Transmedia and the Independent Filmmaker

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Presentation prepared for the Sacramento Film Festival. Explains what transmedia is, why it's important to indie filmmakers and how one might start developing an indie transmedia entertainment project

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Transmedia and the Independent Filmmaker

  1. 1. Sacramento Film Festival, April 24th 2010 BY ROBERT PRATTEN 1
  2. 2. Robert pratten… about me 2
  3. 3. Today’s presentation • PART ONE: intro to transmedia – What is transmedia? • PART TWO: a new mindset • PART THREE: a design process • PART FOUR: final example 3
  4. 4. Part one... of four 4
  5. 5. What is transmedia storytelling? Telling A Story over multiple media 5
  6. 6. Example: Mass effect 2 6
  7. 7. example: Cathy’s book 7
  8. 8. Example: level 26 8
  9. 9. Aim: Whole is greater than sum of parts Movie Game Book Media Franchise Whole is less than the sum of the parts: dissatisfying conclusion to consuming all media Movie Game Book Transmedia Whole is more satisfying than the sum of the parts: euphoria of collecting and connecting the pieces 9
  10. 10. Lowlifes: novella, webseries, blog http://lowlifes.ning.com 10
  11. 11. Early transmedia Problems (IMHO) • Many transmedia examples today are “experimental” in that their appeal is in their novelty • Too much friction for too little entertainment • Endless detail ZZzzzzz 11
  12. 12. Two key thoughts... • Emotion leads to immersion • Choices not things 12
  13. 13. Part two... of four 13
  14. 14. Why consider transmedia? • Becoming the entertainment modus operandi – Audience expectations – Audience habits (e.g. online) – Old world is dying • The explosion of free content has meant: – Discovery & attention problems – Payment “issues” • Multiple audience touchpoints • Opportunity to outflank Hollywood 14
  15. 15. The Transmedia tao 15
  16. 16. Rethinking entertainment 16
  17. 17. New indie dharma • Lose attachments: – Feature film – Ego – Past and future – Technology – Money • Walk middle path: – Old ways not all bad – New ways not all good 17
  18. 18. TRANSMEDIA BUSINESS MODEL (FOR INDIE FILMMAKERS) 18
  19. 19. Example: rekill 19
  20. 20. Example: metro 2033 20
  21. 21. Timescale for metro 2033 • 2002: Self-published novel given away for FREE. Set up website (http://m-e-t-r-o.boom.ru) and posted on sci-fi forums. • 2002-2004: Thousands of readers. Readers ask for revival of the main character and to continue the book. • 2004: Added 8 new chapters – published as series with readers suggesting plot lines, guessing the plot and providing criticism. • May 2005: New version of Metro 2033 completed. Now has “dozens of thousands of readers”.Three publishers offer deal. • 2010: Millions have read Metro 2033 online. In Russia, 400 000 physical copies of book sold. • 2010: New book and new website for Metro 2034 (M2034.RU). In less than 6 months, visitors exceeded 500 000 unique readers. 300 000 books sold. • Source: Author Dimitri Glukhovsky and http://transmediadesign.org/metro-2033-book-game/ 21
  22. 22. Part three... of four 22
  23. 23. Delivering your story, profitably • Five key, inter-locking considerations • Iterate through the process to ease complexity • Could be tackled in a different sequence to the one I’ll show here but considerations are the same… and still requires iteration. 23
  24. 24. Transmedia from first idea CHARACTERS PLOT PREMISE THEMES 24
  25. 25. Who’s this story for? ITERATION 25
  26. 26. What’s the best way to delivery this story to this audience? 26
  27. 27. Matching Audience to Platforms • Audience – Who are they? – Lifestyle? – Where do they hang out? • Platforms (e.g. media + technology) – Reading: paperback, ebook, comics – Watching: TV, online, mobile, theatre, cinema – Listening: radio, online, mobile – Interacting: console, online, mobile, social 27
  28. 28. Match Story to Audience and Platforms 28
  29. 29. Paying for it… 29
  30. 30. Business models • Free – Investors don’t want repayment – Crowdfunding – Sponsorship • Premium – Higher marketing costs – Vulnerable to piracy • Freemium – Free to view on some platforms – Paid on others: some more suited to payments – Other revenue sources 30
  31. 31. Spotlight on selling to audience 31
  32. 32. Goals of business model • Sell things that can’t be copied • If they can be copied, bundle with something that can’t • Leverage time and friction 32
  33. 33. Connect with fans + reason to buy = $ 33
  34. 34. Rethinking products & pricing • Provide more opportunities for audience to give you their money • Range of “products” at various price points to suit different audience segments 34
  35. 35. Example from Tectdirt (Mike masnick) 35
  36. 36. Iterate in light of business model 36
  37. 37. Five point approach for transmedia 37
  38. 38. Execution: Play to your strengths • Timing • Resources – Money – Skills (technical and personal) – Social network (online and offline) • Optimize >> probability x impact 38
  39. 39. KEEP ITERATING, MEASURING & MONITORING DEVELOP IMPLEMENT MEASURE & MONITOR 39
  40. 40. Key to great transmedia… 40
  41. 41. Part four... of four 41
  42. 42. Christian Viel, Indie filmmaker 42
  43. 43. Canadian superheroes! 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. 45
  46. 46. 46
  47. 47. 47
  48. 48. 48
  49. 49. Summary • The internet has leveled the playing field: let’s change our game • Transmedia plays to indie’s strengths • Doesn’t have to be complicated 49
  50. 50. Credits • CwF+Rtb=$$ (TechDirt/Mike Masnick) http://www.techdirt.com/rtb.php) but for indie filmmakers, recommend Ross Pruden (http://rosspruden.blogspot.com/) • Christian Veil: Heros of the North (http://heroesofthenorth.com) • Slide borders use half-tone brush for Photoshop from: – http://szuia.deviantart.com/ – http://www.brushking.eu/164/halftone- brushes.html 50
  51. 51. Things I’m working on now • Platform for transmedia storytelling – http://www.transmediastoryteller.com • LowLifes – http://lowlifes.ning.com • Before You Close Your Eyes – http://bycyeyes.ning.com • Parasites – http://www.parasitesmultiverse.com 51
  52. 52. My Contact details • Robert Pratten – http://twitter.com/zenfilms – http://zenfilms.typepad.com – http://www.zenfilms.com – robert at zenfilms dot com ;) 52

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