By Janine Saunders, September 14th, 2010

Dutch media innovators Bruno Felix and Femke Wolting, co-founders of Submarine.com, collaborated to produce Submarinechannel.com, an initiative designed to explore and promote innovative approaches to media. Submarinechannel.com positions itself as both a distribution and production platform for artists looking to create interactive, cross-media projects.

Both Felix and Wolting previously worked at Dutch Broadcasting Organization, VPRO, in the 1990’s, an experimental period in the industry. Felix is credited with the development of new media strategy for VPRO during this time, and both are recognized as early moguls for new media. Their devotion to creating interactive relationships between media and consumer inspired Submarine.com, which ultimately led to the birth of Submarinechannel.com. The site highlights creative participation in various projects and films, and aims to question the multicultural and multifaceted digital identity of the Internet.  The content highlighted relies on new modes of storytelling to break down the barrier currently separating arts, media, and politics.

United Vloggers, the guide for understanding the nature of vlogs, is a feature under the tab “Internet” on the site. Introduced in 2007 by Michael Schaap to support vloggers, the project quickly became a catalyst for connecting talent on a global scale.  UnitedVloggers filters out quality vlogs and the selection varies from video art to grass roots journalism. Check out the recently posted “Touch My Body” a project where music videos are manipulated into green screens and posted on youtube.com for viewers to respond.

Navigate through Chunks under Film on Submarinechannel.com, the channel’s personal 24/7 online film festival featuring picks from all over the world; there are currently more than 50 to browse through. Another cool project about to debut is Collapsus, their upcoming project that epitomizes the site’s aim to broach the integral nature of global perspectives in digital culture.

Tommy Pallotta, renowned for blending technology, filmmaking, and animation, directs the project. Pallotta produced Waking Life, the groundbreaking computer animated feature film.

Collapsus places the viewer as director in an interactive, documentary-esque, animated film, replete with political agendas surrounding the future global energy crisis.  As an active participant in the story, the viewer is required to take action in seeking solutions to the energy crisis; with each decisive click of the mouse the narrative changes to present viewers with varying futuristic crisis scenarios.

Submarinechannel.com hopes to instigate thought, but similarly looks to inspire artists working in every medium. The innovative site also features projects like DUTCH PROFILES, where viewers can learn about innovative projects at the heart of Dutch culture, in a documentary series featuring interviews with various designers in the region. Some other well known projects include: Minimovies, documentaries for the digital age. Sneakers: a guided tour through sneaker culture. Pretty Cool People Interviews: video interviews with creators. The Killer: Motion comic based on graphic novel by Matz and Jacamon.

Ultimately, Submarinechannel.com is an incredible source for those looking to further experiment with the potential of the Internet. Well-curated posts and projects permeate the website, and validate the portal as a content rich aggregator for projects aimed at young audiences ripe with global perspectives on digital culture.

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Posted in ARG cross-media design storytelling television transmedia

Janine Saunders is a producer, media collaborator, and DJ living in NYC.  She has worked as a producer since a very early age, in music, video and publishing. She has worked closely with writer/ documentarian/ graphic novelist Douglas Rushkoff, and directed and edited Life Inc: The Movie.

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By robert pratten, September 12th, 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.

This episode is in TWO parts

PART ONE:
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PART TWO:
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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

Topics cover in this episode (start time shown in bold)

PART ONE (47 mins)
Audience building:
01:04 Stephen King’s The Dark Tower,
02:53 Fallout New Vegas iPhone App
05:46 Savage County

09:51 Pervasive Games – JeJune Institute and Nonchalance [Jeff Hull will be speaking at TedxSOMA]

29:34 Mongoliad - collaborative storytelling

PART TWO (40 mins)
0:00 Dexter ARG

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

Guests
Jeffery Hull from Nonchalance
Jeremy Bornstein from Subutai Corp
Haley Moore from Culture Hacker
Dee Cook from Dog Tale Media

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Posted in ARG Transmedia Talk events experience experimental gaming 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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By peter katz, August 28th, 2010
Remember waiting forever to watch a video on your computer, with a 56k modem? Those days sucked. Now you can instantly view a cornucopia of high quality Internet content on a massive television. Inside your living room, a web series made for less than a $100 can compete for your eyeballs against a TV show produced for over 10,000 x the budget (Lost). Think about this: years ago independent producers could only use a cable access channel to get their shows on TV to reach a local audience. Now a small crew can shoot a comedy series for fans living everywhere from Texas to Turkey.

In my opinion, web series are one of the best ways discover talent and incubate projects. In this post you will be introduced to individuals who are doing interesting things on the web:

Mike Rotman is an Emmy nominated writer for his work on “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher”-now he is taking over the interweb with such shows as “Stupid for Movies”.

twitter.com/mikerotman

Michael Ferrell, with only a tiny budget and a local coffee company sponsor he co-created/co-produced the hilarious web series “Stoop Sale” with his girlfriend Devin Sanchez.

twitter.com/mickeyfickey

Describe your background and what inspired you to make a web series?

