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  • Poetry and cinematics : new marketing tools for the 21st century?


    by Alain Bezancon, published on 4.07.2012

    In a general context of gloom and recession, the global luxury industry continues its insolent growth fueled largely by the accession of BRIC citizens (Brazil, Russia, India, China) to millionaire statuds. The members of this growing club of affluent people do not just acquire designer objects symbolic of their class as they are now more interested in unique or even transformational experiences.




    According to the Boston Consulting Group, trips, vacations, expeditions, cruises, this year represent the fastest growing segment in front of handbags, watches, clothing, jewelry and other turbo charged cars.

    Like the influence of haute couture on prêt-à-porter, the luxury sector is certainly at the forefront of a trend that is interesting to decipher in terms of communication and marketing .



    Nowadays it seems that possessing the exterior signs of wealth is no longer sufficient. The acquisition of exclusive and high-end goods is within reach of an ever growing number of individuals. These objects are manufactured and even counterfeited in large numbers thus diminishing the perceived value. The ability to take advantage of tangible goods is limited by our physical abilities while our ability to experience emotions is infinite. That may be what drives this search for non-reproducible and exclusive in the intangible, in the intimacy of the experience. Space tourism is probably the most extreme example of this trend, but the number of applicants crowding the waiting lists is a good indicator of its relevance.

    A stratospheric flight or a stay aboard a space station are bigger than life experiences that sell for themselves. For players offering more earthly packages, differentiation in a highly competitive market is a strategic issue. Relevant concepts being implemented at the speed of the Internet, everyone now offers “experiences”. As the premium for the novelty of the concept is no longer a competitive advantage, the challenge, especially for resorts, is to attract demanding customers wishing to live a unique moment.

    As it is no longer sufficient to communicate on the register of hedonism or on the exotic character of the place with a glossy or virtual brochure other means must be invented.



    A spectacular view,  a sophisticated cuisine, a sumptuous room, a refined spa, enchanting gardens, attentive staff, are clichés literally and figuratively, which present a level of reality, but that does not reflect the emotion, the singular identity of the place. This is perhaps the greatest challenge in terms of communication, to convey an emotion, to translate the essence of a space or a concept allowing customers to project themselves and begin to feel what they could live there. The idea is not to sell a package, but to offer a “decor” with which the client “will come into resonance” to experience the unique story that he will write there. The communication becomes the creation of storytelling anchored in reality. To materialize this scripted reality, the full range of narrative tools can be used.

    A communication experience of this kind was conducted in September 2011 by Portraitgraphy with « Les Terres M’Barka » which is a resort near Marrakech. In order to translate the spirit of the place, a cinematic video portrait was produced. The portrait shows the property developer who plays his own role and expresses the vision that preceded the genesis of the project. The character evolves in its creation and invites the viewer to discover his universe through his eyes. The border between reality and fiction disappears to make room for emotion. The video is presented on a dedicated website and is accompanied by a poetic text that offers an alternative approach to the vision. Video capsules offer sensory samples of the place and making-of photos highlight the cinematic flavor of the project. The hotel and surrounding landscape are only suggested and used as the setting in which the character evolves.

    This original communication approach has been very well received by customers and professionals gathered at an international conference in Marrakech in October 2011 and whose theme was appropriately  “The importance of storytelling.”

    Poetry and cinematics techniques are perfectly coherent for this type of project because they are original creations adding value to another creation. The “client / actor” is  exposed to several works which he is invited to contribute by its presence. This approach seems to satisfy the desire of unique, intimate and therefore non-reproducible experiences on the part of ” luxury consumers”. The experience of the place can become the contribution to a creative process and not a simple act of consumption.

    Taking this concept to the next level, “Les Terres M’Barka” plans to offer the cinematic portrait experience to its customers. The “client / actor” becomes the subject of his own movie in the “decor” he chose because of the emotion it inspires. The loop is closed.

    Pushing this even further, we may see appearing in the near future the concept of “Designer Life”:  your life “designed” as a succession of personal and exclusive experiences in a scripted reality 24/7/365.



    Will emerging communication techniques used by the luxury industry spread to other sectors?
    Can poetry and cinematic portraits apply to other markets?
    It is surely too early to tell, but beyond the tools, the emergence of a consumer trend oriented toward being more than having is an indicator,  probably revealing, of the troubled period of transition we are going through. The hierarchy of needs seems to be evolving from the material to the intangible, from the object to the experience, and beyond the experience the search for meaning.

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    author Alain Bezancon

    Depuis toujours passionné par la prospective et les thèmes d'anticipation, Alain Bezançon décline sa vision dans différents domaines de création : édition de logiciels, écriture, production artistiques pluridisciplinaires.

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  • Henry Jenkins explains his vision of transmedia and audience engagement

    Centre Pompidou Transmedia lab

    by Mélanie Bourdaa, published on 7.06.2012

    Promoted by Sorbonne Nouvelle – Université Paris 3 and supported by Orange’s Transmedia lab, the Centre Pompidou hosted a lecture by Henry Jenkins on Friday 25 May for a lecture on Transmedia Storytelling entitled “Engagement, participation, play: the value and meaning of Transmedia audiences”. The lecture, organised by Eric Maigret (Professor at Paris 3 University) and (associate professor at Bordeaux 3 University), provided an opportunity for to explain his vision of transmedia and audience engagement strategies. We bring you feedback from Mélanie Bourdaa and .



    After an introduction in which Eric Maigret and Mélanie Bourdaa emphasised the significance of academic work, most particularly his initial ethnographic research into fan communities in the 1990s and, more recently, into Convergence Culture in the early 2000s, Henry Jenkins opened his presentation by underlining important role of fans. In his opinion, as a result of convergence culture the cultural industries now perceive fans differently and are trying to come to terms with this new variable. He explained, for instance, that a number of television series, including Fringe recently, have been kept on air thanks to fans’ demonstrations of support on social networks.

    Logics of engagement:

    In Jenkins’ view, five logics are contributing to the emergence of transmedia and the phenomenon of increased fan participation (‘fandom’):

    -    The logic of entertainment, as evidenced by the presence in the US TV schedules of TV series and reality shows;
    -    The logic of social connection, highlighted by votes and discussions on social networking sites;
    -    The logic of experts, symbolised by the collective intelligence (Levy, 1994true) brought to bear by fans for the purposes of creation, production and discussion. Henry Jenkins cites the examples of the creation of Twin Peaks fan sites and the Lost Wiki (Lostpedia), which both collate articles written by fans to offer greater insight into both series;
    -    The logic of immersion, which encourages participation. For example, on Oscars night fans could use a number of interactive tools to immerse themselves in the ceremony and form a community;
    -    The logic of identification, which enables fans to establish an identity depending on what they watch.


    Henry Jenkins then returned to his definition of Transmedia Storytelling, which he proposed for the first time in a 2003 analysis of the augmented universe of the Matrix film franchise, published in Technological Review.

    Taking this definition as a starting point, he suggested examples to illustrate the concept, both in terms of production strategies and fan extensions. For instance, Jenkins highlighted the narrative universe of The Wizard of Oz (musicals, cartoon series, books, comic strips) to illustrate the idea that, in his opinion, Transmedia strategies were in place well before the term was coined and defined, and certainly well before the rapid rise of digital media. He emphasised this idea by explaining that Transmedia Storytelling is perfectly viable without using new technologies, and that the latter have mainly been used as facilitators by the modern creators of transmedia universes.

    The researcher at USC’s Annenberg Lab then moved on to more contemporary examples, such as the creation of the Tru Blood drink as a direct spin-off of the TV products, the posting of “no aliens” stickers on benches specially designed for humans to symbolise the racial segregation depicted in the film District 9, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books created by Joss Whedon, which added an eighth non-televised season to the series.

    Fans, immersed in a wide-ranging narrative universe, strive to produce their own transmedia extensions, in an example of what Jenkins calls the logic of performance. For example, fans of Lost have managed to create a map of the island which is not shown in the series, enabling them to map locations and characters’ movements. Glee fans, meanwhile, perform songs and dance routines from episodes of the show and then post and share them on platforms like YouTube. Finally, fans of Star Wars have made Star Wars Uncut, a series of sequences filmed by them and stitched together to recreate the whole film.

    Jenkins also noted that some fan extensions precede the cultural industries’ transmedia creations. He cited the example of Pottermore, the official transmedia extension created by the author of the Harry Potter books. This website offers functions such as the Sorting Hat Ceremony, which determines which of the four school Houses each new Hogwarts student is assigned to. Yet this ceremony had already been developed by fans themselves ten years before, leading Jenkins to note that the cultural industries are lagging ten years behind!

    Cosplay also has a role in fans’ transmedia extensions, as they offer their take on the universe and interactions between characters.

    Fans’ activities can also become civic activities, as part of a movement called transmedia activism. In this case, community sharing and discussions can promote concerted action in favour of political and charitable causes. For example, Palestinian children dressed up as the Na’vi people from James Cameron’s Avatar film, to peacefully symbolise the oppression of their people. The Hunger Games provides further examples. Fans of the literary trilogy and film joined forces with the Harry Potter Alliance and Oxfam to launch a campaign against global hunger entitled “Hunger is not a Game”. Unfortunately, feeling threatened, the film’s distributor Lionsgate put a stop to the campaign.

    Much of Henry Jenkins’ conference focused on the circulation of media content by fans. He explained a number of terminological and cultural points. Firstly, he refers to the circulation of content by fans, and not distribution, which in his view is the province of the cultural industries. Next, he prefers the term “spreadable” to the term “viral”, which implies, in his view, a notion of contagion and infection. Finally, he rejects the description of fans that re-appropriate content and circulate it among their communities as “pirates”.

    Jenkins sees the decision to circulate media content as an active one on the part of the fan, but also a sharing decision and a political choice. Taking the example of Kony 2012, or the Pepper Spray Cop meme, fans are certainly involved in receiving and circulating specific content in public spheres. In addition, these examples show clearly that transmedia does not need to be based on an established franchise (like a film or TV series), because they attracted non-hardcore fans.

    In the conference, Henry Jenkins tried to explain the phenomena of audience engagement, and more specifically fandom. Transmedia Storytelling encourages various fan behaviours (creation, collective intelligence, activism, circulation, etc.), providing fertile ground for a range of engagement tools.

    However, we should note the remarkable extension of Jenkins’ definition of Transmedia Storytelling. Indeed, even though he restated his initial definition in this conference, his comments suggest that he is now trying to extend the scope of Transmedia Storytelling, at times moving away from the prime reason for implementing such a strategy: the creation of an augmented narrative.



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    author Mélanie Bourdaa

    Maitre de Conférences à l’Université Bordeaux 3 dans le département Information et Communication (ISIC), en Master Multimédia, elle est membre du laboratoire MICA (Médiation, Information, Communication, Art) dans lequel elle développe des recherches autour du Transmedia Storytelling et des études de fans. Elle a co-fondé l’association Univers Transmedia.

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    Between fiction and reality: the continuous back and forth for fan communities 3/3


    by Aurore Gallarino, published on 21.05.2012

    Aurore Gallarino offers a new perspective as part of a series of articles which provide a complete overview of certain fan practices, many of them related to storytelling, and their transmedia potential. She has given us a look at “fan community story factories” and explained “expanded universes: home-made franchises”. Now she shows us the overlap between life as an expanded universe fan and the reality of daily life.




    The storytelling fan sometimes goes beyond the fictional environment when they don’t just write follow-ups or missing scenes for a work but go beyond that and create content as if it was straight out of the universe. If there is one thing we need to understand then it is the ‘expert’ nature of fan activity. Access into the world of fandom is not determined by race, gender, or social class, but by attachment to a work (Jenkins, 2008). This attachment and commitment are characterised by the fans’ hyper-specialisation in relation to a work. To get an idea of this commitment we need only to consider the example of Lord of the Rings fans who learnt how to speak Elvish, or Star Trek fans who speak the Klingon language, as portrayed in the TV series The Big Bang Theory, with characters fully versed in the game of Klingon Boggle.



    This fan ‘expertise’ demonstrates knowledge of the work and the author’s world which often surpasses adaptations by commissioned directors or licensed merchandising. We need to be bear in mind fans’ desire to create something ‘real’, and stay as close as possible to the official version and not get into approximation. For certain fans, there should be no tie-in products. Indeed they think the aim of any creation or fan product is for it to be a ‘genuine’ and ‘authentic’ item. These products are not gadgets, but items from the universe itself, with the fictional world juxtaposing the real world. This desire for ‘authenticity’ drives fans to extend the universe into all media and realities available to them, making the boundaries between the fictional and the real world increasingly porous.



    Certain fans are not content to know that “The Daily Prophet” or “The Quibbler” are two publications in the expanded universe of Harry Potter. No, certain fans actually write and publish “The Daily Prophet” and “The Quibbler” as if they were being published in the world of Harry Potter itself. Here we are not talking about either fan fiction or fiction period. This is ‘fan reality’. For fans it is a case of playing the game through role-playing and forgetting the ‘fictional’ nature of published content. For example, ‘Obscurus Press’ is a group of Harry Potter fans who publish wizard publications.

