By christopher rice, May 1st, 2009

Cross-Media storytelling is all about adding dimension to your story in order to enhance the audience’s experience. You can add depth to character by creating social media profiles that audience’s can befriend and follow, you can generate press releases and news stories covering your character, their backstory, or current story events, you could start a website for a company or organization taking part in your story — the possibilities are endless.

To get started, you should check out the basic tools cross-media storytellers have at their disposal. Remember, while these are popular and still exciting, audiences always want something new and never-before-seen — consider each cross-media facet of your story just as challenging as impressing an audience with special effects in a movie — never repeat your tricks. This is where art meets craft and storytellers using the cross-media form to share their story can really impress audiences by innovation and exploration of new ideas. Will you be able to amplify the intensity of a cross-media experience as well as Yomi Ayeni’s innovations with Breath?

To start, consider the basics.

1. YouTube

This is the most popular social network online. It allows users to consume their information with less effort — no need to read, scroll, squint … just watch. It also provides more dimensional information — it’s visual; it’s dynamic; it’s more intimate … more human. Overall, it’s more exciting for the audience, and while it requires more equipment to shoot video, it’s more expressive.

2. Facebook

http://www1.recreation.rutgers.edu/Content/Intramurals.asp

Build communities, make friends, use 3rd party applications, and update your overall network without the hassle of distracting over-advertising.

3. Twitter

What’s tweetin’? Make more friends and update them with whatever you can say in 140 characters. This tool is exciting due to the spreadability, mobility, and light-speed-ability. Twitter has taken the success and popularity of the status update and made it it’s own platform.

4. Myspace

Though the advertising is distracting and the people promoting stuff almost always over-promote, myspace still has the highest membership rank out of all the social sites. One advantage this platform has over Facebook is the local blog feature — great for offering exclusive materials.

5. Google Friend Connect & Blogger

This is pretty new as of the writing of this article, but it’s a great way to connect with the people visiting your website, blog, and what-cha-ma-call-its. Since Google acquired Blogger, they’ve come up with some pretty exciting tools. You can join a community using your Google, AIM, Yahoo, or Open ID account — check out the screenwriting community at ScriptXRay.com to see Google Friend Connect in action.

Though there’s plenty more to explore and exploit when telling a cross-media story, these should be a pretty good intro to various platforms. Use each to its full potential, and remember not to merely copy everything from one social network to another — use YouTube to share video content, post video comments, and connect with people visually, use Facebook to build communities, use Myspace to blog and build different communities, and use GFC and Blogger to tie it all together.

Christopher Rice - ScriptXRay

Christopher Rice is a professional story analyst, writer, and aspiring director in Los Angeles. His experience includes reading screenplays, manuscripts, TV pilots, treatments, and books for such companies as Gold Circle Films, Josephson Entertainment, Parkway Productions, The Harry Winer Company, ScriptShark, and more.

He explores traditional and new screenwriting ideas through articles and discussion at www.scriptxray.com. Currently working on two super-secret websites!

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Posted in audience-building community cross-media social media transmedia

christopher rice is an aspiring filmmaker and professional story analyst in Los Angeles. His work as a script reader for Penny Marshall (A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN), Josephson Entertainment (BONES, ENCHANTED), and Gold Circle Films (WHITE NOISE, HAUNTING in CONNECTICUT).

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