By Jason Hood, April 29th, 2011
WATCH

Eliza Skinner – The Oscar Party

Eliza Skinner (RADAR ep 2 – I Eat Pandas) returns to the world of Internet videos with this short about a couple going through an angry breakup just as their friends arrive for an Oscars party. Hijinks ensue, guests are weirded out, and movie puns are thrown around—and for some reason movie puns are so much funnier when shouted in a fit of rage. Movie nerds will either cringe or chortle. Or both. Either way, Eliza is quite hilarious as a pissed off ex-girlfriend.

LISTEN

Morningbell – Lovefool

Before I watched this video, I thought the title was just a coincidence—surely they weren’t covering that classic 90s radio mainstay? But that’s exactly what Morningbell (RADAR ep 33 – Unnatural History) did. And they did it gloriously. They stayed true to the original while giving it a bit of their own odd flair. And the breakfast-tastic video definitely ups the weirdness factor. You know, for those of you who like your 90s nostalgia with a side of scrambled eggs.

Download the mp3 for free HERE
Morningbell’s website
Morningbell’s MySpace

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Sophie Blackall – The Crows of Pearblossom

Sophie Blackall has to be one of our busiest contributors. When she’s not creating beautiful blog posts about her father’s adventures or the Missed Connections of complete strangers, she’s creating amazing illustrations for children’s books. Her latest work is the illustrations for The Crows of Pearblossom, a short story originally written in 1944 by the legendary British author Aldous Huxley. Her vivid artwork gives a modern and whimsical flair to the classic tale.

You can buy the book HERE.

GO

The Digitour & SLAM Theatre

The Digitour feat. The Gregory Brothers

Have you ever wanted to see Internet memes live on stage? As it turns out, the Gregory Brothers (RADAR ep 27 – Auto Tune the News) are among the many YouTube musicians performing as part of the DigiTour—and they’re playing New York on May 1. Go see the show, and then spend the rest of May with musical current events stuck in your head.

Sunday, May 1 · 7:00 pm
Gramercy Theatre
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
$18
EVENT INFO

Slam Theatre week 1

SLAM Theatre (RADAR ep 6) is back this spring with another round of their fast-paced playwright and actor competition. It will be going on for the next four weeks, but Sunday is the first round of eliminations for this series, and you don’t want to miss the beginning.

Sunday April 24 · 7:00 – 12:00 am
Sunday, May 1 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
The Tank NYC
354 West 45th Street
New York, NY
$5 suggested donation
EVENT INFO

FOLLOW

@LukeGWilliams

Luke Williams is a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who specializes in disruptive innovation—a constant stream of unexpected changes and challenges to the old status quo. And in this world where “recession” is the word on everyone’s mind, new, disruptive ideas are more important than ever. While his blog (and book), DISRUPT may have been written with businesses in mind, the ideas he gives in his posts are surprisingly applicable to anyone.

DISRUPT blog
Luke Williams on Twitter

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Posted in News RADAR NYC event music remix storytelling

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 robert pratten, April 19th, 2011

“The Greak Work” is a documentary by two Swedish filmmakers, Oskar Östergren & Fredrik Oskarsson (details at the end) about 30-year-old Christer Böke from Malmö, Sweden. He has taken one year off from his well-paid job as an IT-salesman to become a full-time Alchemist.  The film concerns mankind’s eternal ambition of wealth and immortality and one mans dedicated struggle to solve “The secret of all secrets”. This struggle is known at The Great Work.

What’s particularly interesting about this project is that the filmmakers have teamed up with an independent game designer, Niflas, to create a game to complement the movie.

The Great Work will be screened on SVT (Swedish Television) as a 58 minute version, winter 2011. So don’t forget you heard about it here first! ;)

Here’s the movie trailer…

About the Documentary

The documentary follows Christer from the day he leaves the city to the first day back at work the next year. During this year he moves to the island of Gotland on the Swedish countryside where he builds a laboratory in his dead grandfather’s garage, he lives three months in France to study the language and exchange ideas with French alchemists.  He keeps a blog and starts writing a book. He has a big argument with his best buddy and fellow alchemist since 15 year (they later reunite). He uses his “detective skills”, makes lots of experiments and gets closer and closer to his interpretation of the “recipes” of how to make The Philosophers Stone.

