The Pixel Lab 2011-Adam Sigel: Story Telling in 4D


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  • Who I am– I’m not a purist… And I think it is best to take in all different ideas and views and assess what works best for you and for your project.How I got here Went to film school… big into tech… worked in Doc and news… then live performance and theater… then Hollywood, TV and Film… and started taking jobs on digital projects from Disney to Microsoft – creating content based – entertainment and games as well as content used around marketing… Working on shows I saw the power of the fans and how Hollywood was ignoring it..about 10 years ago I began to see the world moving in a new direction – So now I pretty much approach everything I do, thinking in 4d – the different platforms.
  • A great Film or Television program starts with a great script… A great transmedia project begins with a great strategy. When we talk about creating a great movie or Television program – we have the script… the structure, the characters, the flow of ideas… This is how I see strategy for Multiplaform.The idea of entertainment now is about a multifaceted experience The most understood is Trad. Media, then WWW, then gaming… and community seems to be the least understood and perhaps the most valuable . While there is one core Experience that you may be going for, it is important to consider all of the possible experiences. How will your audience encounter the idea. How many different ways can they touch it, know it, feel it. From a creative POV, it can make the story telling process better. ALSO add the idea of live events – live performacne but they can fit into each of these. IE Afterworld – episodes vs Journal vs Mobile Game
  • The analogy I came up with is Creating a X-media project is a bit like hosting a dinner party. You send the invites, plan the menu and make the food – you have a general idea of the beginning, middle and end… But everything that determines if it is a success or not, is about what happens… the conversation… who gets too drunk… do people start dancing? And that’s what makes it fun.
  • Thinking about Experience: More about this later.It is new and emerging so there is still a need to explore… Like many things that are trans – it often comes about after a lot of experimentation. Lance’s work is great example of this… CONTROL: Francis Ford Coppola once said, "being a director is the last job in the Western world, where you can still be a dictator." Some general observations I have noticed
  • A fractal is a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole, a property called self-similarity.They are usually complete in and of themsleves… Often this is vital when thinking of strategy… you may not be abvle to reach everyone on all paltforms so you may want to make sure that whatever platform someone finds your project on– it is compelte and fulfilling.
  • A Facet is a fragment that a part of a whole and has in and of itself its own purpose.The idea of a franchese has been around… It is like a sequel or prequel. It can also not be connected, like a lunch box or a toy, which allows the audience to make the IP their own – children can play with toys to make their own version of the world.Sequals… Toys, May be something thought about ahead of time or not… But each facet helps make the whole more meaningful and fulfilling.
  • fragmented experience – often ARGs are like this.. Which is cool but you need to work very hard to design an experience that has many routes back to the central idea – Transmedia projects tend to have huge bounce rates, much because people aren’t sure what they are seeing. Again; people need it to be be well designed, clear and competent.Nothing worse wasting hours because you know if the website you found is related or not -- or you go to a location and you get there and say… now what?
  • The analogy I came up with is Creating a X-media project is a bit like hosting a dinner party. You send the invites, plan the menu and make the food – you have a general idea of the beginning, middle and end… But everything that determines if it is a success or not, is about what happens… the conversation… who gets too drunk… do people start dancing? And that’s what makes it fun. The next thing to keep in mind…Francis Ford Coppola once said, "being a director is the last job in the Western world, where you can still be a dictator."
  • The four Es of Cross-platformThe Viewer becomes a User – must make an experience.This is about adding layers of experience on top of each other to create a more immersive and deeper experience.
  • The way Godard view cinema offers some insight on how we should look at multiplatform. There are two key points.The digital platform as he applies to cinema -- itself is not the art – it is something that captures life in a specific way and helps express it – it is often “rendered with this concept in mindEach platform has its own unique set of characteristic, its own way of revealing experience. Literature, Panting – are from the beginning while Cinema and multiplatform need to work together as – it is a collaboration So when we talk about transmedia or multiplatform– it is about each platform contributing to an entire experience: Cinema vs. TV… different relatinship ship .even TV looking up, larger than life vs looking down or eye level, have power over real and intimate… online – even more power --
  • The guiding principle we’re applying to it is this: digital / interactive initiatives don’t stand outside your core experience. They don’t overwhelm your experience. Done right, they are part and parcel of your experience. They extend your reach. Part of the flow. Will talk more about flow later. OOH – out-of-houseUnderstand the different issues – discuss the Spielberg and EA story… the process.
