This year marks the fourth edition of Power to the Pixel which has grown over the last few years to become the leading voice in transmedia in Europe. This year promises to be bigger and better with an exciting lineup of projects, speakers and industry attending the three day event.
WorkBook Project: What’s new at this year’s Power to the Pixel and for people who don’t know can you explain briefly the types of programs you offer?
Liz Rosenthal: The key expansion of this year’s Cross-Media Forum is The Pixel Market – our new finance summit for international cross-media projects running over 13 & 14 October. We’ve selected 18 international cross-media projects whose stories span across film, TV, gaming mobile, publishing and real life events . We’ve set up one-to-one business meetings for the project teams with potential commissioners, financiers and partners. Nine of these projects have been selected to compete for the ARTE Pixel Pitch Prize £6k/ $10k (approx).
The event runs 12-15 October. There are two open days.
12 October is The Conference Day at The National Film Theatre, BFI Southbank. A day of keynotes, candid case studies and presentations from an array of world-class experts who are working at the vanguard of cross-media content creation, production and finance including Michel Reihac (ARTE), Mick Monello (Campfire), Mauren McHugh (No Mimes), Tommy Pallotta (Director & Producer) & Lance Weiler (Seize the Media),
Raafi Rivero and Michael Hastings-Black winners of the Pixel Pitch Award 2009
13 October is The Pixel Pitch Day at The National Film Theatre, BFI Southbank The Pixel Pitch is the public day of The Pixel Market and presents an ideal opportunity to discover first hand what types of projects are getting financed and by whom.
Nine international producer-led teams have been chosen to present their projects to a select jury made up from international decision-makers, commissioners and executives from across film, advertising, broadcast, the arts, online and games. They will compete for the £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch cash prize.
The Pixel Meetings take place on 14 October and this year’s Power to the Pixel Think Tank on 15 October is dedicated to finding the practical steps that will allow the film and media industries to grasp the opportunities of cross-media change. The results will be freely available in a Think Tank report to be produced by Power to the Pixel.
WBP: What are some interesting projects that have caught your attention over the last year or so that you feel are good examples of transmedia projects?
LR:There are a number of projects that we are showcasing at this year’s event.
Three documentary projects illustrate how interactive platforms can enhance and transform the possibilities for documentary storytelling to interpret and synthesize many sources of information to explain a situation or express a POV.
Collapsus is a brand-new transmedia project from SubmarineChannel, directed by Tommy Pallotta, producer of Scanner Darkly and Waking Life, and director of American Prince. It combines interactivity, animation, fiction and documentary and looks into the near future to show you how the imminent energy crisis affects a group of ten people, who appear to be caught up in an energy conspiracy. Collapsus is the transmedia project associated with the documentary, Energy Risk.
Prison Valley is the latest interactive documentary produced by Upian and ARTE by by David Dufresne & Philippe Brault It investigates the prison industry in Fremont County, a remote part of Colorado, USA, in the French documentary. The two reporters explore an area that has 36,000 inhabitants, over 7,000 inmates and 13 jails. Prison Valley is made up of a linear 59-minute film, which was aired on television channel Arte (who co-produced the documentary) on 12 June, 2010. But besides this, web users can view extra footage, interviews and statistics online.The documentary uses many of the possibilities provided by the Internet, including photography, text, audio, video and infographics. Viewers can explore the content using a navigation system similar to a video game.
Waterlife is a stunning ode to the last great supply of fresh water on earth, the Great Lakes, as well as the award-winning full-length documentary feature directed by Kevin McMahon and produced by NFB Canada, the online interactive experience immerses us in their extraordinary beauty, ecological complexity, and extreme state of distress.
Another project that hit the headlines this was Conspiracy For Good an augmented reality drama that took place on the Internet, on mobile devices and offline in four live action events in London. It was developed by Heroes creator Tim Kring and sponsored by Nokia. The audience played the part of activists and supporters of the eponymous organisation, Conspiracy For Good, and joined in to help direct the action by solving various puzzles spread across different media.
WBP: In terms of emerging trends what do you think is most interesting for those who are telling stories?
LR: Evolving devices, software and applications are enabling a whole new Renaissance in storytelling possibilities. Film and TV storytelling until recently has been essentially confined to distribution formats and release windows. Now the possibilities of extending stories in a multitude of new ways across different media platforms and devices is huge. As well as the creative aspect there are powerful ways of engaging new audiences and increasing the discoverability of projects and also attracting a whole new pool of finance and media partners. The personalisation of media is also one of the biggest trends that is effecting storytelling. Audiences are frequently no longer passive consumers of story but active collaborators and stakeholders in terms of co-creation, marketing, distribution and sometimes even in terms of financing.
WBP: What do you hope people will take away from this year’s event?
