Storytelling in a Digital Age Rhys MT / Cyfle


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Day workshop on the three tenets of Storytelling in a Digital Age, alongside Creative work on popular Social Media platforms

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  • Today we will be looking at Storytelling in a Digital Age
  • Example – Starwars
  • Storytelling in a Digital Age Rhys MT / Cyfle

    1. 1. Storytelling in a Digital Age
    2. 2. Rhys Miles Thomas • Digital Manager at Cyfle • Managing Director of Cross Platform company Glass Shot • Worked in the Creative Industries for over 20 years • Worked, Trained and Collaborated in the Digital Field since 2004 @RhysMT / Cyfle
    3. 3. 3 tenets of Storytelling in a Digital Age Storyworld Character STORY @RhysMT / Cyfle
    4. 4. Storyworld In a digital world you need an EXPANSIVE and IMMERSIVE Storyworld @RhysMT / Cyfle
    5. 5. • “When I first started, you would pitch a story because without a good story you didn’t really have a film. • Later, once sequels started to take – off, you pitched a character because a good character could support multiple stories. • And now, you pitch a world because a world can support multiple characters and multiple stories across multiple media” • Hollywood Scriptwriter – cited by Henry Jenkins “Convergence Culture” @RhysMT / Cyfle
    6. 6. • You want to create an immersive world, where your audience can dive into and explore – never leaving until they choose to • You need to be able to answer the question – In a world where this happens what would you, the characters, the audience do? @RhysMT / Cyfle
    7. 7. The Basis of a Storyworld = the World of your Story • Where does the story take place? Real or Imaginary World or Something Else? • What are the rules / society is there? Dictatorship, Democratic, Cooperative, Police State or Something Else? • What kind of Religion exists? Secular, Singular, Atheist, Multi Dimensional or Something Else? • When does it take place? Past Present or Future? • And so on and so on • Everything should mean something and there should be a reason for everything @RhysMT / Cyfle
    8. 8. Task 1 • Create your own Storyworld! • Looking back at the previous slide – answer the questions in relation to a world that you have created – and for your story to exist in @RhysMT / Cyfle
    9. 9. In an immersive Storyworld in a Digital Context – • You need to allow space for the audience to become involved, to explore, to create their own content @RhysMT / Cyfle
    10. 10. • For exploration, you need to create Rabbit Holes – a place for the audience to “fall down” and discover hidden depths to your Storyworld (think Alice in Wonderland) • • For allowing the audience to become involved and create their own content, you need to create Cheese Holes – where you leave parts of the story untold so that the audience can interact with them, or write their own mythology / create their own content @RhysMT / Cyfle
    11. 11. The other side of your Storyworld, • You need to spread this world you’ve created across several platforms, each with their own unique style and form of engagement • For example – @RhysMT / Cyfle
    12. 12. Lance Weiler’s Platform Storyworld • • • • • • • • • Film Community Games Fan Fiction Toys Books Graphic Novels / Comics Serial Content User Generated Content @RhysMT / Cyfle
    13. 13. Task 2 • Storyworld Platforms • Make a list of the different platforms your Storyworld will exist on @RhysMT / Cyfle
    14. 14. • Break @RhysMT / Cyfle
    15. 15. Character It is essential you have Well Rounded Characters @RhysMT / Cyfle
    16. 16. Character Knowledge • Answer who they are, what they believe in, why they believe in it • Know their full history – where they come from? what they do? what they believe in? who their best friend was in school and so on • Know how they’d react in any situation or emotion – anger / happiness / the birth of a child / the death of a friend or more mundane situations like what they watch on tv / what they like to eat and so on @RhysMT / Cyfle
    17. 17. Task 3 • Character • Looking back at the previous slide – Create 2 characters that have opposite traits to each other (for example a Vicar and a Rocker) • Now answer the questions using these two characters @RhysMT / Cyfle
    18. 18. • Digital is a lean forward experience – so make sure that your characters are fully rounded individuals, engaging – you’re literally looking right into the whites of their eyes • “LonelyGirl 15” • If you don’t make them someone an audience can relate to – then they can turn away • “Kate Modern” @RhysMT / Cyfle
    19. 19. • We live in a world of social media – people will expect / enjoy being social with your characters (so you need to be ready for any situation or question) • Remember though – Online / mobile / tablets people will react differently to your characters from the TV or a movie • Your characters need to be their friends, they need to be someone a person can relate to @RhysMT / Cyfle
