By Haley Moore, April 6th, 2010

Update: There has been a bit of a scuffle over whether the transmedia producer credit includes creators of original IP, but PGA Director of Communications Chris Green assures us that it will (via NewTeeVee).

Also, Andrea Phillips takes the long view on what this will mean for transmedia artists.

Also, an interesting quote from NewTeeVee’s coverage – ” [Steve] Peters hinted at the fact that a new guild might be necessary for the transmedia world, “another organization that would be focused on Transmedia from its inception.”

Nikki Finke of Deadline reported yesterday that the Producers Guild of America voted, for the first time in the guild’s history, to add a new credit – “Transmedia Producer” – allowing artists who create expanded narratives for franchises to be credited alongside other producers on those projects.

Here’s how the new credit will be defined.

A Transmedia Narrative project or franchise must consist of three (or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms:  Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing rollouts, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist. These narrative extensions are NOT the same as repurposing material from one platform to be cut or repurposed to different platforms.

A Transmedia Producer credit is given to the person(s) responsible for a significant portion of a project’s long-term planning, development, production, and/or maintenance of narrative continuity across multiple platforms, and creation of original storylines for new platforms. Transmedia producers also create and implement interactive endeavors to unite the audience of the property with the canonical narrative and this element should be considered as valid qualification for credit as long as they are related directly to the narrative presentation of a project.

Transmedia Producers may originate with a project or be brought in at any time during the long-term rollout of a project in order to analyze, create or facilitate the life of that project and may be responsible for all or only part of the content of the project. Transmedia Producers may also be hired by or partner with companies or entities, which develop software and other technologies and who wish to showcase these inventions with compelling, immersive, multi-platform content.

To qualify for this credit, a Transmedia Producer may or may not be publicly credited as part of a larger institution or company, but a titled employee of said institution must be able to confirm that the individual was an integral part of the production team for the project.

In short, game and interaction designers can get Transmedia Producer credit, they can be brought in at any point in development and they can be working as individual artists.  This is definitely in line with the kind of flexibility inherent to working in new forms of storytelling.

Finke said the adoption of the credit was shepherded by Starlight Runner CEO Jeff Gomez, among others.  Reaction to the decision has been overwhelmingly celebratory in transmedia circles, but that hasn’t dissuaded analysts from taking a deeper look at the credit’s definition.

Christy Dena wrote an excellent breakdown of the credit, highlighting the three medium requirement as too limiting.

I know Jeff Gomez has been pushing for the 3 media-platform rule for a few years now. But that was because it was an effective pedagogical device to get new practitioners to understand the need to think expansively. Making this official is a mistake.

Dena said she hopes the three-medium rule won’t be strictly enforced in practice, and the credit will remain open to more forms of transmedia creation while dodging traditional franchise expansions that technically meet the requirements.

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Posted in cross-media movies television 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 nick braccia, June 14th, 2009

Everyone at CH has been absurdly busy the last few months, either with school or work, but we’re all eager to get back to some regular posting.

What have I been up to? And what has me interested?

Well, I discovered my new favorite cable TV show and watched all its episodes sequentially, in one shot…via Netflix streaming capabilities on my XBOX 360. Something indicative of my recent media consumption behavior. I recently moved to SF and Comcast service and quality is terrible.  So I’ve gone from getting most of my entertainment via postal delivery of optical (regular Netflix) to streaming Netflix offerings via XBOX Live.

Also, two recent software titles got me interested. I wanted the indie produced $10 horror title, The Path, and discovered that Direct2Drive was offering downloads via Paypal. The second game is Battleforge, a new EA title that was  shipped to brick and mortar with a $49.99 tag, but this micro-transaction based, card combat RTS dropped its price to FREE in just a month so I downloaded it onto one of my machines.

The point is that, I’m not really an engadget/gizmodo guy, and yet, I’m discovering and accruing my media strictly via digidelivery and payment.  How long before optical media is gone all together?

