The Indie Filmmaker's Guide to Cross-Media I: Storytelling in the 21st Century was taking place Feb. 13th 2012 in HAU 3.
Moderated by cross-media expert and head of Power to the Pixel
Liz Rosenthal, the conference was held by three speakers; Michel Reilhac, general director of Arte France cinema and pioneer in trans-medial film productions, Martin Ericsson, the crazy Swede at the origin of cross-media production company Bardo AB
, and Caspar Sonnen, New Media Coordinator @IDFA
& Curator of @DocLab
Michel Reilhac: How transmedia challenges storytelling...Michel Reihlac (on the left) is an experienced cross-media analyst and receives many film projects aiming at being produced by Arte France on his desk everyday.
The expert’s introduction on transmedia - “the naive fascination of the new”
Transmedia has changed storytelling AND audience behaviour in many ways. Audiences have migrated from traditional media to the web, where they are ad-allergic, which has been a challenge for advertising campaigning.
With emerging tools at their disposal, people have started self-branding through social media, which has proved not to be without dangers, while technology (i.e. the GPS) has externalised some basic human abilities (i.e. the sense of orientation).
IRL (standing for In Real life) is a revealing concept. The temptation is constantly growing to escape physical reality and take shelter in a “virtual reality” thus becoming more real, since people find the possibility to be whoever they want to be right there at their fingertips.
No model, just trends
There is no model in transmedia. No one is leading the field, yet.
2 big trends emerged that Reilhac identifies as “storytelling” and “simplification”.
“Storytellers” are replacing filmmakers. This is not about making a film anymore, but about telling people a story. As long as there are stories to be told, there will be audiences.
“Simplifying” is the right way. The trend is leaning towards “simple is better”. If you have one brilliant idea, stick to it.
“Native transmedia storytelling”
In the race to achieve THE project that will blow up the field, here are 10 tips to transmedia storytellers
- Stand out
- Push your project onto the web
- Engage your audience
- Emotionalise this “cold media” -> Warm up your story
- Sharing as core engine of success
- Risk: don’t be afraid
- Piggyback (for the word’s sake)
- Trust: transmedia has developed trust and cooperation
- Reward your audience
- Monetize: your project has to become bankable
ENJOY yourself! Martin Ericsson: Interactive culture is as engaging as a dinner party!
In spite of a massive hangover Martin Ericsson presented his work as a stunning example on how to engage audiences with interactive storytelling.
Producer of an interactive drama series, The Truth about Marika, he showed us how the story was engaging audiences on different traditional and new-media platforms: on TV, on the internet and on mobile phones.
With a cleverly lead promotion campaign blurring the frontier between fiction and reality, the production was a real audience success and was awarded many prizes in Sweden. You can watch a trailer here
As the show got bigger and people got hooked, it started to find larger TV broadcasters in Sweden. The question arising from this new trend is; can audience participation and experience itself become content? Caspar Sonnen: Internet is the most creative canvas for Documentary. EVER. Of bears and men
Caspar Sonnen based his presentation on two case studies.
The first example was a Canadian production called bear71
and was a documentary project where bears and people were being filmed in an interactive documentary.
The second case study highlighted Gaza Sderot
- one of the first cross-media documentaries produced by Arte France in 2008, with a really neat website. Gaza Sderot interactive web project shows pieces of lives on both sides of the wall separating Palestinians from Israelis. The importance of the interface
The success of Gaza Sderot is due greatly to its fabulous interactive website which, in its design, is as significant as the featured filmed characters’ testimonials, the content itself.
Caspar Sonnen insisted on the importance of the interface, which has to be very appealing to the users. Multiple platform story-telling is a difficult exercise. Sometimes it is preferable to be involved in one platform only to be more efficient. Thinking outside of the box...
Caspar Sonnen identifies two types of filmmakers:
- traditional ones who want to make a 90 min. feature film
- digital pioneers who explore new formats
His tips would be:
-Make it simple but dangerous
-Aim for a global audience
-Tell your story in a way that was never told before Sucess stories- inspiring transmedia storytelling projects
The question was posed: is it possible to make money out of innovative risks-taking web 2.0 cross-media projects?
The answer? Yes.
What is so fascinating about Iron Sky
? Could a story about space nazis raise enthusiasm amongst hundred thousands of fans BEFORE anything was done yet? Certainly. Resulting in financiers getting really interested in a filmmaker who could build such a fantastic and engaged audience, Iron Sky is a perfect example of the power of crowd-funding. Crowd-sourcing platforms like Kickstarter
are definitely a great help to show producers your audience engagement. Make a unique project, build your audience, money will follow
According to Michel Reilhac, TV broadcasters are investing more and more money in their web departments to support transmedia productions.
Here are some links to projects referred to during the panel:
a) The Truth About Marika
: truth and fiction engaging the possibilities of transmedia
b) Gaza Sderot
- watch the magic of the cursor!
: an example for an interactive documentary
: a movie soon to come about merging traditional film with roleplay elements
e) Iron Sky
To read more about transmedia/crossmedia in relation to cinema and storytelling on supportyourlocalcinema, go here: http://bit.ly/gvtOrz