    Display of all of Obscurus Press’ publications – Personal photo taken at a fan convention.



    The concept of the music fan is not a new practice linked to the development of the web and social network sites like MySpace. In the past, there was what was known as ‘Filk’ where fans met for performances by singers on stage and song lyric booklets were sold as fanzines (Jenkins, 1992, 2008). Nowadays, music and video file-sharing platforms, with their easy access to content and simplified distribution possibilities, have given a new boost to the practice of singing about one’s favourite fan universe.

    In the original world of Harry Potter, wizard music, and in particular a group called ‘Weird Sisters’, is mentioned. The fans themselves have created musical groups under the collective name of ‘Wizard Rock’. The group Harry and the Potters, for example, has albums available on iTunes and perform live in several towns in the USA.

    There is even a wizard radio station which broadcasts these Harry Potter-inspired songs via podcasts.

    In terms of content, the fans’ song lyrics go from fan-fiction (in the sense that the songwriter observes the universe in question from the outside) through to fan-reality (in the sense where the songwriter writes ‘as if he was part’ of the universe itself). And this music sometimes plays a critical role in relation to franchises and attempts at transmedia by the entertainment industry. Indeed there are singers who produce songs which ridicule fan expertise and the entertainment industry’s reaction to it. Recently, Alex Carpenter, known for his parodies and his involvement in Wizard Rock for many years now, wrote the song ‘Pottermore’.



    In this song he asks ‘What if Pottermore puts me in the wrong House? So he’s wondering what will happen to him, as a fan right from the outset, whose reading of the books when they came out always made him think that he belonged to the red and gold Gryffindor House, when many years later he finds himself belonging to the green and silver Slytherin House in Pottermore (the official website from the owner-creators of the Harry Potter universe)?

    Extract : « The last ten years theres only one thing I’ve known for sure

    Thats where I’d be sorted if I went to Hogwarts

    Thinking back on all the sweaters, robes and ties I bought

    All my clothes are my house colors, then again maybe not

    What if Pottermore sorts me in the wrong house? »

    So this song questions how fans that are faced with an official extension can see their expertise and knowledge about the work threatened. This problem is real and shows the reflexiveness of fandom in the face of the entertainment industry and authors’ acts, but also the limits of transmedia set up retroactively. By adding to the work belatedly the official creators of content put themselves at odds with extremely qualified audiences of fan communities.



    Sport is another element that the fans can transpose to the real world. While certain fantasy communities replay big battles from their favourite universes, fans of Harry Potter transpose into the real world the wizard sport of Quidditch (a game with teams of seven players flying around on magic broomsticks). But some fans do not buy the replica of the broom that Harry Potter flies on in the film. Instead they make their own brooms and use them to play ‘real’ Quidditch. In fact there are groups of fans who play regular Quidditch matches. These teams got together in 2011 for a Quidditch World Cup with more than 2000 competing athletes.



    Time and the duty to preserve the memory of universes special to fans are themes which are continually brought up by fans so that fandom does not die out. Because beyond creating and living the culture of an expanded universe fan in reality, fandom members use all their knowledge to keep key dates in mind and match timelines from the fictional world with everyday life.

    Twitter is especially useful for matching timelines. The hashtag is notably used to re-tell the Harry Potter story day after day.

    When it is a character’s birthday, the fans take the opportunity to flood social networks with birthday messages like this #HappyBirthdayRonWeasley.

    It should be noted that official Harry Potter accounts on Twitter and Facebook run by Warner Bros also talk about Ron’s birthday and use it as a commercial tool:

    This daily narrative of the story demonstrates the amount of energy devoted by fan communities to continually rekindle the memory of the work.



    There is one fan production’s aspect which takes a step right out of a fictional work and takes the values of the universe as its reference, rather than the universe itself. Here, the values of the fictional universe become real and are transformed into political action. The most striking example of this political shift in fan practices is the Harry Potter Alliance. This group of Harry Potter fans says it fights for the rights of everyone, including werewolves and the LGBTQ community. The Harry Potter Alliance is not just a showcase or joke among friends, but an organisation which is active on the web and in the field. The organisation has 100,000 members and 60 ‘offices’ around the world. JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, has herself said that the Harry Potter Alliance was the expression of the ‘spirit of Albus Dumbledore’, one of the key characters in the books.

    Extract from their manifesto: “The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) uses parallels from Harry Potter to inspire hundreds of thousands of Harry Potter fans to act as heroes in our world. The HPA has sent five cargo planes to Haiti, donated over 88,000 books across the world, and has made significant contributions to the anti-genocide, LGBTQ equality, environmental, and media reform movements. Currently, the organization is in discussion with the CEO of Warner Bros. to make all Harry Potter chocolate Fair Trade.”

    This demonstration of fandom in the real world is the ultimate example of fan activity. Transforming the principles of a fictional universe into real acts and citizens is the clearest expression of the richness and resources potentially found in fan audiences. Like myHogwarts, the Harry Potter Alliance fulfils the desire to realise the actual switch from the virtual and fictional world to the real world. By rethinking the boundaries between reality and fiction the fans are going beyond transmedia, storytelling, and translating the story across various media. They are making reality and daily life a medium and a place; a medium where the work can be trans-posed, trans-formed, and trans-cended.



    It is clearly not by chance that the researcher Henry Jenkins, an icon for fan studies, was also the man who developed the idea of transmedia. Fans who have already been developing their own franchises, their own films, their own games, and their own networks for a long time are still stronger than the media-cultures that bring out tie-in products, successfully adapt books for the big screen, and publish guides for people to learn more about universes. With their wild imagination and patience in the face of adversity, fan communities effectively adapt the universe they love using all available media and using all the human and technical resources found in fandoms.

    Now the need to extend and share content inspired by their favourite universe has been enhanced and increased in visibility and accessibility thanks to the web. The ‘Do it yourself’ aspect is especially well represented in fandoms where content production is shared with an eager audience and can quickly snowball thanks to an already captive audience (already more than 2 million views for ‘A Very Potter Musical’). In the case of a long-term fan community such as the Harry Potter one, the survival of fandom depends on the capacity for fan production to tell the story again and again. Through its profusion and creativity, it provides a framework for everyday immersion into the narrative and a perpetual resurrection of that initial work.



    This Fantasy League Gets a Stage in New York, for Real : The Wall Street Journal

    State of the League Address – December 2011 : InternationalQuidditch.org

    About The Harry Potter Alliance : TheHPAlliance.org

    The full bibliography can be found at the end of the first article ‘When fan communities embrace the principle of storytelling’

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    author Aurore Gallarino

    Travaillant actuellement comme chargée de médiation sur les réseaux sociaux pour le Centre Pompidou, je m'intéresse avant tout aux audiences et aux créations amateurs. Récemment diplômée d'un master 2 recherche en info-com, je continue cette année en "free-lance" mes recherches dans le champ des études culturelles, de la fan culture, de la convergence, de la culture participative, des nouveaux médias et des métamorphoses médiatiques en général.

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    Do it yourself: fan community “pirate” productions 2/3

    Sans titre-2

    by Aurore Gallarino, published on 14.05.2012

    Aurore Galliano offers a new perspective as part of a series of articles which provide a complete overview of certain fan practices, many of them related to storytelling, and their transmedia potential. She brings us a look at “fan community story factories” and explains “expanded universes: home-made franchises”.





    Everyone can call to mind, or even find in their cupboards, a mug, a t-shirt, or figurine featuring the hero of a film, TV series, manga or other story. Fans are generally assumed to be collectors, an assumption which we will not call into question (see Bromberger, 1998; Le Guern, 2010). For our purposes, we are more interested by collectors’ items which are directly produced, manufactured and reinvented by fans, rather than by the entertainment industry. The most common types of content created by these communities naturally include encyclopaedias and other fan guides which take a fairly systematic approach to list all the resources related to a work and serve as a reference. When the industry fails to produce the tie-in products or transmedia extensions of fans’ dreams, they tend to roll up their sleeves and get to work on designing the items that they would like to find on the market.



    The entertainment industry develops numerous tie-in products, but fan communities often compete with them by creating their own versions of the products. For example, while the online Warner Bros shop offers different items tied to the expanded universe of Harry Potter, including t-shirts, replicas, figurines and jewellery, fans manufacture and sell the same type of products on crafting websites.

    Example: iPad stickers created by fans


    Fans sometimes create their own versions even when official tie-in products do exist. So even though the Warner Bros shop sells an official “Deathly Hallows” necklace DIY fans have launched their own “made in fandom” Deathly Hallows necklace on e-commerce sites for crafters.



    Fans may also use resources from other franchises: rather than readapting existing franchises and tie-in products, they take on franchises which have never been tailored to their expanded universe in order to create their own “pirate” franchises.

    For example, although there are numerous adaptations of Monopoly based on universes like Star Wars or The Simpsons, there is no official Harry Potter version. The Harry Potter fan community, frustrated by the lack of a wizarding version of the game, faced the challenge head on: a group of fans simply created their own larger-than-life version of Monopoly.

    Some existing franchises, like the strategic life-simulation video game The Sims, offer a way for fans to express themselves. Thanks to the degree of personalisation which players enjoy, fans have used the DIY tools included in the game to create their own objects, hairstyles, and clothes, leading to a piecemeal expansion which could be called “The Sims: Harry Potter”.for

    Fans have used other features of game, combined with their own Harry Potter version of The Sims, to play out original scenes from the books and produce their own films. For example, one fan has used The Sims 2 to direct a very convincing series of videos re-enacting the storyline from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, creating all of the locations as well as the characters, their costumes and their lives from A to Z.

    Here we have a screen shot of the opening scene from Harry Potter, when Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall and Rubeus Hagrid drop off the baby Harry on the Dursleys’ steps.

    It should be noted that EA Games, which publishes The Sims, offers the same type of franchise with the recent release of a Sims 3 collector expansion pack which is entirely based on the life of the singer Katy Perry. By integrating well-known figures into a fictional game, EA Games is imitating the uses and practices already widely enjoyed by fans.



    Fan enthusiasm can also be found in other media, which are harder to manage. For example, there is a Harry Potter musical called: “A Very Potter Musical”. A group of fans has gone as far as writing and composing a musical, which is somewhere between a parody and a self-referential look at their own practices, inspired by their favourite expanded universe.



    The myHogwarts website, which aims to extend the fan experience in the most immersive way possible, is the latest project developed by the English-speaking Harry Potter fan community. The website, set to open in June, is a cross between an RPG forum, a social networking site, and a fan club, in the tradition of social networks like Facebook and Twitter. It distinctive feature is its aim of creating a bridge between the fan world and the real world for the community of Harry Potter readers.

    The description given on the website says: myHogwarts is a social network for Harry Potter fans… but it’s also so much more than that. Like traditional social networks, we allow you to add friends, have profiles, send messages, write on walls and everything you’re used to. What those networks don’t offer, however, is the ability to meet new Potter fans from around the world, socialize in your House Common Room, collect Chocolate Frog Cards, listen to an all-wizarding radio station, read and write books for the Hogwarts Library, meet other fans in your local area, take in-character Hogwarts courses and much more.”

    With myHogwarts, fans hope to make fandom last. Ten years ago, when the first Harry Potter fan communities were being organised, social networks did not yet exist. These communities now actively use new tools and existing platforms to colonise and appropriate other sites which are increasingly in keeping with the digital and cultural practices of audiences. If social networks represent a form of self-expression (Granjon, Denouël, 2010), then social networks of fans are all part of the expressiveness of fans and the identity of a community via new forms of storytelling.



    - The Deathly Hallows – Unisex Harry Potter Inspired Deathly Hallows Necklace Hematite Gunmetal Three Peverell Brothers Guy Man : http://www.etsy.com

    - “Sims” version reproduction of the actor Rupert Grint : http://lecadeau.blogspot.fr

    - “Sims version” of Harry Potter, an original fan creation: : http://www.brighthub.com

    - Katy Perry in a one-to-one encounter with her Sims alter-ego :



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    author Aurore Gallarino

    Travaillant actuellement comme chargée de médiation sur les réseaux sociaux pour le Centre Pompidou, je m'intéresse avant tout aux audiences et aux créations amateurs. Récemment diplômée d'un master 2 recherche en info-com, je continue cette année en "free-lance" mes recherches dans le champ des études culturelles, de la fan culture, de la convergence, de la culture participative, des nouveaux médias et des métamorphoses médiatiques en général.

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    Detective Avenue, one year on: reporting on the “first transmedia cluedo”


    by Vincent PUREN, published on 10.05.2012

    April 2011, Orange and Murmures Productions launch Detective Avenue, a new sort of transmedia experience combining an interactive police series with a inquiry game. One year on, the winner of the Orange award for Creation and his partner look back over an experiment that was full of lessons.





    It all began in 2008 when Alain Degove, producer at Murmures Productions, had the idea for a digital thriller inspired by Hitchcock and “Rear Window”. A team was put together comprising a series editor (Marc Eisenchteter) and two writers (Aurélie Belko and Sabine Cipolla) to develop a script for this new project, entitled Detective Avenue. Laurent Guérin joined Mumures Productions at the end of 2009 to take charge of all the digital and transmedia elements.

