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Taking a look at storytelling in the digital era, keeping in mind the three-legged stool -- content, technology, and business model. Lots of examples. Lots of links. I used this in a presentation to a media studies class at Woodbury University on March 31, 2014

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  1. 1. STORY, MEET CODE Woodbury University March 31, 2014 These slides were produced for a presentation called “Story, Meet Code” at Woodbury University, Burbank, CA.
  2. 2. 3-LEGGED STOOL: More than ever before, the form of our stories is impacted, indeed, defined by more than just the traditional concerns of story, character, structure, etc. -- story is impacted by the technology through which it is consumed, and the business model by which consumers access the content.
  3. 3. 3-LEGGED STOOL: More than ever before, the form of our stories is impacted, indeed, defined by more than just the traditional concerns of story, character, structure, etc. -- story is impacted by the technology through which it is consumed, and the business model by which consumers access the content.
  4. 4. 3-LEGGED STOOL: More than ever before, the form of our stories is impacted, indeed, defined by more than just the traditional concerns of story, character, structure, etc. -- story is impacted by the technology through which it is consumed, and the business model by which consumers access the content.
  5. 5. CONTENT Tale, story, novel, play, motion picture, comic, serial, radio play, television show, videogame, interactive story, transmedia story… If I ask you to name some different forms of story, we see before very long that the form of the story has emerged as a result of some innovation in technology, and just as importantly, the financial viability of the means of production and distribution. This is the root of Marshall McLuhan’s deceptively simple phrase, THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE -- in other words, the content cannot be extracted from the medium (e.g. Technology) by which we experience it.
  6. 6. TECHNOLOGIES Book, magazine, newspaper, telegraph, telephone, sound recording, cinema, radio,TV, computer, game console, digital network, Internet, cell phone, social media, apps…. As we progress, it seems to get harder and harder to distinguish the actual technology from its application, or specific business use-case. The movies, for instance, are a cluster of technologies applied in a specific business use-case that evolved over our history. McLuhan used the term ‘rear-view mirror’ in describing a typical early strategy for a new media technology -- e.g., that it mimics an earlier form. TV used radio and cinema at first, before unique story forms evolved. YouTube encompasses many technologies and many creative formats, in addition to spawning its own. Ditto with social media.
  7. 7. BUSINESS MODELS Patronage, philanthropy, work- for-hire, direct sale, subscription, advertising, loss- leader, cross-subsidized, e- commerce, in-app sale, image marketing, B2B, white label… A business model describes how your company creates, delivers and captures value.We often take the business model for granted -- movies require payment, either at the box office or via advertising -- until they don’t, with the advent of p2p file-sharing protocols. Early stage businesses, especially tech startups, are unique.As Steve Blank puts it:“A start-up is an organization in search of a repeatable and scalable business model. 
  8. 8. 3-LEGGED STOOL: Content Technology Business More than ever before, the form of our stories is impacted, indeed, defined by more than just the traditional concerns of story, character, structure, etc. -- story is impacted by the technology through which it is consumed, and the business model by which consumers access the content.
  9. 9. ME? Movie Geek Journalist Filmmaker Marketer Strategist What qualifies me to give this talk? I am a movie geek. I am an ex-journalist, filmmaker and marketer. And I spent 20 years running digital programs and initiatives at the American Film Institute, some of which are listed on the next slide. To learn more about my career, check out my website at
  10. 10. 20YEARS @ AFI: Computer Media Salons EnhancedTV Workshop Digital Content Lab DigiFest I discuss a few highlights of my years at AFI and the relationships I developed with innovators at the intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. I discuss a few highlights of the training-based programs and the showcase programs, leading into our signature approach: collaborative prototype development around content. To learn more about my career, check out my website at
  11. 11. WHAT I DO NOW: Strategy for the Digital Era In 2010 I launched a consulting business to help companies navigate the digital era. Most of my work is in content and distribution.
  12. 12. CLIENTS
  13. 13. CLIENTS
  14. 14. TV ACADEMY
  15. 15. STORIES TODAY * Across multiple media * Each contributing to story * Multiple entry points into story The term transmedia storytelling is, by all accounts, a coinage from Henry Jenkins, a much-published academic from MIT, now on the faculty at the University of Southern California. Henry is a good source for info, particularly his courseware, which is published on his blog: The specific article is from MIT Technology Review, "Transmedia Storytelling.” Jenkins, Henry (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814742815. Jenkins, Henry (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814742815. Jenkins, Henry (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press. ISBN 9780814742815.