The Idea for The Game

Rob: How did the idea for a game come about?

Early in the process, we discussed that it would have been nice to make a game for the film because the topic of alchemy itself invites such thoughts. We had spent hours with our friend and the main character Christer Böke where we tried to solve “word puzzles” in old alchemical manuscripts and quotes that could lead you to the right subject which the great alchemist Fulcanelli was talking about.

At the same time I read an article about “Nifflas” and his game, Saira. We thought that a collaboration with him would be exciting and he lived in the same town and we had some common friends.

Together, we concluded that the game should stand on its own but our main goal was off course to use it as advertising for the documentary film. We had never really heard about a collaboration between a documentary and a indie-gamemaker.  We have a strong interest in games and its form of narrative, and we thought the theme of alchemy would be suitable for Nifflas as a game developer. And, after our first meeting we felt that it could work out very well!

When we contacted Nicklas the first time he was skeptical about cooperating with us. He had expected the documentary would be about a major political topic and could not see the similarities with his own narrative, often based on a specific mystery and a character-driven portrait. Once we met everything fell into place and our collaboration has been great.

Nifflas never had any problems understanding our characters who defied science in search of “the philosopher’s stone”. Many of our financiers from the world of television and film were very doubtful about whether the story was real and at the same time are provoked by a person who claims to believe that he will be able to solve this amazing riddle. People think our documentary character must be a crazy guy or else we’re trying to fool them with a mocumentary. In the game world, however, these kinds of stories are  not so strange and Nifflas could directly relate to our character and never doubt our way of telling his story.

Game Trailer

The Relationship Between the Documentary & Game

Rob: How would you describe the relationship between the documentary and the game – in terms of story, marketing, possible revenue model?

Our main story in the game is very similar to the film’s alchemical elements, that through the characters and manuscripts find different things that will lead you to new discoveries that will then guide you through the story of the great goal of making the Philosopher’s Stone.

All these characters are people from the alchemical history or allude to contemporary alchemists from the documentary and their aliases used on various internet forums. For example, you will meet our main character (Christer) who in the game is called “Spintheros”. Google that name and you will find a number of posts and articles written on various forums of our man Christer Böke.

From the beginning, we had much bigger ambitions for the game. We tried to make a budget so that Nifflas could work full time for a long time. We were sitting with Nifflas and Christer and brainstormed ideas that later turned out to be too advanced for an average gamer to understand. We had some intense discussions with Christer about this. He knows so incredibly much about the subject and couldn’t really see why some things were too advanced. For example we had a long discussion about whether people know the Periodic Table and all the latin names and planet/gods related to these.

Together with that and a much smaller budget we developed a simpler and much shorter game. We found 50% of 30 000 skr (4500 dollar) to pay Nifflas to program our idea. We got this money from Filmarc (www.filmarc.net) and he started to develop environments and how the puzzles could be adapted in the game. Then we discussed the characters and which different material we would use in the game. Material like Stibnit, Galen etc. It was very important that this material was familiar to alchemists. when people play the game they should know that this is not just some random stuff – it’s the real thing. You will get a very good idea how to start your own alchemical experiments by playing the game if you want…and some grand secrets too.

Marketing & Business Model

Already at the first meeting we decided that the game would be free and marketed freely from both our site www.grtwrk.com and Nifflas website. We were aware of Nifflas position among indie gamers and wanted them to recognize his style. To access the gamer audience, we have made a menu in the beginning of the the game that includes the trailer for the film, we will also add a direct link to the film that allows players to download the movie via the game. This could get us in some trouble with the Swedish Televison but I think they will understand our idea when we release it – they tend not to like it when you put stuff from the film on internet before you have screened it on TV. (www.studioparallell.com who made the menu for both the movie and game ensured that they’re the same style).

Last but not least, we will use open-source code so people can make their own puzzles and characters – perhaps based from the discussions in the film or from discussion that will come after you seen the movie. Alchemists always debate “the true matter”.