    Director, game designers, project manager, graphic designer: a whole range of expertise contributed to the completion of the project, which was presented at the 2010 Ateliers Orange de la creation (Orange creation workshops). Detective Avenue began by winning over the Games selection board (the Orange “transmedia” workshop was multi-themed: fiction, music, games, etc.) and then the executive board of the Ateliers Orange. One of 120 entrants, Murmures Productions took the prize at this first event dedicated to creative transmedia formats.

    “It’s a real story with real writers, inspired by the “Cluedo” archetype from the world of games; it succeeded in adapting a known format, the “web series”, delivering interactivity by exchanging emails and text messages with players. The Transmedia Producer responsible for providing the link between screen-play, technology and communities/interactions, and the well-conceived marketing carried by the digital storytelling, were both innovations that helped win over the panel of judges,” remarks , Director of the Transmedia lab and panel member.

    Following the award, this new format drama obtained financial backing from Orange, was promoted and distributed on its networks, and received support throughout the delivery of the project.

    According to “Orange is very reassuring; it’s a company that really commits to the success of a project it has selected. It’s very powerful. And the Group’s various talents and resources are put behind the project. We benefited from the know-how and expertise of the people who supported us. We also very much appreciated the great freedom we were given.”




    Suzelle Berthier has been found dead in her apartment. The police believe there has been an accident, but Gaëlle, the victim’s sister, is unconvinced. She moves into Suzelle’s apartment and begins to make enquires in the neighbourhood. Each of those involved reveals a secret and a potential motive for murdering Suzelle. This is the starting point of Detective Avenue’s plot.


    The online participant soon has a dual role: observer and detective. They observe events and Gaëlle’s actions as she continues with her investigations across a series of video episodes, developing theories of their own by finding clues (“point and click” games) and accessing additional content (text and audio messages) or by exchanging information with the community of other players. For Morgan Bouchet “the web-series format was an advantage, reaching a non-gamer audience that was eventually won-over by the collaborative participation available to the “detectives”, which went beyond the immediate context of gamification.”



    The Orange and Murmures Productions teams were able to create an “addiction” by setting up a daily rendezvous between the players. Every day the new video episodes were released online at midnight, with nearly 10% of traffic generated occurring in the three following hours. The late time-slot seemed not to hold back the players, who were impatient to experience the next part of the adventure.

    This addictive aspect of the series gave a real push to the statistics. “We reached 10 million page views. The average time spent on the site was nearly 15 minutes, with more than 25 pages viewed per visit” specify Morgan Bouchet and Laurent Guérin.

    Proof of player enthusiasm came when the Orange and Murmures Productions teams successfully set up a freemium model (rarely used for this type of content). Most investigators did play Detective Avenue for free, but a significant number went further, accessing bonus material by subscribing to text-message services or listening to audio messages. These extras were successful, with premium players spending an average of 2 Euros on the programme.

    Facebook integration was also a major success for the project. “Suzelle” alone collected 3000 likes on her Facebook profile. “We also made the choice to group all discussions (forums) on a single dedicated Facebook page” adds Laurent Guérin. The page focused the community, becoming the central point for interaction between the players.

    As the investigation continued, a community really did develop around the programme. The players went beyond feedback, making phone calls and sending each other messages, chat invitations, invitations to Facebook fan pages and even gifts.  At the end of the game an event was organised where players from all over France could meet each other.

    Amused, Laurent Guérin adds that he was even contacted on his mobile by a hacker who had broken into the Detective Avenue characters’ Facebook pages. “I felt like the biter bit. But it was funny too.”

    All the contributors to the project are nonetheless prepared to say that there are still some minor aspects that could be improved; the end of the plot for instance. They also regret the failure to attract other “sponsor” brands and follow-up audiences. But the task was not a simple one, with a programme like Detective Avenue needing cross-media exposure, in turn requiring the collaboration of several different types of partner or sponsor, who may not necessarily understand the potential of an innovative project. “We had to overcome the teething troubles and play our role as pioneers”, confides Morgan Bouchet.

    Laurent Guérin is keen to add: “Another thing that gave me satisfaction came from actually making the programme. We had people working together who until now have had little opportunity to collaborate on a single project. Talent from gaming, the web, TV, film, drama, photography, and so on. They all really loved the experience!”

    Laurent Guérin concludes by asserting: “this is just the beginning for this sort of adventure. Detective Avenue was designed to offer new mysteries. We now have expertise that can be used for programmes like “Alt-Minds”, to meet the expectations of audiences wanting to experience a skilful combination of fiction, reality, gaming and social networking.”



    Why not watch the Detective Avenue project case study? A minute and a half introduction to the experience and its success (figures and media articles).

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    author Vincent PUREN

    Passionné des nouveaux médias ainsi que des tendances numériques, j'ai rejoint l'équipe du TransmediaLab début 2012. Je suis également éditeur du blog Buzzmania depuis 2010 et rédacteur chez Presse Citron autour des thématiques de l'advergaming, des médias sociaux et de l'E-Business.

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    When fan communities embrace the principle of storytelling 1/3

    FANS et storytelling 2012

    by Aurore Gallarino, published on 7.05.2012

    The aim of this series of articles is to provide a complete overview of certain fan practices which can be considered as potential transmedia practices, in particular in terms of storytelling. For our purposes the idea is not to exhaustively cover the new ways that fan communities appropriate, rewrite, and poach (De Certeau, 1980; Jenkins, 1992) from “mediacultures productions” (Maigret, Macé 2005), but instead offer a journey, which is neither linear nor complete, to the heart of expanded universes (Peyron, 2008) where fans create, navigate, and prolong the experience they first had. On the first leg of the journey, we will look at “fan community story factories”.


    Because of my own research fields and because exploring a fan community is a work that requires stamina with all its different stages and meetings involved (in fact the researcher or apprentice researcher, along with others, is considered a “newbie”), this article will mainly concentrate on examples from the media-advertising franchise Harry Potter (Vanhée, 2004), an expanded universe which offers a wealth of especially interesting fan practices because of how long it has been around and its numerous franchises.

    Storytelling: the fan community story factories



    Fan communities are the places where all sorts of creativity is expressed which we will group under the label ‘fan production’ or ‘fan productivity’. This fan production is organised like a production network, with meaning and values like those of official networks. This fully-fledged ‘art world ’ (Jenkins, 2008 from Becker, 1988) is expressed in its own place and within its own culture: “fandom”. Fandom, the domain of fans, is that place which is never completely defined but always present where fans meet and share their experience as viewers/readers, whether through virtual meetings on websites, IRCs, forums, blogs, or real meetings at fan conventions, conversations with friends, writing workshops, concerts etc.



    The fan community is brought together by one criterion which surpasses all the others: enthusiasm of individuals for the same topic, whether it is a book, film, TV series, artist etc. Fan activities are indeed generally defined as such because they require such a high level of commitment (time, money, and how symbolic it is) from the fans. When the readers/viewers take up the media at their disposal to develop content inspired by their favourite production, somehow, they become themselves directors of media content and take part in the extension of an original work as a multimodal, plurimedia, or even transmedia work, if we can accept such a broad definition of that term. These fan productions contribute, in a sense, to the broadening of the official work as they tell stories around, within, and beyond the original story. When the fans begin to create, extend, and produce content, they take part in the storytelling process and the distribution of the original work. These new behaviors extend the boundaries of official content and deepen an expanded universe, offer more about the characters, and thus question everything that is already there but which the author, director, or official creator did not produce or sanction.The media productions become “worlds” in themselves (Peyron, 2008) and the content then transforms the work into a scaled-up version, which is a bit like a dream made up of official content and non-official content that the fans are always working on or reworking.

    In the next part we will list the different media and resources used by fan communities to continue telling the story and make the work come alive in as many media and places as possible.



    To “tell stories” the fans produce fan fiction over many years beforehand. Fan fiction is an activity which involves writing fiction using characters created by another author. This literature is based on the idea of “repetition with a difference” (Derecho, 2006) or filling in “the narrative gaps” (Fiske, 1992; Martin, 2007), which means filling the holes left in the story by the original authors. Through fan fiction, the fan effectively uses subtexts, the unsaid, the nearly said, the never said, interviews with authors, interviews with actors, and different franchises related to the original world to remodel these worlds by reworking the canong i.e. the official content or reference text. For example, fan fiction can tell the story of the eighth Harry Potter novel which will never be released in bookshops, or explore the childhoods of characters in How I Met Your Mother, or involve rewriting the whole of the Star Wars saga based on a “And what if Luke Skywalker had a twin…” scenario.


    Nevertheless, where fan fiction is especially rich in teaching us about the ways readers/viewers do things is in multi-referential or “crossover” writing. Writing “crossover” fiction is mixing expanded universes. For example, like Batman (see below – “Why so serious?”) meeting Peter Pan to eat with the white rabbit and hatter from Alice in Wonderland, or Tintin travelling on the Star Trek spaceship; it is simply about converging several expanded universes in the same place or text. One of the tools at fans disposal to “cross” these universes in a plausible way is the use of characteristics unique to a “world”. For example, a spaceship which can travel in time and space, like the TARDIS in Doctor Who, makes all types of crossover in all types of universe possible…



    Example: This example of fan fiction tells the story of a meeting between Sherlock Holmes and the main character in Doctor Who – the Doctor :

    “Whoa” he said. “Whoa! 1890! London! The magnifying glass! You are…you are Sherlock Holmes! Whoa, that is amazing. Rose – it’s Sherlock Holmes!”

    He began to shower me with compliments, saying that he had always dreamed of meeting me. Ms. Rose remarked that she thought I was thinner than I was and asked where the hat, pipe, and you my dear Doctor Watson were, to which I deigned not reply.

    The man introduced himself as The Doctor. He stressed the capital letters and gave no name with the title. He was accompanied by Ms. Rose Tyler.

    Source: FanFiction.net

    But more interestingly still, the cross-over can also be based on the actors themselves. Indeed, when actor A plays character P1 in a film and then character P2 in a TV series, they can serve as a catalyst for the creativity of fans who will then use the presence of actor A in universes 1 and 2 to mix the universes together, develop a story, and continue the adventure.

    For example, David Tennant is a British actor best known for his role as the Doctor in the TV series Doctor Who. But David Tennant also plays the role of Barty Crouch Jr. in the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The fact that Tennant appears in both has encouraged fans to collide the two universes in the following way:

    “I think the question is…” the Doctor frowned more than slightly, “Who are you?

    “My name… is Barty Crouch Junior. […] And you?” Barty asked, annoyed.

    “The Doctor!” And he grinned. “Why do you look like me?”

    Source : Whofic.com

    Fan fiction writing makes room for virtually unlimited possibilities because of the potential which, over years of practice (around ten years in the case of Harry Potter fandom, and forty years for Star Trek – the fandom pioneer) have made the fan fiction universe a real world of amateur writing full of complexity, with its own niches, rules, semantics, secrets, supporters, and detractors (for example some authors like Robin Hoob or Anne Rice openly forbid fan fiction which is based on their work).



    The fans not only use the different roles and characters played by an actor to extend the story. Indeed, the actor, through their presence in the media in general, serves as media themselves and can be used by the fans to fuel fandom with content and news which they can then act upon. For example, a account holder can take a photo of an actor from the Harry Potter films and invent gossip based on the characters.



    In this doctored photo of the actor Daniel Radcliffe (top left in the photo) we are given the impression of a “scandal” where the character ‘Harry’ no longer hides his homosexuality. And it should be noted that the reference to the potential affair between Harry and Draco Malfoy (another character from this universe) springs from the world of fandom fan fiction where a sub-community exists who write stories where Harry is in a relationship with another man i.e. Draco (Tosenberger, 2008 ; Gallarino, 2010).

    It should be said that Warner Bros uses the same ploy to generate content based around the Harry Potter franchise.



    In fact a photo shoot with Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) was used as a pretext to attract fans’ attention on Facebook by playing on the fact that in the original work Draco and Ron are supposed to hate each other, but in the photo shoot they got on very well.



    The fans’ desire to adapt and extend their favourite universes is seen in non-official forums as well. On these RPG forums the fans play the characters and make them evolve in different topic areas on the website. By posting comments, the fan interacts with other fans and extends the story through messages threads posted in the different sections of the forum.

    The Harry Potter 2005 RPG forum, for example, has a storyline which takes place in the world of Harry Potter but set several decades after the events narrated in the official story.

    Extract from the pitch: “Many years have passed since the great battle which raged in Hogwarts and opposed evil against the young Harry Potter. May his soul rest in peace, those of his friends, and all his loved ones. Now we are fast approaching the twenty-second century, but what those remarkable wizards did will always stay etched in our memories. But a new era of darkness is hanging over our world …”



    In the same way the Harry Potter expanded universe has created “virtual schools” such as poudlard12.com (Poudlard is the French translation of Hogwarts) where fans can “become accomplished wizards….do their homework…. and get points and money so that your House can win the Four House cup and then celebrate victory in the common room”.