  16. 16. EXAMPLE? Is this transmedia? (Bible & Jesus Christ).
  17. 17. EXAMPLE? Is the Royal Wedding a transmedia story?
  18. 18. EXAMPLE? Certainly Star Wars is transmedia, with many different media and formats. Though, there are those in the field who prefer to think of Star Wars as the first major storytelling FRANCHISE, not really transmedia. What is the distinction? Whether new elements to the story are added in every platform, and therefore make the experience of all platforms necessary for a full experience of the work.
  19. 19. OTHER TERMS Franchise Multi-platform; cross-platform ARG Interactive media Multimedia Connected entertainment These are related words describing various story forms. Some would say that none is as complete as “transmedia.” Others say, to hell with the language wars. Let’s get to storytelling! (Note: ARG=alternate reality game)
  20. 20. Is It Really Transmedia Storytelling? Are there action figures? Is it a single story or multiple stories Is it on multiple media platforms? SINGLE MULTIPLE YES NO Are the pieces of story content unique or identical? IDENTICAL UNIQUE YES NO Is it really a story, or is it a story universe? STORY UNIVERSE STORY C'mon, is it *really* a story, or is it a theme? STORY THEME Is it an Alternate Reality Game? NO YES Are there casual games? Is the story just a light narrative wrapper? NO YES YES NO Do the content fragments link to each other? NO YES It's not Transmedia! It's not Transmedia Storytelling, it's just a crummy Entertainment Franchise. It's not Transmedia Storytelling, it's integrated marketing. Congratulations! You're a Transmedia Storyteller! It's not Transmedia Storytelling, it's an adaptation. Which is more important when deciding how content will be delivered? WHAT'S MOST ORGANIC TO THE STORY WHAT'S MOST EFFECTIVE TO REACH YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE Was the story transmedia from inception? NO YES Do you own the IP? NO YES START 2011 Steve Peters ( Are the pieces of content linked and in narrative sync with each other? NO YES Steve Peters (@vpisteve) has created a very engaging (and amusing) info graphic “Is it Really Transmedia Storytelling?” You can download here from Scribd:
  21. 21. ASPECTS Not every example I’m going to cite goes from live to the web and back again, which is the topic of our panel. But I thought I might set up a key idea here, and that is, that properties that people are calling transmedia today have a lot of different aspects. I’m going to whip through many different examples from our history in order to discuss some of these aspects, and wind up with a deeper dive into a few from the recent past.
  22. 22. PERFORMANCE 1981:TAMARA. Interactive Theatre Tamara was a theatrical event launched in Toronto in which the audience moved into different rooms and interacted with the actors. The story would unfold differently, depending upon your journey and what happened in each room. The show ran for many years in Los Angeles and New York, and was revived in Toronto. This is interactive, but not really multi-platform, though a CD-ROM was attempted.
  23. 23. INTERACTIVITY 1990: Hyperland BBC & Douglas Adams Douglas Adams, the creator of A HITCHHICKERS GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE built this work with the BBC at the dawn of the interactive media age in order to explain and explore hyper-media. It could be said to be multi-platform because the links took the user into different environments and domains. You can tell that the ideas were ahead of the technology by looking at the clunky fonts.
  24. 24. IMMERSION 1992: MYST from Cyan & Broderbund MYST was a ground-breaking game series on CD-ROM back in the 90’s, which remained the highest grossing title until the SIMS overtook it. Unlike the classic “videogame” format, which were usually shooter or role- playing games, MYST was a journey of discovery in which users proceeded into environments and worlds by finding clues and activating elements of the system. Again, not really multi-platform, but a new way to tell a story. MYST and its sequels are now available in the iTunes store in both a free and $4.99 version.
  25. 25. MULTI(PLATFORM) 1992: Bram Stoker’s DRACULA Game based on Coppola’s Film Francis Ford Coppola created a successful film adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel about the original vampire starring Gary Oldman, and Sony released a game version that utilized footage shot on the set of the film, which nudges into the terrain of multi-platform. We were excited to show it at the time because of the high profile of the director, who created iconic films like THE GODFATHER trilogy.
  26. 26. MYSTERY… PUZZLE 1995: In the First Degree Interactive CD-ROM from Broderbund Another CD-ROM title from Broderbund was created by my friend Haney Armstrong, a fllmmaker who came up with this extension of the traditional police procedural story by allowing the user to interrogate people.
