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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.



Igniting the Imagination of Many, Architecting Story Worlds – Lance Weiler- StoryLabs Podcast Ep14


Igniting the Imagination of Many, Architecting Story Worlds – Lance Weiler – Lance looks at new form storytelling and a less talked about attribute, value. He explores how in the attention economy it is important that story has utility, still entertaining but also have purpose and intention. He reiterates his Pandemic and Head Trauma transmedia case study in this context and social or community exploration and talks further about the balance between hyperlocal and global world building (how local can cause global effect) in reference to Hope is Missing (sci-fi horror) and Laika. Lance shows how his worlds can easily extend to physical space and story focused shareable objects – where the social connected objects and communication devices connects users to actual characters and draws them into the narrative. He introduces his collaborative social benefit project called Igniting the Imagination of Many, kids problem solving world issues together and the importance of having a solid set of design principles before setting out on complex multiplatform story telling. He finishes on 6 key tips to create transmedia story including ‘taking time’, ‘why are you doing it’, ‘let go of a single point of view’ and more crucial words of advice.

Igniting the Imagination of Many, Architecting Story Worlds – A presentation by Lance Weiler, 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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LANCE WEILER (US) http://lanceweiler.com/press  Twitter – Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader. An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.”  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 currently working on a trilogy of participatory storytelling projects the first of which took place this past Fall and included an actual space launch. 



Playing with Film, Shaping Gameplay in a Storyworld – Matt Costello – StoryLabs Podcast Ep13

Matt_CostelloPlaying with Film: Discovering and Shaping Gameplay in a Storyworld – Matt tackles the complex issue of how to carefully meld storytelling and game play. Starting with the philosophy that “Puzzles are the foundation of Story’ he talks about how when writing a book, game or film how they are filled with puzzles for characters,  filled with questions. He looks at some of the 70 key puzzle types and how they may be applied to certain genre or types of situations to help make story extensions engaging. Matt talks about the difference of gamification vs puzzlefication around the film story, how to connect with what users are doing, expanding horizons and how they can feed into a film universe. (An edit of a seminar talk and a clinic talk, with some gaps where live participations originally took place)

Playing with Film Story – A presentation by Matt Costello, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia 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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Matt Costello (US) –  Matt Costello’s best-selling and award-winning work across all media has meshed gameplay, technology and story. He is the writer and creator of groundbreaking games, novels, nonfiction and TV in both U.S. and Europe. Much of his work has involved working with and creating IP for major films. He wrote and co-designed Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, working closely with the series screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. The game, Disney’s first world-wide #1 best-seller, had to capture the world of the first three films, and yet present a new twist on the characters and the story. For Universal Pictures and Simon & Schuster, Matt wrote the original prequel novel to Peter Jackson’s King Kong, Island of the Skull, creating an original story working closely with the film’s screenwriter, Phillipa Boyens. Other film properties that Matt has worked with across both game and other media platforms include Bad Boys, The Italian Job, and — for Disney – Aladdin, Hercules, and G-Force. He wrote and co-created the bible for the hit game Doom 3, which became the basis for the recent film. He has written and co-created original IP, including the games Just Cause 1 & 2, currently being developed as films by Eric Eisner’s L + E Pictures. His horror novel, Beneath Still Waters, was filmed by Lionsgate in 2004, and released worldwide. Other recent novels and games are also currently being developed as films.

The Story of Transmedia Marketing Stories – Brian Cain – StoryLabs Podcast Ep10

brian_cain_clinicThe Story of Transmedia Marketing Stories – Brian Cain takes us on a long journey from his early involvement with the poster boys of guerrilla internet marketing around Blair Witch and Art of the Heist through to his creative work with Campfire and now GMD Studios building multi platform marketing campaigns around major film and TV story brands. He begins by talking about the industry relationships particular how marketing departments can connect effectively with the story tellers and marrying hero’s journeys to audience, defined as skimmers, dippers and divers. Brian talks us through some of the thinking behind campaigns such as True Blood and Terminator, how their multi platform transmedia approach respected the psychographic profiles of audience engrossed in the story worlds. He stresses the importance of using appropriate metrics to measure engagement vs traditional quantity based approaches, to really lock down KPIs, build strategic foundations and how to measure the multi platform story success.

