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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.



Building TV and Film Communities – Laurel Papworth – StoryLabs Podcast Ep15

laurel_portraitBUILDING TV AND FILM COMMUNITIES – Laurel takes us methodically through the various steps in how to grow ‘communities of interest’ around film and TV properties but also building networks around the creative forces that drive these properties and how to make them feel inclusive and involved. She refers to the issues of pushing content at audiences vs making users find, filter and forward content on your behalf and also about the difference between a campaign and a collaborative goal with the users. Laurel touches on crowd-funding using a range of case studies and introduces the seminar with a simple look at how to use Facebook to find some key metrics around brands and keywords and ends on the importance of influencers and building a trusted relationship with your key networks.

Building TV and Film Communities – A presentation by Laurel Papworth, 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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LAUREL PAPWORTH (AUS)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” for Australia. Author of Social Media Revenue, Laurel has consulted globally including with Singapore Government and Middle East Broadcasting, and in Australia, with Westpac, Sony, local, State and Federal Government. 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 lecturing on online community management at the University of Sydney, AFTRS, UWS etc and she has been managing virtual communities since 1989. Laurel’s blog laurelpapworth.com has been named by AdAge in the Power150 media blogs worldwide and she is in the top 10 bloggers for Australia as well as100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter.



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. 



The Multi Platform Story Ecosystem – Brian Seth Hurst – StoryLabs Podcast Ep11

Brian Seth Hurst and Tim Kring

Brian Seth Hurst and Tim Kring

The Multi Platform Story Ecosystem – Brian Seth Hurst takes us on a whirlwind ride through his four models of Transmedia Multi platform storytelling with case studies including Conspiracy for Good, Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, Supernatural. Using his four models (1) Heres the Story (2) I’m Listening (3) My World and Welcome To It (4) Take It, Its Yours – Brian looks at the power of Fan Fiction alongside professionally created Story canon and how campaigns must always involve users to great or lesser degrees. He begins by painting a broad picture of how to appreciate and develop storyworlds and map them across a multi platform ecosystem – while constantly keeping your eye on the franchise as it spreads into user created content.

The Multi Platform Story Ecosystem – A presentation by Brian Seth Hurst, 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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BRIAN SETH HURST (US) is CEO of The Opportunity Management Company, a strategic consultancy that is driving innovation and the next generation of entertainment. Referred to as “the father of cross platform”, Brian coined the term in 1998 as MD of Convergent Media at Pittard Sullivan, where he launched TV Guide as the first ever cross platform brand. Hurst’s credo, “go to where your audience lives” continues to transform the relationship of audiences to programming.

Under Brian’s leadership, TOMC has assisted broadcast clients and content rights holders in extending their programming and building communities on new platforms. The company has a rich practice in the building of “cross media and multiplatform ecosystems” including Alternate Reality Games and the burgeoning field of Augmented Reality. Clients have included: Showtime, Lifetime, SVT (Swedish Pubic Television), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, NBCUniversal, Intel, Les Mills Fitness and AOL as well as successful start-ups including Nixle and Paltalk. Hurst was on the team at Pittard Sullivan as MD of Convergence that developed the original user experience for TiVo. He has held or holds advisory board positions with MobiTV, Zannel, Vwalls, Social Samba and Nixle. Hurst is a principal and is currently at work on Tim Kring’s (creator of Heroes) project the award winning “Conspiracy For Good” for which he created the terms “Social Benefit Storytelling” and “Social Benefit Marketing” to describe this new entertainment genre and the project’s impact.

Well known for his dedication and service to the industry, Brian spent 10 years on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences building the Primetime Emmy® Brand Strategy and serving in various positions including Second Vice Chair. He served 3 terms on the National Board of the Producers Guild of America. Recipient of an Interactive TV Today [itvt] Award for Leadership in Interactive Television, he has been profiled in Emmy® Magazine one of the 10 media executives in the business leading the industry’s digital drive. Hurst was named two years running to the Hollywood Reporter/PGA Digital 50. Previously, he served two terms as Chairman of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council while simultaneously serving on the Television Academy’s Board of Governors representing Interactive Media. Hurst was appointed Global Digital Ambassador for the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2009.

Hurst is also co-author with Olivia Newton-John of Simon and Schuster’s bestselling children’s book “A Pig Tale”.

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.

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. 

Join StoryLabs Community

Although still in its start-up phase, the StoryLabs Network has nearly 150 members of which 40+ are mentors.

It is free to join the network and begin connecting (in far more meaningful and deeper ways than traditional Facebook or Directory type networks) with some of the best creators in the world.

The network includes:

  • A member and growing mentor profile directory
  • Projects submitted and being discussed privately under Mutual NDA
  • Various groups to join and discuss publicly and privately
  • Postings on a range of new storytelling and transmedia topics
  • A complete rating, internal mail and friending system
  • A good mix of forums, status updates and activity

The site is in phase two development and phase three (built on Drupal vs WordPress/Buddypress) to be launched early in the new year will feature the most comprehensive consultant and mentor directory yet seen across multi platform storytelling sites.

The network is currently being updated and will be available around 8 Sep – for now if you want to submit a project for online mentoring then click here

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