  27. 27. GAMEFIED 2002: Push, Nevada: ABC & LivePlanet Play along with the mystery to win $$ TV interactivity is a whole topic in and of itself. I included PUSH NEVADA in this presentation because it did represent a breakthrough. Clues were peppered throughout the show and the website that allowed users to amass points leading to a winner. I think I remember that some clues involved mobile calling as well, Even though the show was not popular enough to be renewed, it was an early example of multi-platform enrichment of a primary story.
  28. 28. COMPLEXITY 1995: Johnny Mnemonic. CD-ROM from Sony Imagesoft This William Gibson classic was made into a film with Keanu Reeves, not well reviewed, but significant because Sony released a CD-ROM game simultaneously which allowed gameplay in a movie-like setting based upon the same story. The casts were different.
  29. 29. EMERGENT 2003: Battlestar Galactica.AFI team: Schematic, Syfy, others When the Sci-Fi Channel wanted to bring back the classic Battlestar Gallactica, representatives of the company, as well as Universal’s game division, came into the AFI’s Digital Content Lab to create a multi-dimensional viewing experience. The user interface, created by Schematic’s Dale Herigstad, allowed seamless movement by the user in and out of the primary story (TV), a first-person spaceship flying experience (game), and deep data about the ship, the characters, and the backstory, which also included clues. This was not the version launched at the time of the show, but inspired lots of others.
  30. 30. GREATEST HITS In this section of the talk I whip through slides of what one might call the modern canon of transmedia examples, expecially those originating on television, where I spent a lot of my time in development work.
  31. 31. HEROES Ditto with HEROES, which launched its 360 experience, later renamed EVOLUTIONS. Producer Jesse Alexander worked closely with the TV series creative team.
  32. 32. LOST The Emmy went to the LOST EXPERIENCE, an alternative reality game from ABC and Hi-ReS, a design and experience company. The TV Show’s millions of fans could deepen their experience of the story world via this comprehensive site.
  33. 33. TRUTH ABOUT MARIKA My mind was blown by this Swedish alternative reality game from Company P, headed by Christopher Sandberg. They used TV, newspapers, the web, live events and kind of took over the whole country for a few weeks. The premise was a fake event, but it was treated as real, and people engaged with the story in a sort of ambiguous way, not knowing for sure what was real, what was fake, what was conspiracy, etc. Such a fictional trope is often part of ARG work, and many would date it back to Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre’s radio adaptation of H.G.Welles’ WAR OF THE WORLDS in the 30’s.
  34. 34. I LOVE BEES 42 Entertainment produced an ARG called I LOVE BEES to support the release of Microsoft’s HALO game.
  35. 35. WHY SO SERIOUS? 42 Entertainment created this multi-platform alternative reality game that invited players during the period bridging the release of the two Batman films, especially the much-anticipated DARK KNIGHT from director Christopher Nolan. Because the Gotham setting and the tone and elements of the franchise are so well known, the creators could play off of that with newspapers and other media released in sequence that contained clues and links to fill in the complex world of the films.
  36. 36. YEAR ZERO YEAR ZERO is an ARG that involved fans of the band Nine Inch Nails at concerts by leaving USB drives in restrooms. Those who activated the files contained therein on a computer got instructions that involved them in launching the viral game, which depicts a theocratic dystopian future, the subject of the album.
  37. 37. CONSPIRACY FOR GOOD Tim Kring created Heroes and in 2010 launched a global ARG called Conspiracy for Good which was sponsored by Nokia. There were extensive live events that contained clues that could be retrieved via mobile augmented reality technologies, as well as many other events. The fictional elements, especially those about the evil corporation, were quite elaborate. There was a real-world charity in Africa that benefited from the activities as well.
  38. 38. HEAD TRAUMA This is just one of the properties created by Lance Weiler, whose breakthrough film THE BIG BROADCAST was itself a precursor to more complex storytelling components being added beyond the film “platform.” 2010: HEAD TRAUMA/Hope is Missing Lance Weiler/ Seize the Media
  39. 39. COLLAPSUS COLLAPSUS was a documentary film on Dutch television that was expanded into a broader transmedia experience that integrated game-play, global mapping, animation and other elements. Directed by Tommy Palotta, who produced Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly. Won the best interactive film award at the SXSW festival in 2011. From Submarine and VPRO.
