Jan 212010
 

As we ended the last decade we were collating/archiving assets from the LAMP site and think it important to recognise the people that made LAMP the Australian icon in effective emerging media development.

Many of the mentors and participants were beginning their own journey on these workshops and residentials and are now leading the industry in Australia and abroad. We hope these ‘retrospective’ posts serve as a record for that which follows LAMP.

LAMP 2005-2009 was:

Continue reading »

Mar 212009
 

lamp-diagram-aftrs-flat21LAMP @ AFTRS has begun it’s 2009 series of seminars, workshops and incubators, many are listed below.

LAMP has been actively involved in getting 360 Content development integrated into the main curriculum at AFTRS (in its new building) for the past year but is now back delivering industry standard, emerging media education.

Multiplatform Content and Innovative new format development will be delivered as:

  • LAMP ‘State of Play’ Seminars
  • LAMP ‘Interactive’ Workshops
  • LAMP ‘New Format’ Incubators

These new learning packages are specially designed so that industry professionals and students alike can understand the new landscape, appreciate it’s potential and prepare themselves for the production of new form content across  social media, games, mobile, broadband internet, location based services and virtual worlds.

Stay up to date with our activities by joining the LAMP Facebook Group


LAMP ‘STATE OF PLAY’ SEMINARS

Profiling successful case studies, people and the latest techniques across multi platform media.

  • FREE themed seminars running on the last Wednesday of every month at 6pm – 7pm.
  • No need to register just turn up to the main Theatre at AFTRS, Sydney (directions)

Upcoming FREE seminars:

  • Wed Jul 29 – CINEMA 2.0: Big Screen Participatory Futures
    • Stereoscopic 3D, interactive cinema, games in cinema. Where does the future lie for cinemas and other public screen spaces? Speakers: Tim Baier (Animal Logic), Paul Nichola (Cane Toad’s 3D cinematographer) and others to be announced
  • Wed Aug 26 – MASSIVELY MULTI-STORYTELLER WORLDS: The Drama of Game Worlds
    • Virtual worlds are now populated by 900 million players globally with many spending more time in them than their real lives. This ‘State of Play’ seminars looks at the range of stories being created in these social and game worlds. It will focus on the drama being created by these full time role players and the opportunities for traditional writers to engage in this popular medium. Speakers: Gary Hayes (AFTRS LAMP), Ian Brown, Laurel Papworth and others to be announced
  • Previous State of Plays

  • Wed March 25 – TELEVISION 2.0: latest innovations in online video
    • TV is in major transition. Where are the opportunities across on-demand platforms? Is the old advertising model broken? Will broadband to set top box comfortably co-exist with video on the web? A pre MIP TV session to help prepare you for big changes just on the horizon.
    • Speakers: William Cooper (Informitv – live from UK),  Chris Winter (ABC Innovation), Arul Baskaran (Executive Producer ABC TV Multiplatform), Gary Hayes (LAMP)
  • Wed April 29 – FREE AND EASY: Open Source Creative Tools
    • There are a vast range of new free to use tools that enable rich and efficient collaboration. What are the best tools for online communities, project development, video distribution and marketing. A survey of tools including Mogulus, Joomla, Ning, Ustream, Drupal, Celtx and many others.
    • Speakers:  Laurel Papworth ‚Social Media Strategist, Gary Hayes – AFTRS LAMP

Go to the AFTRS site for a full list of the above seminars


LAMP ‘INTERACTIVE’ WORKSHOPS

Practical and hands on creative workshops exploring everything there is to know about the latest innovative new forms.

Upcoming seminar workshops:


DOCUMENTARY 2.0: SERIOUS GAMES

CLICK TO APPLY: Seminar and Workshop Fri 3 April 10am – 5pm

The intersection between documentary filmmaking and games will be explored in this seminar and workshop, providing deep insight into the potential of Serious Games.

Both games and stories have long been recognised as powerful learning tools. Their combination in the 21st century has the potential to provide learning experiences that are collaborative and globally connected. What are the best examples of Serious Games and where are they heading? How can Serious Games be employed by educators, corporations or non-profit organizations?

Screen Australia and the ABC have recently announced a funding initiative in the area of Serious Games. This seminar will bring you up to speed with the latest developments in serious games and provide an opportunity to present your own concepts and workshop ideas with experts in an afternoon workshop.

Speakers include:

  • Rachel Perkins (Director), Darren Dale (EP) Sohail Dahdal (Online Producer) on SBS’s First Australians will talk about the online experience of the documentary series and explore the future possibilities of documentary games.
  • Marianne Webb is the interactive manager for Reach Out!, an online service that inspires young people to help themselves through tough times. Marianne will talk about the serious game Reach Out Central that been part of an innovative online strategy to build community engagement by the Inspire Foundation.
  • John Welsh is the Development Manager of Serious Games at Sydac, a leading Australian simulation technology company. John will talk about the role of simulation and play in learning environments.
  • Gary Hayes is the Head of AFTRS Laboratory for Advanced Media production and he will speak about the history of serious games, a survey of future directions and cross over between games and documentary forms.
  • Jennifer Collins – Manager of Development, ABC TV (Jennifer, with Mike Cowap from Screen Australia, is running the Serious Games funding initiative currently calling for applications)
  • Tim Nixon – CEO Straylight Studios – Tim runs New Zealand based Straylight Studios an innovative games studio who specialise in ‘meaningful play’.

