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Data Driven Storytelling – Gunther Sonnenfeld – StoryLabs Podcast Ep16

DATA DRIVEN STORYTELLING – “We don’t know all that much about our audiences” – Gunther explores the merging of behavioural research and monitoring with new form film, TV branding and it’s ultimate effect on storytelling. ‘The internet is a giant focus group and we can build applications and services that identify behaviours which can then fuel future projects’ and he goes on to say that this is nothing new for product distribution which has developed since the 1950s when understanding what consumers did with new products influenced the next wave – but now this can be done in real time and that knowledge can be used not only by the marketing and distribution channels but by the creatives themselves. But most tools used today whether social media filtering or other crude measurement tools is making it almost impossible for users to find content but also producers to reach them effectively. Using case studies and references to his work with big brands and studios Gunther talks about a future of audience usage AI, semantic automation, advanced monitoring techniques, adaptive development and much more to make the case that storytelling needs to be much more aligned with what users actually need and want – a data/story evolution.

Data Driven Storytelling – A 30 minute presentation by Gunther Sonnenfeld, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia Film 3.0 labs and digital ignition seminar held in Sydney in late Nov 2012. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Data Driven Storytelling - Gunther Sonnenfeld

Data Driven Storytelling – Gunther Sonnenfeld

Gunther Sonnenfeld (USA) – http://flavors.me/goonth Gunther Sonnenfeld has spent the majority of his 18-year career exploring the intersections of storytelling, entertainment, technology and brands. He’s taken his experience marketing films and TV into the multi-platform arena, and has been involved in various platform builds, from a music storyworld (“Talentzville” for WB Music) to digital asset management (Sony and Sony Classics) to an anti-piracy initiative (Paramount Studios), as well as numerous branded campaigns (Toyota, Rockstar Games, Kraft, Motorola and NRDC). Gunther is currently a producer on “Algren”, a feature documentary and cross-channel narrative on the life of Nelson Algren, an American beat writer who inspired numerous well known artists. He’s 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. In 2006, he won Best Feature Documentary at X-Dance for his work on “FLOW”, the story of The Channel Islands Surfboards brand. As a social technologist he’s acquired several awards including a 2010 Forrester Groundswell Award for work identifying online influencers on behalf of Adobe. In 2011, Gunther’s advisory and product development work for Coincident TV helped the startup garner a couple of Emmy nominations.



Making Transmedia Make Money – Jennifer Wilson – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.5

Making Transmedia Make Money – Why you are unlikely to make any money unless you are willing to deal with the small stuff, lots of it. Jennifer explores the commercial realities around many digital business models and shows how they can be applied to almost any Multi Platform and Transmedia project. Case studies will feature non-commercial projects such as China Heart & Making Australia Happy and how they could have been commercialised. A presentation by Jennifer Wilson given at the inaugural Screen Australia & StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011.

StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Jennifer Wilson (Australia) – http://storylabs.us/mentors/#JENNIFER-WILSON

Jennifer Wilson is a Director of The Project Factory – a multiplatform media company. She is fascinated by the intersection of creative concepts, their technical implementation and the commercial realities that underpins these. Beyond cross-platform – the intelligent exploration of how to generate engagement on the third and fourth screens through social, play, story, sharing and interactivity. She is passionate about mobile (ubiquity); semantic web (understanding), social media (connection) and the need to find engagement at the heart of every interaction.

Jennifer teaches courses in multiplatform, trans- and convergent media. She works with emerging leaders across all forms of media to help them understand the connected, networked world. She has authored books and papers aimed at writers and film makers covering key concepts, business models, rights issues and new ways of thinking about copyright. Jennifer is a member of SPAA, on the board of AIMIA and chairs the Mobile Industry Group.

Screen Australia & StoryLabs announce Multi-Platform Story from Idea to Market 1 Day Seminar

A unique opportunity to hear from world-class digital storytelling talent  in a one-day public seminar

Presented by Screen Australia and StoryLabs

Tuesday 29 November 2011

State Library, Melbourne

Tickets cost $50; available here: multiplatform.eventbrite.com

Multi-platform Storytelling: From Idea to Market will provide case studies and practical guidance on creating multi-platform strategies for features, TV drama, documentary, game or online projects. Attendance is strongly recommended for content creators working in any of these areas.

Speakers include renowned pioneer Lance Weiler (US) on his first trip to Australia, named by WIRED magazine as ‘one of the 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood’.