From a Culture Hacker POV, this is an encouraging trend–a broader user base getting their media exclusively through digital means.  It expands the number of channels we can use to tell stories and/or run games.  Additionally, It allows for smaller, niche game developers (and filmmakers) of all types to distribute their product without worrying about a lot of overhead and/or retail distribution.

Also important…it was the high metacritic score that drove me to the Path.  Read about it. Explored the site, easy digital transaction and downloads. The path from awareness to sale was seamless and took just minutes.

A review of this game and its cross media and community components is forthcoming.

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Posted in cross-media gaming marketing television video

nick braccia is a Creative Director at G2 in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Earlier in his career, he spent 7 years developing concepts for Masterfoods and P&G clients as part of G2 in New York City. Since 2001, he's explored his passion for immersive narrative experiences and contributed to the ARGs "Catching the Wish" and "Unnatural Selection" under the direction of author and guru, Dave Szulborski. Recently, Nick directed "No Known Survivors" to support EA's horror survival title Dead Space and "Vroengard Academy", promoting the Random House title, Brisingr. These projects were conceived and completed while working for Ian Schafer's http://www.ianschafer.com integrated interactive agency, Deep Focus http://www.deep-focus.net in New York and Los Angeles.

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By nick braccia, January 6th, 2009

Reality TV and its slightly classier cousin, the travelogue, have never really appealed to me. Now and again, however, I’ll get hooked. Bravo’s Top Chef and Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter, for example. Or, on the travelogue front, Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

It’s no secret that A LOT goes on in the editing rooms and certain portions of certain shows are heavily scripted cough cough LC, cough cough.

But what’s really helped me become an enrolled audience member of the aforementioned shows is the freedom afforded the stars and hosts as bloggers.

Several TUF competitors and Top Chef contestants/hosts have, for multiple seasons, maintained blogs along side each episode’s air date. These blogs aren’t just recaps and reflections on the 22 or 43 minutes of TV piped into your home, split up by increments of 30 second spots. They’re also totally transparent commentaries on the show’s editing process and what the network DIDN’T show you. Basically, the stars are, by definition, rejecting that label. They’re with the masses on the Web, telling it like it is (or like it was) and filling in the blanks for us so that we end up with the whole picture (whether pretty, or ugly).  Take for example, Bourdain’s response to a recent Travel Channel experiment (he hosted a dinner for 4 at Wiley Dufresne’s molecular  gastronomy joint, wd~50). I haven’t seen the episode, but all reports considered the episode a disaster that did its subjects no favors. What’s important is Tony’s response to the feedback on message boards and the comment section of his blog:

“Failure has a stench all its own. It smells like fear … and shame. I may have been conveniently removed from the burning wreckage inspired by last week’s experiment, happily narcotized in a pressurized cabin on its way to Manila, but the odor followed me just the same.
It says something when the comments about a show (on my blog and on the message boards) were smarter, more thoughtful and insightful than the show itself.
The People Have Spoken.

That’s how you build a loyal audience…by interacting, providing comments and being transparent before, during and after the release of your book/movie/tv show/album/transmedia narrative and taking your licks along with the applause.

See? There’s room for everybody behind the curtain. Keep that in mind when you’re considering how to connect with your audience. It’s not about being a star, it’s about being honest.

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Posted in audience-building blogs community television

nick braccia is a Creative Director at G2 in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Earlier in his career, he spent 7 years developing concepts for Masterfoods and P&G clients as part of G2 in New York City. Since 2001, he's explored his passion for immersive narrative experiences and contributed to the ARGs "Catching the Wish" and "Unnatural Selection" under the direction of author and guru, Dave Szulborski. Recently, Nick directed "No Known Survivors" to support EA's horror survival title Dead Space and "Vroengard Academy", promoting the Random House title, Brisingr. These projects were conceived and completed while working for Ian Schafer's http://www.ianschafer.com integrated interactive agency, Deep Focus http://www.deep-focus.net in New York and Los Angeles.

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