It's only been six months since we started blogging for The Big Idea, but it feels like it's been an action packed half-year. We've certainly never been short on ideas for content with transmedia increasingly becoming a hot topic in all areas of the creative industries.
So far we've looked at what transmedia is, explored some useful tools to help in the process of creating and collaborating across platforms and reported from Storyworld 2012 in Los Angeles, a gathering of the global transmedia community.
For filmmakers, transmedia is one aspect of a swiftly changing industry in which new technologies are not only changing the way filmmakers produce, market and distribute films but also the way that audiences engage with them.
This year we covered Doc Lab 2012, where filmmakers worked with local and international mentors on prototyping multiplatform documentary projects. Film distribution in the digital age was a key theme at the first Big Screen Symposium. We spoke to visionary American indie producer Ted Hope, keynote at the Symposium about his views on transmedia and the future of cinema and we looked at how local low-budget film How to Meet Girls from a Distance used audience engagement and social media networks as the special sauce in their recipe for success.
Transmedia is also playing a role in redefining television as we discovered when we spoke to Semi-Permanent speakers Ian Fowler and Holly Alexander of @radical.media and local innovator William McKegg, the creative director behind Lion Rock Ventures' Buzzy Bee multiplatform series.
We found that theatre practitioners in New Zealand are also pushing the boundaries of TV (FixTV), and not just breaking the fourth wall but exploring multiple dimensions (Flatland).
So if the past six months have been eventful and exciting, what does the future hold?
Anna Jackson: I think transmedia will become less of a buzzword and will be more commonly used to describe the standard practice of delivering content across multiple platforms in ways that deliver meaningful experiences for audiences and offer content makers more scope for creativity. The elusive 'business model' for new forms of content and delivery probably isn't going to be cracked anytime soon, but tough times are great for promoting innovation and I think risk-takers will be rewarded in the long-term.
Fiona Milburn: Transmedia storytelling is not just about story. It’s about engaging with your audience. Giving them reasons to follow your characters, your storyworld across platforms. A reason to follow your work from project to project. Ways to contribute and collaborate. The future is fostering your new creative business partner … your audience.
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In this video interview in October 2012, Flatland director Ralph Upton and producer Adrianne Roberts take Anna Jackson on a journey through the multidimensional and interactive theatre work.