By the end of this workshop participants will have had the opportunity to learn about:

  • The various types of serious games: evolution of the form and the directions it is heading
  • The global serious games community and online resources
  • Documentary storytelling and its relationship to serious games
  • Techniques to brain-storm, plan and document serious games ideas
  • The links between documentary research and serious games
  • User created games and managing online communities


INNOVATIONS IN MULTI-PLATFORM CONTENT

APPLY: Seminar Wed 22 April 9.30 am – 1 pm

A selection of leading innovators in multi-platform content present recent projects in the areas of social media, cross platform storytelling, extended entertainment, games and online entertainment.

Presenters include:

By the end of this seminar participants will have had the opportunity to learn about:

  • Innovative techniques in multi platform content creation
  • Future directions of media innovation
  • Case studies of innovative projects and production methodologies and techniques
  • Techniques to foster and promote creative innovation
  • Creating community and communicating directly with audiences

VIRTUAL STORY: THE ART AND CRAFT OF MACHINIMA

CLICK TO APPLY: Seminar Thurs 14 May 2 – 5 pm

CLICK TO APPLY: Workshop Fri 15 May 10 am – 5 pm (must attend seminar)

Games and virtual worlds are now being used as creative tools to make a wide range of films from horror genre, comedy to corporate training and education. YouTube, Machinima.com and scores of other video portals are filled with examples of these new forms of virtual storytelling and some are now being commissioned by mainstream TV. NBC aired a CSI episode in 2008 featuring machinima made in Second Life and HBO recently acquired the machinima series ‘Molotov Alva’.

The seminar will explore the vast range of machinima made with console, PC and online games. It will also look at simple forms of film pre-visualisation now possible using games technologies. The intensive workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to the tools of machinima and the opportunity to work on a short project. Participants are encouraged to bring along a pre-recorded soundtrack (including voice and/or music) to use as the basis for their project.

Presenters and workshop trainers include:

By the end of this workshop & seminar participants will have had the opportunity to learn about:

  • What makes compelling machinima
  • The wide range of machinima styles being created around the world
  • Insight into the engines and tools used to create machinima
  • Basic storyboarding and scripting techniques for machinima
  • Global machinima community and other online resources
  • Role playing and improvisation techniques that work in this new form


FILTERING THE WEB: GETTING WHAT YOU WANT QUICKLY

CLICK TO APPLY: Seminar Friday 5 June 10am – 1 pm

“The web is 15-30 billion web pages. A workshop designed to help you track and follow the latest trends and information across a range of specialised areas. Browsers, RSS readers and social media mash-ups have evolved into being effective one-stop-shop views on a world of relevant content. This is a half day workshop looking beyond the search engine, basic RSS feeds or old fashioned email alerts. It is designed to help you find, filter information and follow the right people on the web. Web filtering is becoming a critical skill for researchers, marketers and those who need specific news and information. It will also help you track and follow the latest trends and information across a range of specialised areas.

By the end of this workshop participants will have had the opportunity to learn:

  • How to get the web to deliver the right information to you
  • About the very latest web research techniques across services such as digg, delicious, twitter, technorati, social networks, specialised engines & the semantic web
  • How to find the key recommenders, filterers and influencers in your field
  • Blogosphere filtering, separating the signal from the noise
  • How to make contact and become a key filterer yourself
  • Taming RSS feeds and being more efficient with email alerts
  • Reading trends and patterns

Led by Laurel Papworth of company World Communities, who is a Power150 media blogger (global – AdNews) and in the top 5 media bloggers for Australia (B&T). She has been teaching for 20 years, mostly in the area of online communities and virtual communications. Laurel is the senior social media strategist in Australia, consulting to companies, not for profits and government departments in Australia, Asia and Middle East.


THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN: CONNECTING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

CLICK TO APPLY: Seminar: Thurs 2 July 2 – 5 pm

CLICK TO APPLY: Workshop : Friday  3  July 10 am – 5 pm

Aimed at anyone who wants to promote themselves, their product or creation into communities. A workshop looking at how to understand the new audiences, build traffic and loyalty that goes way beyond uploading a 9 minute short onto YouTube but looks at techniques of engaging with online events, social networks and DIY social media. The workshop will examine case studies of successful campaigns from producers and creators doing it for themselves.

By the end of this workshop participants will have had the opportunity to learn about:

  • The online ecology of social networks
  • Techniques to distribute your content as widely as possible to a global audience
  • Planning and staging a campaign which has maximum impact and reach
  • Building loyalty and community with an online audience

Led by Laurel Papworth who is a Power150 media blogger (global – AdNews) and in the top 5 media bloggers for Australia (B&T). She has been teaching for 20 years, mostly in the area of online communities and virtual communications. Laurel is the senior social media strategist in Australia, consulting to companies, not for profits and government departments in Australia, Asia and Middle East including: Middle East Broadcasting (Dubai/Saudi Arabia) – Channel MBC4, Telecom New Zealand, , Fairfax: RSVP Dating Community, Sony Corporation, Universal McCann Erickson WorldWide, CHANNEL TEN: including Australian Idol community, Sulake: Makers of Habbo, Macquarie Leisure, Macquarie Media, New Holland Publishing, Australasian, Performing Right Association (APRA), Peoplebrowsr, MySongcast.com unsigned bands community, Australian Businesswomens’ Network, Pink Sofa online community, ABC Australia, National Archives of Australia (gov), Department of State and Regional Development (gov), Department of Primary Industry (gov), Australian Film Television and Radio School (edu), University of Sydney (edu, public), University of Western Sydney (edu, Masters program).

