By robert pratten, December 16th, 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.

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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
Jeff Gomez of Starlight Runner

Running Time

01:14 Origins and early experiences

12:00 The Storybible

12:45 Working with Clients

16:40 Understanding the value-proposition at the contract stage

20:20 Types of client

21:45 Removing barriers from transmedia narratives

25:50 Conflicts between writer and producer

28:00 Market development for the role of Transmedia Producers

33:40 Organisation and staffing at Starlight Runner

41:50 Does narrative get diluted as it is spread across platforms?

49:50 Growing an audience across platforms

55:00 Implementing transmedia internationally

58:12 Transmedia misperceptions

1:00:00 Growth of transmedia

1:06:00 New transmedia example (LowLifes) and Industry Discussion.

1:18:00 End

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Posted in ARG Transmedia Talk audience-building cross-media marketing podcast 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 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.

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
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 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 Chloe Stites, October 26th, 2010

This blog post focuses on the intersection of transmedia and learning. Presented in 4 segments, we will look at how transmedia is revolutionizing media creation and presentation. As modes of human communication continue to change, so too does the concept of audience, and the projects envisioned and produced. Through a case study on Collapsus, an Energy Risk Conspiracy project, I will expose components necessary for building a successful transmedia project, along with the capabilities and influence accessible through employing such processes. Gain access to exclusive storyboards and scripts, behind the scene details, and interactive interviews as WorkBook Project delves deeper into the process of transmedia.

I. What does it mean to experience a Transmedia Project?

Almost a year ago (November, 2009) Alison Norrington, for Wired News, posed the question: “The value of a good story remains; the question is will you prefer to read, listen, watch, or do?” (Wired UK: Transmedia Tales and the Future of Storytelling)

Since this publishing, how has the relationship between media and consumers changed? As the print to screen revolution continues, so too does the process, and production, of the content delivered. At the time of Norrington’s writing, transmedia had been introduced to many, but had yet to conquer the attention of general audiences.

Now a growing buzzword, transmedia can be defined as an approach to content delivery that weaves various storylines across multiple platforms intending to further immerse their audience within a specific media experience. (Seize The Media: What is Transmedia?)

This process transforms the viewer into somewhat of information “detective.” Transmedia projects have the potential to develop a relationship of trust between consumer, content provider, and the product delivered. Because the concept of transmedia is grounded on utilizing multiple outlets to distribute a variety of information, content producers need to immediately develop credibility to ensure a project’s success. Interest is the participant’s motivation, learning digitally no longer a passive role. A well-anchored vision can instill reliable participant relations.

Exposing accurate information through a multitude of well-designed media platforms give players/viewers the tools to build their own infrastructure of knowledge around a communal topic. To ensure a fluid audience while working with multiple media endeavors, pioneers in the field like Lance Weiler, plan “for multiple platforms from the start. They design fictional universes that are consistent however the audience engages.” (Wired: What is Transmedia) This leads to one of the best benefits to the transmedia approach: The cliché “there’s no ‘I’ in team.” Each participant gathers a “data-bank” of unique information that is bettered by employing other participant’s results. (Henry Jenkin’s article) Community building can be fostered and encouraged.

This innovative platform has shifted the production of culture and has revolutionized the concept of storytelling. Weiler recently helped to script Collapsus, a transmedia project developed by SubmarineChannel, with the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO. Collapsus signals a new experience in transmedia storytelling. Through documentary, fiction, animation, players interact within the narrative, choose his/her own perspective, and make decisions to affect the global energy crisis.

Does the innovative production of Collapsus signal a change in consumer choice as Norrington predicted? Yes- the meme spawned around the potential energy crisis reveals that to choose transmedia is to utilize options. Check out the project at http://www.collapsus.com.

Stay tuned for Part II: Why is Collapsus an example of a transmedia project? How is this a useful tool?
Delving into the significance of employing various media outlets in transmedia projects, taking a closer look at Collapsus, the creators behind it, and the capabilities of transmedia as a tool to inspire.

Source Links:
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2009-11/25/transmedia-tales-and-the-future-of-storytelling?page=all
A brief education, this article breaks the surface of how technology is directly affecting writing and reading stories.

http://seizethemedia.com/what-is-transmedia/
A basic definition on transmedia accompanied by helpful info graphic. Check out the article’s home site to learn more on Chief Story Architect Lance Weiler.

http://www.wired.co.uk/wired-magazine/archive/2010/08/features/what-is-transmedia?page=all
Entertaining article that details the origin of transmedia storytelling and its progression to the mainstream market.

http://www.submarinechannel.com/articles/item/543
Submarinechannel.com is an interactive production studio based in Amsterdam. This article featured on their site details the development of the project Collapsus.

http://henryjenkins.org/2010/06/transmedia_education_the_7_pri.html
Henry Jenkins speculates on the future of transmedia education.

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Posted in audience-building community cross-media design experience 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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