  40. 40. PLAYING ON THE WEB If we are going to discuss going from “live” to the web and back again, it might be worth examining some examples of trends in the presentation of content on the web.
  41. 41. TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP Interactive Live Facebook Connect Experience Take This Lollipop is a cinematic website created in HTML 5 that requires users to launch Facebook Connect and authorize the use of content in the account, which is integrated into a creepy, serial killer type short film.
  42. 42. TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP The cinematic experience of “Lolllipop” is startling because it embeds images, maps, names and facts extracted from your Facebook account into the movie seemlessly.
  43. 43. ARCADE FIRE LEVERAGES HTML 5VIDEO The Wilderness Downtown. : Indie Rock Band Arcade Fire, working with filmmaker Chris Milk, released a song “We Used to Wait” produced with HTML5. Users enter the zip code of the place they lived as a kid, and the video incorporates street scenes grabbed via Google Map Street View feature. Milk has a slew of experimental video/web projects on his site, including the 2012 FWA Best website (voted by fans), another collaboration with a band, this time Danger Mouse.
  44. 44. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE Tommy Pallotta and other collaborators created a game to support the release Mission Impossible:Ghost Protocol, requiring a Facebook Connect log-on.
  45. 45. FACEBOOK CONNECT INTEGRATION This is the image generated at the end of the Cobalt game, which is then sharable on Facebook.
  46. 46. 3 DREAMS OF BLACK WebGL/Chrome Project by Chris Milk & Aaron Koblin is another Chris Milk project using Google Chrome’s browser, this time leveraging the power of Web GL technologies.
  47. 47. 3 DREAMS OF BLACK Users can generate their own “dreams” by drawing on the landscape provided by the site or vote for their favorites.
  48. 48. LEVERAGES HTML 5VIDEO AIM HIGH is a web series about a teenaged spy. “Viewers log on via Facebook” and by giving permission, become part of the story.
  49. 49. FAN-BASED STORYTELLING Another web format that inspires is fan-produced video, uploaded into a storytelling frame. The innovation here is the direct address format, with the user speaking to viewers via the webcam ubiquitous on personal computers, especially laptops.
  50. 50. Another web format that inspires is fan-produced video, uploaded into a storytelling frame. The innovation here is the direct address format, with the user speaking to viewers via the webcam ubiquitous on personal computers, especially laptops.
  51. 51. Digital (Mostly) Multiplatform (Maybe) Interactive (Low vs. High) Social (Shareable) Media Dense (Video) Contextual (Story) FAN-CENTRIC MEDIA There are a range of factors that help us understand how “fan-centric” your media may be. Of course, it’s all digital media. Sometimes the story plays out on several platforms. Sometimes there is interactivity -- “Low is liking or clicking” & “High is deep fan engagement. It is shareable across the web. Then there’s the question of density -- video and gaming are dense. Text is not. Finally, we talk about context, especially the story in which fan engagement occurs.
  52. 52. WALKING DEAD AMC’s  Walking  Dead  is  an  iconic  show,  now  in  its  fi8h  season.  I’d  like  to  use  the  show  as  an  example  of  the  fan’s  journey  of  engagement  in  the   story  world  created  by  a  contemporary  (and  very  popular)  television  series.  Note:  the  image  I’ve  selected  is  not  on  a  TV  set,  but  a  computer   screen.  So  from  the  outset,  the  linear  TV  series  is  now  rouLnely  being  consumed  across  a  variety  of  screens.  And  it’s  digital.  This  is  our  starLng   point  for  fan  engagement.  (For  a  deeper  dive  into  the  markeLng  world  of  Walking  Dead,  check  out  this  panel  from  the  PGA’s  “Produced  by”   Conference  hRp://  ..  My  hypothesis  today  is  the  “Era  of  Fan-­‐centric  Media.”  As  the  mobile/social/networked  web  has   become  ubiquitous,  fans  now  have  both  the  means  (and  the  desire)  to  engage  with  each  other  about  the  things  they  are  passionate  about  –   especially  popular  TV  shows.  The  result  is  that  TV  shows  are  essenLally  the  hub  of  a  vast  fan  network  which  enables  massive  sharing  and   content  interconnecLon  across  the  web.  This  is  for  both  official  web  properLes  from  the  TV  show  and  network,  but  much  more  these  days  on   unofficial  sites.  Experts  like  Kris  Longfield  (@fanthropologist  on  TwiRer)  segment  the  audience  by  acLve  vs  inacLve.  There  are  superfans  and   ambassadors,  and  they  tend  to  curate,  collect  and  produce,  depending  upon  where  on  the  spectrum  of  fan  engagement  they  fall.
