the process of producing and distributing transmedia experiences. From budgeting and scheduling to designing an integrated workflow to the distribution of transmedia works across a broad range of delivery platforms – “How to Design Transmedia” provides an overview of how to integrate transmedia effectively into your production and distribution process.

More on Seize the Media
@anitaondine
www.seizethemedia.com

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Posted in DIYDays NYC biz dev storytelling transmedia

Lance Weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects.

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By Gary King, May 26th, 2010

I’ve been asked by a few people to cover the post-production workflow. I already talked about the shooting, editing and test screening process. So now I plan to address the score and sound design component and how everything — in theory — comes together in the end.

Here’s a snapshot of the final project in Final Cut Pro: (remember to keep your dialogue, sound f/x, music all on separate tracks)

This review is all just based on my experiences as I’m sure if I had a post-production supervisor and budget to hire a post-house things would be a lot different.

SCORE

Tackling the score with two different composers (Ken Lampl and Jonathan “Electronathan” Sorge) was no easy task. First off, I had to see if they were even open to this idea.

The reason I was interested in having two composers is I enjoy both their work for different reasons and skill sets — and it’d be an easier time commitment for each (if they split the duties) as they would be doing it as a favor for me. I showed them the rough cut to see if it was something they’d be interested in working on…thankfully they liked it and found it to be a great challenge they wanted to take part in. The main factor that I believe hooked them is that “Lovely” is definitely a score-driven film.

Admittedly, I was a little afraid to even bring up the idea — but knowing each guy personally helped make this a realistic option. They are true gentlemen and professional so I knew approaching them about it would at least be entertained. However, it’s a very risky thing to ask any creative person to join forces (almost like asking 2 filmmakers to co-direct together) — as it leads to potential conflicts. After a few phone calls to clearly define the roles/responsibilities and give each their own autonomy over specific scenes we were off to the races.

We all reviewed the film together in late November 2009. Then they took several movie files from me in order to work separately in their studios to create sketches of ideas. I let them work their magic until January 2010 when I checked in and previewed their cues. There was definitely some back and forth of feedback and revised cues — and by the end of February the score was locked and I was truly amazed.

In fact, the score is now so alive and adaptable with each scene in the film….it moves seamlessly from cue to cue (composer to composer). To me there is no sense of schizophrenia with the score – or at the very least their styles gel quite nicely together where it doesn’t take me out of it. In the end, the audience feedback is just that they truly enjoyed “the score” which is a win for everyone.

SOUND DESIGN

Dialogue clean up and sound f/x were completed by a talented music student — Keith Ukrisna — that I had met while he was interning for a post-studio I was using for “New York Lately“. I delivered the film to him and off he went.

We primarily used Google Wave for our entire communication/review process. There were definitely some lengthy waves going on, but for the most part it helped us keep organized over the entire scope of the film.

Keith spent the majority of time working on cleaning up the audio (primarily the dialogue scenes). Note: Remember to record “room tone” so that you can lay it under your scene to help smooth things out. He worked wonders on some of the scenes. Thankfully we had pretty clean sound throughout, but there were definitely a few locations that had some issues (ex: bar refrigerator, traffic, etc)

I asked him to put all his ideas into the sound design — and then we could scale back as needed. I preferred him to explore the soundscape as I thought there would be things he developed that I never would think of — which happened. There were definitely times where I did say I wasn’t too fond of things and they were removed.

It was an easy process/workflow. We divided the entire film into separate sequences for him to work on and referenced every shot with a timecode window.

Once sound was approved for each scene, Keith would deliver the sound design files associated with the scene (referencing the timecode on where the file should be plopped in to the timeline to sync up with picture).

The only drawback in asking a student to work on your project is they have school and other activities that may cause delays if you’re on a strict timeline. But for me, the cost-saving advantages far outweighed any hard deadline — even though I kept him on one to keep things on track. Keith did a phenomenal job and I plan to work with him again.

FINAL MIX

I did the final mixing myself on Final Cut Pro. Not the ideal whatsoever but it worked. I had all the separate files (music, sound design, dialogue) on discrete tracks so I could easily mix the levels to what I needed. And since the film is in stereo 2.0 (and not some complex 5.1 or 7.2 mix) I felt I could handle it.

Again, not my choice to do it (I’d really prefer someone else) — but to save money and not burn any favors — I believed I could spend about a week on it. If I had any trouble I had friends willing to help out which was a great safety net.

AFTERTHOUGHTS

The best part was at a recent sneak preview of the film we had the audience comment on how great the music and sound was — which is an incredible testament to my team. They were truly amazing to work with and I hope I can keep them around (and pay them next time!). Sometimes I have to take a step back to really appreciate the amount of talented people that are willing to work with me for very low (or no) pay. I definitely don’t want this to be a regular thing and — as evidenced with my next project “How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song” — I’m able to move up and gain a little funding which I’m more than happy to share with the people who’ve been there the whole time believing in what I’m doing.

That’s sometimes the best part — to look around at the people who were there with you from the beginning….and to see everyone moving up together. Helping each other along the way. That’s independent filmmaking.

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Posted in distribution editing post-production production journal storytelling

Gary King is a contemporary DIY American filmmaker whose work is known for powerful performances with an emphasis on a strong, visual style. He has written, directed and produced several critically acclaimed feature films as well as award-winning short films.

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