Taking a primary project across multiple media platforms enables creative productions to connect with a wider, more involved audience and be more commercially viable. But to develop a single story idea across devices, channels and communities requires an intensive creative process, knowledge of the landscape, and complex production management.

This one-day seminar cuts through the noise to focus on the core aspects of delivering multi-platform projects, including story, business, community, technology, interaction and design, to help practitioners take their idea from page to screen.


  • Lance Weiler (US) will keynote the seminar with Story R&D, looking at long-term, sustainable production. Lance is the creator of some of the world’s most original cinematic transmedia projects, includingHead Trauma and Pandemic, which was selected for Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers.
  • Games, film and novel writer Matt Costello (US) has game credits including Pirates of the Caribbean 3Doom 3 and The Italian Job. He will case study his story in the game Rage to demonstrate practical ways of developing cross media intellectual properties.
  • TV and Alternate Reality Game producer David Varela (UK) will look at his successful Sony Xi, Perplex City and Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life projects on how to meld story to platforms and users.
  • Creative director and producer Anthea Foyer (Canada) will present case studies of her recent projects that demonstrate how to develop user interaction and create loyalty against film and TV properties. Anthea recently directed The Conversation, an interactive companion to the feature film Take This Waltz starring Seth Rogan andMichelle Williams.
  • Tony Reed (Australia), CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, will speak on the process of design, consumer testing and commercialisation of game-based services. Tony has been behind the marketing of some of the world’s biggest game franchises, includingCommand & Conquer and Star Trek titles.
  • Laurel Papworth (Australia), CEO of Community Crew and named byMarketing magazine as Industry Head, Social Media, has set up and managed online communities including Junior MasterchefMiddle East Broadcasting and Everquest. She will case study some of her work to demonstrate how to manage, grow and monetise communities through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Game and TV writer and story executive Neil Richards (UK) will speak on writing and developing functionality on multi-stakeholder projects including Nightmare High for broadcaster Channel 4. Neil has worked with the BBC and ITV, co-wrote Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams, and has written over 20 games including DriverJust Causeand The Da Vinci Code.
  • Jennifer Wilson (Australia), director of the multi-platform media company The Project Factory, will explore the range of sustainable digital business models for your projects, drawing on her experience that includes Making Australia Happy for ABC TV and China Heart.
  • Gary Hayes (Australia) is the founder of StoryLabs and newly appointed Exec Producer for ABC Multi-Platform TV. He will chair the event and also present aspects of his Screen Australia Transmedia Production Bible.

Multi-platform Storytelling: From Idea to Market will be held on Tuesday 29 November 2011 at the Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria in Melbourne.


LanceLance 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 andHead 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’sPandemic, an immersive storytelling project, was an official selection in the New Frontier section of the 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.

MattMatt Costello (US) http://mattcostello.com has written ground-breaking and award-winning novels, games and television, including the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 game across all platforms. Rage, a 2011 release from id Software which Matt worked on, won the most Game Critics Awards at this year’s E3, including Best Console Game. Just Cause, (co-written with Neil Richards) debuted as the number one game for Xbox 360 in the UK and was named ‘Best Adventure Game’ at the 2006 E3. Other notable games include: Doom 3Hercules for Disney, The Dark Half for MGM, Derelict for The Syfy Channel, The Clue Chronicles for Hasbro, Barbie’s Riding Adventurefor Mattel, Clifford’s Reading for Scholastic, Starsky & Hutch for Empire, and The Italian Job for Eidos. His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by Lionsgate, and Penguin/Putnam published his latest suspense novel, Nowhere. His new novel, Vacation, will be published by St Martin’s Press in 2011.

DavidDavid Varela (UK) www.davidvarela.com is a writer and producer who works across a huge range of media. He is currently producing and writing a global ARG sponsored by Reebok and starring Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life is running in nine languages for eight months, with live events staged in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to that, David wrote and produced the world’s first console-based ARG, Xi, based in Sony’s virtual world PlayStation Home. David’s background is as an award-winning writer for theatre, radio and advertising. His stageplays have been performed at the ICA, the Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre and RADA, and his short films have premiered in Leicester Square and been broadcast on ITV. He has also written several one-off dramas for BBC Radio 4 and BBC7.

