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TMCRK Spotlight Interview: Robert Pratten & Conducttr


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A feature interview with Rob Pratten on the pervasive storytelling platform, Conducttr, and recent transmedia projects

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TMCRK Spotlight Interview: Robert Pratten & Conducttr

  1. 1. For Transmedia, Multiplatform & Convergent PropertiesFor Transmedia, Multiplatform & Convergent PropertiesconducttrTMC RESOURCE KITSPOTLIGHT
  2. 2. Conducttr: ‘a pervasive entertainment platform’In July 2012, Rob Pratten gave a talk on Conducttr for a packed Transmedia 101 meetupin Toronto & we were all wowed with what the platform can do.One year on, TMC Resource Kit sat down with Rob to get an update on Conducttr & howit might work for Canadian transmedia & multiplatform creators.TMCRK Interviewwith Rob Pratten
  3. 3. What is Conducttr?RP: Conducttr is a pervasive entertainment platform: think FinalCut forinteractive, cross-platform stories & games told on social media, mobile andelsewhere – live events, TV, print etc. And of course it’s industry-agnostic.It can be a difficult concept for some people to grasp because Conducttr isquite unique in terms of both aims and functionality. Sometimes it’s easier toimagine it as a mashup of interactive storytelling platform and marketingautomation system. What’s important to know is that Conducttr is invisible toaudiences – it’s a story engine that runs in the cloud orchestrating,personalizing and connecting user experience across platforms.
  4. 4. RP {cont}: Conducttr is a professional tool for content creators and writersthat creates a conduit between the storyteller and the audience, it’s not adestination for the audience.We call our clients Conducttr Composers – they load our composing toolinto any web browser and then create cross-platform experiences bydragging and dropping social media and other events onto a digitalwhiteboard. Conducttr makes life easier for creative people to deliverparticipatory stories without coding which means they get their projects tomarket faster and cheaper.What is Conducttr?
  5. 5. Have you worked withCanadian projects?RP: Well we’re a technology company, not a studio. So our aim is to supporta range of creative clients from indies to solution partners who deliverprojects to their clients. If we are asked to deliver a turnkey solution thenwe’ll do it – we’ll develop the creative, manage the project, implement andtest it and then hand it over. But that’s not our business purpose whichremains licensing the technology.
  6. 6. Have you worked withCanadian projects?RP: So to answer the question about working on Canadian projects, ofcourse we’re very proud to be delivering the interactive experiences behindthe amazing Ruby Skye PI! And we support many other clients in theCanadian marketplace. For example, in Toronto, Crisis Match is a solutionpartner that delivers crisis management simulations using Conducttr – youcan check out this video we created recently. We’re also working withSagaworld in Montreal on projects we can’t yet reveal but we’re thetechnology partner and all creative is from Sagaworld.
  7. 7. RP: Everything we’re doing is really exciting to be honest because it’s all pushing theenvelope in one way or another. One such example is a film project in the UK where theproducers plan to give away the movie for free in order to generate interest in a range ofmobile apps. Conducttr is delivering the backend to all the apps and unlocking personalizedcontent inside the app based on how people interact with characters on Twitter, Facebook,email & SMS. So the film is really a feature length teaser – it’s just an entry point into a hugeimmersive storyworld financed by app sales.We’re also working with a TV production company to provide all the social dramacomponents – fictional characters on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook – plus, using our “storylocker” feature provide a catch-up service accessible online and via mobile to registeredaudience members.What are you workingon that’s exciting?
  8. 8. RP {cont}: We’re  re-­‐staging  the  London  riots  on  Twi3er  and  text  messaging  for  the  launch  of  a  book  called  Feral  Youth.  At  the  book  launch,  guests  are  invited  to  become  part  of  gang  that’s  about  to  go  on  a  rampage.  What’s  interesCng  is  that  through  the  interacCve  choices  offered  to  guests  they  start  to  see  the  social  issues  and  conflicCng  loyalCes  underneath  the  surface  and  away  from  the  press  headlines.  The  event  has  a  large  TV  screen  which  will  display  guest’s  text  messages  –  so  that  when  they’re  asked  an  open-­‐ended  quesCon  (by  a  ficConal  character)  their  responses  will  be  shared  anonymously  with  everyone.  This  open-­‐ended  audience  parCcipaCon  is  a  good  example  of  something  that  doesn’t  change  the  course  of  the  narraCve  but  is  incredibly  engaging  because  it’s  social  –  people  want  to  know  how  other  people  answered  that  quesCon  or  reacted  to  that  situaCon.  All  of  this  parCcipatory  storytelling  is  available  with  no  coding  –  even  the  TV  component  that  uses  a  standard  Conduc3r  web  output  report.What are you workingon that’s exciting?
