The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Cross-Media


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A special presentation by Christy Dena for DIYDays: the conference part of the film distribution and discovery festival From Here to Awesome: (BTW: the fonts were not as originally designed -- slideshare reverts fonts it doesn't recognise.)

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The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Cross-Media

  1. 1. The Who, What, when, Where, why and How of Cross-Media A special presentation by Christy Dena for July 2008
  2. 2. <ul><li>I had planned a really interesting and clever video presentation for you… </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>… but the technology gremlins have pinned me down, and are now cackling in my ear… </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>… so, you have this silent, conversational text instead  </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>… let’s start then: </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is cross-media?
  7. 7. <ul><li>… you may know ‘cross-media’ from terms such as transmedia storytelling, synergistic storytelling, multi-platform storytelling, alternate reality games, pervasive games, networked narrative environments… </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>… and a few others… </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>360 Content | 360 Experience | Alternate Reality Experiences | Alternate Reality Games | Augmented Reality Games | Big Games | Chaotic Fiction | Convergent Storytelling | Cross-Media Entertainment | Cross-Media Games | Cross-Media Storytelling | Cross-Platform Storytelling | Cross-Sited Narratives | Distributed Interactive Narratives | Distributed Narratives | Enhanced TV | Expanded Cinema | Extended Entertainment Experiences | Extended Reality Game | GPS Games | Immersive Games | Interactive Television | Intermedia Storytelling | Intermedial Storytelling | IPTV | iTV | Live Action Role-Playing Games (LARP) | Location-Based Games | Locative Arts | Locative Media | Location-Based Media | Mixed Reality Games | Mobile Narratives | Multimedia Stories | Multimedial Storytelling | Multi-Platform Entertainment | Multi-Platform Storytelling | Networked Narrative Environments | Networked Performance | Pervasive Games | Polymorphic Fictions | Telematic Arts | Telepresence Art | Transfiction | Transmedia Entertainment | Transmedia Storytelling | Transreality Games | Situated Narratives | Superfictions | Synergistic Storyscapes | Synergistic Storytelling | Ubicomp Games | Ubiquitous Games | Unfiction | Very Distributed Media Stories | Very Distributed Storytelling | XME | XMedia | XMedia Entertainment </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>… hehe… </li></ul>
  11. 11. Who is doing it?
  12. 12. <ul><li>Film Makers </li></ul><ul><li>TV Makers </li></ul><ul><li>Novelists </li></ul><ul><li>Playwrights </li></ul><ul><li>Producers </li></ul><ul><li>Marketers </li></ul><ul><li>Educators </li></ul><ul><li>Game Designers </li></ul><ul><li>Activists </li></ul><ul><li>Independents </li></ul><ul><li>Corporations </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Students </li></ul>
  13. 13. How long have people been doing it?
  14. 14. <ul><li>… well a lot of people know about this one… </li></ul>
  15. 15. The Matrix (1999)
  16. 16. <ul><li>… and perhaps some of you know about this one… </li></ul>
  17. 17. Twin Peaks (1990)
  18. 18. <ul><li>… and maybe this one… </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tron (1982)
  20. 20. <ul><li>… but what about this one?… </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>… it is a hard one… </li></ul>
  22. 24. <ul><li>… It’s called ‘The World in 24 Hours’… </li></ul><ul><li>At 12 noon on September 27 1982, artists — in Amsterdam, Athens, Bath, Frankfurt, Honolulu, Istanbul, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna and Wellfleet — participated in a 24-hour telecommunications artwork. The artists participated through a variety of telecommunications technologies such as slow-scan television, fax, computer mailbox and telephone sound… </li></ul><ul><li>It was organized by Robert Adrian for Ars Electronic and is a form of what Roy Ascott calls ‘Telematic Art’… </li></ul>
  23. 25. These are the artworks that were being delivered via the ‘network’
  24. 26. <ul><li>… but cross-media goes back further, to artists like Dick Higgins, who championed ‘intermedia’… </li></ul>
  25. 27. <ul><li>… ’ Intermediality’ (imagine Higgins voice) is not distinct to the 1960s, but has ‘always been a possibility since the most ancient times’ and will remain ‘a possibility wherever the desire to fuse two or more existing media exists’… </li></ul>
  26. 28. <ul><li>… ah, “the desire to fuse two or more existing media”…that is part of the cross-media philosophy… </li></ul>
  27. 29. <ul><li>… but if you really think about it, cross-media dates back to a long time ago… </li></ul>
  28. 31. <ul><li>… ok, maybe not that far, but a while ago… </li></ul>
  29. 32. 40,000 years ago, all stories (law) were communicated through multiple cultural channels…never one in isolation… … and one core concept, an essence that remained constant…
  30. 33. <ul><li>… that was in Australia  … </li></ul>
  31. 34. Where is it being done?
