Transmedia Programming Masterclass – Asia Media Summit, Indonesia – 2013

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After 2 days at the pre-events for 10th Asia Media Summit, with delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia – (Universitas Islam Sultan Agung), (Radio Republik Indonesia –  RRI), Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Timor, Thailand, Vietnam teaching Transmedia Programming, I promised to provide a short list of resources for further reading.

This is an entry-level list of published works that highlight a transmedia approach to storytelling:

ASIA MEDIA SUMMIT 2013
Nuno Bernardo: The Producers Guide to Transmedia: How to Develop, Fund, Produce and Distribute Compelling Stories Across Mutliple Platforms, 2011 - http://www.amazon.com/Producers-Guide-Transmedia-Distribute-Compelling/dp/0956750001
Producers Guide to Transmedia
 
Henry Jenkins, 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press. - http://www.amazon.com/Convergence-Culture-Where-Media-Collide/dp/0814742955
Convergence Culture
 
 
Andrea Phillips: A Creators Guide to Transmedia Storytelling, 2012 - http://www.amazon.com/Creators-Guide-Transmedia-Storytelling-Captivate/dp/0071791523
Creators Guide

 Robert Pratten – Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling - http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Started-Transmedia-Storytelling-ebook/dp/B004K1F12C

rob book

 

Blogs of note include:

http://starlightrunner.com

http://www.thearrglingtonjump.com

http://www.tstoryteller.com

The Production Bible that was mentioned during the Masterclass, written by Gary Hayes for Screen Australia can be found here, and is a great resource!

production bible

 

And links to some posts I’ve written that highlight approaches to transmedia storytelling can be found here:

http://storycentraldigital.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/lbf-digital-minds-partners-with-storycentraldigital-lets-talk/

peter pan neverland

http://storycentraldigital.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/games-for-change/

collapsus pic

 

It was great to meet you all and keep developing those projects!

:)

Alison.

Sustainable, Evergreen Storyworlds

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I was asked to give a ‘transmedia talk’ at London Book Fair this year and it posed me with a problem.  I’ve been talking ‘transmedia’ to publishers for nearly 8 years and I figured it was time for a change.

Let’s talk about story instead.

Rather than talk generically for an hour on expanding a story across territories, timelines and audiences I decided to frame my talk around a book I’ve been reading and enjoying – Hit Lit – Cracking The Code of The Twentieth Century’s Biggest Bestsellers.  As I’ve been more closely researching and questioning story structure, narrative design, fragmented narratives and audience behaviors around story experiences, I came across this book which suggests that there are key motifs or features that exist within bestselling stories.

 

Intrigued that there might be a ‘code’, it presented itself as a ‘must-read’.

In it, creative writing professor and thriller writer, James W Hall consults Alice Payne Hackett, the leading authority on which books sold the most through the 20th Century and identifies 12 novels that are bestsellers based on a tight criteria – not so much because of the ‘velocity’ of sales, but sustained sales over time.

He has identified key motifs, or features, in all 12 of these bestsellers, many of which echoed components that suggest suitability for a story world, (along with opportunities to look at these components when building storyworld opportunities):

  • THE GOLDEN COUNTRY (storyworld)
  • HOT BUTTONS (themes & beats)
  • THE BIG PICTURE (characters & timelines)
  • NOTHING BUT THE FACTS, MA’AM (authenticity and opportunities for interaction)
  • SECRET SOCIETIES (opportunities for immersion and gameplay)
  • BUMPKINS VERSUS SLICKERS (the heroes journey)
  • A DOZEN MAVERICKS (‘Jack Sparrow’ personalities and independent thinkers)
  • RELIGION
  • FRACTURED FAMILIES (real-life problems, the rise of the under-dog or triumph over adversity)
  • THE JUICY PARTS

 

The 12 books selected are:

•The Godfather, 1969 – (12,140,000 sold)

•The Exorcist, 1971

•To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960

•Peyton Place, 1956

•Valley of the Dolls, 1966

•Jaws, 1974

•Gone With the Wind, 1936

•The Bridges of Madison County, 1992

•The Dead Zone, 1979

•The Hunt for Red October, 1984

•The Firm, 1991

•The Da Vinci Code, 2003

and it immediately struck me how many of these had been further retold in movie form.