  • Content should be ubiquitous.Transmedia projects may be offered on various platforms but that does not always mean that all of the content must be known to have a fulfilling experience – the idea is that each platform where it is offered is
  • This is really the million dollar question… It is a clear issue for marketers… For products… But It is also a question that filmmakers and game developers need to think about – what about this experience is valuable… or even just fun.
  • The word of mouth or viral nature of transmedia cannot be overstated…
  • 100 years ago the first transmedia Experience was created when the fan magazines were created around the new medium and provided the audience a way to extend the experience while at the same time marketed the movies. A supplement to the movie experience with additional background dialogue and providing details that were not in the film… You can even argue that the whole idea of a movie star was and still is a trasmedia concept… Really the old issue of Creatives not really want to deal with Marketing… But if you think about it, you can’t avoid it so don’t rtun away… Think abouthow movie posters are actually helpign to tell the story… What you think about being in outer space… and something horrible happens to you… and no one can you hear you scream… it
  • This is my WHAT IS POINT slide – which is a reference to my Russian Film professor at NYU who after screening out 3 minute projects would come out and say – what is point.. Which is a more efficient way of saying it… Who needs articles? Frank Capra talked about it in two ways.. One is don’t make it so obvious… But the other one is to know in yourself what your point is… you will need it. It has to be clear, it has to be simple and it has to be important enough to you to do all this to make it work.It is something that we all struggle with – One the one hand you need to be clear in your own mind --
  • Research: Understanding what’s out there, what works and what doesn’t. Looking at comps…. And thinking out of the box.Brainstorm: Find the ideas… Where to start and where to go. - What do you want to do and what are the initial ideas that get you there.Analyze: Do the ideas align with the stated goals of the project? Have you found a new goal… Is this enhancing the experience? Prioritize: Mapping the appropriate platform to a particular story telling device and what order… Do they come out concurrently or in a particular order
  • Creating the flow is something that is very important. It is like the narrative flow of a story… information comes at a certain pace… in a certain order. Finding the flow should be as intuitive as the story itself. It needs to make sense – it need to be accessible.
  • Creating the flow is something that is very important. It is like the narrative flow of a story… information comes at a certain pace… in a certain order. Finding the flow should be as intuitive as the story itself. It needs to make sense – it need to be accessible.
  • Logitech developed a suite of funny filters and faces to go along with its superior webcams. What surprised them were the number of customers who created their own videos with the filters and uploaded them to YouTube. Thousands of people getting millions of views while effectively advertising Logitech’s products. And the idea doesn’t have to be high tech. The 6th grade science experiment pictured has been viewed almost 400,000 times.
  • Endless Ocean has become a popular family game. It seems to show the intense interest in applications that feature exploring wildlife and nature. Nintendo has proven to be a new kind of gaming platform that differentiates itself from the others: PS & XBOX
  • Twitter is great for: Informing –The Tate uses Twitter to provide a one-stop-shop to find out what’s on, when and where at the Tate. Telling people about what is coming up and what is currently on. Responding – The Tate uses Twitter to respond to people who have been to their galleries. They ask people what they thought of their experience and respond to the feedback that they give. They also go out of their way to help people who have queries or problems and the manner in which they do this shows clearly that there are real people updating Twitter and interacting with people on it. Having fun – The Tate has a clear personality on Twitter and has fun that is relevant to the museum, its galleries and the interests of its followers. From fun photos inside the galleries to fun tweets they show that they are real people and that they really connect with their followers. I particularly like when they compare the weather on a day to pieces in their collection. All of this creates a fun, valuable extension of the museum experience. People don’t feel like they’re being pushed to attend – they feel like they’re being entertained and educated, so they’re more likely to sign up for the feed and take advantage of the offers.