    These virtual games are entirely directed, animated and financed by the fans themselves. Before the online social networks which we know today existed, these fan communities were already involved in “social gaming” where the story being told was as important as the enthusiasm to share it with “friends”. And far from disappearing, these fan practices continue: the fans now use the new tools of the social web to make the player’s experience even more immersive by continuing to produce content based around their favourite universe. And there is no sign that their enthusiasm for this universe is abating.


    Select bibliography

    BACON–SMITH, Camille. – – Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992, 352p.

    DE CERTEAU, Michel. – – Gallimard, 1990, 350p. (Folio Essai)

    DERECHO, Abigail. – « Archontic Literature: A Definition, a History, and Several Theories of Fan Fiction », in HELLEKSON, Karen ; Kristina BUSSE. – – Jefferson, North Carolina : McFarland & Co, 2006, pp. 61–78.

    FRANCOIS, Sébastien. – « Fanf(r)ictions. Tensions identitaires et relationnelles chez les auteurs de récits de fans », Réseaux, 27 (153), 2009, pp.157–189.

    GRANJON, Fabien. ; DENOUEL, J.. – « Exposition de soi et reconnaissance de singularités subjectives sur les sites de réseaux sociaux », Sociologie, 1, 2010.

    JENKINS, Henry. – – Routledge, 1992 – 343p. (Coll. Studies in Culture and Communication).

    JENKINS, Henry – « La « Filk » et la construction sociale de la communauté des fans de science–fiction », pp. 212–222, dans GLEVAREC, Hervé ; MACE, Eric ; MAIGRET, Eric. – . – Paris : Ed. Armand Colin et INA, 2008, – 368 p. (Coll : Médiacultures)

    LE GUERN, Philippe – – Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2002

    LE GUERN, Philippe. – « NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO, THEY CAN NEVER LET YOU DOWN… » : Entre esthétique et politique: sociologie des fans, un bilan critique – Réseaux, 27 (153), 2009, pp.19–54.

    MACE, Éric ; MAIGRET Éric (dir.). – , Paris : Armand Colin, Ina, 2005.

    MARTIN, Martial. – « Les Fanfictions sur Internet » in Médiamorphoses, hors série n°3, Ina, Armand Colin, pp.186–189.

    PEYRON, David. – « Quand les oeuvres deviennent des mondes » in Réseaux, 148–149, 2008, pp. 335–368.

    TOSENBERGER, Catherine. – « Oh my God, the Fanfiction! Dumbledore’s Outing and the Online Harry Potter Fandom. » in Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, 33, 2, 2008, pp. 200-206.

    VANHEE, Olivier. – « Reading Harry Potter: A personal and collective experience », Participations. Journal of Audience & Reception Studies. – 5, 2, novembre 2008.



    JENKINS, Henry. – « How “Dumbledore’s Army” Is Transforming Our World: An Interview with the HP Alliance’s Andrew Slack », – article du 23 juillet 2009 [En ligne : here or there ]

    GALLARINO, Aurore. – Etude lexicométrique d’un corpus de fanfictions Harry Potter dites « pour adultes » publiées sur le site internet fanfiction.net au cours du mois de juin 2004. – Etude réalisée dans le cadre du Master 1 information-communication (2009-2010). [En ligne : here]



    “Do it yourself : les productions « pirates » des communautés de fans” 2/3

    “Entre fiction et réalité : les aller-retour incessants des communautés de fans” 3/3

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    author Aurore Gallarino

    Travaillant actuellement comme chargée de médiation sur les réseaux sociaux pour le Centre Pompidou, je m'intéresse avant tout aux audiences et aux créations amateurs. Récemment diplômée d'un master 2 recherche en info-com, je continue cette année en "free-lance" mes recherches dans le champ des études culturelles, de la fan culture, de la convergence, de la culture participative, des nouveaux médias et des métamorphoses médiatiques en général.

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    Transmedia Hollywood: the creativity of the US content industry in the transmedia era


    by Morgan Bouchet, published on 4.05.2012

    On April 6, , managing director of Transmedia Lab and VP  Social Media at the Orange Content Division, took part in the panel alongside Denise Mann and . Organised by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and USC (University of Southern California) and held at the Annenberg Innovation Lab– USC in Los Angeles, the theme of this year’s event was “Rethinking Creative Relations”.




    For several years, USC and UCLA have been working together to examine the impact of the digital revolution (journalism, communication, creating, storytelling, and so on) on the media. Their goal is to decipher trends and evaluate changes and potential risks, but also to develop a range of solutions and technologies. The two universities have become experts in cutting-edge areas like social TV, social networks, transmedia and, more generally, digital communication. It is because of this renowned expertise that we decided to contribute to this work and to forge a sustainable partnership between Orange and USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, as we recently told you.

    With an approach blending creativity and technology (whereas MIT, another leading player, swear only by digital) and emphasising above all their immediate proximity with Hollywood, the two universities, led by Denise Mann and Henry Jenkins, joined forces three years ago to promote, explain and prepare the industry for the coming technological, creative and behavioural media upheaval.

    I had the opportunity to represent Transmedia Lab and share our European take on these radical changes with an audience of media strategists, majors, producers, developers, content service providers, scriptwriters, agents, authors, researchers, students and scriptwriters’ collectives. Over the course of nearly two hours, there was an animated discussion of a single theme: “Creative Economies: Commercial vs. State-Based Models”, or the views of the “rest of the world” on the challenges and economics of transmedia/crossmedia.

    Contributing to the discussion along with me were , Director of Universe Creation 101, , Vice-Chancellor of OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design University), , formerly Vice President Media and Technology of the American Film Institute, and Brazilian producer Jose Padhila.



    While the panel was originally due to be moderated by Henry Jenkins (who was hospitalised the previous day but has since improved), he handed the task over to , a strategic consultant with Georgia Tech Institute for People and Technology (IPaT) who focuses on the entertainment sector, identifying emerging technological trends and research topics in order to build relationships with large media companies.

    The first session – Realigned Work-Worlds: Hollywood/Silicon Valley/Madison Avenue – was designed to set the tone.

    We are entering a period when marketing and content will become invisible. Conventional marketing models aiming for saturation are becoming less and less relevant, especially in the era of social media. Moreover, the arrival of a new generation of content creators armed with new technological tools could force Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Madison Avenue to converge. Is this a sign that a cultural evolution is taking place? Definitely.

    We are living through a period of transition, and as a consequence a number of communication issues persist. What’s more, the SOPA law might only accentuate the disconnect between the media, digital and cinema industries, which are struggling to maintain a dialogue. Remember, in the United States, lobbyists for the cultural industries are backing draft laws strengthening the tools used to combat piracy, even if this means authorising outright attacks, and blocking access to some sites, which will affect Silicon Valley players in particular. The media are having fun portraying this as a “Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood” battle, especially in the wake of the MegaUpload affair.

    It is clear to me that the creative world will sooner or later have to join forces with the digital sector, but the question needs to be asked: Who should unite with whom? Who should make the first move? Is it up to Silicon Valley to approach Hollywood, or vice versa? Is it significant that the latest edition of « Story World » was held in San Francisco?

    Imagine a future scenario where The Voice is written and designed in such a way that it incorporates the activity, reactions, comments and even the audiences of social networks into the very concept of a transmedia storytelling experience, thereby enabling us to follow a single story (concept) written by its “producer-cum-creator-cum-developer-cum-game designer”.



    One major question remains to be answered: How can transmedia projects exist? Some of them are very expensive and require robust economic models, which at the very least can turn a profit on the investments made without disrupting the consumer experience.

    It would be interesting to define a series of economic micro-models, since a standardised approach makes it difficult to model a suitable revenue source for the wide range of existing concepts.

    We will have to take an imaginative approach to developing these models, which may be truly original creations or simply based on existing economic models from other fields. Options include crowdfunding or even advertising. The latter seems particularly relevant in this case, given its connections to the ideas of commitment and creativity which are central to transmedia.

    Creators should thus work on Brand Content by getting brands involved and even offering them the chance to create editorial content, or at least influence the existing content. The brand would play the role of an editor and financial partner… (different from Branded Content).



    Our panel also aimed to explain how transmedia is developing outside the United States, in terms of creation, finance, business models, services, technologies, and so on.

    Morgan Bouchet with Christy Dena, Jesse Albert and Jose Padilha


    Introducing Orange, Brazilian producer José Padhila quite rightly cited convergence between “networks” and “content”, illustrated by the example of Televisa (a Mexican TV group which in 2010 bought a stake in a Mexican telecoms operator, and is owned by Carlos Slim, the richest man on the planet).

    From Brazil to Canada, Australia or France, everyone shared his vision,  comforting thereby  the idea that we don’t witness a mere fad but an actual paradigm shift for the whole media industry and that current business models will have to evolve.

    Some issues and messages to take away from the event:


    -         reflect on the notions of platforms and tools


    -         the role of technologies


    -         what creative business approaches to adopt (e.g. crowdfunding…)


    -         the author’s role in the new value chain


    -       what position should Hollywood adopt in the face of these challenges, from pure players  in particular


    Finally, the panel’s high point was undoubtedly the screening of this video by José Padikla:



    “How Brazil Is Reshaping the Futures of Entertainment” is a fairly trenchant vision of the future of the media which features the views of Henry Jenkins.

    On this note, I should remind you that Henry Jenkins, the author of “Convergence Culture”, will be appearing alongside Orange Transmedia Lab and Sorbonne Nouvelle at the Centre Pompidou on 25 May from 7 pm to share with us his vision of transmedia storytelling.



    - Transmedia Hollywood :

    - Annenberg Innovation Lab (USC) : Annenberg Innovation Lab website



    Henry Jenkins ( and Blog)

    Laurie Dean Baird ()

    Christy Dena ( and Blog)

    Sara Diamond ()

    Nick DeMartino ( and Blog)

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    author Morgan Bouchet

    VP Transmedia & Social Media - Content Division, he has over 15 years’ experience in integrated communications, marketing & content with digital expertise. In 1997 he joined FKGB agency (TBWA group), a French leader in 360° entertainment communication, brand and content marketing and became manager of the New Media division in 1998. He joined Orange/FT in August 2000 to develop content-related activities as product manager and new content experiences. A member of Xavier Couture’s team since 2008, he develops new business & content activities.

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    Orange and Lexis Numérique are unveiling “Alt-Minds,” the first total fiction


    by Nicolas Brunet, published on 2.04.2012

    The Orange Transmedia Lab Team is proud to announce its co-production partnership with Lexis Numérique to create Alt-Minds, an exclusive transmedia adventure, part web series, part game, which will start in autumn 2012.






    Alt-Minds is an innovative approach to storytelling which plays on the way different media complement one another to draw its audience into the heart of a paranormal thriller which will take them to the far corners of Europe. Spectators will be able to decide whether to take part in an investigation, interact with the story, and even earn their place in history.


    For Jean-François Rodriguez, Director of Games and Transmedia at Orange: “We are proud of our partnership with Lexis Numérique, a pioneer in transmedia fiction, on a project which combines gaming, series and social networks. For Orange, this is an opportunity to show that the tools we offer artists can be used to bring the public something new.”





    For Eric Viennot, co-founder and Creative director at Lexis Numérique: “We are working with Orange to explore a new type of fiction, and one which I hope will become a part of the history of transmedia, which we started with In Memoriam back in 2003. These online experiences break down the barriers between fiction and reality by offering spectators/players an unprecedented level of immersion in the story.”




    The Transmedia Lab team has put the lessons learnt from its previous experiments (Detective Avenue, Fanfan2) to good use through its partnership with Lexis Numérique. The team is also eager to improve access to this experience (storytelling, interactivity, distribution), and aims to bring these new types of storytelling format into the mainstream. The Transmedia Lab, which is responsible for Alt-Minds production, storytelling and marketing, is managing the technical developments carried out specifically for this project within Orange Labs.

    We will provide you with more information on this flagship project for 2012 over the coming weeks and will invite you to follow #AltMinds

    Press releases in French and English here

    Live Orange Blog interviewed and about Alt-Minds.


    Crédits visuels © 2012 Orange/Lexis Numérique – All rights reserved. “Alt-Minds” is a registered trademark of Orange and Lexis Numérique.

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    author Nicolas Brunet

    10 ans d'expérience entre marques et contenu (advertainment, branded content), entre marketing et storytelling (brand content, transmedia) en media, en agence de publicité puis en 2009 chez Orange (musique). Dans la team du Transmedia Lab depuis 2010.

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    Transmedia Lab invites you to follow the Transmedia San Francisco Meetup in livestream


    by Vincent PUREN, published on 26.03.2012

    Orange, which attended the latest Transmedia Meetup in New York, will have the pleasure of hosting the Transmedia SF conference today at its San Francisco site. The Transmedia Lab is partnering with Orange Silicon Valley and Orange Vallée to offer you the opportunity to experience this exciting event live via streaming this evening. Just like the lucky guests on-site for the event, you will enjoy presentations by experts who will discuss their professional goals and their experiences in the industry, and what they see at the best current strategies and opportunities.


