I am delighted to be directing probably the best selection of mentors/speakers on the StoryLabs facilitated Screen Australia lab at the end of November. This is a week long clinic and public day seminar for eight top Australian Feature film creative & digital teams mentored by the best ‘audience, media business and story centric’ brains in the world. Looking at the multi platform experiences, transmedia/arg extensions, social media story and digital campaigns created by the mentors demonstrates the amazing depth of experience – these include King Kong, Game of Thrones, Bourne, Terminator, Magnolia, Titanic, Pandemic, Salt, True Blood, Gangs of New York, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lost and many more extensions across TV, games, print and advertising.

The press release from Screen Australia last week (below) reveals the first confirmed mentors as world practitioners and thought leaders in this area ‘changing the face of Hollywood’, ‘the father of Cross platform’ & Forbes global top 50 Social Media expert and so on. I am also delighted to announce (not included in the below release) that Nathan Mayfield and Anthony Mullins from Australia’s top ‘multi platform’ agency Hoodlum will also join the mentoring team and a fifth international mentor, world leading film experiential creative, Brian Cain Creative Director GMD Studios is being finalised. Of course the teams will also receive expert mentoring from Gary Hayes (ABC TV, StoryLabs, BBC, LAMP) and Mike Cowap (Investment Manager at Screen Australia and author of Film 2.0 ‘Multi Platform Strategies for Feature Film’. There will also be special visitors giving short presentations around new ideas around cinema and local australian distribution opportunities.

Below the Screen Australia release

Tuesday 25 September 2012 (updated 26 September 2012)

Screen Australia is pleased to announce mentors for its upcoming Digital Ignition Multi-platform Clinic, a five-day residential workshop focused on developing multi-platform extensions for forthcoming Australian feature films.

Speakers include renowned pioneer Lance Weiler (US), named by WIREDmagazine as ‘one of the 25 people helping to reinvent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood’; Brian Cain (US), Creative Director of GMD Studios and film ARG pioneer; the ‘Father of Cross-platform’ Brian Seth Hurst (US); Forbes global ‘Top 50 Social Media Influencer’ and Marketingmagazine’s ‘Head of Social Media Industry’ Laurel Papworth (Aus); and Hoodlum’s multi-award winning Anthony Mullins (Aus).

The team of mentors will join the clinic’s director, StoryLabs’ Gary Hayes,in Sydney from 26 to 30 November.

Applications to the Digital Ignition Multi-platform Clinic close on Friday 5 October 2012 (extended from Tuesday 2 October 2012). Guidelines and application details are available on the Screen Australia website.

MENTOR BIOGRAPHIES

LANCE WEILER (US) http://lanceweiler.com/press is recognised as a pioneer in mixing storytelling and technology. Businessweek named him ‘one of the 18 who changed Hollywood’ alongside the likes of George Lucas and Steve Jobs. His films include The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma, around which he also made an acclaimed ARG (alternate reality game), and an online documentary series, Radar, which was nominated for a Streamy Award. In 2011, Lance’s Pandemic, an immersive storytelling project, was an official selection of the New Frontier section of Sundance Film Festival. He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation, and teaches at Columbia University on the art, craft and business of storytelling in the 21st century. Lance is founder of the Workbook Project, an open creative network, and writes a regular column for Filmmaker magazine on the impact of tech on entertainment.

BRIAN CAIN (US) http://www.briancaincreativedirector.com/ has been a leading experience designer and Creative Director in the world of immersive marketing for over a decade.   In 1999, while working with Haxan Films (makers of Blair Witch,) Brian became the head content producer for the website Freakylinks.com, a highly trafficked year long extended experience for the Fox TV series of the same name.  He later found success as a creative director for Campfire NYC working on the Cannes Lion award winning ARG Art of the Heist for Audi.  He has since served as Creative Director on a wide variety of entertainment projects including two seasons of HBO’s True Blood, the feature film Terminator Salvation, Penguin Books’ Nightshade and video game titles Homefront for THQ and F.E.A.R. 2 for Warner Brothers. Other career highlights include creating a yearlong experiential virtual island for Pontiac in Second Life, and serving as a creative lead for extended experiences by Game of Thrones for HBO and Shark Week for Discovery. Brian has spoken about his transmedia experiences at venues such as SXSW, NAPTE, New Media Days in Copenhagen and various university lecture halls. He currently works as Executive Creative Director for GMD Studios with teams in New York and Orlando.

