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Industry Report: Digital

Multi-Platform storytelling - from idea to market


- Multi-platform Storytelling: From Idea to Market provided case studies and practical guidance on creating multi-platform strategies for features, TV drama, documentary, game or online projects. Speakers included renowned pioneer Lance Weiler (US) on his first trip to Australia, named by WIRED magazine as 'one of the 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood'. Taking a primary project across multiple media platforms enables creative productions to connect with a wider, more involved audience and be more commercially viable. But to develop a single story idea across devices, channels and communities requires an intensive creative process, knowledge of the landscape, and complex production management.

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This one-day seminar cut through the noise to focus on the core aspects of delivering multi-platform projects, including story, business, community, technology, interaction and design, to help practitioners take their idea from page to screen. TOPICS AND SPEAKERS Download podcasts below or from the iTunes store. Lance Weiler (US) keynoted the seminar with Story R&D, looking at long-term, sustainable production. Lance is the creator of some of the world’s most original cinematic transmedia projects, including Head Trauma and Pandemic, which was selected for Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers.

Download podcast Games, film and novel writer Matt Costello (US) has game credits including Pirates of the Caribbean 3, Doom 3 and The Italian Job. He case studied his story in the game Rage to demonstrate practical ways of developing cross media intellectual properties.

Download podcast TV and Alternate Reality Game producer David Varela (UK) looked at his successful Sony Xi, Perplex City and Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life projects on how to meld story to platforms and users.

Download podcast Creative director and producer Anthea Foyer (Canada) presented case studies of her recent projects that demonstrated how to develop user interaction and create loyalty against film and TV properties. Anthea directed The Conversation, an interactive companion to the feature film Take This Waltz starring Seth Rogan and Michelle Williams.

Download podcast Tony Reed (Australia), CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, spoke on the process of design, consumer testing and commercialisation of game-based services. Tony has been behind the marketing of some of the world’s biggest game franchises, including Command & Conquer and Star Trek titles.

Download podcast Laurel Papworth (Australia), CEO of Community Crew and named by Marketing magazine as Industry Head, Social Media, has set up and managed online communities including Junior Masterchef, Middle East Broadcasting and Everquest. She case studied some of her work to demonstrate how to manage, grow and monetise communities through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Download podcast Game and TV writer and story executive Neil Richards (UK) spoke on writing and developing functionality on multi-stakeholder projects including Nightmare High for broadcaster Channel 4. Neil has worked with the BBC and ITV, co-wrote Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams, and has written over 20 games including Driver, Just Cause and The Da Vinci Code.

Download podcast Jennifer Wilson (Australia), director of the multi-platform media company The Project Factory, explored the range of sustainable digital business models for projects, drawing on her experience includeing on Making Australia Happy for ABC TV and China Heart.

Download podcast Gary Hayes (Australia), founder of StoryLabs and ABC Exec Producer Multi Platform TV, chaired the event and also presented aspects of his Screen Australia Transmedia Production Bible. Multi-platform Storytelling: From Idea to Market was held on Tuesday 29 November 2011 at the Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES Lance Weiler (US) is recognised as a pioneer in mixing storytelling and technology.

Businessweek named him "one of the 18 who changed Hollywood" alongside the likes of George Lucas and Steve Jobs. His films include The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma, around which he also made an acclaimed ARG (alternate reality game), and an online documentary series, Radar, which was nominated for a Streamy Award. In 2011, Lance’s Pandemic, an immersive storytelling project, was an official selection in the New Frontier section of the Sundance Film Festival. He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation, and teaches at Columbia University on the art, craft and business of storytelling in the 21st century. Lance is founder of the Workbook Project, an open creative network, and writes a regular column for Filmmaker magazine on the impact of tech on entertainment.

Matt Costello (US) has written ground-breaking and award-winning novels, games and television, including the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 game across all platforms. Rage, a 2011 release from id Software which Matt worked on, won the most Game Critics Awards at this year’s E3, including Best Console Game. Just Cause, (co-written with Neil Richards) debuted as the number one game for Xbox 360 in the UK and was named 'Best Adventure Game' at the 2006 E3. Other notable games include: Doom 3, Hercules for Disney, The Dark Half for MGM, Derelict for The Syfy Channel, The Clue Chronicles for Hasbro, Barbie’s Riding Adventure for Mattel, Clifford’s Reading for Scholastic, Starsky & Hutch for Empire, and The Italian Job for Eidos. His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by Lionsgate, and Penguin/Putnam published his latest suspense novel, Nowhere. His new novel, Vacation, will be published by St Martin’s Press in 2011.