    The Transmedia Lab has decided to work hand in hand with Orange Silicon Valley to livestream the entire San Francisco Transmedia Meetup. Orange Silicon Valley, located right in the epicentre of American innovation, is a member of the Orange Labs network and works closely with an array of highly innovative start-ups, so hosting the San Francisco Transmedia Meetup, an event on the cutting edge of the sector, which marries technology and creativity, was a natural move. The event, organised by and , will focus on convergence and storytelling.

    The meetup will feature three speakers, including , Founder and CEO of SocialSamba, a community platform for fictional characters based on the Facebook API, offering to fans the opportunity to connect with their favourite movie, TV and literary characters.

    The other speakers at the event will be , CEO of Tall Chair, which specialises in Storytelling on touchscreens, and , a product manager at Gomiso.com, the Social TV platform discussed in our case study of the Game of Thrones series.


    livestream available from 6pm


    The broadcast is made possible by Orson, a live broadcasting video application created by Orange Vallée. You can use this innovative livestreaming solution to broadcast your videos live on and for Facebook, Twitter, websites and even mobile devices.

    There’s no need to install the application to view live video streams. Guests can watch from any smartphone or PC and will receive notifications via text messaging, Facebook, or Direct Messages on Twitter.

    Orson is a free application available for download for mobiles from Android Market and the Apple Appstore and for PCs on Facebook and at Orson.fr.

    Join us a 6 pm California time… that’s 2 am for the brave souls in our European offices! After the event, feel free to let us know what you thought of it so we can evaluate your interest, and hopefully do it again!

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    author Vincent PUREN

    Passionné des nouveaux médias ainsi que des tendances numériques, j'ai rejoint l'équipe du TransmediaLab début 2012. Je suis également éditeur du blog Buzzmania depuis 2010 et rédacteur chez Presse Citron autour des thématiques de l'advergaming, des médias sociaux et de l'E-Business.

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    Emotein : Essence of pure emotion between fiction and reality at the frontier of transmedia.


    by Alain Bezancon, published on 21.03.2012

    Since August 2009, Emotein presents a new storytelling model on the theme of the changing role of emotions in the world. The project uses various means of expression for addressing the theme and the story (Emotein) through the prism of multiple approaches and experiences. The video, the book, the play, the objects, the interviews, the photos, the music are all independent and complementary ways to discover the Emotein universe. The vision is materialized with original creations presented via digital media (website, ebook, podcast, iPhone app) whose purpose is to initiate events and meetings.


    Genesis of the concept


    The patent of the century: The memory of water

    > Do tears contain a memory of our emotions ?

    > Consume emotions to live more

    > Selling tears

    > Emotein – essence of pure emotion




    The Creations

    Emotein places the creative and experimentation processes in all aspects of the project: in the concepts discussed, in the technologies and in the media used.



    It is central to the Emotein project. The clips are designed and optimized for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, iPods) and displayed in the portrait format. HD movies are presented via the Emotein web site, an iPhone app developed specifically for the project as well as illustrations for the audio book.



    “The Tear Thief” is a novella written for the Emotein project that presents a world where emotions are disappearing to make way for selling the tears and emotions they contain. The text was released as an ebook and as an audiobook. The ebook is available for download at the Emotein site as well as many other digital platforms (Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Feedbooks, Smashwords, Kobo, etc.). The eBook is also part of the Emotein iPhone app.



    The dramatic environment of “Emoshow” is inspired by the « Tear Thief » novella and presents a character who is losing his ability to feel emotions and who is trying by every means to keep his humanity by consuming Emotein. The aim of the play is to allow the public to discover the themes of the Emotein project through a living experience inducing emotions and thoughts.



    Experts from different fields (biotechnology, art history, sociology, pharmaceutical cosmetics, neurology, psychiatry) were interviewed to comment the themes addressed by the Emotein fiction. Written transcripts of the interviews are available at the Emotein web site and the iPhone app, audio versions are part of the audiobook.



    4 sets of photographs are presented in portrait format at the Emotein web site. It was realized during the shooting of videos and also show subjects inspired by the other creations such as the lachrymatories or a character of  «The Tear Thief » book. Photos are available at the Emotein web site and the iPhone app.



    An original composition was written for Emotein. It is used for the video, the audio book and the iPhone app.



    The Emotein team has designed original objects (lachrymatories and a raw silk dress) that weremade ​​to measure by artists and craftsmen. Some were used as accessories for the video and other creations are derived from the concepts presented.





    As the project is not commercial, with no sponsors and not attached to a famous brand, the free digital contents were released without being subject to any promotion. In this context it is interesting to measure the “spontaneous” quantitative results related to the types of contents across different platforms.

    After just over two years of online presence, it is finally “The Tear Thief” book in its digital (eBook) format that seems to generate the greatest traffic closely followed by the audio format (podcast). Because of the lack of accurate statistics on the different platforms we can only provide estimates. The number of downloads of the eBook (English and French) is estimated at 30.000 and 20.000 for the audio version.

    The ranking of the eBook and podcast on various sites also provides some information about the popularity. In March 2012, “The Tear Thief” is ranked in the top 20 free books on iTunes France, in the top 15 all categories on Feedbooks (eBook) and in the top 20 literary podcasts on iTunes France.

    Other contents (videos, photos, music, interviews) on other platforms (web, app store) seem to have been totally buried, especially for English versions.

    With the technologies used and the variety of platforms it is very difficult to evaluate the synergy between contents such as the number of people who downloaded the ebook and who then viewed the videos.



    As each content item is an experience by itself and as they are dispersed across different platforms, it is difficult to measure the impact of the synergy or complementarity that they may have between them and also to evaluate the nature of the narrative experience for the audience.

    However, the use of multiple channels and the bilingualism were effective tools to reach an international audience and offer many entry points to the Emotein world with the pleasant surprise of the “success” of the ebook and audiobook.

    From the perspective of the creative process of this production, it is interesting to note that the creation of the contents have influenced and enriched one another. The creative teams have worked together on their respective projects with ongoing communication between them. For example, elements of the book being written have been used during the filming of the movie which itself inspired the design of the dress that was then worn by a model (a silicone one)which later became part of the book.

    Despite the free availability of the contents, the creators of the project were able to see through the public comments that the expectations in terms of quality were as high as for paid content.

    In a digital world where everything is free or almost free and infinitely duplicable, the unique real life experience takes on a new dimension. For this reason the Emotein project considers as important the creation of physical events. The idea is to create more or less immersive experiences like the play, the bar of emotions (happening), the meeting of the Emotein corporationshareholders (scripted reality), the creation of molecular cuisine dishes (sensory experience). The creation of these experiences is the physical extension of the project that continues it’s life through encounters and the participation of enthusiasts who want to join this work.

    In conclusion, Emotein is a unique emotional “passport” facilitating the meeting of new people and the creation of new works. The creators of Emotein position their “transmedia storytelling” experiment in a trend defined by the technological improvement of media (eg iPad 3 Retina display), the search for meaning and the need to live unique and comprehensive digital and real life experiences.



    Article about Emotein by le Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Œuvres Hypermédiatiques

    AArticle about “Le voleur de larmes” by Libération (July 8,2010)

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    author Alain Bezancon

    Depuis toujours passionné par la prospective et les thèmes d'anticipation, Alain Bezançon décline sa vision dans différents domaines de création : édition de logiciels, écriture, production artistiques pluridisciplinaires.

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    Transmedia Lab (Orange) join forces to the Annenberg Innovation Lab (USC)


    by Morgan Bouchet, published on 1.03.2012

    Keen to build on their transmedia innovation strategy, our colleagues at Orange Silicon Valley and the Orange Content Division have just established a partnership with the Annenberg Innovation Lab at USC (University of Southern California). The laboratory and its leading light Henry Jenkins will share expertise with the Orange teams, challenging them on various projects.This partnership will progress analysis and experimentation in an area of activity that is destined to step up from being a trend to acting as a powerful lever.



    It was the decision to commit to a marriage between technology and creativity that led to Orange founding its Transmedia Lab in 2009. The Lab is dedicated to supporting creators, producers, and broadcasters through the gestation of their projects and to experimenting with new narrative formats.

    In the context of new projects and international perspectives, Orange has just established a partnership with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. Best known for its Film School, founded in 1929, USC has educated some of the biggest names in American cinema, such as Ron Howard and George Lucas. The Annenberg Innovation Lab is recognised in the United States for its contributions to the fields of transmedia, journalism, social media and Social TV. Its reputation is owed to its professors (alumni of Stanford, MIT, etc.) and researchers Jonathan Taplin and Henry Jenkins (formerly of MIT), who are authorities in the field.

    Henry Jenkins is identified as the originator of Transmedia as a concept, first described in 2002 at an Electronic Arts conference. After 20 years with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Medialab, he recently joined the Annenberg Innovation Lab, which is known for the crucial creative editorial role it plays in the realisation of projects launched at MIT, in turn famous for its “technological” prowess.

    The partnership will last a year, giving Orange access to various works of analysis as well as the results of the University’s research. The idea is to work with the Annenberg Innovation Lab researchers to lay fundamental groundwork, pushing forward all transmedia experimentation and building a powerful tool to meet consumer expectations.

    The partnership will also give Orange an opportunity to work with academics from USC and put the Orange teams to the test against its students on projects focusing on transmedia and the socialisation of content. According to Jean-François Rodriguez (Director for Gaming and Transmedia at Orange) this will enable them “to work together with students and researchers on Orange’s flagship transmedia project, due in October 2012”.

    The partnership marks the next level of Orange’s 2009 commitment to exploring the rapid expansion of these new creative formats. The company is acting on its strategy of innovation in content, gaming and new forms of creativity.


    - Henry Jenkins will be in Paris in May!

    - The next San Francisco Transmedia Meetup will be held at the end of March at Orange’s premises.

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    author Morgan Bouchet

    VP Transmedia & Social Media - Content Division, he has over 15 years’ experience in integrated communications, marketing & content with digital expertise. In 1997 he joined FKGB agency (TBWA group), a French leader in 360° entertainment communication, brand and content marketing and became manager of the New Media division in 1998. He joined Orange/FT in August 2000 to develop content-related activities as product manager and new content experiences. A member of Xavier Couture’s team since 2008, he develops new business & content activities.

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    • Hans Herbots
    • international
    • serie
    • the artists

    “The Artists” : A new European Union ?


    by Vincent PUREN, published on 31.01.2012

    While Jean Dujardin is inflaming Hollywood with the movie “The Artist”, a same – named serie scheduled at the end of 2012, could brand european spirits with a new storytelling experience.  “The Artists”, realized by the Belgian Hans Herbots, aims at simulcasting on six televisions networks on the old continent.





    It’s a premiere ! By the end of 2012, six European TV channels (Canvas (Flanders, Belgium), VARA (Netherlands), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway), YLE (Finland) and TV3 (Denmark)) will join their forces to broadcast a large-scale drama tv series, called “The Artists”

    Focusing on an international artist’s community, based in Copenhagen, this thriller will start with the enigmatic disappearance of one of its members.

    Taking advantage to the Multitasking trend, the production decided to allow the public to discover the story and characters through various media, kept secret at the moment.

    According our information, The main characters will be played by actors Tuva Novotny, Donald Högberg (both from Sweden), Tommi Korpela, Elmer Bäck (both from Finland), Thure Lindhardt, Paw Henriksen (both from Denmark), Viktoria Winge (from Norway), Teun Luijkx (from The Netherlands) and Thomas Ryckewaert, Johan Van Assche, Johan Leysen and Lien Van De Kelder (from Belgium). All are acclaimed actors in their respective countries.

    Hans Herbots

    « The Artists » is a five-episodes series, English/multi-language spoken, with subtitling, to make it more accessible to an international audience.

    This European co-production, directed by  Hans Herbots already well kwown in his own country,  produced by Belgian TV production company Caviar, also get support from VAF (B), Media (US), and investment funds Wallimage (B), Mediafonds (NL), Svenska Kulturfunden (FI) and CoBo (NL).

    We don’t have access to more information so far on this series which is still in post-production but  we will keep you posted and cover it further in the future.

    To be continued…



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    author Vincent PUREN

    Passionné des nouveaux médias ainsi que des tendances numériques, j'ai rejoint l'équipe du TransmediaLab début 2012. Je suis également éditeur du blog Buzzmania depuis 2010 et rédacteur chez Presse Citron autour des thématiques de l'advergaming, des médias sociaux et de l'E-Business.

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    MipCube : Call for transmedia projects !

    Trophée Content 360 MipCube

    by Vincent PUREN, published on 30.01.2012

    Building on the 2011 success of Connected Creativity at MIPTV, the first MIPCube edition is a two-day networking and live learning experience exploring the game-changing innovations affecting the TV industry.




    This event is also an opportunity to see emerging innovative projects, is why Content 360 competition so far attached to the MIP TV, will celebrate its 7th edition in the MipCube. The opportunity to open two new categories at innovatives digital media players. So, originate grow classes New Transmedia Concepts and Videos that Create Global Buzz, created by MSN International.

