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Glasgow - Inventing the Future


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A talk I gave in Glasgow for BAFTA Scotland at the CCA - for Scottish Students on Screen. The attendees were mainly students graduating from University. This presentation combines a few things from …

A talk I gave in Glasgow for BAFTA Scotland at the CCA - for Scottish Students on Screen. The attendees were mainly students graduating from University. This presentation combines a few things from other presentations, but I always upload them so people can follow links, etc. The end of this one is pretty new.

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  • Digital has been a disruptive innovation.
  • We know what digital has done to music
  • And lately this change, coupled with the decline in advertising, has decimated the print industry.
  • And now this is hitting film. Sometimes with ad support, sometimes not
  • But let’s stop and look at the bigger picture. I’d like to contextualize all of these changes. Let’s pretend this line is the history and future of the internet,
  • This is a fancier picture, but let’s use my simple line
  • The future of the internet and digital is way off. It’s a lot of possibility we aren’t even sure about yet
  • We are actually very far behind now. This is maybe the beginning
  • And we’ve been progressing
  • while this may seem advanced, we’re really in the bailing wire and duct tape days on the internet, piecing it together, struggling to really make it work
  • If we’re at web 2.0, we need to be dreaming about web 4000.0
  • so if that’s where we are today, what are we heading towards. Well, a theorist named Greg Ulmer has proposed that whatever the future holds, it will be governed by new rules attendant to a major paradigmatic shift
  • Following Ong, we’re going from Orality to Literacy and now to Electracy.
  • Following Ong, we went from Orality to Literacy. this brought changes in how our culture interacts - from story telling to books, religion in the hands of a few to the many, personal. changed government, education, power relationships
  • and likewise, now we are making a shift from literacy to something else that he terms electracy
  • Where all thought processes, cultural production, business models, thought and communication are mediated by digital technology. It’s not putting your film online, it’s creating an entirely new form of thought. it’s not just about new fangled technology, but broader shifts, And this is why this all matters.
  • The big changes we’re seeing aren’t so scary when you contextualize the internet and film within this paradigm. So in the most simplistic terms, we’ve slowly progressed from being just an oral culture
  • to one that could form other art forms
  • and put them in writing - which was controlled also by the ideas of scarcity and power
  • the printing press came along, and disrupted that structure, but it remained relatively expensive to print, still we developed a literate culture
  • before long, we also had photos to enhance our stories and add visualization in a broader way than before
  • and of course film, which further disrupted society and brought new forms of storytelling
  • and then video games, making it more participatory (and fun)
  • the internet has come along and furthered our possibilities for connecting, for sharing stories and of course it will merge with the old
  • cross-media is just a first step in this merging. It doesn’t mean film will go away, anymore than poetry or call and response orality, or any other medium has gone away. But it does mean that story will evolve, our ability to connect and interact will change. And power structures will once again change. This is the simplistic version of course, but I think we can all understand how this fits together.
  • If we are to progress as a society we need to embrace this change. We, cultural producers and arbiters, curators, exhibitors, need to lead the change to electracy because if we don’t, the wrong people will. there’s a lot of possible futures. just as with the change to literacy, we don’t know what’s next, but it might be cool.
  • and this is why I think it’s important we embrace these changes and that we, the independent, creative community take the lead. All of these potential futures can be blocked. they aren’t a certainty. In fact, if history serves well, we have little chance of controlling them going forward. All change gets taken over by the powers that be. There are many roadblocks.
  • several things will shape and change the future
  • Those most threatened by the disruptions of digital aren’t aging dinosaurs
  • they’re actually vicious, blood-sucking beasts hell-bent on staying alive and thus far they will use policy and their power to wrest back this control. We’re living in a wondrous moment of change. It can seem scary, but it’s not. What’s scary is the future that might be built instead of the one that could.
  • Alan Kay has said the best way to predict the future is to invent it. But how do we invent it? What tools can we use?
  • In building that future, we now have new tools. There’s an old marketing theory that says people don’t go to store to buy a ¼” drill, but because they want a ¼” hole. don’t go to the store to buy a hammer. They go there because they want to hang a picture, to get something done, and the hammer just helps them do it.
  • I love seeing a movie in a theater, but let’s face it – that was a tool for Hollywood to pack as many people into one space and make money off their desire to escape. It was a tool to have a fun night out, but it was only one tool.