Go to the AFTRS site list of all of these seminars and workshops >


LAMP ‘NEW FORMAT’ INCUBATORS

NOTE: To be updated soon.

These are extended and intensive 3-5 day workshops designed to maximise participants time and help them really understand emerging media areas by working collaboratively on new and adapted ideas. Based loosely on previous LAMP intensive labs they really help to push your thinking to the next stage, whether it be piloting, developing participatory audiences, broadening the project’s media format or developing new ways of delivering content. It could include the communication of content through mobile devices, advanced television services, broadband portals, social networks, gaming environments, virtual worlds and more.

The LAMP ‘New Format’ Incubators focus on content and service development, and extends perceived ideas of creativity, technicality, audience, consumer and business. Participants will use a range of exercises and form creative teams to utilise their thinking and skills in new ways to create compelling interactive content that meets the changing needs of audiences and the new media marketplace.

Aug 132008
 

Matt Costello 02SCORCHED is Australia’s first ‘what-if’ disaster telemovie. – “The Year is 2012 and Australia has run out of water.”

There is a lot more than meets the eye to Scorched, destined to be Australia’s biggest landmark doco-drama event this year. The social media, community generated story elements that build up to and after the 90 minute tele-feature being transmitted on Chn 9 in December have been work-shopped through LAMP workshops, on-going consultancy and the 3rd residential in Perth back in 2006.

Marcus Gillezeau and Ellenor Cox are the co-directors of Firelight, the creators of this groundbreaking drama format. They are wonderful example of leading independent producers who have embraced the significance of creating entertainment that spreads across platforms and time but also draws in content from the audience and makes the whole ‘experience’ more collaborative and engaging.

The surrounding online service is a hybrid of an Alternate Reality Game, an Episodic drama delivered via social media sites (such as Facebook and YouTube) and a range of fake (faux) websites that are part of the futuristic element of the story. The main hub site is CPN News, a 24-hour live news channel broadcasting stories from 2012 and including many of the lead characters – these include notable actors Vince Colosimo, Georgie Parker, Rachel Carpani, Cameron Daddo and Les Hill. You can already follow one of the characters, Cassie, on her own YouTube channel Cassie Has Dreams – which follows her ‘accelerated’ story up to the beginning of the tele-movie. More from the team and the official press release below. More coverage here:

Good luck on this project, there will be a great deal of expertise gained from this journey – for audience and producers alike!

SCORCHED is a groundbreaking all-media event incorporating television, online and user generated content that will revolutionise the way Australian’s engage with television drama. A gripping 90 minute tele-feature broadcast on the Nine Network will be augmented by an extensive 8 week interactive online drama series that will lead into and ultimately conclude the drama surrounding an ensemble of characters who find themselves engulfed by raging bushfires in a futuristic Sydney that has, due to the effects of global warming, completely run out of water.

In the two months leading up to the TV broadcast of SCORCHED the audience are invited into this future world-without-water through www.scorched.tv (which will be promoted and co-located at ninemsn). Upon entering this online world the audience is introduced to CPN News, a futuristic 24-hour live news station broadcasting stories from 2012. Our CPN news anchors guide the audience through the headline stories of the week focusing attention on how the ongoing drought and water scarcity across Australia has permeated all aspects of life as we know it. CPN’s main reporter Susan Shapiro (Rachel Carpani) is one of the main characters in the tele-feature. Many of Susan’s online interviews are with characters the audience will again meet in the TV broadcast.

CPN encourages the audience to send in stories and videos of what life is like for them in these hard times. These videos and postings are a featured part of the www.scorched.tv website and provide a novel way for the online community to interact with the future and see their offerings posted on a high-profile website. CPN also points viewers to their featured viewer of the week – Cassie Hoffman, an 18-year-old girl living in Bourke who has become obsessed with diarising her life on her website ‘Cassie Has Dreams’ to compensate for the loneliness of being one of the few remaining teenagers left in her dying town. The audience can interact with Cassie and the other characters via email, watch faux news reports and read numerous stories which set the scene on a national and global level

With potential synergies alongside Jane McGonigal’s Superstruct (“the world has 23 years left” collaborative ARG) happening in similar timeframe, SCORCHED is produced for the Nine Network by Goalpost Pictures Australiaand Essential Media and Entertainment, in association with FirelightProductions. It is financed by the Nine Network, Granada International, the Film Finance Corporation, the New South Wales Film and Television Office and the Australian Film Commission, and was developed through the Australian Film Television & Radio School’s Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP).

FIRELIGHT PRODUCTIONS SHINES LIGHT ON ALL-MEDIA SCREEN CONTENT CREATION

Firelight Productions are the original concept creators behind the multi-platform delivery of Scorched, a major 90-minute feature-length television and online event that will be broadcast via the Internet and on Nine Network Australia.