    In the Viral Video categorie, MSN will start looking creatives ideas presented as fiction and animation short movies durant less of three minutes. Projects must consider the expectations of the advertiser – MSN – anxious to renew to reinvent its offering via Social, Real-Time, Search and Multi-Platform infusion. The winner will be the project most likely to appeal 50 countries MSN customers. Also, the winner will be coached by MSN in order to secure sponsorship from an advertiser for an entire production season.

    For its part, Transmedia categorie focus on confluence of video storytelling with gaming, live events, mobile applications, integrated marketing, dual screen content, or any additional techniques for enriching the story and the user experience. In the same spirit as for the viral video category, competitors must present their ideas up to 20 images in order to state one’s business by developing the concept, the target, the story, the characters, platforms and budget.

    By the way, Olivier Godest the MipCube Brand Manager, announces « It’s very important for us to obstrude the more groundbreaking transmedia projects in the lime light. It is both great opportunity for creator to present they projects to people immersed during two days on these topics, but it’s also the opportunity to a professionnal community, wannabe created the futur of televison, to share with them they personal experiences, ideas or against expectations for the futur. »

    For all those interested people, know that the deadline to enter the competition is 24 February 2012. MSN will select three projects who will receive € 5 000 each to produce a video driver presented during MIPCube. Winners will be revealed on Saturday, March 30 and their projects will be presented on April 1 as part of the MIPTV conference program.

    So, for more information about MipCube, we encourage you to visit the dedicated program, as well as our post « MIPCUBE explore the future of entertainment ahead of MIPTV 2012 . »




    MIPCube Website – MIPCube on – MIPCube on

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    author Vincent PUREN

    Passionné des nouveaux médias ainsi que des tendances numériques, j'ai rejoint l'équipe du TransmediaLab début 2012. Je suis également éditeur du blog Buzzmania depuis 2010 et rédacteur chez Presse Citron autour des thématiques de l'advergaming, des médias sociaux et de l'E-Business.

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    Look for inspiration ?! Transmedia New York Meetup, is here for that !

    transmedia meetup2

    by laredaction Rédaction, published on 19.01.2012

    The Transmedia Meetups New York quickly emerged as missed meetings, both to spot new transmedia trends and more broadly new media and new writing, but also to immerse in a nascent community. Carole Dohan and Sylvain Leroux, “special correspondants” in New York for Transmedia Lab give us their first impressions.




    Carole Dohan in immersion at Transmedia  New York City Meetups since 2010

    Since November 2010, I’ve been attending regular Transmedia NYC Meetups. These monthly events gather cutting edge (trans)media professionals, newbees and interested fellows just like me and consist in presenting and sharing transmedia experiences of all sorts.

    Transmedia Meetups NYC are often very eventful with a packed audience, and a time for drinks and conversation after the presentations, which is always a good way to exchange ideas with the always very creative speakers, network – of course, or simply meet new friends.

    Founded by Mike Knowlton and Aina Abiodun*, the small group of 50 people at the time has been steadily growing to reach a crowd of more than 500 members at the end of 2011. Topics covered are very diverse and highlight the creativity and innovative concepts that surround the notion of transmedia.

    Last April for instance, Lance Weiler, a well-known director presented « Pandemic » , a transmedia experience praised at Sundance last year. He also took the opportunity to explain and discuss his theory about the future of film and creation. James Carter presented to one side what a transmedia theater experience could be through his latest play, . (I actually had the opportunity to experience it for real in NY, attending a play where real time acting was mixed with pre-show interactions with the characters, video blog excerpts…).

    More recently, Lina Srivastava and Koffi Annan, amongst others, pointed out the growing role of transmedia tools to promote social activism and human rights. The so-called ‘transactivism’ offers innovative ways to integrate both tech and social change – several initiatives targeting mostly emerging markets were shared, including « Africa unity kit » by Puma, « 18 days in Egypt » or « G3nerations » in Rwanda…


    The group recently made two big announcements. First, it is incorporating as a NY-based not-for-profit organization called StoryCode. On the other hand, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is a new sponsor, offering the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater for the group’s meetings. Wonderful, dramatic changes and another proof if needed that the group is now all grown up: 2012 shall be a pretty busy one for NY transmedia professionals!

    I was happy to be part of this growing community; rest assured the GMNA team will continue covering the subject and relate on. Now find the past videos on the meetups Youtube channel .



    * Aina Abiodun is an American film maker and transmedia activist, Mike Knowlton is the CeO at MurmurCo in NY


    Sylvain Leroux at Transmedia NYC Meetup to present FanFan 2 project.

    Last October, I attend the Transmedia New York City Meetup in order to present the case study of our project Fanfan2 orchestred with Alexandre Jardin.

    Transmedia NYC brings together digital folks, creatives and cross-platform storytelling enthusiasts to explorate the rapidly evolving world of transmedia storytelling and participating in these gatherings was an amazing experience for me.

    This meetup offered me the opportunity to present our project with some very interesting specialists : Frank Rose, contributing editor at Wired for more than a decade who writes extensively about the intersection of media and technology, and Nate Goldman the producer of Undead End, a transmedia radio drama inspired by Orson Welles’ 1938 perfomance of H.G. Wells war of the worlds.

    The networking session after the presentation allowed me to talk with people from industries as diverse as TV or fashion and many other fields, all exploring transmedia storytelling opportunities in their own ways. Transmedia NYC brings together like-minded professionals and I was pleasantly surprised to meet these stimulating people with such ease.

    A good idea worth to mention : Aina and Mike the co-organizers also give everyone the opportunity to make a five minute pitch to present or challenge a project.

    I was pleased to see that many people were interested in the original dimension of the Fanfan2 project based on a book. Like radio, publishing a daily novel as a social media stream with various entry points allows a lot of flexibility and interaction with the audience. With so many producers facing financial and production issues due to the global economic situation and the inherent challenges of transmedia creation, it’s easy to see that transmedia makers are looking for more flexibility. So, will these audio and (or) written projects be the trend in 2012 ? Your insights are welcome !


    Others Transmedia Meetups in the World :
    Transmedia Meetup de Londres
    Transmedia Meetup de Los Angeles
    Transmedia Meetup de Paris
    Transmedia  Meetup de San Francisco (near future)
    Transmedia Meetup de Toronto
    Transmedia Meetup de Vancouver

    Feel free to share your experiences with Transmedia Meetup around the world. We look forward to sharing your patterns.

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    author laredaction Rédaction

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    MIPCUBE explore the future of entertainment ahead of MIPTV 2012


    by Nicolas Brunet, published on 11.01.2012

    MIPCube, a two-day high-level networking and live learning experience exploring the game-changing innovations affecting the TV industry, will open in Cannes on Friday 30 March, just ahead of the 2012 edition of MIPTV (1-4 April). Building on the 2011 success of Connected Creativity at MIPTV, MIPCube will bring together the architects of the future of TV:  influential players in the television business, key innovators in the digital and social media space and forward thinking producers to shape the evolving world of TV, in all its forms


    At MIPCube you will find :

    Live Learning sessions will present several experts on visionary talks, study cases and “how to” workshops. They will tackle two major themes :
    - Spreading the Story will examine ways of expanding a content concept across all media, looking at games, brands and audience engagement.
    - Enriching the Story will explore ways of adapting a concept and content to the changing content consumption associated with connected television, interactivity, online media and social networks.

    Innovation Alley will showcase the latest technologies in Connected TV, social media and dual screen technology.

    MIPCube will feature three competitions :
    The seventh annual Content 360 will select the best projects from around the world in cross-media content and audience engagement.
    The second annual MIPTV start up competition returns as MIPCube Lab, providing a global platform for start-ups to present their business plans and prototypes to venture capitalists, business angels and TV business leaders.
    Finally, the TV Hack Day will offer developers a chance to team up for 48 hours to come up with the most innovative TV app.

    The fourth Digital Minds Summit (DMS) at MIPCube, an exclusive behind closed doors invitation-only summit, will bring together 50 top global business leaders of the media world in a private session to debate, discuss and plan the future of TV.

    Lastly, the MIPCube Party will bring together participants from every continent in a celebration of innovation, as part of a series of themed parties, lunches and intimate networking dinners  alongside MIPCube.


    Who will be at MIPCube ?

    Cindy Gallop is the first confirmed speaker at MIPCube. She is the former US President of creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty and the CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld.com, a web meets world platform that turns good intentions into action, one microaction at a time. Following her TEDBooks release of “Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact On Human Behaviour,” she will launch makelovenotporn.tv in the spring of 2012. Cindy Gallop acts as board advisor to a number of tech startups around the world, describing her consultancy approach as: “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business. You can find more informations about Cindy Gallop here.


    The Coca-Cola Company , Vivendi and Ogilvy & Mather, will announce thought provoking speakers for the event shortly. Contagious will present an exclusive Trends Briefing on augmented content by Senior Consultant Ed White during the 2-day event.
    And we will inform you as soon as we get new informations !


    How to go to MIPCube ?

    This year the MIPCube Pass will give access to this unique two-day accelerator event on 30-31 March and to the first day of MIPTV on April 1. For more informations :
    - The website where you can - to follow the newsfeed, to start the conversation with the future participants and by following the account @_mip and by starting to use the tag #MIPCube

    Avatar Image

    author Nicolas Brunet

    10 ans d'expérience entre marques et contenu (advertainment, branded content), entre marketing et storytelling (brand content, transmedia) en media, en agence de publicité puis en 2009 chez Orange (musique). Dans la team du Transmedia Lab depuis 2010.

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    Happy New Year 2012 !

    Image 16

    by laredaction Rédaction, published on 2.01.2012

    We take this period of best wishes for 2012 to thank the many editors, contributors, authors, experts in 2011 who shared their thoughts, decryption, findings or opinions on Transmedia Lab and of course our loyal readers!





    Sandra Albertolli & Dan Benzakiem
    Oriane Hurard
    Vanessa Meheut
    Manon Perroud & Mathilde Prat
    Ane Vasile
    Stéphane Adamiak
    Julien Aubert
    Nicolas Brunet
    Nicolas Bry
    Aurélien Gaucherand & Cyril Huet
    Olivier Godest
    Sam Howey Nunn
    Sébastien Lachausse & Rym Soussi
    Deni Susic
    Eric Viennot

    A big THX to all !
    You want to contribute -> transmedia (point) contact (at) orange (dot) com

    We make some surprises for 2012 we look forward to sharing with you.
    We present our best wishes for the new year the transmedia longer than ever!

    The team of Transmedia Lab


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    author laredaction Rédaction

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    Editorial : new directions for Transmedia Lab


    by Nicolas Brunet, published on 15.12.2011

    Newly linked to the Orange Content division (New Gross Activities), Transmedia Lab will continue in its evangelising mission to decode the new scripts and writing patterns (storytelling & new technologies experiments) associated with the arrival of the new usages and new technologies that contribute to this growing phenomenon.

    A new Orange team
    Transmedia Lab is supported by the Transmedia & Social Media team set up in 2010 by Jean-Francois Rodriguez as part of the Orange Content division
    , and is headed by Morgan Bouchet. The team, which brings together Stéphane Adamiak, Nicolas Labretonnière and Nicolas Brunet, is rich in expertise acquired in the gaming field (engineering, design, release, distribution, etc.) and more generally in content: multi-screen approaches, new marketing practices, emerging business models, new patterns of involvement, community dynamics and so on.

    In collaboration with other Orange divisions, the unit aims to design innovative entertainment experiences based on partnerships with the content industry.


    New ambitions
    As pioneers in transmedia coverage in France,
    we intend to keep the transmedialab.org blog on the cutting edge of the phenomenon, helping readers to find better information and improve their understanding and grasp of its various facets.

    With this in mind, we have decided push our work forward in three major areas :

    - Giving more visibility to transmedia phenomena and initiatives in France and internationally: news, presenting new projects, case studies, analyses (usages, marketing, innovation, etc.), interviews with transmedia players and media personalities, events, studies, institutional partnerships and so on.

    - Capitalising on our DNA as a Lab with experiments, tools and new technologies: presenting and sharing findings from our transmedia projects (Fanfan2, Detective Avenue, The Prodigies, our future projects) and offering you solutions and tools (API) to test that are developed by our unit in partnership with Group researchers (Technocentre, Orange Labs, R&D, etc.)

    - Opening up our blog to contributions from the rest of the Orange Group and external sources, giving you access to new expertise (researchers, sociologists, lawyers, gamers, communicators, etc.), aiming to expand on the transmedia concept in the context of digital culture, film, sport, reading and TV.

    We hope very much to hear from you, to ensure that transmedialab.org develops to meet your requirements, and are relying on you to share your contributions, ideas and enthusiasms, so as to broaden the discussion on these new patterns of expression.


    Jean-François Rodriguez
    Games & Transmedia BU Managing Director (Orange – Content Division)





    Morgan Bouchet
    VP Transmedia & Social Media (Orange – Content Division)

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    author Nicolas Brunet

    10 ans d'expérience entre marques et contenu (advertainment, branded content), entre marketing et storytelling (brand content, transmedia) en media, en agence de publicité puis en 2009 chez Orange (musique). Dans la team du Transmedia Lab depuis 2010.

