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Ruby Skye P.I. - Case Study & Interview with Jill Golick


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Ruby Skye P.I. - Case Study & Interview with Jill Golick

  1. 1. caseStudy & Interview with Jill Golick
  2. 2. This case study was developed because Ruby Skye P.I is a great Canadian example of a grassroots web series that has used transmedia mechanisms to connect to its audience through a variety of platforms and techniques.
  3. 3. theOverview A sassy teen detective and her friends take over the web to solve mysteries Ruby Skye P.I. Ruby Skye P.I. is an award-winning kid-driven family-friendly multi- platform detective series. Ruby Skye is a teenage girl who finds mysteries wherever she looks – and she needs to solve them, no matter what it costs her. Stubborn, smart, determined and a little too quick to jump to conclusions, Ruby makes some unfortunate choices in her pursuit of truth, justice and, well… personal curiosity.
  4. 4. Target Audience: Project Goals: theOverview Ruby Skye P.I. + Canadian tweens/teens 8-14 + males and females (40/60 split on YouTube & 60/40 on Facebook) + teachers + parents + non-Canadian tweens/teens 8-14 + to entertain + to educate {specifically media literacy} + 20yr + general audience + families watching together
  5. 5. Ruby Skye P.I. Why did you undertake this particular project? I have long wanted to a show about a smart stubborn girl detective who gets herself into a lot of trouble and the IPF funding gave me the opportunity to start building it. thecreative
  6. 6. Ruby Skye P.I.    How long did it take you to develop this idea? I'm not sure how to answer this. My whole career? Julie Strassman and I had been playing around with versions of the first season story for a while. I was in love with the idea of a Nigerian scammer as a villain because it's so relatable to kids -- who doesn't have those scam emails in their inbox? I built the characters of Ruby and her friends around that story and when the opportunity came to submit to IPF, I did. After we made the second round, we took a couple more months to develop the characters and story. After we knew we had funding, we developed all the scripts. The IPF process by itself was about 5 months. But we're still developing Ruby's world four years later. thecreative
  7. 7. Ruby Skye P.I. What has been your biggest creative risk with this project? The whole thing is risky.  For a screenwriter, to finance and produce a show -- even a web series -- is a huge risk.  And to operate without any input from anyone outside the creative team -- we were banking on our creativity, that our choices as writers and director were best.    It was creators taking a chance on our own skills and taste.  And as it turned out, it was incredibly satisfying for us.   thecreative
  8. 8. Ruby Skye P.I.  Why was this the right time for this project? The funding, technology and audience were all there.  And social media was just at the right stage where we could promote the hell out of what we were doing cost effectively. thecreative
  9. 9. Web series {tentpole} Diana’s Tumblr Puzzles Bonus videos theTransmedia Ruby Skye P.I. hailey’s Tumblr Narrative components: Library Website clues Featured episode related content ie games, ghost stories, causes, the mint chip girls Tumblr
  10. 10. Ruby Skye P.I. 5592 likes 101 have RS in their circles theTransmedia Social Media Channels: 85 videos 205,822 views 1 million views 1 million+ views 4 Tumblrs Koldcast 178 likes 1380 followers
  11. 11. transmediastrategy Ruby Skye P.I. What is your transmedia strategy for this project? Our transmedia strategy is deeply worked out.  We have a transmedia bible for the series and one for each season that details the plan and gets updated regularly. How much did your demographic age group affect these decisions? I think our target demo is open to this kind of thing and gets a real thrill out of it.  The interactivity and transmedia components also pull in an older demographic.  20-somethings love the series, both because it reminds them of a kind of TV they loved as kids and because they find the interactivity very cool.
  12. 12. transmediastrategy Ruby Skye P.I. What were the effects of adding transmedia elements to a web series? A web series is already a hard thing to make because of lack of resources.  Adding as many transmedia elements as we do makes it a lot harder because we have that much more to coordinate.  Also teams who traditionally make tv or film have to change their normal ways of working in order to also produce and collect the transmedia assets.  That said, the transmedia elements make the show a little different, they attract attention and sometimes help us to build uber fans.
  13. 13. transmediastrategy Ruby Skye P.I. Our core team has to include people who are thinking about and interacting with the audience and creating and collecting the transmedia assets: a transmedia lead and a social media manager for example.  We don't use complicated technology to achieve the interactivity, but we do need need someone around with some tech knowhow, plus we are always building websites so we have to have a great designer for the sites. Jill outlines her transmedia vision:  How did this change the make up of your team?
  14. 14. themarketing Ruby Skye P.I. We had a multi-pronged strategy but I guess you could sum it up as "get a lot of content out, use many channels, reach out to many people personally." What was your marketing strategy for this project?