 

So to look at some of these 12 features a little closer:

  • THE BIG PICTURE – James W Hall references “colossal characters doing magnificent things on a sweeping stage” and “a small story told against a sweeping backdrop – that’s the pattern repeating again and again in the most successful bestsellers

Gone With The Wind spans two storyworld locations, splitting time between Atlanta and Tara

Peyton Place gives short and crucial glimpses of Manhattan although most of the novel takes place in the semi-rural town of the title, while To Kill a Mockingbird takes us on long wallow in backwater America with brief references to the great cities beyond it’s limits.

In Jaws, the carefree island of Amity is only half a days drive from avenues of Manhattan and the population are known as ‘summer folk’ and winter folk’, which you could perhaps substitute for ‘city’ and ‘country’.

The storyworld is build around an isolated sanctuary that they rent out for part of each year.  Their economy depends on annual migration of tourists – but before throngs arrive we get a glimpse of the island in its natural state and the author plays out one ‘world’ against the other to give dimension and depth.

 

  • NOTHING BUT THE FACTS, MA’AM – “An abundance of facts and information, including everything from etiquette to the nuts-and-bolts layout of a sub-marine, fills these 12 books.  The didactic function is as old as the novel form itself and continues to be a chief attraction in bestselling novels.”

 Stuffed full of facts about submarines, governmental agencies and protocol.

On opening the covers of The Da Vinci Code an avalanche of post-it notes spills out, as well as file cards, and a clutter of short essays along with jottings about the Louvre, riffs on goddesses and feminism, the Hebrew alphabet, the Depository Bank of Zurich.

 

  • SECRET SOCIETIES – “All twelve of these bestsellers expose the inner workings of at least one secret society”.

The Firm revealed an unvarnished story of the inner workings of high-powered law firms.

A behind the scenes scoop.

  • BUMPKINS VERSUS SLICKERS – All have a central character that sets off on journey – mostly in opposite direction – from city to countryside or reverse.  Journeys of this type have mythical echoes as old as Epic of Gilgamesh and in a contemporary era the same structureal underpinnings are at work from Star Wars to The Wizard of Oz – a character is called to adventure. After initially refusing the call, that character is galvanized into ation by an event and leaves the safety of their ordinary world, eventualy reaching a perilous place that Vogler calls “the inmost cave”.

So we have country girls in City in Peyton Place and City Boys in Country in The Firm.

  • RELIGION – All 12 feature religion in prominent ways, consistently critiquing orthodox religious practices and the dangers of zealotry and take a look at faith and doubt, outing hypocrisy, secularism, supernatural calculus, along with the power of blasphemy.

 

  • A DOZEN MAVERICKS – The heros/heroines of these 12 bestsellers are all rebels, loners, misfits or mavericks.  Mavericks are fabulous instigators and protagonists – Huck Finn realises he is a maverick because of his refusal to fit in with his spinster aunt Sally, in Top Gun Tom Cruise, plays a fighter jet pilot who takes the same handle as his nickname.   Creating tension between mavericks and conventionalists operates at the core of great storyworlds, from Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and Narnia to Star Trek.
  • FRACTURED FAMILIES – In each of the 12 novels a member of a broken family finds an ingenious way to transcend their crazy stress.  These novels represent families under economic stress, at emotional war, splitting apart, with a missing parent, dealing with disease, death, infidelity, job stress or life-threatening danger.  All of these 12 bestsellers heroes/heroines are on a journey to eventually find ways to make peace with their extreme losses.