  • We now have new tools, and we can’t fight it, but need to embrace them to our benefit. The audience wants to build something – they can get your hammer for free, or you can give them a reason to buy it. They also want to interact with you in new ways, so use these tools to your advantage. People can collect around your film, watch it and interact with it in new ways now. And we have new ways of reaching them and engaging them. To do this, however, you have to understand internet culture, so let’s take a quick tour of relevant trends with examples.
  • First, this is all becoming more participatory, a conversation
  • Gaming, of course is participatory, and contributed to this sense of participatory culture, but it goes beyond just gaming
  • your website should make it easy for people to take the content to other websites and blogs through widgets, etc. Notice how Vanishing of the Bees has a blog, a petition, twitter, facebook, etc. and a widget to take the content elsewhere.
  • You also need one for you, not just your film. It’s how you start building a fan base. Note that Lance also has multiple blogs and sites for himself, his company and his film. He also let’s people subscribe, so he can always contact them, and he includes his twitter feed at the top. Now you may think this is a waste, but millions have started using it, and it can build your audience, so start using it now.
  • Importance of twitter (today) Fastest growing 1382% increase in one year, 42% over 35. oprah just joined it on April 16, meaning 55 and over will explode
  • Since February – 17 million, thanks Oprah
  • Zoe Keating has used it to amass an audience of over 1 million followers, and she now has a self-sustaining career. Notice here she is replying/thanking a fan who cued her in on how to watch some media. She’s not just working a one way street, she’s communicating with her audience.
  • zoe has built a fan base, that’s in constant dialogue with her. Because this should be your ultimate goal - not to think of building an audience for just one film, but for you, your career - people who will continue to follow you, be in dialogue with you and support your career.
  • Filmmakers are doing it on their own. Here’s 4 Eyed Monsters, and we can see they are using blogs, comments, fan contributed info google maps and even old fashioned phones to push their films. Four Eyed Monsters Story – got into Slamdance, no distributors bought the film Self-distributing and building word of mouth online and through podcasts Combining a bit of everything – my space, youtube, google maps, audio, podcasts they teach people to help them market their film – building their community Tshirts, widgets, etc Note that they come to you – you don’t have to go to the theater, you can go directly to them Use the power of friends and fans to promote your film Using google maps to crowdsource screenings - crowdsourced their audience. Now, people can crowdsource their financing as well
  • and now you can too with crowdcontrols
  • Patronage – radiohead model, give it away but can donate to get more. Jill Sobule got her fans to donate to make her album - 95K
  • Here’s a blow-up of what you got for your donation
  • lest you think just one person is doing this - Josh freese – session musician and drummer
  • Limited, authentic and is a real experience. The super-fan or patron is much more engaged
  • here’s a recent example of filmmakers doing this - cosmonaut example - one of the more clever uses of crowd-funding
  • cosmonaut example - here’s some of their merchandise, gives a broad range for support
  • Age of Stupid did this as well to much success and made a guide to it that anyone can download
  • and if you can’t build it yourself, you can use tools like these from IndieGogo
  • or from Kickstarter, where the Four Eyed Monsters folks are raising funds from their fans to build new tools for any filmmaker to crowdsource funding, screenings, audience building and more
  • But the conversation isn’t just happening through text, twitter and marketing. the conversation is also done through video
  • Here’s one of the most popular videos from YouTube. A relatively amateur dancer that lasts about 6 minutes. 127 million views, but there are multiple versions, each downloaded over 100,000 times. And this doesn’t count how it has been virally spread and shared. 600K people have rated it, and 240K commented on this one posting. Thousands have posted video responses as well. Let’s put this in perspective.
  • Spiderman 3, most popular of 2007 – 56 million. Pirates of Carrib 2006 – 50 million, Batman – currently about 83 Million Vs 100 million plus of the YouTube dancing video. If we look at the lowest rated of the top 100 videos on YouTube, it had been seen about the same amount of times as most hollywood films in a week
  • Even with DVD sales, more people will probably see the crazy dancer than this film. – and they shared it with their friends, talked about it, uploaded spoofs and participated with it. Something’s going on here – participatory, contributory culture - through images, visual culture It is cultural democratization – people are not just passive consumers anymore
  • back to four-eyed monsters, they put out video and took it in as well - encouraging fans to upload video commentary
  • Here’s a recent mash-up of their video responses – they’ve built so many true fans that this video has been seen over 200K times, thousands of fans have added more footage and the phenomenon continues years after their screenings.
