Curious about transmedia storytelling, joining the next Transmedia Seattle MeetUp!, why we love TransmediaSF, what it was like to be a part of the world premiere of Transmedia Jam?
Watch a project evolve in front of your eyes as intrepid members of Transmedia Seattle continue to iterate and fail forward on a project launched during Transmedia Jam 2012.
This transmedia project originated with the idea of how best to tell the unlikely love story of a webcam named Webby, recently retired after 15 years of objectively recording endless interviews with contestants on a 'Real Life' - like TV reality show called Sureal World Seattle. Now that she's been retired- she's has love or attitude to share. Need some love, got some advice, or attitude. I think you'll see Webby needs a little help from her friends. Come and get/give it! Robert Pratten weighed in. How 'bout you? What are we doing wrong- and right? today.
Our current aim is to make Surreal World Seattle a destination for all interested in how to Just Do It! with transmedia, or honest assessment from a spunky webcam in love...
Being paid to travel with your camera sounds great, but what's the reality of travel filmmaking? How do you get started, and can you make money doing it?
Brad Tollefson's insight:
I arrive in a location, and usually set myself a challenge of finding a story within 3-4 days. Sometimes I might have a theme related to the location, but other times I have no idea what I am going to do a story about. I really love this aspect of my work, leaving it up to chance, just seeing what eventuates...
Last week, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group released the second animated short, Buggy Night, in its Spotlight Stories, a series of interactive mobile-specific animated films available on Moto X phones. Like the first film in the series, Windy Day, which debuted last October, the new short relies on spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience. Readers would be justified to express skepticism at the words ‘interactive’ and ‘animation’ being used in the same sentence. The concept has been touted often, yet rarely executed in a manner that suggests it could become a viable alternative to linear entertainment experiences. These shorts have finally proven, to me at least, that there is a promising future ahead for interactive animation and immersive worlds where multiple stories can unfold at the individual viewer’s pace, with no two viewing experiences alike. While it still requires some imagination to see where this could all go, and how it might eventually figure into our emerging augmented reality environment and mixed digital-physical world, the idea no longer seems as far-fetched and impractical as it once did. Before we imagine the possibilities, let’s look more closely at the pathbreaking animated shorts that stand before us today. The stories of both Windy Day and Buggy Night are simple but effective ideas designed to explore the interactive concept: in one, a mouse loses his hat on a windy day, and in the other, a group of bugs attempt to hide from a hungry frog. Since most readers of this site will not have a Moto X readily available to experience these shorts, simply imagine that you are standing in the middle of an animated scene. The action takes place all around you in a 360 degree space. Anywhere you turn your phone—left, right, up or down—could potentially reveal something happening. The film’s running time depends entirely on how often you, the viewer, chooses to move your camera—the more you move it, the longer it takes to finish the story. This video gives a sense of the physicality of the viewing experience: The interactivity in these shorts not only feels natural, but adds immensely to the viewing experience. This success can partly be attributed to the amount of interactivity allowed to the audience. While control of the camera is ceded to the viewer, the overall narrative remains in the hands of filmmakers. It’s a careful balance between interactivity and linear storytelling that recognizes tried-and-true narrative structures can’t be reinvented—the only thing that changes is how we experience them. Over the years, we have moved from oral tradition to literary form, and finally, visual delivery systems like film and video. While each new mode of expression presents a distinct set of narrative possibilities, the underlying story form must remain intact, an idea heretofore not clearly acknowledged in interactive attempts. Google’s entry into interactive storytelling and immersive animation began almost accidentally with their purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012. Eager to explore the untapped potential of phones as an experiential device, they launched an open-ended research group called Advanced Technology and Projects—ATAP for short—to foster innovation and develop next-generation concepts. Spotlight Stories is one of the ideas that has emerged out of ATAP, alongside complementary technologies like Project Tango. (Google sold Motorola a month-and-a-half ago, but as an acknowledgement of ATAP’s importance, the group was not part of the sale and remains a part of Google.) Google/Motorola also learned something that it took the computer animation industry decades to fully understand: if the creative potential of a technology is to be fully unleashed, creative people need to “challenge the technology,” as John Lasseter is fond of saying. Google brought on board a highly qualified