 

  • THE JUICY PARTS  - in every one of these stories, one key sexual encounter plays a decisive role in the outcome of the plot and in the transformation of the protagonist.  From Princess Leia in Star Wars, the tension as we waited for Harry Potter to fall for Hermione Granger and now The Great & Powerful Oz reveals to us the witches story and the Wizard of Oz – The Great & Powerful Oz now gives us the story of thwarted love and bitter revenge. Twilight dealt with the power of forbidden love, The Firm, The Dead Zone and Jaws touched on cheating and how these moments come back to haunt them, whilst Bridges of Madison County deal with the topic of sexual awakening.

More than a story with a strong theme of sexual awakening and ‘what could have been’, Robert Kincaid and Francesca Johnson characters are woven around the dramatic tension of the secret society of adultery.  The timeline and storytelling reveals both of their lives prior to meeting, but doesn’t waste time on showing them.

A recurring tension that forces the characters to beat the clock is common in most of these 12 bestsellers, and is also resonant in in these blockbuster/bestsellers:

 

Hit Lit is by no means a comprehensive look at what makes a great storyworld, an evergreen property nor is a template to ensure a bestseller or a blockbuster, but it is worth a read – especially if you’re interested in the mechanics and architecture of the building blocks of story.

Real digital storytelling across platforms..

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It was what I’d been waiting to hear…  for about five years….

A new e-publishing imprint that’s truly looking for strong robust stories – big enough to build storyworlds around a defined core theme and with the potential to move, whilst also moving you.

And then it was double what I’d been waiting to hear..

They wanted me to work with them on outreach, acquisitions, curation, development and production.  Talk about perfect!

The thing is, you see, I could never be a salesman.  I simply can’t ‘hype’ about things I don’t believe in.  Sky dish insurance, washing machines, vacuum cleaner filters, garden leaf blowers..  It’s all just hot air.

So the news that Harlequin Mills & Boon UK were launching Carina UK – a brand new digital imprint – a dynamic digital publisher of fantastic stories – was exciting!  Because that’s something I believe in.  Like, 100%.

Carina, like me, believe that creativity flourishes best in collaboration and want to work with you to help tell your stories, regardless of genre, platform, length or style, to as many people as possible.

So, on a session at Digital Book World Conference  in New York-  I broke the news about us working together on this exciting venture.  I was co-hosting a session – ‘Beyond Books: New Opportunities for Growth’ along with the awesome Cynthia Cleveland and Nancy Cushing-Jones of Broadlit, who are making impressive moves with their TruLoveStories franchise, and we spoke about books/stories as brand and extending longevity and audience engagement through episodic, high-quality content.  It was the perfect opportunity to verbally launch Carina UK.

I’m excited to say I’ve already received some amazing submissions and enquiry emails but I’d like to see more.  Carina is looking for authors from the UK and Ireland as well as from global markets such as India and South Africa.

Want the ‘official’ spin from Carina?  Buckle up…

“Harlequin UK have been at the forefront of digital publishing for many years and now we are using that expertise to home our new digital list – collaborating with you the author to bring your stories and ideas to readers globally.

Carina will consider ALL genres of writing.  What matters to us is that you tell a great story! No matter the genre, the style,the format – if its a novel, novella, serial or series – we want to hear from fresh voices across the storytelling world.

Publishing is changing rapdily, you are authors in an inspiring new era, and we want to collaborate with you to take advantage of thsese exciting changes and bring the best stories to the world of readers.

If’s your passion, storytelling and voice that will make your manuscript stand out and be conisdered for publication.  The journey after that is limitless….

You will be partnered with highly experienced editors and eagle-eyed copy-editors, creative design experts and award-winning digital marketing and retail team and together they will make your work achieve the very best.  Carina UK is about finding exceptional talent and connecting your creativity and storytelling quickly and cleverly with readers everywhere.”

 

Guidelines?  They’re simple – tell a good story.  No matter genre, length or style Carina are buying stories that send shivers down their spines, make them laugh out loud, gasp with shock, make them wipe away their tears or stay up all night, make them wish they were vampires! You name it, they’ll tell it.  Just keep them hooked.