ANTHONY MULLINS (Aus) - Anthony is a BAFTA and AWGIE award winning screenwriter and director. The projects Anthony has written and directed have won numerous international awards including a Primetime Emmy, an International Digital Emmy, two BAFTAs and five Australian Writers Guild awards. He has been the creative director and lead writer on several award-winning interactive projects for major film and television productions including Lost, Spooks, Primeval, FlashForward, The Bourne Legacy and Salt. Clients include ABC (US), Sony Pictures, Universal NBC, ITV, BBC and National Geographic. His short films and TV documentaries have been selected for Official Competition in some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals including Cannes Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Karlo Vary Film Festival and SXSW. 

Anthony is currently the Creative Director of Hoodlum, a leading multi-platform studio based in Brisbane, Australia.

MATT COSTELLO (US) www.mattcostello.com has best-selling and award-winning work across all media meshing film, gameplay, technology and story. He is the writer and creator of many groundbreaking games, novels, non-fiction and TV in both the US and Europe. Matt has written and consulted on numerous multi-platform extensions to feature film includingTitanic, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Bad Boys 2, Disney’sHercules and AladdinThe Italian Job, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He has scripted and designed dozens of best-selling and award-winning games including the critically acclaimed The 7th GuestDoom 3RageJust Causeand G-Force. Matt’s written episodes and created formats for television for PBS, The Disney Channel, The SyFy Channel and the BBC among others. His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by Lionsgate.

GUNTHER SONNENFELD (US) http://heardable.com/team.php is an expert in the intersections of storytelling, entertainment, technology and brands and is an award-winning social technologist. He’s taken his experience marketing films such as Magnolia and Gangs of New York into the multi-platform arena, and has been involved in various platform builds from digital asset management for Sony and Sony Classics to an anti-piracy initiative for Paramount Studios, as well as numerous branded campaigns. Gunther is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Heardable, a leading-edge brand intelligence platform that provides market insights for companies such as Disney, 20th Century Fox, Hulu, Warner Bros. and Facebook. He is also a co-developer and strategic advisor of CODOC, a unique storytelling and annotative video platform incubated by Virgin Media Innovation Lab that connects documentary-style narratives to communities and content creators around the globe. Gunther is about to complete his second book, entitled Breakpoint: How to Build Authentic Brands, Empower Markets and Scale Economies through the Power of Story.

BRIAN SETH HURST (US) http://oppmanagement.com/wordpress1/, referred to as ‘the father of cross platform’, developed the Rapid Cross Media Initiative to assist broadcast clients in extending their programming to audiences and communities on new platforms. The methodology established a clear workflow for the strategy, planning, budgeting and production of integrated storytelling across platforms including broadband, interactive television, games, mobile, social networks and personalised media. His company brokers relationships between leading storytellers, technology companies and brands, provides multi-platform strategy and production services, and distribution. Clients have included Showtime, Lifetime and NBCUniversal. Hurst is a principal of Heroes creator Tim Kring’s multi-platform award-winning experience Conspiracy for Good. Hurst was appointed Global Digital Ambassador for the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2009. He served two terms as Chairman of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council while simultaneously serving on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors. Currently, he is Second Vice Chair of the Television Academy and sits on the National Board of the PGA. Recipient of a 2006 Interactive TV Today Award for Leadership in Interactive Television, he was profiled in the April 2007 issue of Emmy® Magazine as one of the 10 media executives in the business leading the industry’s digital drive, and in November of 2007 was named in The Hollywood Reporter’s PGA ’Digital 50’ for the second year in a row. Hurst’s credo, “go to where your audience lives”, is transforming the relationship of audiences to programming.