Scorched, produced by Goalpost Pictures Australia and Essential Media and Entertainment, in association with Firelight Productions, will revolutionise the way Australian’s engage with television drama. A gripping 90 minute tele-feature will be augmented by an extensive 8 week online drama series that will lead into, provide clues for, and ultimately conclude the drama surrounding an ensemble of characters who find themselves engulfed by raging bushfires in a futuristic Sydney that has, due to the effects of global warming, completely run out of water.

Starring Cameron Daddo, Vince Colosimo, Rachel Carpani and Georgie Parker, the Scorched experience will include the most sophisticated and comprehensive cross-platform element yet created for a television event in this country. The interactive online component will launch in mid August, leading up to the tele-feature broadcast later in the year.

Co-directors of Firelight Productions, Ellenor Cox and Marcus Gillezeau, who engineered the cross-platform delivery of Scorched over 2 years, are enthusiastic screen content creators with all-media capabilities who are at the cutting edge of cross-platform content generation in Australia. Their business began in 1997 as a production company specialising in adventure and social political documentaries for international television, but is now focused primarily on all-media projects after the couple identified a considerable niche in the marketplace.

Gillezeau states, “The emergence of new screen technologies created strong demand on content that can deliver across a multitude of platforms. In addition to that, audience interactivity has become paramount to engaging the widest possible audience. Firelight has spent a number of years researching and experimenting in all-media content. Scorched is a breakthrough all-media event that is the culmination of our work to date in this area.”

Scorched is their flagship project, financed by Nine, Granada International, the Film Finance Corp, the New South Wales Film and Television Office and the Australian Film Commission, and developed through the Australian Film Television & Radio School’s Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP), which is Australia’s premier emerging media research and development production lab.

“When we started to develop the all-media concept for Scorched there was little that had been done before in Australia that combined such an extensive new media proposition with such a significant television offering as a prime time movie on Australia’s leading network.” says Cox. “We looked at overseas projects and were really making it up as we went along. The knowledge we have gained about all-media delivery through developing Scorched now informs all of our future projects and Firelight has become a leader in cross platform content creation.”

Scorched hooks the viewer in with an intriguing conservation message – the reality of global warming makes the idea of a city that has run out of water seem a likely possibility. Gillezeau and Cox wanted to bring to the mainstream audience’s attention the issues of water scarcity and drought in Australia but needed to find a way of making these subjects seem ‘sexy and entertaining’. Hence the concept of Scorched was borne. In the weeks leading up to the Scorched television broadcast, audiences are invited into this future world without water through www.scorched.tv to meet Cassie Hoffman – an 18-year-old girl living in Bourke who has become obsessed with diarising her life on her website ‘Cassie Has Dreams’ to compensate for the loneliness of being one of the few remaining teenagers left in her dying town.

Gillezeau explains, “Once you enter www.scorched.tv, you can follow a serialised drama (60 minutes of 2-3 minute webisodes) which unfolds on a daily basis. The prequel drama takes the viewer right up to the very first scene of the telemovie. Web enthusiasts will be able to participate in an interactive conspiracy-style investigation online, which will arm them with bonus material with which to enjoy one of the unfolding storylines in the telemovie when it airs. After the TV broadcast the drama continues with the sequel to the online story and continuing news reports.”

Firelight is currently supervising producer on Storm Surfers, Dangerous Banks – a documentary about big wave pro-surfers that will also have a significant cross platform delivery. Storm Surfers, financed by Red Bull, the New South Wales Film and TV Office, Discovery Networks Asia and Off The Fence (Netherlands) is one of the first documentary projects in Australia to utilise the new producer’s tax offset. It will air on the Discovery Network, prior to which fans and surfers from all over the world will be able to follow their heroes’ journey comprehensively online and, like the pro-surfers themselves, track the storm that will generate the big waves, and ultimately predict when the waves will hit.

Firelight’s mission is to produce innovative programming for all-media, multi-platform delivery, and to remain at the forefront of cross platform screen content creation in Australia and internationally. Upcoming projects include the interactive online drama series Innocent which follows the story of 6 accused young drug traffickers and the reality TV series Kids in Charge where a team of tweens has 10 days to deliver a Rock show spectacle.

Marcus Gillezeau is also the author of the critically acclaimed book ‘Hands On – A practical guide to production and technology in Film, TV and New Media’. The book has been an instant hit at universities and several major conferences across the country.

Since 1997 Firelight have produced more than 20 programs and series including My Home Your War (SBS), Cave in the Snow (SBS), Breaking Bows and Arrows (SBS), The Artist The QC & The Refugee (ABC), Painting with Light in a Dark World (SBS) and Afrika: Cape Town to Cairo (ABC and National Geographic). In 2001 they produced Australia’s first fully convergent, multi-platform documentary project Little Dove Big Voyage for Network 7.  Their films have won numerous international and domestic awards and have screened all over the world on television and in film festivals.

For more information, please contact:

Angie Fielder
angiefielder@iinet.net.au
0403 819 644

Jul 252008
 

The AFTRS Laboratory for Advanced Media Production, the first three years of residentials. Around 34 of the 61 projects that were developed over one intensive week to a pitch, flash by in 2 minutes.