I’m Italian/Irish by way of Northern New Jersey and Devin thought that she was Mexican up until she was a young woman, when she found out she was actually of Spanish descent.  True story.  Doesn’t stop her from loving Mexican food, however.  She puts jalapenos on everything.  To be fair, I put garlic on everything and cook it in beer.  We have amazing burritos.

We were inspired to make a web series while still in college, in the late 90’s, right after people started “e-mailing” each other.  I found this “e-mail” that I sent Devin with my POP mail account:

“Dear Devin,

This e-mail thing is crazy, huh?  Do you get this right away or does it take awhile?  Call me when you get this and let me know.  Anyhoo-I hear you’re studying theatre in Wyoming.  We should get together one day and work on a play that I wrote.  Or even a film.  Who knows, with the way technology seems to be going, we could even get some friends together and use somebody’s small digital camera, film a few episodes of a show, put it in our computers to edit, then put it on the World Wide Web.  Maybe I’m thinking crazy.  But not half as crazy as my ideas for “websites” I want to create, such as Mybook,Facepage, Ourtube, and Twiddle.  I’ll e-mail you about those things in a letter to follow.  I’m gonna go smoke outta this dope new bong my boy got!!!  Hope you get this soon!

Sincerely,
Michael”

How did you get the word out about your show?

Our show is not yet released, so the fact that we’re being interviewed is a great step in getting the word out.  We submitted to festivals and got into an awesome one – the Independent Television Festival in L.A.  I think submitting to festivals is the way to go if you’re an independent web series producer.  We had one informal screening for the cast at a bar, which went horribly because the manager of the bar was an idiot and assured us the DVD player would work fine, but instead, it worked the opposite of fine.  We will also screen “Stoop Sale” on AUGUST 24th AT “THE CREEK” IN QUEENS AS PART OF THE “WATCHDOWN” SERIES http://www.watchdown.com/ and we screened the episodes in Brooklyn for a group of filmmakers.  So we definitely believe in doing some fun, live, actual-real-people-talking-to-each-other promotional events, as long as you take pictures and videos so that you can post them on facepage, mybook, and twiddle.

Besides that, @stoopsale and /stoopsale.  Weird that that makes sense, right?

What have been your most interesting interactions with fans?

Well, Devin made the mistake of saying “Stoop Sale” was more popular than “Jesus: The Web Series,” and then people started uploading videos of them deleting their subscription to our youtube page and unfollowing us on twitter.  It was hard to swallow, but we’re artists, so fuck it.

No, really, when we do launch the series, hopefully we will get some fans.  And then we’ll have some interesting interactions with them, for instance, them sending me bottles of Macallan 12.

What mistakes did you learn from when you started creating your first web series?

I did a web series called “Hard Times,” which I’m very proud of.  Through that process though, I learned that the amount of time in pre-production and post-production should far outweigh the time actually shooting and doing all the fun stuff, unfortunately.  We shot “Stoop Sale” in one weekend, maybe 16 hours total.  And we’ve been working on the project for almost a year.  It’s not ideal for actors and writers like us, but its paid off so far.  You do all the other work so that one day you won’t have to.  It’s kinda like when you form a club, someone’s gotta be the secretary and someone’s gotta be the treasurer, not everyone can be the prostitute.

What is your prediction for the future of creating a web series?

I am wondering when someone is going to pull their dick out in a web series.  I know it sounds like I’m joking, but the thing about the internet is that there’s no censorship.  So how come some crazy college kid hasn’t made a web series where he’s doing a scene in a coffee shop or something and then he just says, “You know what?” and pulls his dick out and lays it on the table.  I mean, it couldn’t be on youtube, but it can be online.  The show could be called “This Guy’s Gonna Pull His Dick Out.”  You’re welcome, for the idea.

Besides that, I think that the problem with most web series is the writing.  Maybe it’s because I’m a writer but I’m saying this objectively, most web series are comedy and most comedy web series don’t have good writing.  Some funny bits, for sure, but even if it’s sketch, I mean, real, deep, sketch writing – I feel like it’s missing in a lot of cases.  And that’s one thing I’d like to see, more good writing.  In the acting world, we say “theatre is an actor’s medium, film is a director’s medium, and TV is a writer’s medium.”  It seems like the internet is most like TV, so it’d be nice to see better writing in the future.  Of course, I may be wrong and the internet might be the kind of medium where a guy pulls his dick out in a coffee shop and it’s the most viewed web series ever.


AJ Tesler is a producer and founder of ITVFest, a festival for independent TV pilots and web series.

