By nick braccia, January 19th, 2009

Ethan’s first contribution, an interview with Mike Smith, creator of the indie game, Caster, is coming up shortly!

Ethan Rublee is a computer engineering undergrad at DigiPen Institute of Technology. With a background in film, he has worked on films such his own Body # 82 and Lance Weiler’s Head Trauma. Transitioning to the computer sciences, Ethan is interested in game development as a form of expression and storytelling.

Enter DigiPen… Finding himself immersed in the game development community of Redmond, home of Microsoft, Ethan is digging in and learning the way of bits, bytes, ands, ors, ohms, and amps. Ethan considers himself a sailor, filmmaker, programmer, and sudoer. His personal blog is veganrobots.blogspot.com

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Posted in From the CH Desk community

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 19th, 2009

I’ve had the pleasure of working on 2 ARGs with Haley (Catching the Wish and Unnatural Selection) for guru Szulborski at ARG Studios. I’m thrilled to announce that she’s joined the Culture Hacker squad and will soon post her first piece, a hilarious interview with Andrew Hussie, creator of the MS Paint Adventures.

Here’s a little more about Haley:

Haley Moore is a mild-mannered reporter by day, super spy by night: an Alternate Reality puppetmaster whose game credits include Catching the Wish and Monster Hunters Club, and a news writer and columnist for the Coppell Citizens’ Advocate.  When she isn’t sculpting chain-smokingmidgets out of polymer clay or plopping pirate hats on unsuspecting passers-by, she writes for Culture Hacker from her Texas home.

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Posted in From the CH Desk 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 christopher rice, January 14th, 2009

Storytellers of all trades, including novelists, filmmakers, musicians, game designers, and even bloggers, currently face a greater challenge than telling a compelling story in their medium; it’s called change, and like evolution in general, it’s simply inevitable.

While storytelling will continue to forever thrive as one of the best sources of entertainment reflecting the human condition and emotion, the way audiences are consuming these stories and media is changing. When it comes to storytelling, the audience is the king, so in essence, the way we tell and share stories is changing because our audience is telling us to change it.

The technological advancement most responsible for this change is the Internet. And while the universe of cross-media technology is the newest frontier, I’m interested with the actual storytelling aspects of cross-media. As a professional story analyst and writer in Los Angeles, I’m focused toward the screenwriting process and more importantly, how writers and independent filmmakers can create a cross-media project while writing their screenplay, pilot, graphic novel, manuscript, or blog instead of merely taking advantage of the cross-media distribution opportunities. With the success of Cloverfield, Lost, and The Dark Knight, it’s clear that cross-media storytelling is an invaluable marketing technique; it’s only a matter of time before publishing houses, studios, and producers catch on and demand strong cross-media elements just as they demand strong character work, theme, and audience appeal. Do you know how to include cross-media elements into your screenplay? Does anyone? Cross-media as a whole isn’t that old, so the playing field is wide-open to new ideas, techniques, and innovation. If you’re an aspiring screenwriter, independent filmmaker, or any other creative writer interested in the universe of cross-media, the changing landscape of storytelling, and the importance of cross-media elements in your screenplay, graphic novel, manuscript, blog, or other literary work, subscribe to CultureHacker’s RSS feed right now because we’re about to embark on an exciting new journey full of discovery and explosive new corners in world of story.

Let’s launch the exploration of writing the cross-media project with this basic thesis: The earlier your include cross-media elements the better.

So how do we do this? And why is it important for the writer to spend the extra effort?

The possibilities are endless. As writers, we all approach our projects and their elements differently; cross-media is no exception. Treat the process of cross-media creation the same as you would treat character creation, theme exploration, and the overall storyline. Approach it in your individual way, regardless if it’s brainstorming, working with a partner, outlining, or what ever your process of creation is.

Control Your Story. What’s the worst point during the development process from a screenwriter’s perspective? Getting fired and replaced by another writer of course – it happens on nearly every movie by the way (when ever you see “and” between two writers in the credits, it means one of them was fired – writing partners share an ampersand between their names, but I digress). The point is: it’s our dream as writers to see what we’ve created for the page produced for the screen with as little revision as possible; therefore, by creating the cross-media elements during the writing stage and including them in the script, you’ll have more control over the way your project is distributed, the way audiences discover your project, whether it’s through an ARG, graphic novel, secret websites, product, blogs, and other cross-media elements. This doesn’t mean doing the marketing department’s job for them, but rather, creating attractive opportunity for the new media department – just as you create stunning characters to attract actors and compelling visuals to attract directors.

Remember, this is merely an overview of what we’re about to launch into – the change technology and the audience has demanded from storytellers, the opportunity to innovate screenwriting, the challenges screenwriters now face, how other projects are successfully evolving — very tip of the berg information if you will – so subscribe if you’d like to continue the exploration of writing the cross-media project with us – there are a lot of exciting new developments ahead, and perhaps together, through discussion here at CH, we can shape the standard of writing cross-media narratives.

If you don’t learn how to evolve with your audience, your audience might leave you behind.

What do you see in the near future for cross-media entertainment? How will screenwriting be affected? And how do you personally approach your cross-media projects?

Christopher Rice is a professional story analyst and writer 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, ScriptShark.com, Penny Marshall, The Harry Winer Company, and more, as well as writing thousands of SEO-driven advertising campaigns and articles.

Christopher currently splits his time writing short stories for ScribblePlay.com, a place to write, exploring screenwriting with helpful articles and tips at ScriptXRay.com, where you can look beyond the surface of screenwriting, as well as writing feature screenplays and directing short films.

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Posted in gaming

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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By nick braccia, January 13th, 2009

Before Thanksgiving, I flew from LA to Boston to attend FoE3 at MIT. The conference, organized by Henry Jenkins, included an interesting mishmash of atendees and panelists from both industry and academy. Sitting with friends and colleagues like the WBP’s Alex Johnson, Deep Focus’ Michael Miraflor, Undercurrent’s Mike Arauz and Brandeis University’s Mark Dellelo, I took in a half dozen interesting panels each day.

The following one, a two hour discussion on world building included Tom Boland from the WWE and Gregg Hale from Campfire, not to mention our own Lance Weiler. It was especially interesting to hear the various points of view (and even disparate vocabularies) among the eclectic panel of participants.

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Posted in Person of Interest audience-building community gaming marketing transmedia

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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