These images are part of the original 15-20 minute presentation at the end of that week to commissioners, interested stakeholders and most importantly the mentors and each other. At the moment most are in further development, seven are in full production and five have been produced to audience.

Music: Bounty Island, DJ Shah’s Antonio Harbour Mix

The projects in the video are:
Aftershock, Faction, Captive, Stalkers Ink, Catalyst, Black Creek (renamed), Killer Gene, Machine, Detective Dale, Mondo Froggo, Get Carla, City Games, Middlemania, The Apartment, InWorld, Project Greenlight 2, Thursday’s Fictions, Portable Ghosts, Virtual Roadside Memorials, Call to Arms:Sea Patrol, Master Raindrop, Insect Men, HitIt, Perfect Partner, Tell Tales, Wild Ark, Georgiana Molloy, What If Macbeth, Urban Anarchy, Sum of our Parts, Read with me Play with Me

Jun 242008
 

Over half of all the LAMP projects are in or have been produced to audiences now. üBERgroover.tv was a project that came into our 4th residential on Milson’s Island in 2006 and we have just heard from ex-AFTRS student Tina Lymberis, it’s driving force, of the official launch and plans to take on the world. Here is the media release

Electronic Engineer Tina Lymberis trades in the circuit board for a camera and microphone. After 12 years of gruelling study and work in fields she had no interest in, Tina found her calling in television production. This was cemented once accepted into the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in 2006. Her AFTRS lecturer, Louise Clarke says: “Combine an ideas powerhouse with the latest knowledge in TV training, add a generous splash of boundless enthusiasm and you have Tina Lymberis: a recipe for success.”

Working as the Head of Video Production with iPRIME through 2007, Tina had a platform to leverage her many years of management experience and delve into the world of online production. Coupled with her passion and enthusiasm for dance, the only logical path was to produce üBERgroover.tv. iPRIME CEO, Tony Surtees affirms: “Really great media finds a way to engage across cultures and connect people…ü̈BERgroover.tv does that by reaching that something in all of us which really “connects” with our emotions. It curls the corner of your mouth, tugs at your heart and brings a tap to your toes. It’s music, it’s community, it’s tribal.”

The first season starts 6pm, 25 June 2008 and consists of 20 Australian made webisodes (each four to six minutes in duration) released weekly via http://www.ubergroover.tv. The show includes everyday people sharing their stories and favourite dance moves. Having grown up in a Greek-Australian household, Tina felt that “Australians need dances that connect them to the diverse constituents of their culture”.

Audiences can create grooves that represent modern Australian culture through “groovemaker”, a tool which incorporates the latest online interactive technology. It allows anyone to combine dance-moves and music, using their web browser, to choreograph their own routines. Gary Hayes, Director of LAMP declares: “ü̈BERgroover.tv is a good example of where collaborative entertainment is heading. It is about community created content in perfect synergy with the intention of the original creators – it is also a great deal of fun! LAMP is delighted with this launch”.

“üBERgroover.tv fuses user created content with professional production values and interactive tools to provide immersive entertainment; a perfect recipe, considering viewers are getting tired of watching stand-alone amateur content, but still wanting to show themselves off”, concludes Ms Lymberis. “Viewers hold the future of propelling Australian dance culture in the click of their mouse.”

Media contact: Tina Lymberis +61 402 123 933 tina@mediarize.com

Good luck from all the LAMP team and keep on ‘grooving’!

Jun 232008
 

A rough transcript of a presentation Gary Hayes (LAMP Director) gave as part of the Digital Content Session at the Trilateral KANZ Broadband Summit in Seoul on 19 June 2008. It looks at the emerging nature of Social Media Entertainment but focuses on how creative professionals can keep up with ‘the crowd’. Covers how Film, TV and Radio are early types of non-participatory, localised, social media content but interactive digital experiences are inherently global. LAMP, forward thinking companies and other Australian initiatives develops new multi-platform services that reach out to international markets – video sharing communities, social virtual worlds, alternate reality games, locative stories, simulations and newer hybrid forms. Gary looks at Australian successes of the collision of animation, online games, film, mobile, broadband web and social media applications and the potential for co-development and cross-training between NZ, Korea and Australia. Transcript below the SlideShare embed

Innovating Global Social Media Experiences and Collaborative Entertainment Production © Gary Hayes 2008

An nyoung, Hello

Thank you for inviting me to speak at this Kanz Broadband Summit this morning and I hope I can inspire collaborative action in us all. My talk is based around one key premise that those who we used to call ‘our audience’ are now empowered and creating, I would suggest, more compelling relevant and original content than ‘us’ so-called creative professionals. I look at how the creative content industry can become relevant again and innovate global social media experiences and particularly how collaborative creative development between cultures and countries can bring back the initiative. I will also touch on the fact that the real paradigm shift of broadband is not about technology but about enabling creative collaboration in social groups (the industry and audience). I use the ‘them and us’ metaphor for ease of presentation because of course they are us!

Don’t worry this is not another ‘community-created-content-will-take-over the world’ talk, there have been many of those because that has already happened, this is about a co-creative society sharing it’s media and creating tools to make the process much easier. A high bandwidth wired up world gives them the many-to-many distribution channels and with community created tools for self-publishing they are entertaining each other and creating flexible companies with a skilled and transient human resource. What does this mean for industry and creative professionals? The good news is that ‘they’, are showing industry (inside and across national borders) the best processes in how to create original and innovative content. We, the creative professionals must take note – be as flexible, fleet of foot and inventive as the ‘crowd’ are becoming.