Describe your background and what is ITV Fest?

After graduating from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and a Theatre major, AJ stayed in Chicago, forming the small web production company Goldingeye Productions. After producing hours of content for a number of now defunct websites, AJ relocated to New York City where he worked as a New Media Analyst for d2 Capital. By day AJ would pour over notes and records in search of new entertainment channels, while at night AJ was a hilariously mediocre stand up comedian. Anxious for more, Tesler moved again, this time to Los Angeles where he immediately found success as an actor, appearing on television shows such as It’s All Relative and The Gilmore Girls. As much as he enjoys acting, AJ has always been drawn to produce and in the summer of 2002, he produced the first of almost 50 installations of the New and Improv-Ed Stand Up Show, an official selection of the Chicago Improv Festival as well as the 2004 and 2005 Los Angeles Improv Festivals. In 2004, AJ began producing television , independently, on spec, and with production company support. In 2005, AJ formed what is now widely recognized as the premier festival in the world for TV and New Media, The Independent Television Festival Corporation, a non profit, public benefit corporation. In 2008, AJ was hired to be the Manager of Development for Lion Television, a UK based development and production company. Since leaving Lion in 2009, AJ has produced shows for MTV, Babelgum, Atom.com, and Fox TV Studios. He is currently freelance producing under his recently set up production company, Apostrophy Productions.

What are your favorite success stories from your fest?

I just love the stories of people getting jumpstarts to heir careers.  People getting represented, people making connections, those are the types of success stories that make me proud.  On top of that, however, are shows like Urban Wolf which got licensed by Sony, Johnny B Homeless which got licensed by Atom.com, the script deal at NBC for This is My Friend and the development deal at Starz for a show called Partners…those are great stories that we can hang our hat on as well.

Are there any trends you see when it comes to submissions?

Every year we see different trends in submissions.  This year over 70% of all of our submissions came in as webseries which would certainly be a trend…the rise of the webseries.  In terms of the specific content, though, we got a lot of ghost hunters parodies and a lot of lesbian content as well this year.  I’d say we got too many submissions shot in the mockumentary/Office style.  We’re looking for innovation so it becomes very difficult to program things when we see so many people trying the same concept.

Do you have any advice for new web series creators?

Know that you don’t know it all.  The one man band is the path of least resistance, but people specialize in cinematography, editing, directing, writing for a reason.  Use people who are good at their jobs and your project will be significantly better for it.  Other than that, make sure you have a plan for what you want to do with your show.  Making something and hoping it attracts the attention of the professional world is not the smartest endeavor, but if you go in with a plan, you can deliberately attract the audience you’re seeking.

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Posted in audience-building storytelling television video

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, August 24th, 2010

Social games are rapidly becoming one of the most successful forms of entertainment:

Disney purchased Playdom for up to $763.2 million and Club Penguin for $700 million.

EA purchased Playfish for $400 million.

The research form Next Up for pre-IPO trading service SharesPost estimates Zynga is worth three billion dollars.

Why are they thriving (even in a recession):

Social games are accessible throughout the day over multiple platforms.

You are rewarded with digital prizes the more you play.

Players act as evangelists marketing the game all over social networks to recruit new users.

Creators of TV shows and movies can now use similar techniques to have a stronger relationship with their fans. Emerging web start ups are making that possible. Miso injects interactivity into the TV and film viewing experience by utilizing a smart phone, laptop, or tablet as a duel screen with supplemental content. SCVNGR is an user generated location based scavenger hunt for your smart phone.

SCVNGR can create challenges based on elements from a story e.g. a player is asked trivia questions from True Blood and if they get the answer correct they are given a clue to find their next location. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D and Dexter made SCVNGR a part of their marketing campaign by creating scavenger hunts around the San Diego Comic Con. To reach fans where they shop, scavenger hunts can be sponsored e.g. visit Best Buy and purchase a product marked with QR code to get your next clue. People can expand the experience to new locations by creating  scavenger hunts revolving around fan fiction.

This keeps fans connected to a story no matter where they are located.

Players receive points and badges in Miso for checking into their favorite shows and movies like Four Square for content. Miso has a list of their highest ranking watchers; this competition keeps an audience coming back to a program to be number 1. By rewarding their engagement over time, I think this can transform casual viewers into hardcore fans.

Users on Miso can share what they are watching on Facebook and Twitter, their friends can now start following that show and converting more fans. They can also recruit them directly on Miso. This sustains and builds a fanbase.

Many games have been inspired by films/TV shows to create more compelling narratives e.g. Grand Theft Auto. Now Hollywood can learn from social games to keep fans connected to their stories.

What else can filmmakers and TV show creators learn from social games?

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Posted in ARG audience-building community gaming marketing movies social media storytelling television transmedia

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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