    20. 20. Character and Social Media • With an engaging character you can really use Social Media to expand your audience base, or your market reach • Understand who your audience is, what do they want and where do they want it? @RhysMT / Cyfle
    21. 21. Task 4 • Looking at both your Storyworld and your Characters - Who do you think your audience is? • Write a short paragraph describing your ideal audience member @RhysMT / Cyfle
    22. 22. • However, your social media content must reflect your audiences digital habits, for example – • People will not stay engaged with a blog post that’s 3000 words – it’s more effective if it’s a 1000 word blog @RhysMT / Cyfle
    23. 23. • People are more likely to share comment and engage with visual content that is short, funny and relevant to them • People enjoy a space where they can show off their own creativity @RhysMT / Cyfle
    24. 24. For example, on Twitter • Use Twitter to share opinions, engage with the public, share other peoples content / comment on situations and so on– all works towards creating a loyal following • For Example – “Shit my dad says…” @RhysMT / Cyfle
    25. 25. Task 5 • Taking one of your characters – Write 3 short tweets that gives their opinion on X Factor / Clowns and French Classes in School @RhysMT / Cyfle
    26. 26. • Lunch @RhysMT / Cyfle
    27. 27. For example, on Facebook • Use Facebook as a place to encourage user generated content, fans engagement with each other, running competitions, a timeline of updates, creating immersive campaigns and so on – all works towards creating a loyal following • “Old Spice campaign” • Remember though – • Facebook is very quick, you don’t really get time to read a deep immersive story (before someone else has shared another picture or update) @RhysMT / Cyfle
    28. 28. Task 6 • On paper, imagine what the Facebook update would be about one of your characters going to Ibiza • You need to describe a series of three photographs taken whilst there (for example this could be a series of tagged drunken images) – with a caption headline to go with each photograph @RhysMT / Cyfle
    29. 29. For example, on YouTube • Use YouTube as a place to encourage interactivity, as a place to encourage user generated content – through parody / responsive videos, fan engagement with your content / opinions – no real conversation between user and content but a great way of creating a loyal following • “Parody – Downfall Hitler speech” @RhysMT / Cyfle
    30. 30. Task 7 • What kind of User Generated Content could your audience create around your characters and / or Storyworld? @RhysMT / Cyfle
    31. 31. However, a word of warning! • Don’t lose your audience because you assume they know what you’re thinking, because you assume you know what they want, or you try and do something just because you think you know what they want! @RhysMT / Cyfle
    32. 32. Finally (or initially), • Once you’ve got your Characters and Storyworld – you need to create a fantastically interesting, fascinating and engaging story! (not much then) @RhysMT / Cyfle
    33. 33. Task 8 Story • Look into your pockets / bag, and choose one item (could be your phone / tobacco / pen and so on) • Now swap this item with the person to your left • Now create a story – with your new item, using your characters set in your Storyworld @RhysMT / Cyfle
    34. 34. Break @RhysMT / Cyfle
    35. 35. Over the Break, Think of the Following Questions Task 9 • • • • What Type of Story Do you Want to Tell? Who will it Appeal To? Why do you want to tell this Story? Are you Passionate about the message? Or do you want to entertain? • Why should your audience care? • What’s the heartbeat of the story? @RhysMT / Cyfle
    36. 36. Task 10 • (using the characters / storyworld that you’ve created and the thoughts on story that you had) Now tell your story @RhysMT / Cyfle
    37. 37. Some thoughts on Story, • Find something you’re passionate about – and create something that will make other people passionate about it • You must be story centric and not platform centric! It’s not about the flashy technology or the latest greatest advancement in interactivity – all of this means nothing if you haven’t got a great story! • What works well in a digital world – Sci Fi, Conspiracy, Teen HOWEVER this doesn’t mean that other styles can’t work in this field! @RhysMT / Cyfle
    38. 38. Some tips from Alison Norrington, Storycentral • Story is about eternal, universal forms, not formulas • Story is about archetypes, not stereotypes • Story is about thoroughness, not shortcuts • Story is about mastering the art, not second guessing the marketplace • Story is about respect, not disdain for audience • Story is about originality, not duplication @RhysMT / Cyfle
    39. 39. Final thoughts, Be relevant Be credible Be spreadable Be exceptional Be genuine (Alison Norrington – StoryCentral) @RhysMT / Cyfle
    40. 40. Diolch / @rhysmt @RhysMT / Cyfle