The Story of Transmedia Marketing Stories – A presentation by Brian Cain, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia digital ignition Lab held in Sydney in late Nov 2012. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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BRIAN CAIN (US)  has been a leading experience designer and Creative Director in the world of immersive marketing for over a decade.   In 1999, while working withHaxan 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.

A Tale of Two Campaigns – Salt vs Bourne – Anthony Mullins – StoryLabs Podcast Ep09

anthony-mullinsA Tale of Two Campaigns – BAFTA winner Anthony Mullins (Creative Director of Hoodlum at the time of this recording) takes us through his companies process in developing multi platform stories then segues into comparing their campaigns for Salt and Bourne Legacy. Anthony begins by taking us through a range of practical tips from early concepts through to production challenges. Open and closed thinking through to development practise. He advises on how to approach and build story worlds, with or without the clients involvement, and how best to keep up to date with trends. Anthony also talks through all the challenges around understanding an audience, what they do and how best to fulfil their needs through to handling expectations and the issues around lead in times if the transmedia project is promoting a specific release date for a film.

A Tale of Two Multi Platform Campaigns – A presentation by Anthony Mullins, given at the StoryLabs & Screen Australia digital ignition Lab held in Sydney in late Nov 2012. StoryLab’s Podcasts: Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes

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Anthony Mullins (Australia) –  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.

StoryLabs & Screen Australia 1 Day Seminar – Film 3.0 Making Multi-platform Transmedia Movies Dec 3

I am delighted to be able to run these public seminars which are off the back of, and feature all of the mentors for the previous 1 week residential lab. The speakers are top of their field (international folk are completely over their jetlag – these things are important!) but I think what makes the seminar unique, is that immediately following a week of practical and intensive workshopping, the talks are extremely practical and realistic. Most of the people who came to the same seminar in Melbourne last year indicated that it was the best of its kind. Being central Sydney and in the rather unique ‘parliamentary layout’ of the SMC, it will be a highlight of the multi platform calendar this year.

Full release from Screen Australia(also we will likely have a short very practical talk too from Firelight on their recent multi platform works)

Screen Australia and StoryLabs will present world-class film campaign designers and experiential storytelling experts in a one-off, full-day public seminar in Sydney on Monday 3 December. Film 3.0 | Making Multi-platform Movies will showcase insights, case studies and practical guidance on producing multi-platform extensions for feature films; turning them from one-off views into an exploratory, expanded ‘storyworld’ spread across mediums, platforms and devices. Attendance is strongly recommended for film and digital industry professionals.

The seminar will be led by 10 of the industry’s leading experts who have worked across properties including King KongGame of Thrones, The Bourne Legacy, Terminator Salvation, Magnolia, Titanic, Pandemic, Salt, True BloodGangs of New York, Pirates of the CaribbeanStorm Surfers 3DLostand many more.

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 Nathan Mayfield (Aus).

Taking a feature film narrative across multiple media platforms enables creative productions to connect with a wider, more involved audience and be more commercially viable. Developing 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, chaired by interactive TV pioneer Gary Hayes (Aus), cuts through the noise to focus on the core aspects of making feature films more social, game-like and spreadable, by exploring audience intelligence, story architecture, new marketing, evolved business models, community building, creative technology and user interaction design, to help practitioners take their idea from page to screen.