NeilNeil Richards (UK) http://storylabs.us/mentors/#NEIL-RICHARDS has story executive, writer and producer credits for BBC, ITV and Channel 4 in drama, children’s and entertainment. Since co-writing Starship Titanic with Douglas Adams in the mid-90s he has worked increasingly in interactive media, scripting children’s iTV, education, broadband and platform games, earning three recent BAFTA nominations, an IGDA Writing Excellence nomination and a Writers’ Guild nomination. He has written more than 20 game scripts including the popular titles DriverJust Cause (1 & 2)Broken Sword and The Da Vinci Code. He has mentored in workshops for BBC, PAL (Media Programme), PILOTS (Media Programme), PYGMALION (Media Programme/Paris/Berlin Film Schools), the Akademie für Kindermedien in Erfurt and Crossover Labs. He was one-time senior lecturer in screenwriting at Bournemouth University. He has also consulted for the BBC as a producer in creative development, devising and running Creative/Interactive Labs across the BBC.

LaurelLaurel Papworth (Australia)http://laurelpapworth.com/about has been creating and managing online communities for over 20 years.Marketing magazine named Laurel ‘Head of Industry, Social Media’ for Australia and AdAge named her in the Power150 bloggers globally. She is CEO of The Community Crew, setting up online communities on forums and managing them including Everquest, Ultima Online, Westpac Bank, Junior Masterchef TV show, Middle East Broadcasting (women’s online community), Singapore Military, journalists with The Australian newspaper. She has been running virtual online communities including virtual worlds and forums since the late 1980s. Laurel teaches workshops on online community management, social media press releases, Facebook marketing, increasing your Twitter reach, and social media monitoring and measurement to governments, corporations, small business and not for profits in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East.

JenniferJennifer Wilson (Australia) is a Director of The Project Factory – a multi-platform media company. Jennifer teaches courses in multi-platform, trans- and convergent media. She works with emerging leaders across all forms of media to help them understand the connected, networked world. She has authored books and papers aimed at writers and filmmakers covering key concepts, business models, rights issues and new ways of thinking about copyright. Jennifer is a member of SPAA, on the board of AIMIA and chairs the Mobile Industry Group.

AntheaAnthea Foyer (Canada)http://antheafoyer.com/sidebar-menu-parent/about is a creative director, producer, visual and new media artist and curator. She has created, advised and mentored on a wide range of critically acclaimed projects including graphic novels, online narratives, wearables, interactive installations, participatory theatre, live events, multi-platform experiences and television and film convergence projects. Anthea is currently co-founder, with Alex Mayhew, and Creative Strategist at The Labs, a creative and strategic consultancy that helps to deliver truly convergent properties that transform multi-platform challenges into opportunities for creative and commercial success.

AnthonyAntony Reed (Australia) is a 20-year veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. With global experience in game development and publishing, Antony has been a marketing brain behind some of the world’s biggest games franchises, including Command & Conquer,Baldur’s GateFallout and too many Star Trek titles, and has won numerous awards for his campaigns. In his publishing days Antony worked for industry heavyweights, Virgin Interactive and Interplay Productions, before turning his attention to game development in 2003. Today, Antony is the CEO of the Game Developers’ Association of Australia and is tasked with advocating the interests of the sector to government, educational, financial and commercial institutions as well as heavily promoting Australian game development creativity and talent internationally.

Gary HayesGary Hayes (Australia)http://www.personalizemedia.com/about/ is recognised as one of the foremost digital thinkers. An award-winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and director. The founding director of global multi-platform training initiative StoryLabs he has recently become Exec Producer of ABC Multi Platform TV. Gary has designed and lead multi-platform/transmedia courses internationally and in Australia with AFTRS and Metro Screen. He was the director of AFTRS’s LAMP program for 5 years, was Senior Interactive Development Producer at the BBC for 8 years, and was a Social TV Producer in the US. He also runs MUVEDesign (creating branded & story based augmented reality, virtual worlds and transmedia) and the influential media and marketing site PersonalizeMedia.

Ad Lab

Completely overhaul your approach to marketing and advertising with workshops and seminars designed to stimulate integrated thinking across multiple channels and devices. Branded entertainment has moved forward leaps and bounds in the last few years and the need to make sure most campaigns today have social media components are only part of the picture.

More than ever advertising needs the integration of great story and characterisation alongside the traditional channels but new opportunities open up too as new channels, especially mobile and outdoor start to become ubiquitous elements of peoples lives.

Mentored by some of the worlds best new form digital marketeers this lab is a mix of

  • Half day presentations on innovation techniques and new trends in advertising and marketing
  • Full day practical workshops on marketing developments, new form campaigns and formulating new creative
  • Intensive 3 day, 1 week incubators that will actually develop brand ad & marketing concepts as well as extending your existing portfolio
  • 3-9 month consultancy and remote mentoring
©2018 StoryLabs
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