David Varela (UK) is a writer and producer who works across a huge range of media. He is currently producing and writing a global ARG sponsored by Reebok and starring Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life is running in nine languages for eight months, with live events staged in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to that, David wrote and produced the world’s first console-based ARG, Xi, based in Sony’s virtual world PlayStation Home. David’s background is as an award-winning writer for theatre, radio and advertising. His stageplays have been performed at the ICA, the Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and RADA, and his short films have premiered in Leicester Square and been broadcast on ITV. He has also written several one-off dramas for BBC Radio 4 and BBC7. Neil Richards (UK) has story executive, writer and producer credits for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in drama, children’s and entertainment. Since co-writing Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams in the mid-90s he has worked increasingly in interactive media, scripting children’s iTV, education, broadband and platform games, earning three recent BAFTA nominations, an IGDA Writing Excellence nomination and a Writers’ Guild nomination. He has written more than 20 game scripts including the popular titles Driver, Just Cause (1 & 2), Broken Sword and The Da Vinci Code. He has mentored in workshops for BBC, PAL (Media Programme), PILOTS (Media Programme), PYGMALION (Media Programme/Paris/Berlin Film Schools), the Akademie für Kindermedien in Erfurt and Crossover Labs. He was one-time senior lecturer in screenwriting at Bournemouth University. He has also consulted for the BBC as a producer in creative development, devising and running Creative/Interactive Labs across the BBC.

Laurel Papworth (Australia) has been creating and managing online communities for over 20 years. Marketing magazine named Laurel 'Head of Industry, Social Media' for Australia and AdAge named her in the Power150 bloggers globally. She is CEO of The Community Crew, setting up online communities on forums and managing them including Everquest, Ultima Online, Westpac Bank, Junior Masterchef TV show, Middle East Broadcasting (women’s online community), Singapore Military, journalists with The Australian newspaper. She has been running virtual online communities including virtual worlds and forums since the late 1980s. Laurel teaches workshops on online community management, social media press releases, Facebook marketing, increasing your Twitter reach, and social media monitoring and measurement to governments, corporations, small business and not for profits in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East. Jennifer Wilson (Australia) is a Director of The Project Factory – a multi-platform media company. Jennifer teaches courses in multi-platform, trans- and convergent media. She works with emerging leaders across all forms of media to help them understand the connected, networked world. She has authored books and papers aimed at writers and filmmakers covering key concepts, business models, rights issues and new ways of thinking about copyright. Jennifer is a member of SPAA, on the board of AIMIA and chairs the Mobile Industry Group.

Anthea Foyer (Canada) is a creative director, producer, visual and new media artist and curator. She has created, advised and mentored on a wide range of critically acclaimed projects including graphic novels, online narratives, wearables, interactive installations, participatory theatre, live events, multi-platform experiences and television and film convergence projects. Anthea is currently co-founder, with Alex Mayhew, and Creative Strategist at The Labs, a creative and strategic consultancy that helps to deliver truly convergent properties that transform multi-platform challenges into opportunities for creative and commercial success. Antony Reed (Australia) is a 20-year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. With global experience in game development and publishing, Antony has been a marketing brain behind some of the world’s biggest games franchises, including Command & Conquer, Baldur’s Gate, Fallout and too many Star Trek titles, and has won numerous awards for his campaigns. In his publishing days Antony worked for industry heavyweights, Virgin Interactive and Interplay Productions, before turning his attention to game development in 2003. Today, Antony is the CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia and is tasked with advocating the interests of the sector to government, educational, financial and commercial institutions as well as heavily promoting Australian game development creativity and talent internationally.

Gary Hayes (Australia) is recognised as one of the foremost digital thinkers. An award-winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and director, Gary has designed and lead multi-platform/transmedia courses internationally and in Australia with AFTRS and Metro Screen. He was the director of AFTRS’s LAMP program for 5 years, was Senior Interactive Development Producer at the BBC for 8 years, and was a Social TV Producer in the US. He now runs MUVEDesign and the influential media and marketing site PersonalizeMedia, and last year founded multi-platform mentoring community StoryLabs.


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