LAUREL PAPWORTH (Australia) http://laurelpapworth.com/about Laurel was named in 2012 by Forbes magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, and Marketing Magazine named her “Head of Industry, Social Media”. She has consulted globally including with Film and TV properties & studios including Sony, Universal, Event Cinemas plus other industries Singapore Government and Middle East Broadcasting, and in Australia, with Westpac, local, State and Federal Government and films such as Scorched and Storm Surfers 3D. Laurel is the CEO of The Community Crew managing massive gaming and online communities including Facebook and forums for reality TV shows such as Junior Masterchef. Since 2005, Laurel has been teaching online community management at the University of Sydney, Australian Film, TV and Radio School (AFTRS), Metroscreen and she has been managing virtual communities since 1989. In the last few months Laurel has appeared as Social Media commentator and expert on Finance Quarter, Lateline, 7:30 Report, Midday Report ABC, and in the Australian Financial Review, The Australian, Radio National and other media channels. AdAge named in the Top 150 Media Bloggers, and she is on Google Plus’s Recommended List

GARY HAYES (Australia) www.personalizemedia.com/about, the director of the Digital Ignition Multi-platform Clinic, is an award-winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and director. He is currently Senior Producer and Manager of Product Development at ABC TV Multiplatform responsible for delivering new editorial formats against ABC TV shows including dual screen, social TV and mobile and recently exec produced apps and sites around Miss Fisher, GoodGame, QandA Live Vote, Mabo and many others. He founded the global training group StoryLabs StoryLabs.usin 2010 and is CEO of Multi-platform company MUVEDesign, creating branded and story-based multi-platform, augmented reality and virtual worlds for major brands. Gary was previously Senior Development Producer and Manager at the BBC in UK for eight years – delivering interactive social TV, broadband internet and emerging platforms to millions of UK users on TV shows including Top of the Pops, Walking with Beasts, Antiques Roadshow, BBC News Specials and more. After two years in the US as interactive producer working on shows such as LWord, LAX and Law and Order, Gary became the founding director of the AFTRS innovation workshop LAMP, which he ran from 2005 to 2010. He recently became a Distinguished Talent permanent resident in Australia and since 2005 runs the top 10 AdAge Power150 Media & Marketing blog personalizemedia.com in Australia. Gary designs & lectures on full-time multi-platform content courses at MetroScreen and AFTRS, has been an International Interactive Emmy® juror for the past few years and adjudicates on several multi-platform funding initiatives.

MIKE COWAP (Australia) - Mike has been a Development Manager with Screen Australia (formerly Australian Film Commission) since 2005, with responsibilities across animation, digital media, feature film, television series, and documentary. Projects funded and managed have included comedy series Wilfred andBogan Pride, feature film Black Water, documentary features Words from the City and Bastardy, cross-platform projects First Australians Onlineand Girl Friday, and many others. He has managed a number of award-winning short animations, including Mutt, (Winner Yoram Gross Animation Award at Sydney Film Festival, selected for Annecy, and AFI-nominated for Best Animation) and Ephemeral (Most Innovative Film, Sydney Film Festival, and selected for Palm Springs and Stuttgart). Mike has also managed special animation initiatives in partnership with Australian broadcasters. Prior to joining the AFC, Mike worked with animation studio Monkeystack, where he produced 2D/3D animation and VFX for television commercials and shorts, and mobile phone content, websites, and games. Projects included Dots & Diamond, an AIMIA-Award winning online animated game for ABC and La Musica Fantastica, an interstitial mini-series for mobile phone for ABC, SAFC and mNet. Previously, Mike was Manager of Industry Development at the South Australian Film Corporation.  His remit covered all programs and initiatives designed to help nurture and strengthen the film, television and digital media industries in the State. Prior to emigrating from the UK in early 2003, Mike was co-ordinator of the short film initiatives and related training at the UK Film Council, the British government’s strategic film body.  Prior to this, Mike worked in independent feature film and television production in the UK.  During his time as Development Exec at Picture Palace North he was involved in the feature films Large and The Acid House, both for FilmFour. Mike has also worked extensively in script evaluation, with clients including the Danish Film Institute, North by Northwest screenwriting initiative, the First Film Foundation (UK) and Yorkshire Media Production Agency (UK).

Media Enquiries
Teri Calder T: 02 8113 5833; M: 0408 440 995
teri.calder@screenaustralia.gov.au