  • Lance Weiler (US) is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader, and creator of some of the world’s most original cinematic transmedia projects, including Head Trauma and Pandemic, which was selected for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers. He will discuss story architecture in relation to his current interactive work surrounding a special David Cronenberg (The FlyScannersExistenz) project produced in conjunction with Canadian Film Centre and Toronto International Film Festival.
  • Brian Cain (US) is a leading creative director who will discuss marketing as storytelling using case studies of Terminator Salvation,Game of ThronesTrue Blood and key involvement in earlier ground-breaking ARG works such as Blair Witch and Art of the Heist.
  • Nathan Mayfield (Australia), Chief Creative Officer at Emmy®-winning agency Hoodlum, will discuss the business of extending film through examining his work on The Bourne Legacy and Salt.
  • Matt Costello (US) is a games, film and novel writer with who has worked on extensions, including King KongPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s EndBad Boys 2, and consulted on Titanic. He will explore the relationship between game and film, and finding the most appropriate game play categories.
  • Laurel Papworth (Australia), CEO of Community Crew and named by Forbes as one of the global Top 50 Social Media Influencers has set up and managed online communities including Big BrotherJunior Masterchef, Sony, Universal Pictures, Event Cinemas and large multiplayer game properties. She will case study some of her work to demonstrate how to manage film communities, going beyond ephemeral viral or promotion, to how to create loyal film communities.
  • Brian Seth Hurst (US) is known as ‘the father of cross-platform’. He’ll case study his work with high profile talent and brands, such as with Heroes creator Tim Kring, to discuss building storyworlds, and sustaining them by engaging the conversation between filmmaker and audience.
  • Gunther Sonnenfeld (US), who has taken his vast experience of marketing major films such as Magnolia and Gangs of New York into the multi-platform arena, will discuss data-driven storytelling; understanding archetypes and online behaviour in order to find your audience.
  • Mike Cowap (Australia), an Investment Manager with Screen Australia with a focus on multi-platform and interactive production, will discuss how to finance extensions to feature films.
  • Gary Hayes (Australia) is the founder of StoryLabs and Senior Producer and Product Development Manager at ABC TV Multi-Platform creating new formats and dual screen, social TV experiences. He will chair the event and provide context by presenting popular examples of multi-platform feature film, and close by discussing best practice in the practical aspects of cross-media production.

Speakers for the seminar will also be mentors for the second Digital Ignition Multi-platform Clinic facilitated by StoryLabs, part of Screen Australia’s Multi-platform Program, which will support eight selected feature film teams developing production-ready, multi-platform strategies through a workshop being held 26–30 November.

Film 3.0 | Making Multi-platform Movies will be held on Monday 3 December 2012 at the SMC Conference and Function Centre in Sydney.

Tickets are $50, and are available at:
Media Enquiries
Teri Calder T: 02 8113 5833; M: 0408 440 995

The Business of Games as Transmedia Brands – Tony Reed – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.8

The Business of Games as Transmedia Brands – A 101 introduction to the games business and how to approach attaching multi million dollar games through to cheap and cheerful casual games to your multi platform story world. The importance of growing your brand and how upfront community and transmedia brand building is the most important factor in making any kind of success. Also some very surprising statistics surrounding entertainments biggest playground.

A presentation from Anthony Reed, CEO of the GDAA, 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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Antony 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.

When Participation Becomes Promotion – Anthea Foyer – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.7

When Participation Becomes Promotion – How to use online participatory and social story to draw users into your IP. Using a film in production this explores the nature of social media as a way to create major interest in your project by getting users involved in the creative process

A presentation from Anthea Foyer (post throat infection!) 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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Anthea Foyer (Canada)

Anthea 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. 

Making Stories Gameful – Matt Costello – StoryLabs Podcast Ep.6

Creative IP and Designing Play – Matt explains his approach in developing experiential stories looking at a range of successful game, film and book examples as well as delving into the true nature of interaction. He uses his latest work as key writer of  Rage as a study of how to take IP from game, to book, to film and how to approach original branded IP and creatively develop it from life to story world to game.

