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About transmedia and other pretty cool stuff

NPOX lab 2.0 with Christopher Sandberg

Tuesday march 29th was the second edition of NPOX lab: Transmedia in Hilversum, with a few interesting speakers.

Jeroen Koopman, Newbe TV

Newbe TV invents, makes and sells crossmedia, transmedia and interactive formats. About this Jeroen Koopman says: Content is more important than concept.

If you want to sell your format, potential buyers want to see results, but this is a catch 22. You can’t prove your format, if is isn’t broadcasted and it won’t be broadcasted, if it isn’t proven. Koopman found a solution to this problem: Get it proven, online. Make an online platform to show your pilot and ask your viewers for feedback. In this case it is important to declare that it is not (yet) on TV.

Newbe TV showed us a few of their newest formats:

Who’s in who’s out? http://www.whosinwhosout.nl/
This is a crossmedia (or transmedia), interactive drama TV-series about a dramaschool in Amterdam. Koopman describes it as a fame-like dance-series. It will be on Z@pp by BNN soon. The influence of the audience will be limited to the ‘Who?’ and not the ‘What?’. The reason for this is that it has to be a high quality drama and the viewers who don’t participate won’t be bothered by the interaction. The project is reminiscent of the American series: the LXD.

The Good Morning Girls
For this format Newbe TV looked at what is popular online. It will not work if you simply move the videos from the internet to television, but you can translate it into a new format. That’s what Koopman did with the popular styling and make-up tutorials he found online. In the MTV-series The Good Morning Girls this morning ritual plays an important role. Soon, teenage girls are taking their smartphones to the mirror every morning to follow the tutorials.

The Viral Factor
The pilot of this new format with Saar Koningsberger and Deniz has already had lots of publicity, without people knowing what it was about. Later it became clear it was part of a new show called: The Viral Factor. It’s about making movies that are so cool, that people will spread them. That worked out really well for the first one:

A nice anecdote Jeroen Koopman shared with us was that he had contacted a popular stop-motion maker from Australia. Koopman was surprised this filmmaker was not interested in cooperation. It was much easier for this guy to make money on YouTube and he didn’t want to risk his online popularity.

Zwolse studenten over werken met QR, www.qrhunt.nl

A group of students have developed the first Dutch QR game: Lethal Codes. It’s an alternate reality game, where people need to find clues in the city by scanning QR codes. When you scan one of these QR codes you can see a piece of the film on your phone. The goal of the game is to solve the mystery and save the world. The game is in first person perspective and therefore the film is too. This summer we will be able to play the game in Giethoorn and Zwolle.

Christopher Sandberg, the company P

And there he was, Christopher Sandberg, executive producer of The Truth about Marika. This creative director with a background in LARP, new media and games, starts by saying that a book with transmedia in the title will do much better than a book that has crossmedia written on the cover, in other words: transmedia sells.

‘Everything changed’, but ‘People changed everything’. They participate and they’re engaged. They step into your product and they have influence. ‘Content is people’.

There are different levels of influence:

  1. Viewer. The user is just a product consumer and has no influence.
  2. Opinions. The audience is a service user. An example is voting for predetermined options.
  3. Cooperation. There is a deep engagement.
  4. Co-creation. This is transformative, the user is able to change and adjust things.

If you want a good relationship with the user, it’s useful to let them cooperate and/or co-create. Allow the audience to care about the characters and the story and let them use their emotions.

What happens to you is important, not so much what you experience. Conspiracy for Good is a good example. The core of the story is greed and how it affects the world. This is a true story, well, mostly. It is important to identify a villain, in this case Blackwell Briggs, a fictional multinational. This “asshole of an enemy” is supposedly the source of all miseries in the world. Documentaries, websites, communities, guerrilla marketing, live events and more formed the trans-media ecosystem. The result was that the participants could really the world a little better through this fictional story.

The audience wants to believe the story, even though they suspect it not to be true. This can lead to Pronoia, Sandbergs term for the opposite of paranoia, you believe that everything has something to do with the story. Not in a negative way, but to make your life better. Ethics is important, so make sure fun is the main driver to continue playing the game.

Sandberg’s latest project Treasures will probably be launched worldwide in 2012. The EBU has also invested in this drama participation. The story begins with an interesting idea. On satellite pictures you sometimes see clouds, but what if they were photoshopped on there to conceal secrets such as a hidden oil ring. This fact leads to an international search,  on the web, TV, tablets, mobile and in real life. We hope that we will be able to play it in the Netherlands as well.

Ian Ginn introduced us to Chistopher Sandberg and we had a brief chat with him. Maybe we’ll meet again in the future. I think we can learn a lot from him.

CasesNew fictionNPOXTheoryTips 'n TricksTransmediaTransmedia storytelling

Didi Koller • March 30, 2011

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