  • Site is basic charity org seeking donations. Features a playful casual dog tricks game that teaches a lesson re: animal care. Sponsored by Ubisoft to promote Nintendo DS Petz games. Alignment of brand is crucial – must be the right fit. In this case, both are interested in the core idea of taking care of animals.
  • Nick Jr is a non-commercial network for children. The online experience that serves to extend the world online and provides an opportunity for a fee for use service Education service for parents with Pre-school age kids. Premium Educational service $5/mo to $7/mocurriculum games, parent progress report – parent involvement, fun rewards to encourage child learning, good for multiple kids – Value
  • late 2009 Disney joined with Verizon to create a mobile app called Mobile Magic. Mobile Magic allows users to view FASTPASS return times, attraction wait times for the park they are in, extensive information on character locations and more for the Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks on their Verizon Wireless phone. And, even if they are not a Verizon Wireless subscriber, they are still able to use their mobile phone to access select park information and on the Disney Parks Mobile web sites.
  • A few years ago, Disney decided to capitalize on the green movement by “getting back to its roots” and producing nature-based entertainment through its new Disney Nature. They’d had nothing to do with the environment or conservation for decades, but it didn’t stop them from being an immediate success. “Oceans” has grossed almost $20 million in the US alone. What will this lead to? …
  • One area to watch closely is Disney’s involvement in MMOGs & MMOWs (massively multiplayer online games & worlds). Disney made an investment in Club Penguin, and it’s turned into a solid model for them. Disney offers an entry level into all of their worlds for free, but to truly take advantage of all of the bells & whistles, you have to pay. In Club Penguin’s case, almost $6 per month. Parents are buying. And when their kids grow out of Club Penguin, they have other worlds standing by. It can safely be assumed that these worlds will only grow along with technology. Imagine pairing one of these worlds with an educational model? Educational gaming is a fast growing field, and virtual worlds are, so far, an untapped market. Imagine creating an underwater virtual world in which kids could learn while being entertained?
  • Based on Disney’s recent experiments with parental apps and mobile in-park experiences, we expect them to enter the mobile market fairly aggressively. Notice on the third screen – Disney is trying the same tact with its mobile games that it does with its online subscription-based games. They offer a scaled-down entry-level version for free, and the full experience for a fee (which parents are willing to pay). Here are some general mobile best practices: MOBILE: Charge a moderate fee (i.e. $1.99 or less) and people will buy them (IF they provide genuine value)Produce apps for two audiences – children & parents (don’t combine)Tap into needs of both groups:Parents want helpRide/show/tour timesInformation (e.g. temperature, sun factor, closed rides, etc.)Parking help (“where’s my car?”)Enhanced maps (video/photo content, ability to bookmark areas/drop pins, path tracking (to retrace steps or view when they get home), filterable (for bathrooms, restaurants, shade, rides/activities for certain ages, etc.))Restaurant menusSchedule generatorsAlerts for things that interest them (show, short line, character alerts)Discount couponsReservations (line, seat, tour, show)Ability to jump linesWays to track their kids in the parkWays to keep their kids busy during down timesParents also want things they can do with kids (before & after experience)Trivia gamesPhoto art (e.g. Shamu, starfish, water bubbles)ePostcards from the parkAnd parents want to feel good about taking their kids to the parkEducational gamesInfo on what kids learned that day at the park Kids want games – but we need to be careful about making sure that the mobile experiences don’t detract from or interrupt the in-park experiences. Look at creating experiences in users’ DOWN TIMES – lines, in areas where kids sometimes get bored, at lunch, on the way home in the car.
