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Hangout On-Air Interview: Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute

March 6, 2013 News No Comments

UPDATE: The archived version of the Hangout is available below. Click over to Turnstyle News for details of the announcement of Tribeca’s Storyscapes, a new curated space for transmedia projects at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Today at 11AM Pacific/ 2PM Eastern our own Noah Nelson* will be interviewing Ingrid Kopp (@fromthehip), Director of Digital Initiatives for the Tribeca Film Institute, about the new TFI Sandbox. The Sandbox is a new resource for transmedia creators.

A little birdie also told us that there are likely to be some special announcements in this LIVE Google Hangout On-Air. We’ll post the video here when the event starts.

Join the Hangout discussion LIVE at Turnstyle’s G+ page, or via Twitter (@turnstylenews or @noahjnelson).

*Hey, that’s me!

 

Interview with Shari Frilot

July 13, 2012 News 1 Comment

Shari Frilot, Senior Programmer to Sundance Film Festival and curator of the New Frontier section, opens up about Transmedia and how the future of entertainment boils down to the convergence of storytelling and innovative technology.


Shari Frilot discusses “New Frontier” by MakingOf

Tell us about New Frontier

The New Frontier section at the Sundance Film Festival is not new. We’ve been highlighting work that pushes boundaries through feature films and installations for the last 6 years.

New Frontier celebrates the convergence of film, art, and new media technologies as a hotbed for cinematic innovation. New Frontier presents media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences, panel discussions, feature films, and more.

What is your role as curator for the section?

While my job entails the conceptualization of the exhibit and the selection of all the works to be featured in the venue, the goal as curator is to present the year’s crop of new media, transmedia and experiential video art.

As a curator, what are you looking for in a project?

First and foremost I’m looking for storyworlds. But I’m also interested in showcasing diversity of artists, content and form.

In addition, I’m invested in work that uses digital culture to bring human beings together, and expands interactive engagement beyond the traditional boundaries of dialogue and discussion.

In terms of space, it’s usually about experimentation. However, I’m committed to build a venue that operates on a social and interactive platform that allows for audiences to explore the digital space as it interacts with cinema.

Any interest in bringing official tech partners to collaborate in the exhibit?

Until this point all technological partnerships have come to the table via the artists, which vary from case to case. What is exciting is that new technologies emerge every single day, and the democratization of hardware and software has truly hit a chord and changed the landscape for creators.

Tell us about the New Frontier Story Labs

The labs were inspired by the showcase at the festival, and were primarily conceived to provide creative storytelling support to artists working in the emerging fields of multi-layered and multi-formed narratives.

The program is designed to not only offer interdisciplinary support to artists working at the convergence of film, art, and new media technologies but also assist artists who are developing interactive, immersive, or participatory projects that aim to create rich and resonant experiences for audiences.

What kind of projects are you looking into for the Labs?

In essence we are looking for projects that speak to the times. We want new subject matter, new perspectives, new ways to use technology to enhance content. We are looking for innovation, freshness, engagement.

Where do you think the film centric community of the festival stands when it comes to Transmedia? Is the subject matter still intimidating, or is it more approachable now?

I think that, within the context of the festival, people are curious and excited when they see what is happening in the general landscape. They instinctively sense that this is the future of entertainment, and want to learn more. There is definitely less fear now, maybe because of a slow shift in perspectives that now looks at Transmedia as more of an opportunity than an obligation.

Before there was too much pressure to define where Transmedia fit in. Was it music, was it games, was it advertising? But now it’s becoming clearer to people that Transmedia is emerging as a new art form.

The one thing that I think the movement is missing, before it can turn the corner, is the ability to go mainstream. So far the conversation has focused on what Transmedia is and how it’s manifested. For Transmedia to reach proper acknowledgement as an art form, it needs to not only appeal to the thinkers echelon, but also infiltrate popular culture.

I like to think that it’s up to us, and the critics that write in a popular way, to develop and nurture a richer, more accessible and broader culture of promotions for non-linear but matrix-like multi-platform experiences.

2012 Installations

Bear 71
Jeremy Mendes and Leanne Allison

The Cloud of Unknowing
Ho Tzu Nyen

Evolution (Megaplex)
Marco Brambilla

Hunger in Los Angeles
Nonny de la Peña

My Generation
Eva and Franco Mattes

Question Bridge: Black Males
Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayete Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair

Radical Games Against the Tyranny of Entertainment
Molleindustria

To Many Men Strange Fates Are Given
Brent Green

Performances

ABACUS
Paul Abacus/Early Morning Opera/Lars Jan

Himalaya Song
Gingger Shankar/Mridu Chandra/The Shanghai Restoration Project

 

TLA Program Director Susan Bell Has a New Gig!

May 25, 2012 News No Comments

With mixed feelings, Transmedia L.A. is announcing that Susan Bell, TLA Program Director, is stepping down to pursue an awesome career opportunity in Northern California. While we are definitely going to miss Susan’s energy and enthusiasm, we’re equally excited about Susan’s new gig. Susan’s done a lot for the transmedia community during her short time in TLA, and we’re hopeful her career may eventually lead her back to Los Angeles in the future. Best of luck, Susan!

