Worldbuilding & character across media: a brief overview

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Libby O's presentation to Transmedia Zurich meetup, December 2013. Looks at storyworlds (what works and what doesn't) and character, and explains the process of taking the "Charlotte Aimes" novel across media from book to trailer and website.

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Worldbuilding & character across media: a brief overview

  1. 1. Character and World-building across media according to @libby_ol #storyworlds #worldbuilding
  2. 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. storyworlds landscape characters world-building across media sticky points
  3. 3. Chapter One storyworlds landscape
  4. 4. Scanning the #storyworld horizon in 2013, according to @libby_ol Scanning the story horizon The Hunger Games Twilight LOTR / Hobbit Minecraft Pokémon Buffy / Firefly Star Wars Star Trek Dr Who Harry Potter Scanning the media OLI: Official LEGO Indicator book, film, game, merch, possible theme park X book, film, merch, fanfic X book, film, game, merch, possible theme park check! game, YouTube, merch, book check! game, YouTube, merch, ‘book’, cosplay X TV, cosplay, merch X book, film, TV, comics, animation, cosplay, check! TV, animated series, spin-offs, movies, merch, cosplay X TV, book, cosplay, fanfic X book, game, film, merch, Potterworld web, Quidditch, fanfic check!
  5. 5. Image: LEGO.com
  6. 6. Scanning the #storyworld horizon in 2013, according to @libby_ol Scanning the story horizon The Hunger Games Twilight LOTR / Hobbit Minecraft Pokémon Buffy / Firefly Star Wars Star Trek Dr Who Harry Potter Scanning the media OLI: Official LEGO Indicator ULI: Unofficial LEGO Indicator /10 #IRL Score /10 book, film, game, merch, possible theme park X ***** **** book, film, merch, fanfic X * ******** book, film, game, merch, possible theme park check! ********** **** game, YouTube, merch, book check! **** * game, YouTube, merch, ‘book’, cosplay X ********** ** TV, cosplay, merch X *** ******** / * book, film, TV, comics, animation, cosplay, check! ********** ** TV, animated series, spin-offs, movies, merch, cosplay X ********** ** TV, book, cosplay, fanfic X ***** *** book, game, film, merch, Potterworld web, Quidditch, fanfic check! ********** ***
  7. 7. #IRL is boring … or is it?
  8. 8. ‘The Feels’ of storyworlds: #IRL? Impossibly fanciful future/world ● ● ● ‘the feels’ Avatar LOTR Game of Thrones A place of imagination, escapism, eye candy Possible future/world ● ● the Post-Apocalypse Hunger Games-esque Fatalism / hope / aspiration Magical realism ● ● Vampires Magic ‘Hmm. That’s different.’ Realism ● ● drama TV Soaps ‘Depends … what else you got?’
  9. 9. gif from Lori: http://thegreatbigopen.tumblr.com/post/67868174315/im-watching-the-name-of-the-doctor-and-reliving
  10. 10. Chapter Two Character
  11. 11. The lens of engagement in the #storyworld horizon in 2013, according to @libby_ol Scanning the story horizon The Hunger Games Twilight LOTR / Hobbit Minecraft Pokémon Buffy Star Wars Star Trek Dr Who Harry Potter Scanning the media OLI: Official Lego Indicator ULI: Unofficial LEGO Indicator /10 #IRL Score /10 book, film, game, merch, possible theme park X ***** **** book, film, merch, fanfic X * ******** book, film, game, merch, possible theme park check! ********** **** game, YouTube, merch, book check! **** * game, YouTube, merch, ‘book’, cosplay X ********** ** TV, cosplay, merch X *** ******** book, film, TV, comics, animation, cosplay, check! ********** ** TV, animated series, spin-offs, movies, merch, cosplay, X ********** ** TV, book, cosplay, fanfic X ***** *** book, game, film, merch, Pottermore, Quidditch, cosplay, fanfic check! ********** ***
  12. 12. value whose story is it? (context and positioning = storyworld) why should I care? (interest in world … or character)
  13. 13. Why *do* we care?
  14. 14. Black-belt character motivations: Desire Fear
  15. 15. Central characters: ● Willful ● Empathetic ● Not necessarily sympathetic Truncated McKee, Story
  16. 16. why should we care / engage with this story? humanity
  17. 17. Where do we find evidence of humanity? Copyright: Robert McKee, 1999, Story
  18. 18. Chapter Three #storyworlds across media #xmedia
  19. 19. The cross-media challenges: (in no particular order) ● to keep the essence of character* and storyworld and plot (*central dramatic question) ● to direct people to the book (call to action) ● to provide possibilities for agency or adventure (UX) ● to be true to the medium (transcreation)
  20. 20. … true to the medium? Different media require different approaches to storytelling, and ‘curation’ of information. (#transcreation) ● ● ● a different form of expression a different consumer with different expectations requiring a different set of storytelling/curatorial skills
  21. 21. Which media should I choose? ● just because you can doesn’t mean you should ● what’s your goal? ● what are your capabilities / resources? ● know your user expectations (context)
  22. 22. Charlotte Aimes Trailer: http://youtu.be/rNlzvr3YPjA
  23. 23. Charlotte Aimes story elements for trailer ● ● ● A-Story: The mystery B-Story: The love-interest C-Story: The personal battle ● ● ● She wouldn’t have disappeared (A) He wouldn’t hate me (B) I wouldn’t be up to my neck in trouble … If I’d just kept my big mouth shut (C)
  24. 24. www.charlotteaimes.com Charlotte Aimes story elements for web visuals ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● Book cover ** Twitter Instagram: good for the aesthetic of the filtered/framed image Gaming: The Rider 3D Printing: flying machines/steampunk The Alps Marshmallows Old Books Libby O aesthetic
  25. 25. www.charlotteaimes.com
  26. 26. Chapter Four Sticky points
  27. 27. Sticky point #1 transcreation and experimentation joy vs. the bottom line $$$
  28. 28. What’s your currency?
  29. 29. Sticky Point #2 Branded content assumes 1. “This is quality stuff” 2. “This is super important” Very quality! Much important!
  30. 30. Says who?
  31. 31. All images: No idea. Tumblr is to blame. readers / consumers can smell an agenda a mile away
  32. 32. Writers don’t own their stories. They don’t own their storyworlds. Readers (consumers) do.
  33. 33. a little writerly tip: tone “Engagement comes from vulnerability, not technique” Simon Hodges lessons from storytelling workshop Amsterdam 23.11.13
  34. 34. Sticky Point #3 … sort of Cross media collaboration #authorship
  35. 35. s An ‘impressum’ is required for websites coming out of the German-speaking countries. But there’s currently no legalese for digital extensions of worlds. Hence the web-builder and author’s creative improvisation (!) and use of reliable Creative Commons licensing …
  36. 36. World-building and characterisation are the genesis. They set the stage, handing over the pieces. Storytelling is the (often shared or collaborative) experience here and now. World-builders need to prepare for that.
  37. 37. www.rowinggirl.com/blog @libby_ol

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