By Haley Moore, March 20th, 2012

This was an interesting year for SXSW, and while much of the buzz was coalescing around the rise of startups and the possibility of new ways to fund projects, some of the most captivating moments for me focused on what Daniel Burwen of Cognito Comics called “an artisanal handcrafted quality.” It’s the quality in a work that forms an instinctive bond between you and the person who created it.

Burwen was using the term to refer to comic books, and explain why many attempts to bring long form comics to the digital world have fallen short. His iPad comic, CIA: Operation Ajax, impressed transmedia-savvy attendees not for its clever integration of real historical documents, but for its craftsmanship and attention to detail. The comic is about the CIA’s involvement in the overthrow of the Iranian government in the 1950s, and offers many opportunities to delve into primary source documents.

Burwen describes his project as a way to preserve the visual vocabulary of the graphic novel in moving to the new platforms of tablet and mobile – where a whole page can’t be shown at once, much less a majestic two page spread, or the even more challenging and imaginative reading possibilities provided by the printed page. Burwen and his team developed an iPad comic that follows the paths our eyes would follow on a regular comic page, with subtle musical cues, additional movement that changes focus in the frame, and animated flourishes.

But the technical side of the comic wasn’t really Burwen’s point. He managed to sketch out a philosophy and a detailed approach to the creative side of new media. It was the first time I’ve seen creative decisions – rather that strategic ones – discussed in such detail at a SXSW Interactive panel.

Listen to the full panel at SXSW.

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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 Haley Moore, November 11th, 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.

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USC provost professor Henry Jenkins joins us at DIY Days LA to talk about introducing new creators to transmedia, and the connection between its study and practice.

Hosts:
Nick Braccia from Culture Hacker
Robert Pratten from Transmedia Storyteller
Haley Moore

(and Host Emeritus Dee Cook from Dog Tale Media)

About Our Guest:

DIY Days speaker Henry Jenkins is a Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts, a joint professorship at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is also author of several books, including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. His upcoming book, with Sam Ford and Joshua Green, is Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Society.

He also writes the popular transmedia blog, Confessions of an Aca-Fan.

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Posted in Person of Interest Transmedia Talk Uncategorized event podcast transmedia

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, June 19th, 2011

At SXSW I watched Christopher Poole (founder of the infamous 4chan) introduce his new project Canvas. This isn’t as edgy as his previous meme factory. Canvas provides basic tools for users to post and alter pictures. Think of it like a message board where users have conversations through constantly evolving images. A long thread starting with a picture of Dos Equis’s “The Most Interesting Man in the World” can end randomly with him as Rebecca Black and the caption: “It’s not always Friday. But when it is…Saturday comes next.”

The success of Canvas hinges on growing a community of people excited to create remixes. With just viewers, there won’t be user generated content to entertain visitors. So, Nick makes sure the collaborative process is fun/easy and doesn’t focus on attracting professional quality design work. Without high standards more lurkers will become contributors.

Now more than ever, everyone from artists to storytellers should learn how to hone the power of UGC to build their internet presence. Facebook is the second most popular site in the world-Twitter, Youtube, Yelp, Fanfiction.net, and many other successful destinations wouldn’t exist without non-professionals.

Here are some different ways to get people to create user generated content:


View more presentations from Peter Katz.

What is your experience with user generated content?

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Posted in Uncategorized audience-building community crowdsourcing 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 peter katz, June 18th, 2011

The Cool Kids and other popular musicians at SXSW are signed to a new kind of record label-Mountain Dew’s Green Label Sound. In my opinion, this trend will grow in the world of music and move into the world of indie film distribution as well.

This phenomenon is happening because of the combined economic challenges of record labels and the decreased reach of branded television advertising. Traditional record labels have been struggling to earn enough money through record sales because of piracy. Therefore, record labels are now insisting on 360 deals, in which musicians give labels a percentage of all their income. Many artists aren’t happy with this arrangement. Simultaneously, the reach of branded television advertisements are decreasing due to TiVo and Netflix. “Interrupting TV shows is ‘not something most people will tolerate,’ says TiVo CEO Tom Rogers. In the 40% of all households that have a DVR ‘the amount of commercial avoidance is huge.’” (Source David Lieberman at Deadline Hollywood.com) Netflix has over 23 million members on their ad free platform (Source Netflix Investor Relations), some of whom are beginning to cut their cable cords. In response, some brands are finding a new way to reach an audience.

Remember the music industry isn’t struggling because people don’t love music. Social networks allow artists to have more reach and powerful connections with their listeners. Green Label Sound signed The Cool Kids to be part of their relationship with fans (consumers). I think that is a good investment when you consider the depth and duration of the relationship the fans have with the rap crew. This combined with (last time I checked) 3,370,297 views for their Black Mage music video on Youtube, 4,850,369 plays and 423,384 listeners on Lastfm,  187,861 Likes on their Facebook page, and they have 12,878 followers on Twitter. At SXSW The Cool Kids performed at the Green Label Sound  Showcase and many top music blogs mentioned their label.

In exchange, the Cool Kids get to keep all of their income from iTunes album sales, except for processing fees (Source Billboard). They are promoted by a marketing budget much larger than most record labels, since Green Label Sound is owned by PepsiCo, a Fortune 500 company that has sold billions of dollars worth of soft drinks vs relying on album sales. “Labels suck,” the Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish said, “What can they do that Pepsi can’t do? We had a good experience with Green Label Sound — we got more from that single than we got from our previous album. I was tired of the album sitting around and just wanted to get it out.”(Source Billboard)

Here’s where indie film distribution fits in. Sponsors at prestigious film festivals might evolve into distributors: starting to acquire titles that make sense for the brand’s identity, focusing on marketing themselves as patrons of the arts, distributing films to theaters where their target demographic lives e.g. college towns. This strategy increases brand loyalty by adding value to people’s lives.

Content producers will win because all of the typical costs associated with theatrical film distribution will be covered by the brand. So, creators are going to be able to keep more money. Filmmakers will still own the digital rights for their project and the buzz from screenings will increase the projects’ value. “Theatrical will drive awareness of the film,” WME agent Liesl Copland said regarding distribution for Blue Valentine (Source Eugene Hernande at IndieWire).

What are your thoughts on branded distribution?
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Posted in Uncategorized audience-building experience marketing movies music

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 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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