  • And they want to mix it up, mash it together and sample it and share it like crazy
  • Make their own versions, commenting on it and trade those as well
  • thruyou
  • Rip – a film on remix culture (and girltalk) encourages mash-up and remixing
  • As mentioned earlier, people expect their content on multiple platforms, they want to see it when, where and how they want to see it and they wanted it yesterday
  • They want it when they want it, from whatever portal they like and on whatever device they like, and they want it yesterday They want to share it virally with their friends
  • and get it on mobile- one of the biggest trends recently and in coming years, which I’m not devoting enough time to today.
  • and they want it free, whether with ad support or through piracy
  • Patronage – “Steal this Film” donation model
  • Now has morphed into Vodo, to launch soon
  • Immediacy – get it now, early Personalized – to your rating Interpretation – free code, manual 10K – or gene understanding Authenticity – from the Dead Accessibility – someone else stores it for use anywhere – gmail Embodiment – Book is free, lecture with author costs Patronage – support the artist, radiohead Findability – finding it in the sea
  • Another way to think of this is Mike masnick’s formula, and I think all of understand how we can connect with fans through facebook, twitter and other social networking tools
  • and that’s the key to cross-media in this environment. It let’s the audience get involved across not just multiple platforms in terms of screens, but in terms of story access points. This is the next step in the evolution of content
  • Cross media allows them to become active participants in multiple parts of the story. It allows them to delve deeper into the experience if they so choose, or access it from their preferred medium. The idea is to expand the story line into multiple media. The Matrix is the most famous recent example
  • of course, Star Wars was doing it before
  • and their fans are legion, and very involved with every aspect of the story
  • The idea is to expand the story line into multiple media. having multiple story entry points. games, ARG, graphic novels, mobile, etc source of image:
  • Definitions of transmedia and examples/things to think about
  • More to think about and experts.
  • Thomas Allen Harris and Through a Lens Darkly - making his film more than a film, but a project that engages black people to reclaim their photographic history, share knowledge, participate
  • Cross/transmedia then is just a step towards entirely new forms of story-based media. They’ve involved the audience in new ways, but what happens when we let the audience take control?
  • Lance Weiler and Head Trauma
  • making it an event, where the audience become a central part of the action
  • So, if we’re here today, what comes next? what happens when we combine what we have already with other things
  • what happens if we combine all of these new tools in our story-telling? what effect will they have?
  • what can be invented for the future? my hope is that you, in this room or viewing this online, will experiment and figure that out.
  • and tell me what you create, invent, discover or think about. Here’s my details
  • Transcript

    • 1. Inventing the Future
    • 2. Disruptive Innovation
      • Disruptive technology and disruptive innovation are terms used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically by being lower priced or designed for a different set of consumers.
      • Clayton Christensen via Wikipedia
    • 3.  
    • 4.  
    • 5.  
    • 6. The Internet
    • 7. The Internet
    • 8. The Internet
    • 9. Future
    • 10. Arapanet 1969
    • 11. First use of term Internet 1974
    • 12. Internet opened to commercial interests 1988
    • 13. Facebook 2004
    • 14. Google YouTube 2006
    • 15. Twitter, etc
    • 16. Future Today
    • 17. Future Today
    • 18. Orality
    • 19. Orality Literacy
    • 20. Orality Literacy Electracy
    • 21. Electracy
      • electronic enabled thought, processes, writing, storytelling, business practices - all based on electronic, visual, motion media communication.
      • Greg Ulmer, Teletheory, 1989
    • 22. Orality
    • 23. Poetry & Discourse
    • 24. Writing
    • 25. Printing Press
    • 26. Photos
    • 27. Film
    • 28. Video Games
    • 29. Internet
    • 30. Cross-Media
    • 31. Future
    • 32. Future Thanks Jenny Toomey
    • 33. Future Potential Roadblocks: Policy - need Net Neutrality Lack of Vision & Creativity Lack of Business Models Established Players Thanks Jenny Toomey
    • 34.  
    • 35.  
    • 36. Future The best way to predict the future is to invent it Alan Kay
    • 37.  
    • 38.  
    • 39.  
    • 40. Participatory Culture
      • A Conversation
    • 41.  
    • 42. Langworthy & Henein Vanishing of the Bees
    • 43.