We are hard wiring the world and humans when given the means to communicate over open, high bandwidth channels will share their stories and develop loyal followings from 100s to 100 000s of those who want to be engaged by them. Trying to regulate and halt the growth of social media will also be at our peril. Force majeure will mean ‘they’ will develop their own connected communities with or without telcos, governments or entertainment companies. But that is another story, what remains are new, niche ‘born to be wired’ communities of interest mashing-up content, engineering better software and deciding between themselves what products will succeed in the marketplace. How can industry emulate this force of nature?

Now everyone is a filmmaker, broadcaster and storyteller. The quaint but already outdated methods of distributing ‘stories’ that relied on reaching ‘captive’ audiences by broadcasting ‘at’ them in one direction, we can liken to someone watering a tamed forest with a spray hose. That walled forest was once refreshing but they have quickly learned that outside this wall they have the ability to ‘grow their own’ they will, with or without us – and their combined wisdom dwarfs any sized company or government organization.

Playful Content R&D. Innovation is not about delivering linear tv and film over the wired network to a pc or onto a mobile phone. That is the utility business not the creative one.
The participatory audience are showing the way in how they create hybrid forms from film, tv, games and web applications. They often do this through behaviour rather than engineering. They mesh the way they consume media. Sending facebook updates from their mobile phone while half watching a TV programme but talking about it on twitter while listening to a friends music playlist and so on. New generations learn that they can cherry pick key parts of services making the new form better than the source as this diagram illustrates, it is not about the content, display or distribution but about the format they enable. The way the community are creating this content is a model for industry and the content and telco industries need to move beyond old business models and look at cross-media form rather than distribution

We have to think beyond mono-media. By that I mean see media as just a single film or TV episode or a mobile game. In fragmented markets where participant audiences spend time across hundreds of touch points we need to provide our stories for them across those devices and channels.

Peter Jackson said “I think we’re on a threshold of a new way to tell stories… It’s a form of entertainment that’s not a game and it’s not a film. It’s a filmic game experience.”

As an example quite a few companies and academic organisations in Australia are now developing compelling hybrid forms, such as TV and Games. This cross-reality mix is showing real potential as the live dynamic element of TV utlises the immersive quest like elements of online games. We must also be careful of assuming all interactivity is equal. There is a big difference between on one-hand, point-and-click ‘broadcast-interactivity’ or games where there are preset outcomes (watch a video or hear a sound) and on the other hand, spaces and places where the community can promote, comment or co-create with the original creators.

Moving on a little, I would like to quote from Building a Creative Innovation Economy, A Cultural Ministers Council report from February of this year.

“The creative sector must engage with the community to ensure ongoing support and survival in a global environment where there is increasing competition for consumers’ disposable time and dollars from an ever-expanding choice of leisure services and products. In this sense, user created content on social media web services such as YouTube and MySpace can be seen as competition for cultural audiences’ attention.…The Australian Film, Television and Radio School’s Laboratory of Advanced Media Production (LAMP) is another example of an innovative approach to training. The program enables the conception and development of multimedia content and services in a live-in setting, facilitating collaboration between project teams and mentors. The four stage process equips participants with the tools they need to create compelling interactive content that meets the needs of their audiences and marketplaces. LAMP offers participants a healthy mix of creativity, business awareness, technical skills and audience awareness.”

So I am keen to talk about one of many innovative initiatives in Australia to aid the development of new form content. LAMP (The Laboratory for Advanced Media Production) was formed in 2005 through AFTRS and comes from a tradition of hothouse development initiatives in the UK, at the BBC and the American Film Institute’s Digital Content lab. My experience is that Australia has some of the most creative thinkers in new emerging media content and they are very keen to work on creative vs just technological collaborations.

Since its inception LAMP has propelled over 61 projects and transformed hundreds of participants at workshops and seminars. The reason the hothouse, live-in-labs work is that they create small social networks with a complimentary mix of great story tellers, innovative technicians, interactive designers and producers. They also take these time poor people away from the normal day to day activities and allow them to take risks. This is exactly what the community is doing and who naturally take risks. The more we allow international teams to come together and take risks, the better for all and innovation will result.

Here is a short sample of some social media projects that have been developed at LAMP. Four example projects and two from the last collaborative Australia/New Zealand lab. Portable ghosts explores games that cross from web to real world to mobile. Master Raindrop looks at the combination of online games, mobile and real life movement training. Thursday’s Fictions explores spirituality and literature in a social virtual world and Wild Ark tells stories using mobile devices around zoos and other immersive real life environments.

Our second was developing seven ABC TV original and existing IP of which many ideas are now being implemented in that organisation.

Many projects developed around the world now create content that the community can take up, give them the tools or the forums to continue the stories so they can build and grow the original idea. Most LAMP projects now take this onboard and see the interaction with the audience as a primary driver behind their original idea. A good example of this is Bush IPTV – a pilot LAMP is producing for a broadband TV service in remote indigenous communities in far north Queensland.

Many projects also fall into the ‘simulation’ camp, creating virtual spaces that allow scenarios for entertainment, research and social collaboration. Here is a small selection of testimonials from recent participants.