  15. 15. themarketing Ruby Skye P.I. What were the MOST effective marketing strategies and why? One of the most effective strategies was targeting specific niche audiences.  For example, in The Haunted LIbrary (Season 2), we targeted an online community who are fans of the vlog brother channel on Youtube.  We did a number of things to appeal to them including building imagery into the video that we knew that they would recognize and that they would love.  We then turned those images into GIFs and released them on Tumblr.  The community found them, re-blogged them and then searched out the source of those GIFs and became fans of our show.
  16. 16. themarketing Ruby Skye P.I. What were the LEAST effective marketing strategies and why? For more information Jay Fergusen Interviews Jill about money and marketing here: Some of the paid advertising channels were very disappointing.   Advertising on StumbleUpon, for example, can send a lot of traffic, but it bounces.  And we worked very closely with specialists at YouTube's video ad department and they helped us build campaigns, but we found that they resulted in a lot of views to the trailers, but not the volume of subs we were hoping for.
  17. 17. audiencedevelopment Ruby Skye P.I. Absolutely everything we do is audience focused.  From the first development thoughts through production, post, rollout and between seasons social media activity, audience is at the heart of everything.  We try to get to know our audience well and give them great entertainment that will be meaningful to them. What was your strategy for building audience?
  18. 18. audiencedevelopment Ruby Skye P.I. Building great creative that respects the audience is our most effective audience development strategy. We work with the strongest creative minds we can find and give them the room to do their best work. We know that will result in a great product that will connect to the audience on an emotional way. I am both a student of and a proud card carrying member of fan culture.We try to give our audience everything they need to be fans and build a fandom. What were the MOST effective audience development strategies and why?
  19. 19. audiencedevelopment Ruby Skye P.I. Nothing is wasted.  Any attempt to connect with the audience is a good one. What were the LEAST effective audience development strategies and why?
  20. 20. themoney Ruby Skye P.I. Funding: Ruby Skye P.I. has successfully grown its funding contributions with each progressive season. The break down is as follows: SEASON ONE: The Haunted Library + IPF and creative contributions SEASON TWO: The Spam Scam + IPF, OMDC IDM, tax credits SEASON THREE: The Maltese Puppy + IPF / CBC / Shaw Rocket Fund / CMF / Bell Fund / Tax Credits
  21. 21. themoney Ruby Skye P.I. Where was the best place to get funding for a project of this type? We love all of our funders equally.  The IPF has supported us through three seasons and got us started.  What was the most challenging part of funding this project? My lack of experience with financing. I had a steep learning curve. What is your monitization strategy? We are building a franchise that we can exploit on multiple platforms.
  22. 22. themoney Ruby Skye P.I. Did funding opportunities change over the course of the project? Was it easier/ harder to get funding as the project progressed? Once we had a TV license, there were more possibilities open to us.   But on the other hand, six of us spent 5 solid weeks on funding applications for Season 3.  Not all the funds play nicely together in the sense that the terminology and expectations are different.  And none of the funds  are set up for a truly integrated interactive narrative project.  They expect a TV component and an interactive/ convergent/digital component.  We have to rethink our creative to make it fit with what the funders are looking for.  Nonetheless we are incredibly grateful to all of our funders for the amazing opportunity that they provide us with.  It took some work to get the financing, but it has allowed us to experiment, innovate and create.
  23. 23. theprocess Ruby Skye P.I. We use transmedia bibles (2 different kinds), annotated scripts, excel files, editorial calendars, text documents, post it notes.... I'm also fond of an iPad app called Index Cards, which I use for brainstorming.  How did you plan for this project? Did you use any tools or systems such as the Transmedia Bible?
  24. 24. theprocess Ruby Skye P.I. I haven't done any planning for change. But I try to approach it as a creative opportunity. Any time you make a change you have the opportunity to make it better. Disaster can lead to inspiration.  How did you plan for changes within this project?
  25. 25. theprocess Ruby Skye P.I. With enthusiasm and lots of planning. When there are traditional media people involved -- like film crews -- it's important to get everyone's buy in from the start and make everyone in every department aware that you're going to be doing things slightly differently this time. And then just take it step by step. And enjoy the process.  How would you prepare for a multiplatform project like this in the future?
  26. 26. Ruby Skye P.I LinksResources Ruby Skye P.I. Links Production Links Story 2 Oh Haileyʼs Tumblr OʼDeary Puzzles The Mint Chip Girls OʼDeary Library Twitter Facebook Google Plus YouTube Tumblr Pinterest Flickr
  27. 27. Get in Touch Ruby Skye P.I. Case Study was prepared by: anthea foyer @antheafoyer with help from Zan Chandler contactus TMC Resource Kit
  28. 28. THANKS to... tmcrkpartners
  29. 29. Ruby Skye P.I. Case Study is released under a NonCommercial ShareAlike Creative Commons license to be shared, remixed and expanded non-­‐commercially, as long as you credit the TMC Resource Kit, the creator of the Case Study, Anthea Foyer or Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn, and license your new creations under the identical terms. Third party images retain their original copyright.