LR: The projects above and new ones that we are showcasing at The Pixel Market demonstrate that filmmakers and storytellers of diverse formats and genres are embracing these new trends. Many of the stories that we have heard about in terms of cross-media or transmedia storytelling have been huge studio franchises and often been seen soley in terms of marketing not storytelling or in any form of increasing the value of the property itself. In a world where the value of traditional media formats is steeply declining and where audience behaviour is rapidly evolving, we are keen to demonstrate at Power to the Pixel that cross-media storytelling is an essential way for creators and media businesses to reach new audiences, extend the values of the properties they are developing and to find sustainable business models in a rapidly evolving media world.
Posted in cross-media event gaming storytelling transmedia
The Open Video Conference returns to NYC with a stop at FIT for two days of conference Oct 1st and 2nd and a special hack day on Oct 3rd. We caught up with Ben Moskowitz who’s pulling the event together to get a better sense of what to expect.
WorkBook Project: What is OVC and what’s new this year?
Ben Moskowitz: OVC is a two-day gathering for anyone who’s interested in the future of web video. The event draws a big and diverse crowd of businesspeople, technologists, lawyers, academics, artists and others. At one level it’s a showcase for creative and technical innovation in online video, especially some of the exciting things happening with HTML5 and open video. But we also grapple with some larger questions—with so much free content out there, how will artists get paid? Who decides what you watch? Who knows what you watch? We are very much about the top-level concerns of this emerging web video medium, the web, and the mass media system generally.
OVC is presented by the Open Video Alliance, which is a coalition of organizations and individuals building open tools, policies, and practices for web video. This is the second time we’ve produced OVC. This year’s event is bigger, featuring a small film festival and hack day. But on a deeper level, what’s new this year is that HTML5 video and open video generally are really picking up industry support, and lightbulbs are beginning to go off in people’s heads. So some of the really advanced stuff that we’ve been forecasting and building toward is becoming tangible. OVC is a great place to get a peek at some of that stuff.
WBP What’s the most pressing issue facing Open Video and why?
BM: At OVC we’re interested in all facets of web video. To have an “open” video ecosystem, we’re going to need to ensure that creativity is compensated; that the software and hardware tools for making and watching video are accessible and widely distributed; that the network for delivering video is open to all producers, big and small; and that public policy supports the ability of mass numbers of people to participate in the video conversation.
We’re discussing all of this at OVC, and it’s all important.
WBP: HTML5 what’s it mean to storytellers and what are some of the exciting things you’ve seen done with it? Any examples you can share?
BM: Mozilla is opening an HTML5 video workshop to show what’s possible when video is woven into web pages. It’s much different than simply “embedding” a video—it’s experimenting with the possibilities of connecting video to the rest of the web, and really embracing new ideas about interactivity and iterability.
There’s the popcorn.js demo floating around, which pulls live-updating data from across the web and displays it along with the video. But that’s early stage stuff. There are lots of cool concepts which show users interacting and manipulating video in real time. It’s not just about augmenting the viewing experience—it’s about creating new experiences which weren’t possible until now. Check out the Arcade Fire HTML5 music video, “The Wilderness Inside.” In fact, do a Google search for “HTML5 video demo” and you’ll see all sorts of possibilities; when you realize that creators will be able to tinker with and build upon these examples in mass experimentation, your head will spin.
Of course, all the tech demos and gadgetry are nothing unless they’re in service of a great story. One of the coolest things to see at OVC is open source developers and creatives putting their heads together to imagine how the web can advance the craft of storytelling. We will have some cool stuff to show, for sure. But I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
But beyond that, the energy at OVC is infectious. It’s a meeting of the minds and people will be pitching new ideas all weekend. We’re delighted to be working with over 15 organizations, including the visionaries at the Workbook Project.
WBP: You’re adding a hack day this year can you explain the reason and what will be taking place?
BM: The hack day is free and open to the public. We’re organizing the hack day so everyone will have a space to start executing on their ideas immediately after the conference.
It’s taking place at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program at 721 Broadway. Though it’s an open space gathering, we have some confirmed activities: a Mozilla WebMadeMovies working group; Kaltura hackathon; a working group with WITNESS on building solutions for human rights video; and a lot more. For the folks working on the fundamental mechanics of web video, we have the highly technical Foundations of Open Media Software Workshop.
But anyone with a project is welcome to come and collaborate—it’s going to be fun.
WBP: What tech do you think is exciting right now?
BM: Beyond the possibilities of HTML5 video, I’m really interested in how video on open knowledge projects like Wikipedia can improve learning, And generally speaking, the expanding universe of tools for making and sharing video—from the capture end all the way up to cloud computing resources—is really amazing to consider.
If you’re interested in new forms of storytelling, technology, policy issues or just want to catch a glimpse of some innovative projects make sure to attend OVC.
Discount available for WorkBook Project community…
Register now— they’re filling up. It’s a great deal, with 60+ sessions, screenings, parties, and more. For readers of WBP use this discount code FILM20
Posted in community cross-media crowdsourcing event storytelling transmedia video