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.

Download Adobe Flash Player.

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Or Subscribe iTunes

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

Hosts
Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Robert Pratten from TransmediaStoryteller.com

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

Timing
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. http://twitter.com/robpratten

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By robert pratten, November 11th, 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.

Download Adobe Flash Player.

download

Or Subscribe iTunes

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

Hosts
Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Robert Pratten from TransmediaStoryteller.com
Haley Moore from Culture Hacker

Guests
Jay Bushman from http://jaybushman.com/
Caitlin Burns from Starlight Runner (and Jurassic Park Slope)

Timing

1:00 Transmedia Producers Guild (PGA)
2:10 Twitter in transmedia storytelling
50:36 Transmedia Artists Guild discussion

Twitter as a storytelling platform

Here are some great links provided by Caitlin for those interested to know more about Twitter for storytelling.

Twitter Fiction

Cellphone (Mobile) Novels (keitai shosetsu)

The Shorty Awards – place to look for Twitter fiction

And of course Jay Bushman’s work:

The Good Captain

The Empire Tweets Back

Plus… I thought it might also be nice to include an infographic on how an author or producer might approach using Twitter in transmedia storytelling. Please let me have any comments and I’ll update and improve as necessary.

Oh, and here’s a neat little Word macro that’ll chop up your text into 140 character bites and add a hashtag if needed.

Twitter for storytelling

Download Adobe Flash Player.

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Posted in Transmedia Talk arg cross-media crowdsourcing gaming podcast 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 robert pratten, November 4th, 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.

Download Adobe Flash Player.

download

Or Subscribe iTunes

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

Hosts
Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Robert Pratten from TransmediaStoryteller.com

Guests
Mathew Toner of Zeros2Heroes tells us about AreYouWake.tv
Haley Moore tells us about Haunted Majora’s Mask

Timing

0:50 AreYouWake

27:45 Haunted Majora’s Mask based on the Nintendo game Legend of Zelda for the N64

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Posted in Transmedia Talk arg audience-building community podcast transmedia video

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 Chloe Stites, October 28th, 2010

Segment II: Why is Collapsus an example of a transmedia project? How is this a useful tool?

The concept of transmedia is grounded in the delivery and curation of specific information across various platforms. As compared with traditional media’s pattern of distribution (the same set of images relayed to viewers repeatedly through the same modes of communication) the innovation of transmedia is grounded in choice: developing successful projects means inspiring viewers to follow subject matter from one media platform to another. Information is provided as a reward, acting as an agent of incentive to produce sustained interest within the viewer. These “messages” act as a resource independent to a greater whole. (Culture Hacker: Transmedia Storytelling Getting Started) Content, therefore, has the capacity to enrich the spread of entertainment across multiple platforms.

Segment II of this blog series will examine what platforms the brand-new, transmedia project, Collapsus utilized. The distribution of factoids within this project highlights the benefits of using alternative methods to expand a project’s reach beyond traditional audiences.

A basic breakdown of existing communication reveals reading, listening, interaction, and watching to be the modern foundation of possible sensory content application. Reading (books, comics, ebooks), listening (radio, mobile, online), interaction (online, mobile, social, console, ARG) and watching (TV, theatre, mobile, live performance, online) are all media sources useful in releasing information and encouraging viewers to seek further analysis. (Henry Jenkins: Transmedia Education)

Inspiring viewers to self-reflect in the context of a project’s subject matter is directly related to the availability of information within a transmedia project. In Collapsus, “visitors to the Collapsus site can cut away from soap-opera-like webisodes to learn about energy issues through an interactive map, view fictional newscasts on the Citizenergy Channel, or watch real interview clips with experts, analysts, activists and journalists.” (Mq2: Collapsus)

Executing platforms that support and encourage choice is imperative in creating and sustaining viewer interactivity. As the sole content provider, producers control exactly what information is released, at what time, and to which audience; they guide the story (or project) as it unfolds. What exactly does this mean? It speaks to the nucleus of the transmedia experience: widened exposure equals more choice, and, more choice equals widened exposure. This implies a need to thoroughly understand one’s projected audience: who would be most interested in this material? What are the best modes of communication for conveying this on multiple media platforms?

Collapsus was produced with the goal of exposing a broader audience to the information found in the traditional documentary, Energy Risk, released by VPRO. See the original doc HERE

With an idea of audience in mind, creators and producers of the project conceptualized a multi-linear experience that blended genres of documentary, animation, fiction, and interactivity. Producer Tommy Pallotta explains, “This hybrid approach allows us to look at a serious documentary subject, but also to shift from the usual talking head approach to something that better reflects our time.”(MQ2: Collapsus)

Citizenergy, the Youtube channel for the original Dutch documentary, compliments the transmedia project, Collapsus: The Energy Risk Conspiracy, and is an example of this approach to media multi-tasking. (See the channel HERE) The CitizEnergyChannel provides several video segments linked to Collapsus’ theme of risk; clips provide expert analysis on the danger of a growing dependency on fossil fuels. Each video on Citizenergy is packaged content, the producer actively chose what was delivered to audiences. Utilizing Youtube and other video sharing sites give a lot of information to viewers, while allowing them to review at their convenience.

In transmedia projects the audience must chose to further his/her knowledge through exploring subject matter, playing games, and chatting with others. The endeavor of exploring a specific topic through various media can inspire a “community” culture of individuals working with a cohesive goal. When players are able to pool their knowledge with others, audience capacity multiplies. For Collapsus, this directly relates to the project’s undertone of social responsibility. As players and viewers interact with the material, they consult each other on personal methods to approach content. This allows for alternative modes of thinking, and the development of a furthered sense of self in a global community. A global community means increased global communication and a wider audience.