Send 3 chapters and a synopsis plus a covering letter.  (legible normal font, 12 point, double spaced) and with full mss word count in covering letter along with your contact info to CarinaUKSubs@hqnuk.co.uk

or if you have any queries or would like to bounce an idea around, then give me a shout at storycentralDIGITAL@yahoo.co.uk

 

Also referenced at The Bookseller – 17Jan2013

Calls for … proposals, submissions, ideas, contributions, papers, applications, games

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Here’s a heady list – a shout out, a call for just about anything, everything, you’ve got!

You’ll find calls for proposals, submissions, ideas, contributions, papers, applications, games and opportunities here – spanning Geneva, Paris, Singapore, Crete, Nebraska and Munich – with a sweet $5,000 up for grabs, courtesy of Intel.

What are you waiting for?

 

call for proposals:

EU MEDIA Development funding …………………….

New Calls for Proposals for the European MEDIA development funding schemes
have been published. Experienced independent European producers of fiction,
animation, documentary and interactive projects can submit funding
applications. Interactive Project Development is aimed at companies that
have produced at least one previous interactive project (distributed
recently), and that now plan to develop an interactive project which
complements an audiovisual project.

details:
http://ec.europa.eu/culture/media/programme/producer/develop/interactive/index_en.htm
deadline: April 12 2013

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

… call for contributions:

Foundations of Digital Games 2013  ………….
call for papers, workshops, panels, experimental games and participation:
Foundations of Digital Games 2013, Chania, Crete, Greece, May 14 – 17 2013

Invited are researchers and educators to submit to FDG 2013 and share
insights and cutting-edge research related to game technologies and their
use.

details: http://www.fdg2013.org/


deadlines: Papers, panel proposals, doctoral consortium: December 10 2012;
Research and experimental game festival: January 13 2013;

Posters and demos:  March 4 2013

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

…. call for ideas:

Intel® Future Contest …………………..

The Intel® Future Contest introduces a new sensing technology. The
technology can be embodied in a device, a set of devices, a system, platform
and/or services. It is for personal, not industrial/large business use. The
goal of the contest is to understand how you would use this technology, and
what it would look like. Due to its very small size, gadgets embodying this
technology can be worn/carried/used 24 hours a day. All ideas should be as
detailed and comprehensible as possible. Entries must be in English. Award:
1st place: $5,000; 2nd place: $2,500; 3rd place: $1,500

details: https://futurecontest.intel.com/start.php
deadline: December 18 2012

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

….. call für applications:

UAMO Art Festival in Munich 2013 …………..
UAMO (Urban Art and Media Organisation) Art Festival
Munich, Germany, Spring 2013

The international and interdisciplinary UAMO ART FESTIVAL takes place in
Munich since 2004 and annually offers more than 50 artists from around the
world a platform for their works. The festival’s theme to which the artists
can present their works varies each year. Recent themes have been ” Ultra
Social” (2011) or “Konsens – Nonsens” (2010). 2012/13 the theme is “PLAY
TIME”. In addition to the ART FESTIVAL in Munich, there is the UAMO CITY
TOUR 2012/2013 in Sofia, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Zurich, Gyumri
(Armenia), Cairo, Valencia and London.

details: http://www.uamo.info/
deadline: December 31 2012

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

…… call for papers:

ACII 2013.

The 5th International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction ……………………….
Geneva, Switzerland, September 2 – 5 2013

This ACII edition will emphasize the humanistic side of affective
computing by promoting publications at the cross-road between
engineering and human sciences (including biological, social and
cultural aspects of human life).

details: http://www.acii2013.org


deadlines: Regular Papers: April 2 2013;

Doctoral Consortium Papers: April 15 2013;

Interactive Events (Demos): April 29 2013;

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

…… call for applications:

VECTOR GAME ART FESTIVAL …………………

Vector Game + Art Convergence is a four day Game Art Festival and symposium
centered around games as the tool and inspiration for contemporary art
making. Works of all media will be considered for an exhibition surveying a
spectrum of practices within game art. Video for installation, interactive
works of new media, print media, sculpture, textile and more. More than
simply fan artworks based on games and gaming culture, we are seeking works
that challenge assumptions about gaming writ large. Formal investigations on
the medium will be considered as well as works that push the form of Œgames¹
into the experimental.