team to push the limits of interactive storytelling. The first two films have been directed by Jan Pinkava (creator and co-director of Ratataouille) and veteran animator Mark Oftedal (who animated on Toy Story and A Bug’s Life among other films). Another Pixar vet, Doug Sweetland (Presto), supervised the animation, and notable children’s book author/illustrator Jon Klassen (This is Not My Hat) styled the look of the shorts. This core group worked in tandem with ATAP’s technical program lead, Baback Elmieh, and his team of technologists and scientists, to create the films. Continuing Google’s trend of working with A-list creative talents, another upcoming Spotlight short will be directed by Glen Keane. The Spotlight Stories aren’t just exploring new ways of telling stories interactively, they are also pushing forward the technological development of mobile devices. Google touts in their promotion of Spotlight Stories that mobile graphics processors now rival the capabilities of video game consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360, a fact that will come as a surprise to the average smartphone user who is accustomed to the primitive worlds of Candy Crush and Angry Birds. This dormant computational power is finally being used, and in turn, developed further to meet the demands of the Spotlight Stories. Among the numerous technological highlights, the shorts contain the first-ever real-time subdivision surfaces on a mobile device using Pixar’s open graphics standard, OpenSubdiv. Not so coincidentally, Windy Day’s director Jan Pinkava also directed the Oscar-winning Geri’s Game (1997), which was the first Pixar production to use subdivision. Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew, where next week we will dig more deeply into the creative and technological challenges of interactive storytelling in an interview with Jan Pinkava. (Disclosure: Google provided Cartoon Brew with Moto X phones to view the Spotlight Stories. The phones have been used for the sole purpose of viewing the shorts.)
Realscreen talks with producers who are transforming the documentary experience using interactive games and buzzy transmedia elements to discover what works best in the doc world. (Pictured: docugame Fort McMoney)
Justin Morrow approaches writing characters from a psychoanalytical perspective. Story is, at its core, a metaphor for how to live. We live vicariously through the characters we see on the page or the screen.
“In a search for similarity, one particular aspect of the human psyche stands out. This is our underlying desire for beauty, which differs from person to person. Regardless, we are all compelled to...”
Brad Tollefson's insight:
Three Transmedia Producers go into a bar. One orders 100%alcohol- medicinal to fielddress a wound, another orders absinthe for himself and every person in town, and one lights up asking the bartender to crank up the tunes. A good time was had by all. Again. And community grew.
'There's a reason Frozen was the highest-grossing animated film ever....What it comes down to is that people love Frozen. Any online parodies,interpretations, or additional kind of videos the movie has generated only serve to illustrate this. Sure, other people may benefit from these videos’ success a little bit, but it’s Disney who benefits the most in the long run. Essentially, Disney decided to look at these viral videos as free advertising for the movie. And with the titanic amount of money Frozen has brought in (well over a billion worldwide), it’s hard not to suggest that the film’s online presence had at least a small hand in this. Basically, Disney has figured out that online engagement only advances their brand...'
Empathy: it’s a buzzword in the UX design world. Everybody’s doing it! But what exactly are they doing? There isn’t a quick “Empathy Filter” that we can apply to our work or our team, no formula to pump out results, and no magic words to bring it forth. There is, however, a simple workshop activity that you can facilitate with stakeholders (or anyone responsible for product development, really) to build empathy for your end users. At Cooper, we call it Persona Empathy Mapping.
Via Terry Patterson
The times they are a-changing for web designers, according to results of a survey by digital industry body AIMIA and Adobe. The 'Web Design Survey' found web designers are expecting a large increase in mobile development, particularly video and...
“Would you ever talk with your partner aboutwhat one of you would do if the other cheated? Or about the best memories youboth have from your relationship? Or about what the power dynamic is likebetween you? Obviously these are difficult conversations to have, but they’reones that we need to have”
Brad Tollefson's insight:
So well done! Fascinating and simple format for allowing all audience members their own way into some tricky territory. I want to revisit this format in other docs.
“ 'Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customer. I think you build one with your employees first,” says newly appointed Senior Vice President of Retail at Apple Angela Ahrendts. The more you invest in terms of genuine listening, sharing and engagement, the more likely it is that your”
Via The Customer's Shoes
“ Realscreen talks with producers who are transforming the documentary experience using interactive games and buzzy transmedia elements to discover what works best in the doc world. (Pictured: docugame Fort McMoney)”
Via Juliana Loh