  9. 9. What are you working onthat’s exciting?RP: Finally we recently delivered our first Spanish-language project inMexico which is teaching 15 yr olds empathy through the interactiveretelling of the Prometheus story (the Greek myth, not the movie!). This is aweek-long classroom project and allows the teacher not only to setinteractive homework but to review the metrics in class – decisions made,enquiries asked – all of which generate classroom discussion andengagement.
  10. 10. What key trends areyou aware of?RP: UniversiCes,  film  and  arts  schools  are  beginning  to  realize  that  the  world  has  changed  and  they’re  starCng  to  introduce  training  in  transmedia,  in  social  media,  in  entrepreneurial  skills  in  order  to  prepare  students  for  a  new  post-­‐graduaCon  reality.  The  old  industry  structures  and  career  paths  aren’t  there  anymore.    Many  students  can  be  resistant  or  disinterested  at  first  actually  and  in  this  regard  the  lecturers  are  ahead  of  the  students.  So  it’s  not  an  age-­‐related  myopia  but  one  based  on  the  desire  to  be  a  just  a  feature  filmmaker.  Fortunately  the  old  world  is  crumbling  and  a  new  egalitarian  world  is  emerging  where  anyone  can  become  a  content  creator  and  anyone  can  become  a  content  financier.    Some  people  find  the  need  to  build  social  engagement  and  parCcipatory  storytelling  into  their  creaCve  process  to  be  frustraCng  and  “distracCng”  but  if  you  embrace  the  changes  then  it’s  incredibly  rewarding  and  fulfilling  to  have  a  direct  relaConship  with  your  audience.  This  is  an  important  and  growing  trend.
  11. 11. What stories work best?RP: The  best  stories  are  those  with  depth  and  different  points  of  view  –  stories  that  warrant  discussion  and  debate.  One-­‐dimensional  characters  are  boring  in  any  media  and  trying  to  layer  and  expand  a  one  dimensional  idea  across  mulCple  plaUorms  just  mulCplies  the  boredom!
  12. 12. How do you assess success?What does it look like?RP: There’s  no  gold  standard  of  what  success  looks  like  because  every  project  has  its  own  goals.  For  some  it  will  be  just  straight  forward  number  of  audience  records  while  for  others  it’s  the  volume  of  advocacy  or  the  depth  of  engagement  (e.g.  conversaCons  on  social  media).  Maybe  it’s  a  change  in  senCment  or  preference.Conduc3r  has  a  number  of  reports  available  off-­‐the-­‐shelf  but  for  some  clients  we’ve  wri3en  specific  data  mining  scripts  to  pull  out  the  informaCon  perCnent  to  their  project.Check  out  the  TStoryteller  website  here:  www.tstoryteller.comDon’t  miss  Rob’s  detail  &  strategy  rich  presentaCons  on  Slideshare
  13. 13. STORYEXPERIENCESTORYGAMINGREAL WORLDCO-CREATIONImportance ofnarrativeAudience ability to change orcontribute to storyExtent to which experiencepervades real locations &times, real people &eventsAudience has goal, use of puzzles,use of game mechanics (trophies,levels, leader boards etc.);AUDIENCE @robprattenThe Transmedia ProjectPitch Sheet is a:‘Simple two-sheet to helptransmedia storytellerspresent their projects.The aim is to get someconsistency of presentationso that those listening can"get it" more quickly’.Transmedia Project Pitch SheetFantastic Resources from Rob Pratten
  14. 14. Active Story System for Transmedia StorytellingDesign methodology for creatingparticipatory transmedia stories.For $1.25 you can buy aninteractive PDF of theworksheets shown in thispresentation. This allows you tocomplete the fields for your ownprojects and print.Heres the link: Resources from Rob Pratten
  15. 15. Robert Pratten is a Transmedia Treasure! An exceptionally prolific &generous creator of resources for transmedia & multiplatformproducers, if you aren’t familiar with Rob already, you’re in for a treat.‘Roberts experience uniquely places him at the intersection ofentertainment, social media marketing and telecommunications. He isan experienced marketing consultant with more than 20 yearsexperience and has been an internationally recognized expert in thefield of Intelligent Networks having advised clients such as Ericsson andLucent on international pricing, positioning and market entry strategies.Robert left the board of a leading European consultancy in 1999 toattend the London Film School. He has since written, produced anddirected two award-winning, critically acclaimed feature films - LondonVoodoo (2004) and Mindflesh (2008).Robert has established himself as a thought-leader in the field oftransmedia storytelling through major contributions to the evolvingfield in the areas of new business models, development processes anddocumentation. He is author of the book Getting Started in TransmediaStorytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners.’TMCRK InterviewRobertPratten BIO
  16. 16. Big thanks to Rob for sharing these terrific resourceswith TMC Resource Kit!All image & document credits are Robert Pratten’s &TStoryteller.comYou can learn more about Conducctr & find manymore resources created by Rob on the following sites: InterviewRobertPratten BIO
  17. 17. TMC Resource Kitinfo@tmcresourcekit.comtmcresourcekit.comRob Pratten Interview prepared by:Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn& Anthea @redsquidlabthank you! get in touch