  53. 53. FANS=CONTENT • Fans have the desire & means to engage others – Show is hub for vast fan networks – Shareable and viral across the social graph – Authorized and unofficial platforms – Content takes many forms & depth – User-generated content – deep, deep engagement – Derivative UGC – the ultimate fandom • Important lens to view audience - Fanthropology – Active (10%) vs Inactive (90%) Fans – Fans / Superfans / Ambassadors – Curators / Collectors / Producers – Fan engagement & content is part of the TV experience My  hypothesis  today  is  the  “Era  of  Fan-­‐centric  Media.”  As  the  mobile/social/networked  web  has  become  ubiquitous,  fans  now  have  both  the   means  (and  the  desire)  to  engage  with  each  other  about  the  things  they  are  passionate  about  –  especially  popular  TV  shows.  The  result  is  that   TV  shows  are  essenLally  the  hub  of  a  vast  fan  network  which  enables  massive  sharing  and  content  interconnecLon  across  the  web.  This  is  for   both  official  web  properLes  from  the  TV  show  and  network,  but  much  more  these  days  on  unofficial  sites.  Experts  like  Kris  Longfield   (@fanthropologist  on  TwiRer)  segment  the  audience  by  acLve  vs  inacLve.  There  are  superfans  and  ambassadors,  and  they  tend  to  curate,   collect  and  produce,  depending  upon  where  on  the  spectrum  of  fan  engagement  they  fall.
  54. 54. LONELY GIRL 15 The technique began at the dawn of YouTube: Lonely Girl 15 was a very influential early use of YouTube in which actors portrayed young people’s lives as if they were really opening up to the world via video. Most people thought these were real people, and responded in kind with video uploads of their own, creating a tapestry of video storytelling that was quite unique. What has become a standard feature of YouTube was pioneered by Lonely Girl, and the lessons are being applied by the firm founded by its producers: EQAL.
  55. 55. BECKINFIELD Beckinfield (2011) – User submitted videos tell the story of a town Beckinfield is a new site that creates a story world, e.g., a mythical California town, and a storyline that comes from the site, but the unfolding of the story is created by users who upload videos to the site that they have made in characters. The originator is an actor who had been helping fellow actors upload “audition” type videos to YouTube, and yearned for a way to let actors use their improv skills to further their careers. The site’s platform company, Theatrix, hopes to license the software to other content companies who want to leverage their experience. They call it “mass participation television.”
  56. 56. BECKINFIELD As the site and story forms have matured, Beckinfield has featured more complexly edited pieces, generated by the site’s creative team. Otherwise, all of the content is in the form of direct address into the camera, usually webcam-style confessional formats.
  57. 57. For USA Network, Theatrics helped create The S#cial Sector, an online edition of PSYCH, showing that the platform could be used to invite user-generated content into a branded storyworld
  58. 58. “Welcome to Sanditon” is the sequel to popular multiplatform webseries ‘Lizzie Bennet’s Diaries’, both based on Jane Austen novels. Sanditon permits fans to co-create the story based on Austen’s unfinished novel.
  59. 59. AURELIA: is billed as an interactive Steampunk Adventure Starring You. We’ll take a closer look at the user experience for AURELIA fans. I’ll get back to AURELIA in a moment.
  60. 60. Show header Call to Action Content window Social links Fan response tools Info about window •The header carries the title, subtitle and author. • The content window displays the file -video, blog or image. •Below the player window is information about that content, and a full suite of social and sharing links. •Fans can use tools to post responses & can check out the latest calls to action.
  61. 61. INVITATION: Begin a co-creation experience with your fans now during Theatrics’ open beta test period.
  62. 62. DON’T FORGET THEATRE “Live” content with a live audience is an ancient art form: theatre. Some innovations in interactivity, like “Tamara” are being leveraged in today’s theatre world, along with the insertion of multi-platform story forms and web-based extensions.
  63. 63. SLEEP NO MORE 2011: Punchdrunk Interactive Production London & NYC “Sleep No More” is an interactive theatre presentation of Macbeth in which audience members in masks interact throughout a physical space where the actors unfurl the story.