  • From has created several Twitter accounts including:Disney Parks, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Pixar. They also create accounts for specific movies and/or characters. The newest example of this on Twitter is for Tinker Bell which has seen a surge in popularity due to new movies about her adventures. Disney uses their Twitter accounts to provide their followers with tidbits of interesting information about which ever park or studio they are following. A popular feature on the Disneyland Twitter is the “This day in history” tweet which discusses an event that took place on that day in Disneyland’s history. Disney also provides links to art projects, new pin releases and other topics of interest.The strategy used by Disney for Facebook is very similar to the one they use for Twitter. That being said, they do make strong use of the Facebook Fan Pages to promote their movies. With every movie they release they create a fan page for fans to interact with. They also run promotions for that movie on that page when the dvd is released.
  • Walt Disney was a big believer in making education entertaining, and that philosophy is seeping back into the Magic Kingdom. (Especially now that brands like Baby Einstein have demonstrated that interactive education is big business.) [Note ex Farmer: Baby Einstein was a costly failure for Disney, as the higher IQ results implied in advertising did not materialize and led to a class-action suit… some studies said the DVDs actually hindered child development. Disney offered major refunds. I wouldn’t mention it.]SeaWorld also has a brand that parents trust – not to mention a genuine connection with education. SeaWorld can create interactive education modules that parents will buy, either through a subscriber model or outright software purchase.
  • From Parks has a blog integrated into their website. As stated on their blog, “The Disney Parks Blog provides the latest, official information about Disney destinations as well as behind-the-scenes looks at what makes Disney Parks the most magical places on earth. [Users can]Expect to hear from a variety of Disney Cast Members who work each day to make that ‘Disney Difference’.” Disney posts several short blog entries a day that feature not only captivating subject matter but they also link short videos as well on their topics.
  • From has also ventured in to the realm of podcasts. The Disneyland Podcast is the most frequently updated, with a new podcast released every month or so. In these podcasts they discuss new and upcoming news about the park, usually with some sort of theme.
  • From of the best examples of the Fan Page usage is the Disney Movie Rewards(DMR) page. DMR is a promotion program that rewards consumers for buying Disney movies by giving them points which in turn can be turned in for Disney merchandise. DMR uses Facebook to showcase new items, video clips, free downloads and even sometimes bonus points for its Fans! This strategy ensures that fans will keep coming back to the fan page.
  • Disney has already started to expand into other “green” areas, ostensibly to establish itself as a credible name in the green space. It can be assumed that the success of Disney Nature will inspire expansion into other areas – television programming, products & merchandise, educational extensions, and “green” vacation experiences. SeaWorld may not have Disney’s level of vertical integration, but there are still ways to use programming to spark interest (and to capitalize on the success of “Oceans”).
  • $9.95/month or $79.95/yearLearning games & Interactive worlds... Based on the characters from PBS 50 Edu games, Based on National standardsBuild skills in Math, Science, reading. Unique activities that deal with emotional dev, Safety, Foreign Language.
  • AP store site is very robust and focused. Store is vast – Keyboards, bags, toys, videos, Animal Posters, Screen savers. Expanding beyond AP Brand. All things animals. The Subject section leads to a store with just that animal.