In researching the intersection of education and transmedia I came across an example of a school in Texas that utilized multiple media platforms to integrate education and technology. On August 22, 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, NAVE (Ncleo Avanado em Educao – Advanced Education Center ) a Brazilian high school, hosted Heroes and Smallville’s associate producer Mark Warshaw to teach a lesson on Transmedia Storytelling. The event was live streamed and interactive, as the audience, both live and online, participated in an interactive SMS game. The release of the Descolagem App later that day furthered the audiences span. The audience was literally guided through a lesson on transmedia storytelling through an actual transmedia experience. Beto Largman, who curated the event, hopes the format of the lesson displays the process as a resource; a strategy evolved to distribute content personally to a mass audience. (Transmedia Experience Streamed At Highschool )

The choice to pursue more components of a project is the apex of transmedia success. The interactive component of Collapsus’ narrative is directly linked with the information provided by the clips on Youtube. Soap-opera-like webisodes, an interactive map, fictional newscasts, along with the Citizenergy Channel, provide players with a platform of knowledge on the energy crisis, which gives them the ability, and inspiration, to interact within the overall narrative of the game. The goal clearly defined: Reviewing Collapsus for Public Radio Makers Quest 2.0, Julie Drizin states, “Truthfully, this is the kind of media that is better experienced than explained.”
Experience Collapsus HERE.

Director of Collapsus, Tommy Pallotta, will be interactively interviewed in Pt2:
Investigating the Possibilities of Transmedia; Collapsus, a Case Study.

Interview questions will come directly from reader comments to Tommy- the questions and his responses will be included in next weeks feature. Previously, he produced Waking Life, the first independently financed and computer animated feature produced, as well as A Scanner Darkly, and a multitude of other projects. Let’s delve into his animation process of rotoscoping, and understand how imperative it is to develop successful visual reaction in transmedia and cross-media projects.

Email any questions to Tommy: work@workbookproject.com
Please subject with: Tommy Pallotta questions

Source Links
1. http://workbookproject.com/culturehacker/2010/07/07/transmedia-storytelling-getting-started/
2. http://henryjenkins.org/2010/06/transmedia_education_the_7_pri.html
3. http://www.mq2.org/Collapsus
4. http://www.hastac.org/blogs/nancykimberly/transmedia-experience-livestreamed-brazilian-high-school

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Posted in audience-building cross-media design storytelling transmedia

Chloe Stites grew up in the Florida Keys. An avid reader of everything print and digital, she favors lyrical writing and Murakami-esque sentences. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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By Zeke Zelker, October 28th, 2010

Since I launched my latest film, “Billboard, an Uncommon Contest for Common People!” along with my Indiegogo fund raising campaign, people have balked at the amount of money that I’m attempting to raise, $300,0000. I scratch my head at this, and wonder why filmmakers do not disclose their true budgets, what their real cost was to take their movie to market? This means including scripting, preproduction, production, post production, prints (yes virtual prints in our digital age), marketing, advertising, etc.

What is the benefit to tell people, that you made your movie for a paltry sum? Is this just showing people how cheap you are? How crafty you are? How fiscally responsible you are? By reporting deflated numbers, you build up the hopes of so many aspiring filmmakers to enable them for failure by lying to them. Is this inflating the risk reward model? Something is just wrong with this. Could Weiler and Avalos really make and distribute their film “The Last Broadcast” for under $900? I wonder how they printed call sheets and scripts or got the drive space to edit the film? Or Rodriguez’s “El Mariachi” for $7,000? Did this include transportation to and from Mexico? Did the filmmakers behind the reported $15,000 “Paranormal” include salaries in their budget? Or was Kevin Smith’s movie “Clerks” really made for $26,000? I’ve shot a lot of film in my day and I know what it costs to strike a print. Was music even included in this? I wonder why so much attention is drawn to movie budgets. Who really gives a shit. We only have a fiduciray responsibility to our funders, not one another. Does bragging about how cheap you made your film for, really make a difference? Can we celebrate the birth of a movie without needing to tell people how much it cost?

What if Picasso put a “made for tag” on all of his pieces of work? In art and filmmaking, there is the inherent value perception, what you think something is worth, this is the business behind the art and certain perimeters drive the price. What if every year we had an auction where filmmakers and distributors fill a room and every film is auctioned off just like at Sotheby’s? Imagine the feelings in that room.

Should filmmakers take a salary as they create their work? In every business plan I have ever read, there has always been a line item for the entrepreneur’s salary, if not, I would raise the question, how are you or this project going to survive? Why is our budget exclamation so important to our industry? You seldom hear, it took company Y to produce product G. Then you also have the reverse, people inflating their reported budgets because they want to drive up a distribution sale. Budget reporting is all over the place and there is little truth in the numbers.

Can we all be more accurate in our budget reporting, if we feel the need to report how much it cost us to make our latest work? I feel that it would level the playing field. Filmmakers may even get more money for their films, even if it truly only cost them $50k.

ps. here’s a little diddy about fund raising that my friends at Lehigh helped me make: Top 10 Reasons to fund Billboard over Politicians

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Posted in education transmedia

Zeke Zelker – an award winning filmmaker, blends art and commerce in all that he does. His latest film InSearchOf is not only creating buzz about the content of the story line but also for his business techniques. Always creating new revenue streams by blending traditional distribution outlets, adapting others to suit his film’s needs, and pioneering some of his own Zeke has been forging a pathway to profitability. He is currently developing on a transmedia project that will begin unraveling 2010.

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