  32. 35. <ul><li>… the USA isn’t the only place… </li></ul>
  33. 36. Australia Fat Cow Motel Jupiter Green PS Trixi
  34. 43. <ul><li>… to name a few… </li></ul>
  35. 44. Why are people doing it?
  36. 45. <ul><li>… good question… </li></ul>
  37. 46. <ul><li>… some do it to because they think it will make them money… </li></ul>
  38. 47. <ul><li>… some for activism… </li></ul>
  39. 48. <ul><li>… some for fun… </li></ul>
  40. 49. <ul><li>… some for research… </li></ul>
  41. 50. <ul><li>… some for art… </li></ul>
  42. 51. <ul><li>… and some because their producer or teacher told them to… </li></ul>
  43. 52. How do I do it?
  44. 53. <ul><li>… ah, that is the million dollar question… </li></ul>
  45. 54. <ul><li>… that is actually only something you can answer… </li></ul>
  46. 55. <ul><li>… but I’ll give you some hints…based on what other great pioneers have been doing… </li></ul>
  47. 56. <ul><li>… first: look around… </li></ul>
  48. 57. <ul><li>… what is a potential storytelling device?... </li></ul>
  49. 58. <ul><li>… there are more than you think….I’ll show you what others have been playing with… </li></ul>
  50. 59. <ul><li>… Internet, email…yeah, you knew that… </li></ul>
  51. 60. <ul><li>… what about Google Maps?… </li></ul>
  52. 62. Six to Start is behind this one…
  53. 63. <ul><li>… chatbots?… </li></ul>
  54. 64. This is the ‘Ari Gold Interview’, by Deep Focus
  55. 65. <ul><li>… Photoshop?… </li></ul>
  56. 67. <ul><li>… My Damn Channel’s ‘You Sucjk at Photoshop’ is so funny… </li></ul>
  57. 68. <ul><li>… how about QR codes?… </li></ul>
  58. 70. <ul><li>… that is the ‘Integral’ music video by the Pet Shop Boys… </li></ul>
  59. 71. <ul><li>… SMS of course… </li></ul>
  60. 72. This is a SMS from Hoodlum’s ‘PS Trixi’ for Yahoo!7
  61. 73. <ul><li>… what about GPS?… </li></ul>
  62. 74. This is Jeff Knowlton, Naomi Spellman, Brandon Stow and Jeremy Hight’s ‘34 North 118 West ’
  63. 75. … and how about Blast Theory’s ‘Can You See Me Now?’