I can highly recommend LAMP to anyone with a great idea looking to turn it into a success.
It was a totally immersive and focused, overwhelming experience – nothing like I’ve experienced before
The impossible is possible
It was a wonderful creative experience where I believe we were able to generate a wealth of truly new ideas. Marvellous!
A creative vibrant practical atmosphere
The lab exceeded my expectations…The way everyone helped each other out in an environment that was friendly, affectionate and creative allowed us to take our project in ways never thought of before.
This has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life. Thankyou!
I loved loved loved it!
Concept of LAMP is wonderful and it was above and beyond expectation
LAMP helped solidify confidence in the concept and creating a truly viable cross media platform
LAMP 08 was the most amazing professional development experience of my life!

The role of media producers now is to create compelling cross-media immersive entertainment experiences for global audiences. The producer as aggregator of content/curator – creating the conditions to activate audiences.

Games I would suggest are the most social media. A recent report from Bond University said that in Australia social and casual games are now the most dominant with only 19% of all gamers preferring to play alone with more than 56% preferring to play with others.

That suggests why the merging of traditional online social networks such as myspace and facebook with game worlds are growing so quickly. I personally have been involved in the creation of some of these spaces inside virtual worlds with Telstra’s and ABC TVs presence in Second Life (a great portent of future socio/economic virtual worlds) with BigPond now the highest globally for all brands in second life.

There are great opportunities for collaboration and the creation of a new form of global Social Virtual World like Korea’s Cyworld potentially stretching into English speaking countries – and to reiterate the social aspect again, 84% of Australians think that playing together is important for forming family connections with more than half saying games are more social forms of entertainment than other media.

To jump back to the notion of the hybrid form again. Much of this is reflecting my definition of web 3.0, the live or synchronous web where we communicate and co-create in real time. Social interaction through virtual worlds, interactive broadband TV or web and mobile applications can coexist and mingle in this world.

Australia for instance already have a range of companies that are pushing the envelope of what new form entertainment is. Hoodlum for example have just won BAFTA awards for their extended entertainment titles alongside Lost and BBC Spooks and like many LAMP projects they are creating ‘social entertainment’ which is about connecting communities with common goals and quests and stimulating the wisdom of the engaged crowd.

In 2007 Australia had around 40 traditional game companies who have produced more than 200 games resulting in $100mill in exports – notables include Ty The Tasmanian Tiger and De Blob but we still see the growth and dominance of MMOGs many originating in Asian countries and proliferating in Australia

AFTRS is pioneering new forms too. Alongside it’s world renowned TV and Film courses, AFTRS is developing a range of foundational and specialised graduate courses that will explore games, virtual environments and innovative new forms. They will explore the link between story and participatory applications and how interactive media can be made more ‘cinematic’ and immersive. At post graduate level it is planning to offer a project based course that encourages pioneering projects and inspires innovation.”

Australia, New Zealand and Korea are a wonderful mix of original thinking, great test-bed participant audiences and world leading technology. Able to leapfrog over legacy telecommunications we see in other parts of the world it is possible for ground breaking new formats to be developed in partnerships between the three countries. Australia and New Zealand particularly bring world leading innovative media forms to the mix.

Finally social networks have come about to both connect family and friends but also out of business and a collaborative need – we as content producers must be very focused on this to be relevant to the audience that are doing it themselves. Governments and creative industries can become allies in this equation and become authentic co-creators of social media spaces where the voice and creativity of the ‘audience’ can play out.

Nations who have key creative synergies, technical innovation and highly motivated participant audiences to collaborate and develop new forms together. Which is why I suggest we endeavour to create an initial rapid content R&D lab between the three countries be set up this year. The outcome of these will be many real projects a selection of which can be developed to market.

Kamsahamnida
Thank you

© Gary Hayes 2008

Jun 062008
 

Don’t have a black Friday-register now. Places filling fast!

AFTRS LAMP presents two cutting edge seminars:

Generating Online Buzz for Creative Projects
Thursday June 19. Learn how to attract online attention and engage participatory audiences and global consumers.

Building Social Networks and Growing Communities
Friday June 20. Follows on from Generating Online Buzz for Creative Projects, and focuses on building and managing online social networks and communities.

Generating Online Buzz for Creative Projects

Led by Laurel Papworth these two seminars cut through the jargon and find the true potential of Web 2.0, ‘The Sharing Web’.
Learn how to attract attention and engage participatory audiences and global consumers. A must attend workshop for writers, designers, filmmakers, producers, gamers and marketers or anyone who wants to build and maintain a presence online.

