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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Transmedia storytelling at the Open Video Conference

This presentation featured 2 filmmakers whose latest projects have extended traditional storytelling beyond a single screen.

First up, Lance Waller, a self-described filmmaker who has become a story architect‚
talked about last film he made 'Head Trama' the first ever project to go through the Sundance Institute as a transmedia project. Head Trauma as a project started with interactive comic, then feature film, then live events. People were instructed to share their cell phone number and could interact with other audience members to solve puzzles presented by the film. After the screening, a game designed to build on the film experience loops them into conversation with others who had shared a theater screening experience. Then video on demand was released as a free download, again bringing people in 2.5 million people -- a core of whom continue to interact with games and add-on experiences about the film. The idea: no one piece of the storytelling tells the whole story. By engaging in these different places where parts of the story are being told the public becomes a collaborator.

He then described his latest project, Hope is Missing that will feature mobile episodes micronarratives and a mobile geo-location based app to put people in place of the film protagonist a child in a post-apocalyptic future who has to scavenge by day and make nests by night. His insight: When people buy in to this they give data points GPS info, make model of handset/ email address/phone no/ and storytellers can track their impact from amount of usage.

He also spoke about another of his projects:

A community that he started originally to help share his knowledge about creating this kind of storytelling but has now become an active online community helping people to better fund/create etc. Looks great.

Waller ended by arguing that we are at a point where the value of content is dropping but the social/collaborative experience of storytelling is thing that will have most value going forward.

Tommy Pallotta, producer of A Scanner Darkly spoke about how he unwittingly became involved with transmedia storytelling through a trailer remix contest for A Scanner Darkly. This yielded such rich results that he decided to make a graphic novel using these files. He then decided could make a mobile app. After the movie had been released for several months he couldn't understand why his audiences were growing in size not diminishing. At a screening in Korea he asked who had seen the movie before:it turns out many had on bit torrent. This made him then release a bit torrent of film American Prince. His latest piece is an energy conservation story told as part feature part doc part rotoscope part geo-data and website

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