  64. 76. <ul><li>… mobile dramas and webisodes are a favourite… </li></ul>
  65. 78. <ul><li>… and books… </li></ul>
  66. 80. <ul><li>… ah yes, and graphic novels… </li></ul>
  67. 82. <ul><li>… the Scratch n’ Sniff was funny… </li></ul>
  68. 84. <ul><li>… oh yeah, and voting for an ending with stamps was an inspired move for Singapore Post’s interactive drama ‘Yours Always’ … </li></ul>
  69. 86. <ul><li>… other wacky storytelling devices were used in 42 Entertainment’s ARG for the Halo storyworld: ‘I Love Bees’… </li></ul>
  70. 88. <ul><li>… and the payphones… </li></ul>
  71. 90. <ul><li>… what about the Graveyard?!!… </li></ul>
  72. 91. 42 Entertainment’s ‘Last Call Poker’ for Activision’s GUN Image from Jane McGonigal’s NEXT presentation
  73. 92. … and the phones buried inside the cakes for The Dark Knight…
  74. 93. … and the playing cards too…
  75. 94. <ul><li>… ah, and t-shirts, in many ARGs, including the clues embedded in Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Year Zero’… </li></ul>
  76. 96. <ul><li>… and billboards…like the ones used for ‘Find 815’ by Hoodlum for ABC’s ‘Lost’… </li></ul>
  77. 98. <ul><li>… and stencils, like the ones distributed across streets for ‘She Loves the Moon’ by the Strangers… </li></ul>
  78. 100. <ul><li>… and the sticker novel distributed all over the world… </li></ul>
  79. 101. Nick Montfort and Scott Rettberg’s ‘Implementation’
  80. 102. <ul><li>… and skywriting in 42 Entertainment’s ‘Vanishing Point’… </li></ul>
  81. 104. <ul><li>… how about a car?… </li></ul>
  82. 105. Campfire, GMD Studios, McKinney-Silver’s ‘Art of the Heist’
  83. 106. <ul><li>… and the helicopter!… </li></ul>
  84. 107. Mind Candy’s ‘Perplex City’
  85. 108. <ul><li>… lets try some normal stuff again eh? about online flash games… </li></ul>
  86. 109.
  87. 110. <ul><li>… that is the game version of the ‘Dirty Harry’ music video by Gorillaz…cool… </li></ul>
  88. 111. <ul><li>… here’s another… </li></ul>
  89. 113. <ul><li>… the ‘Chain Factor’ casual game that is part of an ARG created by area/code for a special episode of CBS’ ‘Numb3rs’… </li></ul>
  90. 114. <ul><li>… and there is the good ol’ favourite for those with the big bucks… </li></ul>
  91. 116. <ul><li>… but this one is out there… </li></ul>
  92. 118. <ul><li>… it hasn’t happened yet…but I’m crossing my fingers… </li></ul>
  93. 119. What do I do on these media?
  94. 120. <ul><li>… ok, you’re probably getting impatient…there are three key approaches: </li></ul>
  95. 121. replicate
  96. 122. <ul><li>… you replicate when you repurpose your content across different media channels… </li></ul>
  97. 123. <ul><li>… some do this as an artistic statement… </li></ul>
  98. 125. <ul><li>… some to reach fragmented audiences… </li></ul>
  99. 126. ‘ Forget the Rules’ by Global Dilemma, was distributed through TV, mobile & the web simultaneously
  100. 127. <ul><li>… and some bundle digital and tangible media together for each person, for one fee… </li></ul>
  101. 129. transform
  102. 130. <ul><li>… you can transform your story or game…do your own adaptations in different media to explore the different ways your story can be expressed and experienced…like… </li></ul>
  103. 132. … and Peter Greenaway VJing his ‘Tulse Luper Project’…
  104. 133. <ul><li>… and what about our own Lance Weiler, and his online interactive comic version of ‘Head Trauma’… </li></ul>
  105. 134. Lance wielr
  106. 135. expand
  107. 136. <ul><li>… you can expand your story or game across media, spreading the narrative and challenges… </li></ul>
  108. 137. <ul><li>… but there is a bit more to it than that… </li></ul>
  109. 138. <ul><li>… you can do a multi-platform series… </li></ul>
  110. 139. … which means you deliver self-contained episodes over television, comics, webisodes and films, like Joss Whedon did with Firefly/Serenity…
  111. 140. <ul><li>… or you can do a multi-platform serial… </li></ul>
  112. 141. <ul><li>… which means not making each episode self-contained, but creating compelling cliff-hangers to drive people from television to the web… </li></ul>
  113. 142. <ul><li>… like Mitsubishi did with their clever advertisement during the 2004 Super Bowl: </li></ul>
  114. 144. <ul><li>… or, you can do a mix of a serial and series…a technique that TV theorist Robin Nelson identified in 1997, a flexi-narrative: </li></ul>