A Week in Game Mechanics

February 14, 2012 News 1 Comment

It’s been sort of fortuitous that this week in Transmedia Los Angeles it’s been all about Game Mechanics. I was able to attend three informative events, and compiled helpful information that I feel can come in handy to all of those interested in incorporating a gaming aspect into their Transmedia projects. Below I recount my findings.

Transmedia LA announces plans for ARG 

Our first meetup of the year took place at our new location in the Annenberg Building over at USC, and was one of the biggest ones, in terms of attendees, that we’ve had in a while. Among the topics discussed included, the Transmedia projects coming out of Annenberg, Wyrcon, Sundance Innovation, and other independent projects. The livestream of the event was recorded and it’s available below.

Watch live streaming video from transmediala at livestream.com

But most importantly, Transmedia LA announced during this meetup their plans for creating, producing, and launching an ARG as an educational track for members to learn how to create one. The project is called The Miracle Mile Paradox and it’s set to be a location based experience central to Los Angeles, yet allow players outside LA participate via the online components.

In addition, the online components will propel the release of clues that would need to be decoded on a weekly basis. These components will drive the main plot of the experience through the 13 weeks total that the ARG will be live this summer. On top of that, interactive content regarding the characters is also set to be released weekly either online or through a live event.

How is it going to be educational?

As an active participant helping on the project, you would have the opportunity to learn any aspect of an ARG that you would be interested in developing. At each step of the process, the project leaders are planning to setup mini workshops open to all Transmedia LA members not involved in the project that still want to learn how to do different things. In addition, an account of the project’s progress will be available in the Transmedia LA website for all of those living outside Los Angeles.

The Miracle Mile Paradox project is currently recruiting people with all sorts of backgrounds: writers, designers, people with WordPress experience, people with marketing experience, people with Kickstarter experience, people with mobile apps and geo tagging experience, people with gaming and puzzle making experience… you name it. The project is set out to launch Memorial Day.

For more information on the project contact the project leaders via our Meetup Group:

April Arrglington (yes, that’s me!) – Story Producer

Susan Bell – Experience Producer

Amanda Price – Line and Marketing Producer

An Evening with Starship Valkyrie

I was invited by Transmedia LA member Aaron Vanek to spend an evening with some eager LARPers who get together once a month to play Starship Valkyrie. Valkyrie is a live action role-playing game set in space that incorporates elements found in board and card games, which is very reminiscent of D&D play.

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  • Lesson One: Game Masters are not omnipotent. 

I have participated in a LARP experience before, but this was the first time experiencing an ongoing LARP. The main difference I found between these two types is that while a one time LARP has a beginning, middle and end happening at the live event, an ongoing LARP comprises of many components to keep the action going.

While it is true that among one of the responsibilities of the GM (Game Master) is to keep the game moving forward, and try to accomplish the story goals per the character’s profiles, I found that often times the players were the ones making the ultimate decisions for what happens with the story in the game. The Valkyrie LARP is a perfect example of a game that was played to figure out and explore the story, and not necessarily the other way around.

In this particular case, it was interesting to find out that the Starship Valkyrie LARP was actually a game extension of another LARP happening aboard the Starship Sigrun. Some of the players from Sigrun were interested in accomplishing other goals besides the ones provided in that particular LARP, so they decided to take on their own separate mission in the Valkyrie. As it stands today, the Valkyrie LARP now comprises of a larger group of players than the Sigrun LARP.

  • Lesson Two: Is not only about the Role Play.

It was interesting to discover how the Valkyrie LARP divided the game into two main sections: those interested in role play and following the story and the action taking place while playing the game, and those interested in game strategy and puzzle dynamics.

In Valkyrie most of the role play was experienced at the Captain’s Bridge, Medical Station, and Star Fighters Quarters. These sections were devoted mostly to character development, and mission exploits. While these sections explored more theatrical inclinations, it also utilized board game play to simulate combat strategy. Additionally, the GM created many consoles for these sections that the players operated like simulators. These simulator props had double functionality, as they tied the role playing players with the players that had signed up for the puzzle dynamics section.

The Science and Engineering players from this second section used puzzles to simulate solving problems (i.e.: when needing to fix damages incurred by the ship). This section was very active, in spite of being considered less theatrical, because they utilized up to five different kinds of puzzles during game play. It was also interesting to see how the GM had incorporated the use of timers for time management to simulate time lapses.

On top of that, a fourth section was developed to take care of unforeseen events expected to happen in game. Central Operations was assigned to a Non Player Character to figure out action left to chance. For example, it was up to Central Operations to decide by dice, coin toss, or by drawing a card when exactly damages were incurred by the ship while in hyperspace. The consequences of these actions were then reported to all the stations affected in a ripple effect. And, as an extra measure of urgency, an overall point damage affected all players in terms of health/life points.

Many thanks to GMs Christian Brown and Roselle Herley for the walk through of the experience. For more information on the Valkyrie LARP visit: http://starshipvalkyrie.com/

Discussing Pervasive Games at PEG-LA 

I was also invited by Transmedia LA member Jeff Watson to attend the first yearly meeting for Pervasive and Environmental Games. The group’s interest lay in creating, testing and discussing outdoor/street games, ARGs, and any other form of gaming that takes place in a public space.