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    Case study : Assassin’s Creed, a transmedia franchise 2/2

    Assassin's Creed

    by Ana Vasile, published on 25.11.2011

    Following the launch of the Assassin’s Creed: Revelations video game, we are continuing with our overview of the saga, which has sold 28 million units worldwide



    Assassin’s Creed : Project Legacy

    In September 2010, Ubisoft achieved a coup with the launch of a strategy game on Facebook: , aiming to prepare the way for the arrival of Brotherhood, the saga’s third console game. The game offers web-users the opportunity to synchronise their Facebook and Uplay accounts.

    Using this synchronisation, a bonus system interlinks the gaming experience of both games: playing Project Legacy, the web-user gains experience and money that can be transferred to the console game. Similarly, playing the console game gives the web-user the opportunity to unlock 25 exclusive missions in Legacy.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/videoxfq4cc Assassin’s Creed: Project Legacy / Facebook-Uplay interconnection

    Assassin’s Creed : Aquilus

    The second volume of the Assassin’s Creed graphic novel series, an integral part of the campaign preceding the launch of Brotherhood, came out in November 2010. Writer Eric Corbeyran and artist Djillali Defali, who created the first volume in 2009, return to the story of Desmond to recount the next chapter. Entitled Aquilus, the graphic novel presents events which take place after Assassin’s Creed II, leading to the search for an artefact with great unknown potential.

    Assassin's Creed BD -aquilus-

    Assassin’s Creed : Ascendance : a short animated film

    Created by UbiWorkshop, the animated short Assassin’s Creed: Ascendance was released in November 2010. The animated adventure, which was produced and developed by Ubisoft Montréal, was available on Xbox Live, PlayStation Store and iTunes for around 2 Euros. The short film was designed to fill in the narrative gaps between Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Plots, betrayals and assassinations… The film brings together all the ingredients behind the series’ success, with a focus on the irresistible rise of Cesare Borgia and Ezio’s role behind the scenes.


    According to Louis-Pierre Pharand, director of UbiWorkshop, Ascendance was a profitable exercise.  “Even today it’s in the top twenty short films sold on iTunes,” confirms the film’s producer.


    Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: becoming the perfect assassin in “multiplayer” and “training-ground” modes

    Released in November 2010, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a direct sequel to Assassin’s Creed II. Surprisingly, while Wired reviewed this new version as a novelty-free retread of the previous title, it was also awarded best video game scenario by the Writers Guild of America in the same year.

    In this instalment, Desmond is again controlling Ezio, and the player is called on to explore Renaissance Rome, a city under the thumb of the infamous Borgias. Ezio re-forms the ancient Order of Assassins, recruiting opponents to the Borgias’ power, and together they work to confound the actions of the corrupt family.

    On the gameplay side, Brotherhood brings two significant improvements to the saga: multiplayer mode and a training environment to become the perfect assassin.

    Developed by Ubisoft Annecy, multiplayer offers several playing modes, based on the solo dynamics. So, depending on mission aims, the player may have to assassinate other players, or become defenceless prey with no option but to hide. This particular mode received strong criticism from the Wired reviewer, who was, however, impressed with “Manhunt” mode, where the player can work as part of a team, with other online players.

    In less than a week, Brotherhood sold over a million copies in Europe, making it the fastest selling Ubisoft game ever on the continent. In May 2011 the games developer announced that this third episode in the Assassin’s Creed saga had sold over 8 million copies.

    Assassin’s Creed : The Fall

    At the end of 2010, the assassins’ saga attracted a major US comic publisher! The Fall is a series of three Assassin’s Creed comics published by DC Comics, where we follow the adventures of a Russian assassin and his descendant. Published in the US and the UK, the series steps away from the characters we have met so far in the saga.

    In Russia in 1888, Nikolai is a member of the Russian order of Assassins, who we meet at the start of his new mission: to assassinate Tsar Alexander III and retrieve a mysterious artefact. As with the games, the reader also follows the story of Nikolai’s descendant in modern day America…


    According to Cinecomics.fr, the series contains “excellent revelations and a taut and well-developed plotline, alternating between 1888 and 1998 in a perfect rhythm.”

    In the Around the Transmedia World interview series, Louis-Pierre Pharand, transmedia producer and director of UbiWorkshop, adds some extra insight into this transmedia approach to the franchise:

    “Whatever the medium, we never tell the story of the game: that would be cross-media. With transmedia we open up a new narrative avenue within the brand, which is connected to the brand and respects the parameters of the brand, but is entirely independent, a stand-alone product which will give someone who doesn’t play the video game an excellent experience within the given medium. We also call it an entry point into the brand.”

    That’s certainly what has been achieved with The Fall, which can be read, understood and enjoyed without ever having played one of the games. The comic book remains within the framework of the brand, without becoming a derivative product or a mere marketing tool.

    For more details, why not listen to what series’ creators Karl Kerschl and Cameron Stewart have to say, talking in this video about how they created a comic book that contributes to expanding and enhancing the game’s world.

    Assassin’s Creed: Oliver Bowden’s novels

    Assassin's Creed Renaissance

    The writing may be excellent, but Oliver Bowden’s series of linked novels is above all a “novelisation” of the games, a common phenomenon in the video game industry. By remaining faithful to the plotlines of the games, these books bring little in the way of new insight, making them crossmedia rather than transmedia.

    Nevertheless, enthusiasts have been able to appreciate this opportunity to get to know the characters better, to learn more about “their thoughts, feelings, fears, pains and hopes… a worthwhile addition to the video game, certainly enjoyable.”

    Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade is the third book in the series, published in June 2011. Bowden plunges the reader into the childhood of Altaïr, hero of the first video game; the narrator is none other than Niccolo Polo, father of Marco Polo and… a member of the Brotherhood of Assassins, tracked down by Ezio in Revelations, the latest game in the series.

    So while part of the book faithfully follows the events of the first game, The Secret Crusade moves away from it to successfully link to an additional storyline. Fans of the series were therefore able to detect hints in the book of the premise of Revelations, launched a few months later.


    Assassin’s Creed : Embers

    Released on Xbox Live, PlayStation Store and UbiShop, a few days after the publication of the comic book Assassin’s Creed: Accipiter, Embers is a 22 minute animated film and an epilogue to Ezio’s story.

    According to Louis-Pierre Pharand, Embers was “produced in a way that is entirely unique and different from usual production methods. We reused the game environments as well as the characters, animations and models, pulling them together within a more traditional pipeline of linking animations and images. We took our material from inside the game!”

    The production technique may be interesting, but can Embers reach a public beyond the fans of the game series? What if, by dabbling in animated production, expectations are raised even higher? Reactions to its premiere screening at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma provide a good indication of the sort of debate this kind of ambition can provoke.


    What next?

    Assassin’s Creed Revelations is now on sale, and like its predecessors, provoking plenty of reaction. Whether from hardcore gamers or fans of the game’s world, opinions will differ, and if one chapter of the saga is now complete, another will surely follow, and with it, a new departure resolutely anticipated by the most demanding.

    Meanwhile, we can wind up this analysis with a promise for the future: Variety has announced that Sony is hoping to adapt the Assassin’s Creed universe into a film franchise. Crossmedia? Transmedia? We’ll just have to wait and see!


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Case study: Assassin’s Creed, a transmedia franchise I/2


    by Ana Vasile, published on 18.11.2011

    In the wake of the official launch of Assassin’s Creed Revelations, the latest video game to feature Ezio the Italian assassin, we could not resist the urge to tell you a little bit about a saga that has sold more than 28 million units worldwide. Here’s our look at a phenomenon which has become a genuine transmedia franchise, where each new element contributes to the expansion of a richly imagined world with its roots in European history.

    The origins of Assassin’s Creed

    Assassin’s Creed, released for PS3 in 2007, was designed at Ubisoft Montreal as an action game, with adventure and infiltration coming together in a narrative inspired by historic fact. The first title in the saga transports us to Jerusalem in 1191 in the role of Altaïr, an elite assassin tasked with bringing hostilities to a halt by attacking both Crusaders and Saracens. There is plenty at stake in the adventure, with the player’s actions deciding whether the Third Crusade will be triggered, settling the fate of the Holy City.

    While critics where initially cautious, sales were not: Assassin’s Creed sold over a million copies in its first week, performing far better than expected – a fact emphasised in a press release from the publisher. According to Ubisoft, eight million copies of Assassin’s Creed have been distributed worldwide for different platforms. Patrice Désilets, the game’s creator, believes that between 30 and 35 million people have played the game, once rentals and the second-hand market are factored in.

    The world of Assassin’s Creed

    Going beyond questions of playability and design, Assassin’s Creed hit the bull’s eye by drawing inspiration from a fascinating period of history and featuring a genuinely charismatic protagonist. But there is more even than that to creating a rich and immersive world, and those who have played the game have become aware that the structure of Assassin’s Creed conceals many mysteries, leaving the way open for numerous new developments…

    The real plotline begins in 2012, with a hero called Desmond Miles, an American barman taken prisoner by Abstergo Industries, a pharmaceutical company founded by the Knights Templar.

    Desmond is no ordinary patient: hidden in his DNA is precious information about his ancestors, crucial data that Abstergo’s scientists are trying to recover through experiments on genetic memory. Using a machine known as the “Animus”, Desmond relives the actions of his ancestor Altaïr, and in the second title in the series, those of Ezio.

    This science-fiction theme, with its contrast to the historical saga of the assassins, is one of the aspects that has most appealed to gamers. Better still, Desmond’s progress, working back through time to relive his ancestors’ adventures, parallels the player’s own immersion in the game’s world. This mirroring of reality is a rare attribute, truly appreciated by gamers. With the essence of the story laid out in this fashion, opportunities to delve ever deeper into the meta-mystery are virtually endless.


    Assassin's Creed Hero

    Patrice Désilets, the games’ creator, explained to Ecrans.fr that as soon as development was complete on the first game, he wanted to take Desmond’s adventures further. “It felt like I had opened a whole series of doors, and I was eager to start closing some of them. For me, Assassin’s Creed is much more than a game, it’s a whole universe that we had created, and I was eager to explore it further. I wanted to see where it was all going to take us, on the creative level…”

    It is with the launch of the second game we can really start talking about this artificial world in transmedia terms. While two further iterations of the first game were created – Altaïr’s Chronicles and Bloodlines, they were produced “under licence” and did not have a major impact.

    Lineage, a series of short films broadcast on the internet and TV channel NRJ 12 in the build up to the release of Assassin’s Creed II, cemented the multi-platform approach: the story had started out on one platform and evolved onto another… From that moment on, Assassin’s Creed adopted a fully multi-platform strategy, launching into the creation of comic-books and short films, expanding the game’s world far beyond the usual promotional vehicles for computer games (official websites for each of the three games released on consoles, a host of , and games for the Facebook platform).

    The strategy has been well-rewarded: Assassin’s Creed is now the focus of numerous websites and wikis created by fans, and even fan-fiction…


    Assassin's Creed timeline


    First tries…


    Assassin’s Creed: Altaïr’s Chronicles

    Released in 2008 on Nintendo DS then in 2009 for the iPhone (subsequently renamed Assassin’s Creed HD), the game was developed by Gameloft and published by Ubisoft.
    altair's-chroniclesAltaïr’s Chronicles focuses solely on the young Altaïr and events that take place in 1190, in the midst of the Third Crusade. It does not reproduce the story of the first game for portable consoles, choosing instead to explore the protagonist’s youth.  However, by ignoring the SF meta-mystery aspect, and not contributing to the central narrative, this version failed to be adopted as a core part the world of the game


    Assassin’s Creed BloodlinesAssassins-Creed-Bloodlines-PSP-

    Released in November 2009 at the same time as Assassin’s Creed II, and developed by Griptonite Games for PlayStation Portable, Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines was the last title to follow the adventures of Altaïr. The story is designed to form a link with the next core game in the assassins’ saga, aiming to uncover a number of mysteries left in suspense by the previous title. Following on from the events of the first Assassin’s Creed game, Bloodlines is also build around Altaïr, who must travel to Cyprus to seek the elimination of the Templars.


    First transmedia installments

    Assassin’s Creed: Lineage

    Created by Ubisoft and broadcast shortly before the launch of Assassin’s Creed II, Lineage is a series of short films that were released on the internet and shown on TV channel NRJ 12.

    The films provide insights into Ezio’s family, and so into his motivations. Episode One of the Lineage series was shown for the first time on YouTube on 26th October 2009, and seen by 1.1 million viewers, which at the time was the highest figure ever for a YouTube video in its first 24 hours online.  The two subsequent episodes attracted audiences of 250,000 viewers.

    The films tell the story of Ezio’s father, Giovanni Auditore, his opposition to the Templars and his attempt to prevent a plot to assassinate the Duke of Milan. The story is continued at the beginning of Assassin’s Creed II. The series used the same locations and sets as the Assassin’s Creed II game, and some of the actors’ voices were also used in the game, to help weave the two scenarios into a single tapestry.