  • Discover techniques to find and build online audiences
  • Utilise blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, twitter and social media portals and networks to connect with global communities of interest
  • Learn strategies that encourage people to virally recommend and distribute your content
  • Understand how to make your content findable on the internet

Laurel Papworth is a senior consultant in social networks. She helped digitize Fairfax in the early 1990’s and established Convergent Media at Optus in the late 1990s. Laurel is a dynamic speaker and workshop trainer, regular radio and TV guest, and is in demand by companies globally to help leverage their media and public relations activities with social networking tools and strategies. Laurel teaches social media at the University of Sydney and lectures as part of a Masters of Convergent Media at the University of Western Sydney. Laurel consults to government, business and not-for-profits around the world. She recently returned from teaching blogging and social media to Arabic women in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Other speakers include:

  • Bruce Moyle – Joffre Street Productions
  • Andrew Apostola – Portable Content
  • Peter Giles – AFTRS Director of Digital Media Division
  • Catherine Gleeson – AFTRS Interactive Media Lecturer

Date: Thursday 19 Jun 2008

  • Duration: 1 day. 9.30-5pm, lunch included
  • Course Fee: $120
  • Venue: The Australian Film Television and Radio School
  • The Entertainment Quarter
  • 130 Bent St
  • Moore Park NSW, 2021
  • Application deadline: June 13. Places filling fast-register here

Building Social Networks and Growing Communities

This seminar follows on from the Generating Online Buzz for Creative Projects seminar and focuses on how organisations can utilise online social networks to meet business objectives. It is ideal for those with a general grasp of blogs, wikis, and tagging – even if you are currently a forum or community leader, you may not have thought of all the insights this course presents on running an online community.

  • Learn how to prepare for massive membership signups
  • Use the best techniques to gain, retain and manage members in your social network
  • Create a safe space for brand leaders and evangelists to grow your network
  • Build trust and develop blueprints for a self-sustaining network

Speakers include:

  • Ngaire Stevens – Habbo Hotel
  • Laurel Papworth – Social Network Strategist.
  • Peter Giles – AFTRS Director of Digital Media Division
  • Catherine Gleeson – AFTRS Interactive Media Lecturer

Date: Friday 20 Jun 2008

  • Duration: 1 Day 9.30 -5.00 pm, lunch included
  • Course Fee: $120. By attending both seminars you pay just $200 – a saving of $40
  • Venue: The Australian Film Television and Radio School
  • The Entertainment Quarter
  • 130 Bent St
  • Moore Park NSW, 2021
  • Application deadline: June 13. Places filling fast-register here
Apr 242008
 

Marissa talks through her experiences of extending stories into online and other platforms looking specifically at her work on the enigmatic cross-media service created by Hoodlum for Emmerdale. She talks about call-to-actions, multiple entry points, point-of-view, story worlds, gameplay and trail heads as part of this experience creation for the audience. One technique she uses is thinking about how you want them to feel, their role and giving them ownership and a feeling of importance. Something overlooked in many cross-media services is actually giving them stuff to do and Marissa talks about the many and various activities the non-passive, participants in Emmerdale could take part in. There are still places for linear moments in these and more subversive ARG services as that is part of the reward if the players achieve significant progress. She wraps up by saying that the audience needs to know this exists so meticulous planning of the marketing is as important as the service itself.MP3 recording time 18:27 (6.4MB) Click to listen

A series of podcasts of short presentations given by mentors at the LAMP VII: Story of the Future at Couran Cove Eco Resort in December 2007.

MARISSA COOKE – TV, new media and advertising writer, new media producer

Marissa has worked extensively in television, cross-platform entertainment and interactive advertising over the past 10 years as a writer, creative strategist and content producer on a diverse range of innovative, award-winning cross-media projects.

As a new media content producer and senior interactive writer for Australia’s first interactive television series produced by Hoodlum Active, Fat Cow Motel (ABC, Austar), Marissa was responsible for developing an immersive, cross-platform game and producing interactive content across web, iTV, email, mobile and dial-up channels that delivered unprecedented results for the ABC becoming the most visited TV website ever for ABC Online. Marissa also worked on an innovative pre-broadcast viral media campaign delivered via print, radio, email, SMS and web. Marissa won the inaugural Australian Writers’ Guild Interactive Media Award in 2005 for her work on Fat Cow Motel.

Marissa was also a scriptwriter on the AFI award-winning first series of the Foxtel drama series Love My Way (Southern Star), as well as the Australian-German co-production Blue Water High (Southern Star) and the SBSTV Mockumentary Series, S(truth).

Marissa’s recent work includes roles as Interactive Content Producer and co-writer for the Yahoo! 7 interactive drama series and game, PS Trixi produced by Hoodlum Active – a world-first 12 episode new media ‘event’ delivered across web, Instant Messenger, email, mobile and video platforms.

Most recently, Marissa worked as creative strategist, concept and gameplay designer for Emmerdale Online, a new interactive, cross-platform channel and narrative-based game produced by Hoodlum Active for the hugely popular UK television series, Emmerdale. Emmerdale Online has recently been nominated for several prestigous international awards including Best Drama in the MIPCOM Mobile, Internet and CrossMedia TV Awards, and Best TV online channel for the 2007 Pixel Awards.

Marissa is currently developing several of her own cross-platform projects as well as consulting for a range of clients including television programme producers and award winning interactive advertising agency Tribal DDB as a digital content developer and copywriter across campaigns for Volkswagen, NIKE, Gatorade and McDonalds, three of which were awarded Gold Medals at the prestigious Montruex International Advertising & Multimedia Festival in 2006 & 2007.

ABOUT LAMP PODCASTS

All LAMP podcasts are published through iTunes – click on the icon below if you have iTunes to subscribe now!

This podcast presentation produced and presented by Gary Hayes for LAMP @ AFTRS.

Audio recorded, edited and processed by Brett Robertson and Gary Hayes