    • 44. Usage by Age Group US and Int’l Growth Twitter
    • 45. US and Int’l Growth thanks to Oprah Source: ComScore
    • 46. Zoe Keating @ZoeCello 1.38 million followers on Twitter
    • 47. Building Community
      • Friends & Fans
    • 48.
    • 49.
    • 50. CrowdSourcing
      • Turning Community into Funders
    • 51.  
    • 52.
      • $10 - Unpolished Rock (but with potential) Level: A free digital download of the album, when it's released.
      • $25 - Polished Rock Level : An advance copy of the CD. Weeks before the masses.
      • $2,500 - Emerald Level : Mentioned as an executive producer of the album -- whoop-di-doo!
      • $ 5,000 - Diamond Level : I will come and do a house concert for you. Invite your friends, serve some drinks, bring me out and I sing. Actually, this level is a smart choice economically. I've played many house concerts where the host has charged his guests and made his money back. I'd go for this if I were you.
      • $10,000 - Weapons-Grade Plutonium Level: You get to come and sing on my CD. Don't worry if you can't sing - we can fix that on our end. Also, you can always play the cowbell.
      Details from Jill’s Next Record website
    • 53.  
    • 54.
      • $500 (limited edition of 15) -- 5 Sold! Only 10 left!
      • Signed CD/DVD and digital download
      • T-shirt
      • Signed Cymbal and sticks
      • Meet me in Venice, CA and we go floating in a Sensory
      • Deprivation Tank (filmed and posted on youtube).
      • *Dinner at Sizzler (get your $8.99 Steak and "all you can eat"
      • Shrimp on)
      Details from Josh Freese website
    • 55.  
    • 56.  
    • 57.  
    • 58.
    • 59.
    • 60. Participatory II.
      • A Viral Video Conversation
    • 61.  
    • 62.  
    • 63.  
    • 64.  
    • 65.  
    • 66. Remix Culture
      • Mash-Ups and Sampling – Participatory Cinema
    • 67.  
    • 68. Kuitman: Thru-You
    • 69. Gaylor: RIP! A Remix Manifesto
    • 70. Multi-Platform
      • Agnostic, Viral & Mobile
    • 71.  
    • 72. Sally Potter’s Rage
    • 73. Free
      • (Plus Fee)
    • 74.  
    • 75.  
    • 76. Generatives
      • Immediacy
        • Give them something now
      • Personalization
        • To their needs
      • Interpretation
        • With study guide, or commentary
      • Authenticity
        • From you directly, signed by you
      • Embodiment
      • Speaking fees
      • Patronage
      • Support the artist; Radiohead model
      • Accessibility
      • Make it easy to get; convenient
      • Findability
      • Work with partners who make you findable
      From Kevin Kelly’s: Better Than Free
    • 77. CwF + RtB = $$$ Mike Masnick, TechDirt
    • 78. CwF + RtB = $$$ Mike Masnick, TechDirt Connect with fans, give them a reason to buy and make money.
    • 79. Cross-Platform
      • Cross-Media, Transmedia
    • 80.  
    • 81.  
    • 82.  
    • 83.  
    • 84. Transmedia Develop the story across multiple entry points Multi-platform Types/examples: Audience can become immersed in experience Events Deep audience engagement Games/ARG Encourages participatory audiences Interactive components Each element a distinctive experience Graphic Novels Story flows & builds rev streams Online & viral content Think Outside the norms - experiences
    • 85. Transmedia Keep a mind towards audience dev. components from the beginning Some Experts: Think beyond marketing Christy Dena It’s not all about the film - extend the experience Stephen Dinehart (coined) Think about impact & social change Jeff Gomez Not just games.... events, gallery shows, etc. Henry Jenkins Some projects may not need to be a film Mike Monello ...or can become one if successful John Threat Transmedia can be simple Lance Weiler Many more
    • 86. Thomas Allen Harris: Through a Lens Darkly
    • 87. New Forms of Story-based Media
    • 88.  
    • 89.  
    • 90. Cross-Media
    • 91. Next? Augmented Reality Electronic translation Touch technology Virtual worlds Geo-location Open source Controller-less games Tagging metadata to clip level Robotics Collaborative “cloud” editing Online/Offline social networks Application Program Interface (API) Film/Video/Animation Micro-projectors Visual Search Quick-Response (QR) Codes 3D Brain-computer Interface (BCI)
    • 92. Future ?
    • 93. Blog: Email: Twitter: @bnewman01