  115. 145. <ul><li>“ The blurring of distinction between the series and serial affords schedulers the joint advantage of an unresolved narrative strand — a cliff-hanger to draw the audience to watch the next episode — and a new group of characters and self-contained stories in each episode.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Nelson, 1997) </li></ul>
  116. 146. <ul><li>… which means you could have a storyline, that moves from a graphic novel, to computer game, to feature film whilst making each one of stories self-contained too…like the well-known example from the Wachowski Brothers’ ‘The Matrix’: </li></ul>
  117. 147. Continuing narrative thread: “ the message” Self-contained stories
  118. 148. <ul><li>… but what many forget about is… </li></ul>
  119. 150. <ul><li>… yeah, that’s right, connecting the dots…connecting the media…because people don’t know there is more in another media channel and won’t be compelled enough to act if you don’t connect it all… </li></ul>
  120. 151. <ul><li>… but hey, there are things you can do…in fact, quality cross-media interaction experiences usually address these three things: </li></ul>
  121. 152. Call to Action Cycle <ul><li>Primer </li></ul><ul><li>Referral </li></ul><ul><li>Reward </li></ul>
  122. 153. <ul><li>… that was pretty official…but seriously: </li></ul>
  123. 154. <ul><li>1. Primer : prepare and motivate your audience to act </li></ul>
  124. 155. <ul><li>… and do that within your story, don’t just rely on some quick competition to compel someone after your great story is over… </li></ul>
  125. 156. <ul><li>2. Referral : provide the means and instructions on how and when to act </li></ul>
  126. 157. <ul><li>… URLs are a common and effective method… </li></ul>
  127. 159. <ul><li>… but these are all prompts outside of the film, TV show or podiobook… </li></ul>
  128. 160. <ul><li>… a great way is to embed the call to action within the film or show… </li></ul>
  129. 161. <ul><li>… like this one from NBC’s Heroes… </li></ul>
  130. 163. <ul><li>… or the running joke with the fan phone on Fox’s 24… </li></ul>
  131. 165. <ul><li>… or the email glimpsed for a second during a ‘Prison Break’ episode… </li></ul>
  132. 167. <ul><li>3. Reward : acknowledge and recompense their action </li></ul>
  133. 168. <ul><li>… give some response to their actions!...and if you give them some reward…they’re more likely to keep traversing media… </li></ul>
  134. 169. When do I do this?
  135. 170. <ul><li>… Oh! You’re keen…good… </li></ul>
  136. 171. <ul><li>… most cross-media expansions are released before the release of a film or DVD, because they’re trying to promote cinema ticket or DVD sales… </li></ul>
  137. 172. <ul><li>… that is fine, it can be a great primer… </li></ul>
  138. 173. <ul><li>… but what many don’t think about is what the audience would want, and what could be done… </li></ul>
  139. 174. <ul><li>… If people love your film, they immediately want to spend more time with it, they want to go further… </li></ul>
  140. 175. <ul><li>… why not honour and leverage that?... </li></ul>
  141. 176. <ul><li>… hey, and some filmmakers are also experimenting with simultaneous media experiences… </li></ul>
  142. 177. … like Lance Weiler’s ‘cinema ARG’ for Head Trauma…
  143. 178. <ul><li>… but in terms of when to do cross-media during production, many start them after the film, and some during the production of the film… </li></ul>
  144. 179. <ul><li>… but, as with all crafts, the creative outcome is far superior when all the elements are integrated from the beginning… </li></ul>
  145. 180. <ul><li>… indeed, some creators have got to the point where they don’t see the cross-media project as an addition…it is the project… they’re no longer creating a film, they’re creating a cross-media project that includes a film… </li></ul>
  146. 181. <ul><li>… and that is the moment when you reach a kind of cross-media zen: </li></ul>
  147. 182. <ul><li>… when all media, when all artforms, are one… </li></ul>
  148. 184. <ul><li>…  … </li></ul>
  149. 185. <ul><li>… I’d like to end with a quote… </li></ul>
  150. 186. <ul><li>… it is a bit hardcore, but I like the sentiment… </li></ul>
  151. 187. <ul><li>“ A composer is a dead man unless he composes for all the media and for his world.” </li></ul><ul><li>Dick Higgins, 1966 </li></ul>
  152. 188. Well, I had fun! I hope you did, and I hope your audiences do too…
  153. 189. This presentation at: My bio site at: My podcast (when I get time) is at: