Producer's Guide to Transmedia – Marta Gomes, beActive PT
Producers Guide to Transmedia
What is Transmedia? Transmedia answers the demands of todays audiences lifestyles: content anywhere, on any device. Transmedia content is more immersive, its a social experience. Transmedia allows audiences to have an active role in the storytelling process.
The Story-world A Transmedia project developsstorytelling across multiplatforms. Content becomes invasive and fullypermeates. A Transmedia project begins with astory-world, begins with characters livingon that world. The different platforms are windows tothat world.
Why Transmedia? For the first time, producers can directlyconnect with their audiences. In Transmedia, Producers are “brandmanagers” and are in charge of creativity andalso distribution and marketing. Producers can be owners of their IntelectualProperty, of their brands but are required totake more risks.
Our focus Put the audience inside the show. Make the audience participate, be part of it and decide the outcome. Make it personal and immersive. Use “all medias” to make it a truly 360 degrees show. The show becomes part of your daily life. Use the Internet, Social Media and Mobile phones to establish relationships and build communities. Use traditional medias as TV and Radio to bring the content to the mass market. Use brands as sponsors and/or produce mobile and off-line products for monetizing the content.
The Bible Defines the story-world, its geography, its timeline and the characters that live on this world. The Premise. The World. The Timeline. History and Facts that may influence the story-world. Defining the characters. The Plot (for the different outputs). Dressing your bible: be visual.
The Bible evolves The bible is the reference document for your Transmedia project. It evolves through time. Is the reference document for the different outputs of your story-world: TV Series, Games, Films, Web sites, Web series, Books, etc.. It allows you to avoid contraction and have a clear view.
The outputs Webisodes TV series Feature Film Book Newspaper/Magazine columns Web site Blogs and Characters blogs Facebook Fan Pages Twitter accounts and other Social Media experiences Comic Books Casual Games and Apps (On-line / Mobile) Radio Live Shows and Live events
Transmedia Strategy Which medias to use in your Transmedia Strategy? Medias that bring something to your project (audience engagement, marketing, revenue) and can also work as stand alone pieces (and do not require audiences to jump from one media to the other). The use of different medias must provide a better user experience but not exclude “non-participate” audiences. The roll-out of different medias should focus on audience build up to the key media in your marketing strategy. Make every media experience unique and rewarding to the user. Be aware of each media limitations, traditional user experience (content length), and impact on the user (the distance to the screen and personal connection to the media). The “time slot” of the user/media.
Our StrategyFirst Stage: Establish your Transmedia Project andauthorship of your entertainment brand. 6/12 months. The Web site / Channel inside a Portal or Broadcaster. The Web series. The Blog. The Social Media Experience (Push elements). Mobile Games and/or Apps. Off-line Media: Radio, Article on Magazine.
Our StrategySecond Stage: Expand your World to Off-line mediasto enlarge your audience. 1-2 years. Cross the Web series to Television. Create a Radio show or publish articles in newspapers. Find Partners to Publish books, Comic books. Extend your presence in the Mobile phones.
Our StrategyThird Stage: Your Brand grows. Create a higher budget TV Series. Produce a Feature Film. Produce or Organize Live Events. License your brand to manufacturers. Go International.
The Challenge How to manage all the partners involved in the distribution of your content. How to define a marketing strategy and work with your partners to optimize exposure (eg.: combine launching of a TV Series with Books in the stores). How to plan the release of your content where you keep building a community and brand awareness without loosing an ownership.
Writing for Transmedia The Bible will guide the development ofcontent for each media. What is allowed and what is not allowed. Project needs to be supervised by a headwriter, the “project” owner, the showrunner.
The Showrunner Creating a Transmedia show demandssomeone that can oversee the big pictureand coordinate the different writers, thecontent production and its delivery: Blogs,Photos, Videos, Podcasts, Games and/orGame Elements, Interactivity...the userexperience!
Creating the Experience Writing a movie or a TV Episode is about“telling a story”! Creating a Transmedia show is aboutproviding an “experience” (at the same timeyou tell a story).
The Users Experience Intimacy (user is closer to the screen). Characters become “friends”. User demands interaction. Length of the experience: user can switch“channels” faster. Multitasking: different windows / activities(attention).
Characters and Drama Standard Protagonist vs Antagonist Story. Hero wants to achieve something. User is invited to help (participate in thestorytelling process). Identifiable “dayly life” situations bring the usercloser to the story. Antagonist make the journey difficult. Cliffhangers make the “user” come back. “Teasers” by Email, SMS or Twitter alerts makethe user “remember” his mission.
Some lessons Story told by one character (or 2/3 charactersconnected) vs Ensemble pieces. Make the story clear (Blogs, Posts, Commentsare there to tell the back story). Turning points: highs and lows. The “soap on speed” concept: scenes startalready with the action. The “hero” concept: hero wants to achievesomething and invites you to be part of thejourney. Shoot it to a small screen – highly compressedvideo files.
Challenges and Opportunities Transmedia shows offer the possibility to attractaudiences worldwide. The subject matters: comedy tend to work better asa short format. Its difficult to tell an on-going engaging story in 2minutes episodes (advertising/radio writers). Tools to capture audiences: cliffhangers, sideelements, “alerts/teasers”, etc.. Mix reality with fiction: make it look like its real. Mis different performance arts: mix fictional storieswith real events. Gaming is an important element to target audience. An “on-line series” is a communication tool.
Make it Work! Be original. Clear ideas: ideas that you can pitch in one sentence. Ideas that are clear are meant to be told on these medias:have a reason to tell that story! Story lines that can be better told if the user is immersedon them. Concepts that can be serialized. Characters that can be 3-Dimensional. Characters that can live outside the show. Not with low cost, badly done network shows wanna-bees!
Final Punishment o Cross-media Show launched in Brazil in 2009. o Premiered in Rio de Janeiro Film Festival – Oct. 2009. o Web content broadcasted on IG.com.br and Youtube. o Mobile content exclusive to OI clients. o TV Broadcast in December 2009 on OITV (Digital TV) o An ARG was made available for 8 weeks to allow the audience to “save” the characters of the show. o +115.000 registered players. o TV Show wrapped the experience. o Show received a Digital Emmy nomination, a Rose D’Or Interactive nomination and a Tela Viva Award in Brazil and a MIPCOM International Format Award.
Final Punishment: Starting Point?• The Briefing and the Challenge:• The FP Briefing: Create a 3 window concept that could show OI Telecom services: Mobile, Digital TV and Internet Portal.• We had a script that we were unable to fund as no sponsor wants to be associated with “women getting killed in a prison”.• The Challenge: how to make a story about “women getting killed in a prison” relevant to an audience that reads a similar story in the newspapers, everyday.• The solution: make it personal => “You can save them!”.• The 2nd Problem: how to make audiences like and care for women that were convicted of murder.
The ARG Started • Game against time to allow audience to save the 8 women. • Back-story was introduced in the form of blogs, photo albums, news articles, etc to make women in prison more lovable. • Detective based game to tease audience to find out more about these women, what’s the connection between them and who’s killing them. • Audience need to collect 30 photos and a decoder that will allow them to find the right code.
The Final Punishment ARG The Game Master The JournalistInMates Back-story Youtube/IG Video Channel Mobile Content
The Planning • 1/10/2009: Premiere on Rio Film Festival and event in the streets of Rio de Janeiro and Festival lounges. • 3/10/2009: Fake news about the “Prison” broadcasted on OI Radio and published as Ad News in several newspapers and blogs. • 7/10/2009: Partnerships with top Brazilian Blogs to initiate discussions about “Is this prison the solution for Brazil’s overcrowded prisons problems?”. • 9/10/2009: Blacklords hack the Web site. • 10/10/2009: First inmate dies – The game starts: you have 7 weeks to save the remaining 7 women. • 10/10/2009: Social media campaign starts with Adwords, Text Ads, Facebook Ads, Banners, and the support of some hired bloggers. • 15/10/2009: The ARG campaign starts.
The Planning • 15/10/2009: Off-line campaign starts on the Office “Lifts” media in S. Paulo and Rio de Janeiro teasing office workers to “save the girls”. • 15/10/2009: Partnership with two “Game” based Web sites in Brazil to promote the ARG and create separate communities and forums to enable discussing and hints and codes sharing between users. • 17/10/2009: Youtube channel and IG.com.br Video Website set up with some “leaked” videos from the prison and inmates: surveillance cameras videos, prison psychologist tapes, etc. • Mid-November: first users decode the password. Prison Web site shuts down. • December 2009: Broadcast of the 4-part mockumentary with the real truth about what happened in the Ivo Kermartin Prison.
Additional Content • “You’re being investigated by the police” Facebook viral application. • “Stop investigating” IVR pre-recorded phone calls. • SMS Alerts with clues and teasing the audience to come back to play. • Twitter alerts planned to guide the audience. • Facebook / Forum / Blog Comments moderation.
All the Content Produced• Cinema: 1 60m length CUT for Rio de Janeiro Film Festival.• TV: 4 part mockumentary, 1 making of TV show, 2 TV ads and 2 TV Teasers.• DVD: 1 90m Feature Film Cut + Extra material.• Web Video: 8 confessional videos, 8 lost tape videos and 4 additional 22’ videos.• Mobile Video: 8 * 38s character presentation videos.• 2 Mobile (JAVA) games.
All the Content Produced• 2 Facebook/Orkut Applications.• 3 Twitter Channels and 3 Facebook profiles and pages.• 3 Flickr channels: +100 photos were produced and/or edited.• 8 Blogspot blogs. / 45 different banners. / +1000 tweets from the game.• 20 SMS alert messages + 1 WAP web site. / 1 IVR – Pre-recorded voice mail system.
What worked really well! • Partnerships and exclusive previews for “bloggers” and opinion makers paid off. • Be personal: marketing campaign in the elevators was really successful. • Clues based on photos allowed audiences to collect them. • Focus on the Video elements. After all it’s what 90% of your audience will only see. • Game master entity “Blacklords” helped to explain the game but…
Some Challenges • Game needs to be really clear and audiences entering later real need to know where they are. • Partnerships with Videogames communities didn’t work as expected. Core gamers don’t like ARG’s. • PR is Key to get the buzz out and increase the community around the project. • Social Media services: Orkut, Twitter and Facebook. Excess of Facebook apps. • Shooting a TV series 100m from a Favela will always be an “adventure”.
THANK YOU! Thank You! For more info: Marta Gomes email@example.com Avenida Duque dÁvila, 23 – 1º Dto 1000-138 Lisbon Portugal www.beactive.pt