We have also discussed posting the script ahead of the movie release. The script contains the high-end solutions based on Christers hardcore alchemy puzzle. Some of the puzzles in this game will certainly also be discussed on alchemy forums and then it will be interesting to see if you are able to influence the game. For example, if it should be Stibnit or any other topic and then the player can change this can do their own version of the game.

We see the game as an interesting model to distribute the film in larger circuits because we think some relevant audiences might otherwise never discover our film. Even after several days, Nifflas’ game trailer 10 000 hits on youtube. All these people also visited our website to learn about the film. Similarly, Nifflas will get people who never played his game to visit his site and maybe even play more of his game. It’s a great cross-collateralization of  audiences.

Partnering with a game is also a way to get the film’s story to survive and develop. Our main character and our film will hopefully create a movement on the internet which questions the scientific truths and interests people to go deeper into the subject. It is obvious that Christer has become very well-educated when he read and researched about alchemy. And, imagine if you in a playful way, can get people to understand that learning can be presented in different ways than through ordinary books or teachers that is rarely questioned. So we hope this cooperation will both promote our film and the game as entertainment but also educate and raise ideas that can live on after the premiere of the movie, and become more than a DVD and a game on your PC.

We must look at how the gaming industry markets itself. The film industry is hopelessly behind and the music industry has begun to learn with Spotify, itunes, etc.. To survive as a documentary filmmaker, we need to think outside the box to survive. This may be one way?

Additional Marketing?

In order to spread among gamers we focus on blogs and forums. To get them to see the film, we understand that we need to make it as easy as we can for them to download the movie as well. We hope to find a solution to this by uploading the movie on iTunes or similar channels and then place a link to this page in the game. We also run a facebook group and website and through these we hope to communicate with our audience. Then we will try to get som material published in traditional media like newspapers and say, culturalnews on TV. But, above all, we hope that the movie and the game spread itself through short clips on youtube, blogs, forums, Twitter, etc.

Example Puzzle & Initial Game Meeting Video

Mineral Stibnit + Mars (Iron) + owen – regulus of antimon + Caput mortuum

Give the Regulus av antimon to character ”Newton” – he will then give you a glove, that you can climb with.

Give Caput Mortuum to ”Spintheros” – and he will give you the second glove and now you can climb the roofs.

This video is from one of the first meeting together with Nifflas and our main character Chriter. They discuss ideas about the developing of the game (it’s in Swedish, naturally!).

Timescales

We hope that both the film and the game is fully completed in June but we still have not decided whether we will be releasing the game a bit earlier.
We will soon have a meeting and try to find a good strategy for this. Anyway, the documentary has been scheduled for a television premiere in October in Sweden.

We would also like to show the movie at some film festivals abroad and try to do a screening in which the visitors before and after have the opportunity to test the game at the cinema. One could also imagine an exclusive screening where our main character performs a simple experiment with the audience. We try to think that we should give the people who come to watch the movie something beyond the expected.

About The Filmmakers: Oskar Östergren & Fredrik Oskarsson (oskar&oskarsson)

Oskar Östergren (born 1976) and Fredrik Oskarsson (born 1979), both born and raised in Swedish Lapland. We are educated at ”Nordens Documentary Film School, Biskops-Arnö” (2002-2004) and, since 2003, we run the film production company oskar&oskarsson based in Umeå, specialising in documentaries. Our productions have been co-produced with SVT Dokumentär and Film i Västerbotten and besides directing and producing films we teach documentary film making at The Academy of Fine Arts in Umeå and work as photographers and editors for other productions and TV-shows. Our last SVT Co-production “The Police and Lapland” has been seen by more than one million viewers on SVT.

Contact: +46 70-555 13 17 (Oskar) or +46 70-640 23 67 (Fredrik); Email:   oskar at oskarochoskarsson.se or fredrik at oskarochoskarsson.se

Web: www.oskarochoskarsson.se

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Posted in audience-building cross-media experimental gaming marketing movies storytelling television 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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    At SXSW I attended the Scandinavia Tech Summit, a panel covering technology and media.  Henrik Werdelin (@werdelin) was one panelist who stood out with his unique understanding of  tech startups. As disruptive technology is forcing the entertainment industry to either evolve or die, more creators should talk to smart people like Henrik. Below is our interview. Please introduce yourself. My name is… read more
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    Having decided that you want to get into transmedia and write a transmedia story, where do you start? Well, I’d recommend that you start with what you know and branch out from there. But knowing where and how to branch out means considering the type of experience you want to create. There are five questions to ask yourself (shown in… read more
By Haley Moore, April 18th, 2011

Welcome to Transmedia Talk, a podcast covering all things Story. Transmedia Talk is co-hosted by Nick Braccia, Dee Cook, and Haley Moore 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.

Download Adobe Flash Player.

Download | Subscribe with iTunes

Hosts:
Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Dee Cook from Dog Tale Media
Haley Moore

(and Host Emeritus Robert Pratten from Transmedia Storyteller)

Special Guest:
Mark Harris, creator of THE LOST CHILDREN.

Mark Harris talks about attacking transmedia from the technical side, his project THE LOST CHILDREN, and the

From This Episode:

Video featuring some of the technology Mark developed for Pandemic 1.0’s Mission Control center at Sundance.

Workbook Project contributor Zack Forsman

Mark’s piece at Filmmaker Magazine

Mark shared his experience using Wordpress to manage a storyworld with Wordpress at New Breed. Part 1Part 2

The found footage docudrama Lake Mungo

Power to the Pixel’s Cross Media Forum NYC on April 19.

To avoid spoilers, we won’t mention the name of the books Dee brought up in the podcast, but you can find the book and its companion piece on Amazon.

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Posted in Transmedia Talk arg cross-media gaming storytelling transmedia video

Haley Moore is a newspaper reporter, artist, and playwright based in north Texas. She has worked on several indie, fan and commercial Alternate Reality Games.

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By peter katz, April 14th, 2011
There are many apps on your smart phone. How many do you really use? Me: Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Huffington Post, Lastfm, and Google maps. My 100 other ones collect dust because they don’t solve a problem or are a bad imitation. At SXSW I discovered an unique app called iTouru: remember listening to an audio tour at a museum, now imagine if the entire world had an audio tour. These stories could provide new perspectives for a city. Below is my interview with Andrew Dever, Founder & CEO of iTour. You can follow him @andrewdever.

What is iTouru?

iTourU is a new iPhone App that lets anyone create, discover and share what we call ‘Pocket Tours’, which have ’stops’ that are tagged to a map and include audio, text and photos about that location.

These Pocket Tours can be about absolutely anything, making iTourU a platform for creativity and real world adventure.

How  did you come up with the idea?

The idea came to me when a friend sent me a satirical tour she had made about a renaissance exhibition. She’d recorded it in mp3 and sent it to friends on Facebook. It was pretty popular, and I thought it would be cool to make it possible for anyone to easily create personal niche tours and share them from their phone. It was simply irresistible to me that with audio you could actually see and touch the world around you (rather than watch a video or read about it on your device).

So that’s what we did: built a platform for creativity and real world adventure.

Who did you make this for?

Good question. In the long-term we believe anyone could use it. You just have to be interested in the world around you. It’s like YouTube but instead of video it’s location based audio (and other multi-media). So it’s not limited to traditional “audio tours” of museums. Your Pocket Tours can be about anything!

At the moment we’re really trying to find creative, inspiring and insightful ‘publishers’ and help them create and share amazing Pocket Tours. We’re learning new ways it could be used everyday!

What has been your favorite tours so far?

My personal favorite is the “Keep Austin Weird” tour by Howie Richey. We’ve also been working with quite a few publishers in San Francisco and there’s so many good tours about to be released!

Which cities have the most traction?

We’re only a baby now – we launched at SxSW and spent the week before that in Austin. There’s over 30 tours available there and counting! Over the next six months we’ll be seeding content in many of the best cities around the world.

What’s your advice to someone making a tour?

You’re only limited by your own imagination. Be adventurous, find locations that mean something to you and share your creativity, insight and inspiration!

Do you think storytellers will create a narrative around locations?

Absolutely. It’s like watching a movie in true 3D!

What’s your long term vision for iTouru?

Simple. We want to truly reinvent how people tour the world and build things that make the real world more inspiring, insightful and adventurous.

We have some BIG ideas around how to do that, stay tuned!

You can follow us @itourukombi, visit our blog and download our iPhone App here!

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Posted in Uncategorized social media storytelling

peter katz is an award winning filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Peter has produced genre films that have screened all over the world from the AFI Fest to the Rome Film Festival. His first picture Home Sick starred Bill Moseley from The Devil's Rejects and Tom Towles from Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Next Peter worked with Tobe Hooper (director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist) on Mortuary, which premiered on the Sci Fi Channel. Most recently he was a producer on Pop Skull, a psychological ghost film, that has received great reviews in Variety and numerous film web sites. Currently, Peter is developing projects across various mediums including film, comics, and the web.

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By Jason Hood, April 14th, 2011

At this year’s DIY Days, I had the pleasure of getting to see Molly Crabapple (RADAR ep 8) speak about how she created Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School and turned it into a global affair with branches of amazing models and artists all over the world. And while she was speaking, I asked myself “why haven’t we gotten her to curate a blog yet? She’d have some amazing stuff.” And she did.

WATCH

Serge Gainsbourg – Poinconneur des Lilas

In this classic clip, legendary French musician Serge Gainsbourg disguises himself as a ticket puncher (“poinconneur”) in the Paris Metro and sings a song about the monotony of the job. It sounds boring, but the song is quite catchy and builds up a rather frantic pace, and the unexpectedly morbid lyrics (at least, for those of us who speak French!) keep it interesting. Definitely something to think about as you ride the subway to work!

LISTEN

Dave van Ronk – “Luang Prabang”

When I first heard this song, my first impression was that of a very dark folk song, or an Irish rebellion chant. It’s actually, of course, American and much more recent—a Vietnam protest song, though the tune is based off of an old English folk song about coal miners. Here, Dave Van Ronk challenges the idea that going to war and sacrificing yourself makes you a “hero”—what good does that actually accomplish? Is it really worth it?

You can find the song on Van Ronk’s album Going Back to Brooklyn, HERE.

READ

Kiki de Montparnasse: The Graphic Biography

You probably recognize the above image, based off the famous photograph by artist Man Ray, though odds are you don’t know much about the model of said photo. Alice Prin, a.k.a. Kiki de Montparnasse, was truly a liberated woman of the 20s: born into poverty but quickly rose up as a muse for many artists, as well as an artist in her own right. Now you can read her story in graphic novel form—because words alone wouldn’t do such an artistic figure justice.

You can find the book on SelfMadeHero

GO

PEN World Voices Festival

Beginning April 25 and continuing for a week, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature returns for its seventh year. The festival will feature speakers, panels and films, and will discuss the role of literature and writing, and where it all fits into today’s ultra-connected world of social media, WikiLeaks and revolutions in the Middle East. Be sure to see Molly Crabapple’s live painting installation in the plaza of The Standard hotel—she’ll be working on it every day of the festival.

April 25-May 1
The Standard Hotel
848 Washington Street
New York, New York 10014
EVENT INFO

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Coilhouse, Biorequiem, and Gala Darling

Coilhouse is part blog, part published magazine, and devoted to the expression of love for alternative culture. Expect to see everything ranging from short films, fashion, photography and art—anything that’s forward thinking yet still has a vintage style.

Zoetica Ebb is one of the co-founders of Coilhouse, and has her own site too, where she posts blogs, art and photos of her own, all done in a very distinctive and beautiful style. You can also buy some of her work as well.

“Hello! I’m Gala” is what greets visitors to the blog of Gala Darling, a bright and sunny corner of the web that celebrates femininity and promotes “radical self-love.” I found it impossible not to feel awesome after reading a few entries—and I’m a guy, not even the target audience.

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Posted in RADAR NYC comic event music storytelling

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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