Fantastic Transmedia Storytelling workshop with Siobhan O’Flynn
Siobhan O’Flynn (University of Toronto) was in Auckland for the Screen Edge Forum last week, speaking in panels about Transmedia narratives. We organised a Marker workshop while she was here, on the 5th May, the first workshop for the year! There was a great turn out with 17 people from a variety of industries and careers all listening intently to Siobhan discuss examples and case studies of Transmedia stories.
It was an extremely interesting workshop with great discussion and pause for thought. Some of the themes that came through included fan participation extending the story, a great example of this is the creation of a replica of the Star Wars movie cut together with footage created and sent in by Star Wars fans. The whole film can be watched on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ezeYJUz-84
The workshop also covered some interesting facts about social media – as a great way of developing communities around your projects and continuing the story, eg. central characters having their own Twitter accounts, BBC’s Sherlock Holmes was used as an example, with the character John Watson: https://twitter.com/#!/JohnHWatsonMD.
And as much as some people detest Facebook it really is extremely useful for building an audience and community around your project, “If Facebook was a country it would rank third in the world for population”. That is a huge potential audience, and should not be underestimated. The rise of Pinterest was also discussed and it’s interesting to see that it is mainly women who have jumped on board with this new social sharing platform.
Another very valuable point that hit home for me especially, was the use of QR codes. I don’t know if New Zealanders have fully embraced the capabilities of this technology and yet those black & white pixelated squares are everywhere. Siobhan’s point was to make them interesting and unexpected, not just a URL, they could take you to an image, character development, something that really draws you into the story or idea.
Other great examples of Transmedia narratives include:
The Whale Hunt by Jonathan Harris: http://thewhalehunt.org/
Beautiful and chilling documentation of whaling in Alaska. Users can navigate through a series of images, and use the photographer’s heartbeat as a timeline.
An Emmy-winning, multi-year, many-media, collaborative documentary experiment at the National Film Board of Canada
The Interview Project by David Lynch: http://interviewproject.davidlynch.com/www/#/about
An online series which contains interviews of random people across the United States, questioned about American life.
So, yes, a VERY interesting subject area and a big thank you to CoLab for bringing Siobhan to Auckland. For those who missed the workshop, Siobhan will be posting the presentation to Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/sioflynn.
Where to from here? I have already had some enquires about whether we will be running more Transmedia workshops and the answer is, YES. Watch this space.