  64. 64. Punchdrunk Theatre, a London-based troupe, has experimented with interactive theatre in the past. The brought “Sleep No More” to NYC in 2011, where it has been selling out almost every show.
  65. 65. NO GOOD DEED 2012: FuriousTheatre Company Play & Graphic Novel Pasadena CA based Furious Theatre Company specializes in edgy productions by emerging playwrights. Furious commissioned Matt Pelfrey to write the play, which involves a young loser who inadvertently becomes famous for an act of apparent heroism and wanders into superhero fantasy inspired by the comics he wants to publish. His character-- Hellbound Hero, is the subject of a graphic novel released in conjunction with the show. The show ran for several weeks in 2012 at LA’s John Anson Ford Theatre.
  66. 66. NO GOOD DEED 2012: FuriousTheatre Company Play & Graphic Novel Here’s the hero, hell-bound, of course.
  67. 67. ACCOMPLICE The Accomplice is an urban-based exploration game/theatre piece, launched in NY and now in Los Angeles
  68. 68. THE SEED The Seed (2012) – Facebook-based “Play” by DavidVarela, U.K. I just learned about The Seed, a “theatre” project from UK’s David Varela that takes place on Facebook. Here’s some info from the author’s blog: and the FB site of the fictional character, an agronomist, who is the protagonist of the story:
  69. 69. HAUNTED 2012: BXX’s HAUNTED Daniel Knauf (Carnivale)’s online horror/mystery is the site for Daniel Knauf’s beta site for an interactive haunted house story called, fittingly, “Haunted.” His linear stuff (Carnivale on HBO) was beautiful and plenty weird. This is lower tech, not so beautiful, but addictive in a strange mesmerizing way.
  70. 70. HAUNTED 2012: BXX’s HAUNTED Daniel Knauf (Carnivale)’s online horror/mystery Many items are available to help “viewers” navigate the story, including this map of the haunted house from an early real estate ad.
  71. 71. BOOK ‘EM Authors of books are also edging into multi-platform storytelling and interactivity. Here are a few examples.
  72. 72. AN AMERICAN STORY ETHAN RUSSELL ebook (2012):“It’sYour History: Help Write It” Rock photographer and music video director Ethan Russell just published his “illustrated” memoir “An American Story” that features copious photography, videos, and a companion website that is seamlessly integrated into the narrative. He tells me the iBook version on the iPad is the best user-experience. It’s also available for the Kindle, Nook, etc. ethan-russell-american-story/id531762062?mt=11
  73. 73. The website allows users to post their own reminiscences of the historical timeline events itemized within Russell’s nonfiction book. He intends to release these user contributions in subsequent versions of the ebook, which he titled version 1.0.
  74. 74. TextText
  75. 75. NEXUS HUMANUS 2011: Nexus Humanus from Michael Grant Nexus Humanus is a new project, just launched, from Michael Grant, a best-selling children’s book author, and a transmedia team which has created a web-based story world for his next story, which is focused on a mind-control organization.
  76. 76. NEXUS HUMANUS 2011: Nexus Humanus from Michael Grant The story seems to be a satire of Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
  77. 77. BZRK.COM 2011: Nexus Humanus from Michael Grant ...and clicking the button takes you to another Michael Grant multimedia book and web project, this one for teens called “Go BZRK.”
  78. 78. WHAT TELEVISION WANTS TO BE Brands are experimenting with multiplatform storytelling. I dive into a particularly complex example in this case study.
  79. 79. Always  keeping  in  mind,  of  course,  that  the  social  TV  ecosystem  is  growing  in  all  direcLons  and  that  experiments  in  fan  powered  media  will   necessarily  evolve  as  the  tools,  pla`orms,  and  enabling  technologies  come  and  go.  This  is  the  2013  version  of  an  infographic  depicLng  all  of  the   sectors  of  the  social  TV  ecosystem  provided  by  Trendrr  for  AdverLsing  Age.  
  80. 80. TEN QUESTIONS • What is a channel? • What is a remote? • What is a screen? • What is an ad? • How do you watch? • How do you share? • Where do you watch? • How do you create? • How do you participate? • What is reality? I’ve formulated ten questions about the future of TV that can help us examine trends. My thinking has been aided by a survey of industry leaders shared with me by William Gerhardt and his colleagues at Cisco. I will be on a panel with him next week at Georgia Tech. ac79/sp/sptl.html
  81. 81. WHAT IS A CHANNEL? • Internet: always on • Video on-demand: downloads & streams • OTT: websites are networks • Time- and place- shifted The days are numbered for the channel as a fundamental organizing principle for content. This concept, and the business rules behind it, was a necessity in order to use the electromagnetic spectrum efficiently, and it was carried over into cable TV.
