Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cross Video Days Wrapup


First of all I should say – as you do with substitute football players given 10-15 minutes of playing time at the end of a game – ”he featured too short a time to be properly rated”. As I flew in Tuesday afternoon and out again directly after our ”How to create successful transmedia projects”-session on Wednesday morning, I saw a lot less of the conference than I ideally would have.

That said, my impression was of a well-run conference with good speakers, interesting topics and a very easy-going feeling to it all. Even the buyers who were present were quite relaxed.

The only sessions I managed to take part of fully were the one I was on myself and the showcase of ten transmedia projects on Tuesday evening. I was quite intrigued by the varying shapes transmedia is taking nowadays, from the early-stage interactive television project ”Jurors” by Italian G-Com to the ambitious ”209 Days” by The Workshop Production from Australia. My personal favourites were probably the documentary venture about Philip K Dick and the interesting project "Generation Tahrir", both of which, in my mind, had captured the essence of transmedia storytelling; creating more, thinking multiplatform and engaging the audience on a number of levels. You can judge for yourselves, as all the participating projects are featured on the Cross Video Days website.

Our session was the second one on Wednesday, following an interesting presentation from Eurodata, which put transmedia and cross media into perspective by looking at cross mediated tv shows of the past few months.

To evaluate our panel is a bit hard as I was on it myself, but I think we all in all managed quite well to cover a lot of ground regarding transmedia storytelling and it’s principles and challenges. The session was live streamed and should be up on the Cross Video Days website as well. We – me, Rob Pratten, Ian Ginn, Raymond Van Der Kaaij and Boris Razon, moderated by Laurent Guerin– touched on everything from great examples of successful transmedia projects (my point being that you need to clearly define what the criteria for success will be for any given project, so that funders and producers and distributors and sponsors are all on the same page when it comes to evaluating the success or lack thereof when it comes to a transmedia project) to production challenges, the art of creating a buzz and mistakes we’ve made ourselves in transmedia (from ”creating too much content” to ”not budget properly for community management” to ”underestimating the audience and trying to keep up after the fact”).

All in all, it was a great experience. As our panel talked about and as the pitched projects clearly showed, there is no shortcut when it comes to creating great transmedia projects. You just have to keep on keeping on, get better all the time, gather a trusted bunch of collaborators with the necessary skill sets and go do it.

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