details: http://vectorgameartfest.tumblr.com/callforsubmissions
deadline: December 10 2012

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

….. call for games:

Epic Flash Game Contest  ……………………….
(winners will be announce on March 27 2013 during GDC)

To promote WhipFlash, their new game funding and distribution partner, Epic
Game Ads in cooperation with PlayerScale and Adobe, are presenting the first
Epic Flash Game Contest. To participate, simply build a great multiplayer
game with micro-transactions using Player.IO tools … In addition to the
prizes, winners will receive a lifetime 50% Net Revenue from the game.

details: http://playerio.com/competitions/ega2012/
deadline: February 18 2013.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

…. call for papers:

Digital Humanities ……………………………..
call for papers: Digital Humanities 2013 (³Freedom to Explore²),

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA, July 16 – 19 2013

Digital Humanities is the annual international conference of the Alliance of
Digital Humanities Organizations, which includes the Association for
Computers in the Humanities, the Association for Literary and Linguistic
Computing, the Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l¹étude des
médias interactifs, and centerNet.

details: http://dh2013.unl.edu/call-for-proposals/#english
deadline: February 15 2013 (workshops)

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

… cfp:

Serious Games & Social Connect Conference …………………….

Call for Papers: Serious Games & Social Connect Conference.

Theme: ‘Subconscious Learning via Games and Social Media’,

Singapore, August  26 ­-28 2013

In recent years, several enterprises have realised the potential of using
games to introduce concepts and ideas about their services and products
using games and the social media platform. This was aided by the
proliferation of mobile devices. As such, games are no longer Œchild¹s
play¹. Working adults and seniors are beginnning to play more games.
At the same time, academic research in gaming technologies has recently
witnessed a plateau in improving rendering, texture mapping, physics and
artificial intelligence. There is currently a change in focus towards the
human users ­ user experiences, effective game story-boarding,
human-computer interaction and optimal experience design.

details: http://www.seriousgamesconference.org
deadlines: Technical Papers -  February 1,

Industry Abstracts – March 1 2013

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

.. call for submissions:

CHI 2013 ……………………………………
Paris 22 April – 2 May 2013

The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the
premier international conference on human-computer interaction. CHI 2013 is
about changing perspectives. The conference is multidisciplinary, drawing
from science, engineering and design, with contributions from research
and industry.

details: http://chi2013.acm.org/com-entertainment.shtml
deadline: January 5 2013 (alt.chi, interactivity, student competitions and
works-in-progress)

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

. call for participation:

Game Jam at CHI 2013 ………………………..
Paris, France, April 27 ­ 28

Game Jams ­energized, fast-paced get-togethers of developers and artists to
make digital games ­ have emerged as a way to generate and provoke novel
game ideas. To introduce the HCI community to this collaborative fast-paced
approach to quick results, there will be a 2-day Game Jam that focusing on
new physical interfaces. During this hands-on workshop, participants
will collaborate with other researchers and practitioners across the CHI
community to build games with novel physical interfaces.

details: http://exertiongameslab.org/workshops-events/chi-2013-game-jam
deadline: January 11 2013
_______________________________

New story engine to be unveiled at StoryWorld Conference!

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Alex LeMay is CEO, founder, and executive producer of The Shadow Gang, a new breed of entertainment studio that creates original media experiences for partners in film, television, publishing, gaming and more, using ‘Galahad,’ the studio’s proprietary, turn-key storytelling platform.

LeMay himself represents the next generation of media producer. Over the last twenty years, LeMay has built a successful and diverse career by understanding the needs of traditional storytelling, branded content, and the development of digital technology.

 

Alex shared some of his interesting insights on new modes of storytelling coupled with recognising trends in audience behaviors around story and his reasons for founding The Shadow Gang, with storycentral.. Continue reading →

Q&A with.. Andra Sheffer

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 Andra Sheffer is the Executive Director of three private Funds supporting the Canadian digital media, television and film industries:

Continue reading →