  82. 82. WHAT IS A REMOTE? • Keyboard • Second Screen (touch) • Gestural interfaces • Voice command • Facial recognition The remote control was a revolutionary device because it allowed users much greater control of content consumption. But it’s a primitive and often very annoying interface that is being replaced.
  83. 83. WHAT IS A SCREEN? • TV is an application, not a device • Screens are everywhere • Screens get huge • Screens in our pocket The invention of the cathode ray tube paralleled the growth of the content and advertising networks that filled those early screens. Over time, of course, we’ve used screens to display all sorts of content, to the point where television content is simply another application.
  84. 84. WHAT IS AN AD? • Personalized, targeted • TheVirtual Self • Interactive • T-commerce, M-commerce • Content as brand, brand as content Corporate advertising and sponsorship has been financed much of television, up until the rise of subscription television. With the rise of the Internet, and its ability to target individuals based upon data, the form of ads will change again.
  85. 85. HOW DOYOU WATCH? • Watch with friends (real & virtual) • Motion capture, telepresence & holograms • Interact w/content & characters • Viewing becomes persistent & immersive (transmedia) TV viewing is sometimes lonely, sometimes social, often simply ambient -- based upon circumstances within each household. In the future, other factors outside our physical reality will help change the viewing envirnoment.
  86. 86. HOW DOYOU SHARE? • Social graph integrated at every level • Content discovery is social • Sharing reflected in content formats The social web is the web for most people, and with IP connected TVs, second screens, etc., the conventions of the social web will naturally extend to the TV experience. It’s happening already.
  87. 87. WHERE DOYOU WATCH? • Screens are pervasive • Vivid portable screens • Content (TV) follows you • Cloud storage • Stop & start all day Content consumption left the living room a long time ago. We will view anytime, anywhere.
  88. 88. HOW DOYOU CREATE? • UGC as an emergent form • Faster, better, cheaper tools • Crowd-sourced production • Proliferation of outlets • The rise of the fan/producer A great story well told, that’s what we want from our media providers, along with information, education, escape. It was a miracle in the 50s, and it remains so, to my mind. But the advent of powerful inexpensive production tools and ubiquitous distribution via YouTube has created an amazing revolution of content production that is competing for eyeballs and redefining what we think of as Television.
  89. 89. HOW DOYOU PARTICIPATE? • Merger of story forms (linear, games, distributed) • Rise of collaborative narratives • Integration of big data • Fan voting for more than just stars The audience is becoming used to being in the picture -- certainly as surrogates, in the triumph of reality and competition formats -- but also directly in terms of interactive forms. Games are a big factor here. We will see story forms merge, new formats created, greater involvement and immersion.
  90. 90. WHAT IS REALITY? • Multi-sensory experience • Perfected 3D • Holographic video • Olfactory and tactile • Multiple POVs and camera angles McLuhan used the word synesthetic in describing television’s exploitation of multiple senses. We will see additions to the sensory, particularly spatial elements, that bring increasingly realistic experiences to life inside the home.
  91. 91. WHAT NEXT? What kind of jobs should your incoming freshman look for in 4 years, or 7 if they go to grad school? That’s a lifetime. Content creation and storytelling. Transmedia. Software. Data mining. Interface design. Marketing. Entrepreneurship. Theory. For institutions, the need for rapid prototyping of curriculum and learning experiences butts heads with traditions (including tenure) which can slow down change.
  92. 92. WISDOM It’s impossible to do anything wrong. Because nobody’s done it before, they haven’t made up the rules to stop anyone... Author & Screenwriter Neil Gaiman I end this talk with these words of wisdom from Neil Gaiman’s recent talk at a University Commencement.
  93. 93. Thank You Very Much
  94. 94. NICK DEMARTINO • TWITTER: @nickdemartino • SLIDESHARE: nickdemartino • EMAIL: • WEBSITE: • BLOG (and newsletter): blog Please feel free to contact me with questions. I will be posting this presentation on SlideShare. If you give me your card after the talk, I’ll send it to you, as well. Please check out my website, and if you like my blog posts, sign up for my newsletter. Much of the research for this talk can be found on my Delicious site, under either transmedia tag.