  • The Pixel Lab 2011-Adam Sigel: Story Telling in 4D

    1. 1. Twitter<br />@powertothepixel<br />#PttP<br />STORYTELLING IN 4D A TACTICAL APPROACH TO TRANSMEDIA DESIGN<br />SPEAKER: <br />Adam Sigel, Content Strategist, Writer and Producer<br />
    2. 2. Storytelling in 4D<br />A Tactical Approach to Transmedia Design<br />
    3. 3. Strategy Is Your Friend<br />
    4. 4. Storytelling in 4D<br />The Ultimate Dinner Party <br />
    5. 5. Storytelling in 4D<br />The Ultimate Dinner Party <br /><ul><li> Experience
    6. 6. Experimentation
    7. 7. Release Control </li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Fractals<br /><ul><li>Fragments that replicate the original
    8. 8. Sub-plots, mirror stories
    9. 9. Help reinforce central theme and story </li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Facets<br /><ul><li> Fragments are parts of the whole, distinct purpose
    10. 10. Franchise, may or may not be connected…
    11. 11. Extend world and brand</li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Fragmentation<br /><ul><li>Can over-complicate and deter users
    12. 12. Offer real game play and be incredibly fun
    13. 13. Need well-developed strategy
    14. 14. Need a strong reason why – use existing assets or build awareness over time </li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />The Four E’s Of Transmedia<br /><ul><li> Experience
    15. 15. Everywhere
    16. 16. Exchange
    17. 17. Evangelize</li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Have you ever been Experienced?<br />
    18. 18. The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn't.<br />Jean-Luc Godard<br />
    19. 19. Know Your Experience – Express Thru the Best Platform<br />MOBILE WEB GAMING CORE EXPERIENCE FILM/TV ARG, OOH, EVENTS COMMUNITY<br />
    20. 20. Storytelling in 4D<br />Here, There, Everywhere<br />Users want to access content when and where they want.<br /><ul><li> Each component is complete
    21. 21. Users control amount consumed</li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Exchange = Engagement<br />Understand what has value<br /><ul><li> A Prize (contest)
    22. 22. A Cause
    23. 23. A Status
    24. 24. A Good Time</li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Spreading the Word<br />What makes something viral?<br />Users will promote what are invested in…<br /><ul><li> UGC is always a good idea </li></li></ul><li>Storytelling in 4D<br />Convergence – What’s old is new again<br />Marketing has always been part of the storytelling<br /><ul><li> Web and new platforms have been defined by marketing
    25. 25. Make it mean more than just advertising</li></li></ul><li>What is point - <br />If you want to send a message, try Western Union.<br />Frank Capra<br />
    26. 26. The Steps <br />Thinking Multiplatform <br />
    27. 27. Discovery<br />Create a flow of the experience… What aspects of the idea are central? <br />Identify the specific element (the object) within the IP that can be explored across platforms.<br />
    28. 28. Research<br />Explore various platforms and examples that are similar or in the same genre of the project. <br />Find out of the box examples (even from non-related subjects) that use techniques that are interesting and can be repurposed. <br />
    29. 29. Brainstorm<br />Consider the various platforms. Use inspiration from research. <br />Spitball ideas on what might work – create a wish list.<br />
    30. 30. Analyze<br />Create an inventory of the assets and existing content that can be repurposed<br />Identify the gaps – what needs to be created and what level of effort is required (cost, resources, etc.)<br />Align the goals with the concepts – what seems to fit, what doesn’t? <br />
    31. 31. Prioritize <br />Based on what exists and what needs to be created, create a list – high to low<br />Map the idea (if it is not obvious) to the appropriate platform<br />Develop a “rollout” process (phases or releases).<br />
    32. 32. Create <br />Prep and build components. <br />
    33. 33. Now Go and Do it<br />
    34. 34. Project ExampleDeveloping Multiplatform Strategy<br />A group of Animal Themed Parks is looking to extend its experience beyond its physical walls.<br />The objective: enhance the experience: before they arrive, during the visit and after they leave.<br />Ways to create an experience to attract new customers (marketing).<br />Create new revenue streams.<br />
    35. 35. UGC<br />Logitech / Getting people involved<br />
    36. 36. Games<br />Wii Games / Explore Nature & Wildlife<br />
    37. 37. Social Media<br />Tate Museum / Enhancing Twitter<br />
    38. 38. Sponsorship Partners<br />ASPCA Kids & DS Petz/ “Brand” Alignment<br />
    39. 39. Online Extensions<br />Nick Jr Boost / Premium Ed. Service<br />
    40. 40. Mobile<br />Enhanced Park Experience<br />
    41. 41. Programming<br />
    42. 42. Games & MMOGs<br />
    43. 43. Mobile<br />
    44. 44. Social Media<br />
    45. 45. Education<br />
    46. 46. Blog<br />
    47. 47. Podcasts<br />
    48. 48. Rewards<br />
    49. 49. Charity<br />
    50. 50. PBS Kids Play / Premium Ed. Service<br />
    51. 51. Animal Planet / Merchandising<br />