The group is formed by members with prolific experience creating their own independent games, including the team testing for the night, Myles Nye and Greg Snyder from Wise Guys Events. Members of the group are also very invested in bringing pervasive gaming to the general public through events like Come Out and Play, IndieCade, ARGFest and the GDC.

For this particular meeting Jeff gave us a recap on the aftermath of the ‘Reality Ends Here’ ARG he launched for USC last year. Below I recount the most interesting findings of this particular case study:

On Game Dynamics

The ‘Reality Ends Here’ concept was originally conceived as an attempt by the Faculty of Cinematic Arts of USC to create a game that would function as a class. Jeff was brought on board after he pitched the ARG concept. After a short pre-production period, ‘Reality’ ran at the USC campus for a total of 120 days last summer with basically a shoestring budget.

The game consisted of five main components:

  • A pervasive component: students were introduced to the game by following clues and solving puzzles around campus.
  • A card game component: students were handed a deck of cards to play a project configuration that then they were required to produce.
  • A media component: students were required to create, upload and share their multi-media projects per their card configuration.
  • A score board component: students were given points per their card configurations and each week a leading board would reveal the week’s winners. The winners in turn would be subjected to surprised prizes, like mentorship meetings with top faculty members (like Henry Jenkins) and notorious entertainment talent (like Robert Zemeckis).
  • An online component: the main website for the project (created on WordPress) kept profiles of all the active players, their projects, their status in the game via badges, and built the community among the players.

The Aftermath

At the end of the 120 days, the site for the game had 150 players and a total of 120 projects submitted, all high quality. Jeff calculated that in terms of game play some players had spent up to 80 hours per project submitted. The game had helped build the community among the students, which was especially helpful in such a competitive environment that is the USC Film School. The game also made it easier for new students to become part of the community by becoming fans of the game and each other’s work. Of course, not everything was a love fest. There were instances of severe competitiveness at the beginning among players, and cases of the students actually creating projects about how they felt about the game dynamics. By the end of game players were not only able to add these projects to their portfolio, but experience a truly Transmedia educational experience. A wrap party at the end of game celebrated the winners, who were giving especial medals. Labeled a success, USC is now looking into developing a similar project for next year.

For more information on Reality Ends Here go to: reality.usc.edu

Transmedia LA News Wrap Up

February 1, 2012 News No Comments

Hello there folks, April here, wanting to do a wrap up with all the latest news coming out of our group before our first official meetup on the 7th. Please remember to ping me if you have any important announcements you would like us to profile here. That’s what our community is for.

1. The Arrglington Jump profiles the most prominent Transmedia case studies to come out of Transmedia LA:

Among the projects featured I’ve included Los Angeles Ghost Patrol by Susan Bell, The Rising by Witchfactory Productions, Gates by Hal Hefner, and Undead Pride Day by Jay Bushman. For the full list and links go to the original post here.

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2. Check some of the recent additions to our Transmedia LA WIKI:

  • Release Pro App: app specifically designed for producers of documentary film, reality television and Internet content for easy task management. Look for it under the Transmedia Production Tools section.
  • Broadcastr: geolocated audio (soon video) storytelling service that pins audio recordings into a map. Look for it under the Transmedia Storytelling Kit section.
  • Storywheel: new storytelling service fuses instagram and soundcloud. Look for it under the Trasmedia Storytelling Kit section.
  • iBook Author: new mac app that allows you to create interactive ebooks for the ipad. Look for it under the E-Publishing Interactive Tools section.

3. Wyrd Con 2012 Call for Submissions: Transmedia Panels, LARP Workshops & Live Events:
Date/Location: June 21st – 24th 2012 at the Hilton Costa Mesa. Events & panels submitted before the end of January will be given priority time slots and spaces. Don’t miss this opportunity to get some exposure for your projects, yourself, and/or your company! Wyrd Con is growing!

*Panel & Workshop Designers* –
Submit your proposals for panels, workshops and presentations – topics
should relate to Transmedia, Live Action Gaming (LARP), ARGs, or
anything that deals with interactive theater and participatory media.

*Live Event Designers* –
Live events include but are not limited to Live Action Role Playing
Games (LARPs), ARG’s, Augmented Reality Games, hands on Workshops,
Tutorials, etc. It’s an excellent opportunity to add another dimension
to your property and get people participating and authoring content in
a live environment.

*** Selected designers get a free pass to the conference, along with
publicity on our website & printed materials ***

Submit a Panel, Workshop or Live Event here:
http://wyrdcon.com/vendors-designers/designer-submissions/

Main Website: http://www.wyrdcon.com

Attendees: Even if you don’t want to design a panel/presentation/live event/workshop, that’s okay. Come learn and play with us. Wyrd Con badges are already on sale: http://wyrdcon.com/programming/badge-hotel/

If you have any questions/comments, feel free to contact Lauren Scime by email: lauren at witchfactory dot com