A presentation by Matt Costello 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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MATT COSTELLO – US mentor (NY, LA & London)

Matt Costello is based in New York, London and LA and has written ground-breaking and award-winning novels, games, and television. Time Magazine said of Doom 3, which he scripted, “The story is delivered with unusual art.” He wrote the groundbreaking 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 Storylab founder Neil Richards for Eidos, debuted as the #1 game for Xbox 360 in the UK and was named “Best Adventure Game” at the 2006 E3.

His current projects include a major game for the revolutionary Nintendo 3DS. Other notable games include: Hercules, for Disney, The Dark Half, for MGM, Derelict, for The Syfy Channel, The Clue Chronicles for Hasbro, Barbie’s Riding Adventure for Mattel, Clifford’s Reading” for Scholastic, Starsky & Hutch  for Empire, and The Italian Job for Eidos. Matt also specialises in the kid’s genre and has created many award-winning games for children.

He co-created one of the first major experiments in “˜two-way TV’, called ZoogDisney, branded as “˜TV you do’. For two years the ZoogDisney weekend bloc re-shaped the Disney channel, bringing it squarely into the interactive and “˜tweens world. He has written a kids book series for Scholastic , The Kids of Einstein Elementary which blends adventure and math and he also scripted episodes of the award-winning PBS animated series, Cyberchase. Other games include the landmark Aladdin’s Mathquest with math expert Marilyn Burns for Disney, as well as the multi-award winning A Cartoon History of the Universe (Putnam). His novel Beneath Still Waters was filmed and released by LionsGate and Penguin/Putnam published his latest suspense novel, Nowhere. His new novel,Vacation, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2011.

StoryLabs Podcast Launched – Ep 1 Lance Weiler – Ep 2 Laurel Papworth

Following on from the successful Clinic and Seminar’s StoryLabs ran for Screen Australia’s Digital Ignition initiative we are proud to launch the StoryLabs podcast. This will feature interviews, presentations, panels and become a general transmedia and multi platform resource. There are already 15 ready to go in the queue released weekly so subscribe below directly via iTunes or using the Feedburner link to a podcast client of your choice. The next episodes will also have their own page and player on this site.

First talks feature 1 hour talks from Lance Weiler on “The Creative Story World Process” and Laurel Papworth on “Story Communities”. More detail below.

Audio and Video Recordings of talks and panels at StoryLabs workshops and events. StoryLabs were formed in Australia, Canada the US and UK aim is to pioneer digital content creation, strategy and innovation through strong, multi media story engagement. Time to go beyond simple new media & tech orientation, business networking or basic proof of concepts and step up to the next level – create story rich, original IP and new form entertainment, products & services. Podcasts Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes.

Story R&D: Lance Weiler: StoryLabs & Screen Australia Clinic

Released Jan 22, 2012

The Creative Story World Process – How transmedia is both commercial and real, the studio and broadcast system and how to create stories that engage and extend across platforms. Exploring services evolving from one to another using key case study of how Head Trauma moved into Pandemic and other projects. A presentation from Lance given at the inaugural Screen Australia, StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011. Podcast Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes.

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 official selection of 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.

Story Community: Laurel Papworth: StoryLabs & Screen Australia Clinic

Released Jan 22, 2012

The Story Community. Building community around your story and game world and then growing and managing that community. Using examples of Big Brother, Master Chef and various online games, a step-by-step guide on how to build loyal users. A presentation from Laurel given at the inaugural Screen Australia, StoryLabs digital ignition lab held in Robertson in late November 2011. Podcast Recorded and Produced by Gary P Hayes.

Laurel Papworth (Australia) http://laurelpapworth.com/about has been creating and managing online communities for over 20 years. Marketingmagazine named Laurel ‘Head of Industry, Social Media’ for Australia and AdAge named Laurel 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 runningvirtual online communities since the late 1980s including virtual worlds and forums. 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.


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