    Assassin’s Creed II

    Assassins Creed II

    The second game came out in November 2009 on Xbox 360 and PS3, to an enthusiastic response from the press and gamers. This time the story takes place in Renaissance Italy, with a new protagonist: Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Assassin’s Creed II performed even better than its predecessor, with 1.6 million copies sold worldwide in the first week and total worldwide sales eventually coming close to 9 million.



    Assassin’s Creed: the first volume of the comic book

    In November 2009 Ubisoft published the first volume of an Assassin’s Creed comic book, in France and Belgium only. Entitled “Desmond”, the comic explores the reasons behind Desmond Miles’ imprisonment in a secret and ultra-secure experimental laboratory.

    BD Assassin's Creed : Desmond

    Published by “Les Deux Royaumes”, the publishing house created by Ubisoft, this comic book series is not just a promotional tool for the games developer. Corbeyran and Defali, well-known figures in the comic book world and the names behind the Stryges series, were put in charge of the project, with the aim of providing further insights into still half-hidden areas of the game’s world.

    In volume one, fans learned more about Desmond Miles and his ancestors Altaïr and Ezio, as well as about the famous Patient 16, whose symbols had aroused the curiosity of a large portion of the gaming community.

    This is the sort of touch that explains the success of this transmedia franchise: small details scattered through the story’s world which can be developed into the plotline of another complementary narrative. Jeff Gomez characterised them as “distant mountains”, features that appear to be far-off, in the background, but which drive an urge to explore further, and underline the richness of the artificial world.


    Assassin’s Creed II : Discovery


    Released on Nintendo DS and iPhone at the same time as the main Assassin’s Creed II game, Discovery was developed by Griptonite Games. It’s an action game played as Ezio Auditore, who must travel to Spain to save his brother assassins and defeat a Templar plot.  While the DS version of Assassin’s Creed, featuring Altaïr, the protagonist of the first game, was a prequel which revealed the origins of the character, Discovery is simply a parallel story.



    With the launch of Assassin’s Creed III: Revelations, the transmedia world created by Ubisoft will see a new injection of energy. Discover the latest enhancements to this game’s world and its developments here.



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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Back from London’s 2011 Pixel Forum, where to next?


    by Stephane Adamiak , published on 15.11.2011

    In recent years, Power to the Pixel (London 11-14 October 2011) has become Europe’s major transmedia event. Bringing together professionals from film, TV and interactive media, the forum is a unique opportunity to discover the vast array of new formats and innovative techniques available to today’s directors and producers.





    This year the Pixel Forum (sponsored by Orange) opened with a single day of lectures, which mainly focused on case studies and feedback. The following day was given over entirely to the Pixel Pitch (with a prize awarded), with a series of project presentations made to a panel of judges. Closing with the Pixel Market and Pixel Think Tank, this year dedicated to financing projects, 2011’s Power to the Pixel ran for an intense four days of encounters and discussions.

    On returning from this busy interlude, what trends can we identify shaping the present and future of this still emerging cross/trans/inter/omni/über/media industry (delete the terms you find most irritating) ?

    Pragmatism bites

    Looking beyond the inspiring speeches of the genre’s evangelists, this year a sense of realism permeated the presentations and project proposals. Perhaps faced with the conceptual complexity of transmedia’s inherent nature, or the wariness of broadcasters and distributors, creators and producers seem currently to be approaching the transmedia model with pragmatism. Rather than promising the earth with longshot cartoon, toys or video games plans, projects are focusing on proven formats (mostly documentaries and serials, and occasionally film) that are extended or augmented on other platforms to demonstrate their transmedia potential. A documentary can lead to a more persistent interactive web platform, or a film can link to an iPad application in the style of an exhibition catalogue, and so on.

    Traditional publishing takes up the baton

    Over the four days of the Pixel Forum a number of publishers (Penguin and Edgemont amongst others) came forward to share their vision and experiences of the transmedia world. Past months have produced a number of initiatives involving book launches preceded by ARG type schemes like BZRK, or original ideas like Night Circus (interactive web story experience still available here) and Orange’s , to give only this examples. The big news of recent weeks is the strategic partnership linking Blacklight and Random House. Another between BeActive and Penguin was announced following Power to the Pixel. There can be no doubt about it, the world of traditional publishing is coming to grips with transmedia, and we will hear more from them in the months to come.

    There should be no surprise in the fact that the “young adults” market is the key focus for publishers who are closely tracking a generation brought up on a diet of Harry Potter, hungry for stories, eager for connectivity, and particularly prone to spending their time on platforms not made from dead trees.

    A success like is a clear signal that this audience is ready to embrace these mutant narrative formats, and whoever manages to marry this sort of model to a new Twilight will have hit the mother lode. Rather than appearing in the second rank on the transmedia agenda, the world of book publishing (especially in the SciFi/fantasy or young adult categories) is looking to change the rules of the game and – why not – kick-start future franchise successes.

    What if transmedia’s “Avatar”, the long awaited Holy Grail that will show the way like Cameron’s film did for 3D cinema, came from this unexpected source?


    >>> Shining the spotlight on some favourites

    Tomorrow we Disapear (produit par Rebell Yell) : A striking artistic direction for a documentary with multi-platform ambitions. There are still a bunch of days days left to give them a helping hand on KickStarter (and why not get an actual magic ring…) !




    Love & Engineering (Produced by Making Movies Oy) : Pixel Pitch winner. An amazing documentary (not fiction!) linked to a site which elaborates on the subject of the film, as does an iOS application. The subject ? An engineer has discovered how to bypass any woman’s “firewall” and is setting out to coach his fellow engineers on how to find love. In the following video, producers explain their intention and share the railer (starting at 1’38s).



    Jezabel (Produced by Bridges Films) : A TV series with transmedia extensions: a young girl becomes famous too quickly. Rock and Roll. Student life… A combination that should quickly secure an audience if the cast lives up to the promise of the teaser.




    Cloud Chamber (Produced by Windelov/Lassen Interactive): An ARG style project set in an inspiring world, conjured from the enigmas of the cosmos and engaging with an ambitious mystery. The producers intend to put a freemium style financial model to the test.


    Cloud Chamber concept art


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    author Stephane Adamiak

    Responsable Projets & Partenariats au sein de la team du Transmedia Lab - Orange / Direction des Contenus

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    Balance of Powers: unprecedented transmedia storytelling?

    balance of powers

    by Ana Vasile, published on 2.11.2011

    Crowd-founded through KickstarterBalance of Powers is a project aiming to create a dark new alternate-storyworld, created by the team that wrote Perplex City : a web-based free-to-read story, structured in eight chapters unfolding over eight weeks.

    Balance of Powers introduces us to four main characters and to their Cold War era world. “Their stories converge at a strange city on stilts called Midway; a place between places, where the balance of powers will be decided.”



    Murders, international politics, armed interventions, investigations, an ex-spy and a lot of imagination… this are the promises made by this hybrid online experience, a mix between a book and an ARG: a free-to-read online episodic story with special content available only for the subscribers like letters from the characters, live story events online, and even newspapers and artifacts from the story world.

    We invite you to discover more on this promising project, guided by one of its creators, Adrian Hon de SixtoStart :

    Could you introduce the Transmedia Lab readers to the storyworld of Balance of Powers?
    We’ve created an alt-history universe similar to the twentieth-century Cold War world but with some darker, supernatural elements.

    What should we expect from the plot and the characters?
    There are four main characters, each with very different backgrounds and viewpoints. Sometimes they overlap, but much of the time you’ll be seeing four perspectives on events and will need to join the dots yourself to figure out the truth of the situation.

    Balance of Powers seems to join an emerging trend in transmedia projects, more focused on the story and less influenced by the ARG. What is the main promise this storyworld makes to the user?
    We’ll tell them a rollicking tale! Alt-history also raises interesting questions about how the world might have turned out if one or two key events had happened differently, so we hope the readers will think as well as enjoy. We don’t think you need cryptography and QR codes just to tell a great story through multiple media.

    Perplex city

    I’ve read that it’s been a while since you started cooking the Balance of Power’s idea. What made you choose the crowdfunding path to finance this project?
    Crowdfunding isn’t just about funding – it’s about building a crowd. We wanted to create a community for our work, and Kickstarter gave us the platform to do that. It gave a focus for our campaign and helped to build buzz as well as budget.

    Do you think that crowdfunding is valuable and necessary for a transmedia project? Would you recommend it?

    It’s certainly a valuable way of connecting with an audience and raising a fairly modest amount of money, yes, but it’s not necessary. The great thing about crowdfunding is that it doesn’t have any gatekeepers – you don’t need anyone’s permission or blessing to get funding, unlike traditional routes like VC funding or investment or competitive grants – but it’s not easy either, because you have to work hard to spread the word amongst your supporters.

    There have been several projects that have not been able to raise much money because they just assumed people would come out of nowhere. So – we’d recommend it, with the caveat that it can be hard work and it’s not an easy route to riches!

    Between the gifts offered to your supporters, I’ve read there will be a newspaper, a book and an artifact extracted from the storyworld. Why did you chose those objects and do you think it’s enough to motivate your supporters to join the adventure?

    We chose them because they are great ways of telling the story and expanding the world offline. People understand how newspapers, books, and artefacts ‘work’ – they don’t require any special devices or instructions; also, they’re not too difficult for us to make, and we can make them look fantastic without having them be too expensive.

    They also allow us to talk about parts of the world in a way that would be more difficult in the main story – for example, a newspaper can include adverts and letter and articles that reveal more of the background. We think they’ve certainly been enough to motivate our supporters – a lot of people have opted for the newspaper or the book!


    What will be freely available for the entire community, and what is destined for supporters only?

    The main text will be freely available online, so a reader should be able to follow the story and enjoy the tale without paying a penny. But paying supporters will get real-life swag and the chance to take part in live online events.

    Have you considered selling paid content, after the launching of the project?

    We’ll probably sell the newspaper and books, yes, and perhaps other artefacts and story objects, but the core story will still be free.

    Kickstarter represents your choice of pre-financing, have you also imagined other financing paths?
    We’re certainly familiar with the process of chasing venture funding and so on, but we didn’t want to do that with this project because we’re in it for the joy of it. Going after the deep pockets isn’t much fun.

    You have clearly gathered the needed amount, what would you do with the extra money?
    We’ll just be making sure the rewards are the best they can possibly be. We’re not making money out of this – it’s not about profit (yet) – so we really want to thank our supporters for the help they’ve given us.

    When will your project be launched and available on the internet?

    What are your future plans with this storyworld?
    If Season 1 goes well, we hope to be back with a Season 2 with an even bigger audience and even better rewards.

    Adrian Hon is co-founder and CEO at Six to Start, specializing in game-like stories and story-like games. Clients have included Disney Imagineering, the BBC, Channel 4, and Penguin, and Six to Start has won multiple awards including Best of Show at SXSW.

    He also writes about technology for The Telegraph, is writing a Kickstarter-funded book A History of the Future in 100 Objects, and is the co-founder ofTransmedia London. Adrian studied neuroscience at Cambridge, Oxford, and UCSD, and has spoken at TED in California about Mars exploration.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Feedback: FanFan2 and the transmedia literature

    fanfan2 projet crossmedia

    by Ana Vasile, published on 19.10.2011

    Fanfan2 is an Orange initiative, a multiplatform project dreamed up by the author Alexandre Jardin based on the adventures of Alexandre, the hero of his book “Fanfan, 15 ans après”. Fanfan2 places the reader at the heart of a participatory, multi-screen approach, with the aim of extending fiction beyond the realms of the printed book using a website, social media (Facebook and Twitter) and iPhone and iPad applications.




    The case study provides an overview of the experiment, which ended in May 2011. Stéphane Adamiak, Transmedia Projects and Partnerships Manager within Orange’s Content Management team, explains some of the lessons learned from this project and talks to us about the subjects of digital writing and interaction with readers.

    Fanfan2 Case study

    Fifteen years after they first met, the hero of the novel, Alexandre, sets himself the challenge of surprising his wife, Fanfan, everyday. Faced with the scale of this, Alexandre decides to ask readers to help him re-enthral his love!


    Initially, this project was ambitious because of its positioning: the original Fanfan community is largely an adult, female readership; what’s more those who read novels appear to be quite remote from the digital world. Now the Fanfan2 adventure is over, have these assumptions been confirmed?

    SA: Broadly, yes. However, we witnessed the community getting younger over time. The proportion of 15-25 year olds increased little-by-little, without becoming the most active members. Ultimately, Fanfan2 is not a book but actually the digital extension of a literary work. Although the majority of readers remain attached to the physical book, the question of adopting Fanfan2 is different. Those who are reluctant to adopt digital habits didn’t pay any attention to it, but those who already use social networks were curious and grasped the opportunity!

    The collaborative aspect of the work is driven by social media. Readers are invited to respond and to create parts of the story with the author/character. After almost seven months of interaction with the public, how would you rate the level of involvement?

    Fanfan 2 transmedia via Orange

    SA: Seven months is actually a real marathon in terms of attention and involvement, but we were surprised by the loyalty of the Fanfan2 community. A hard core of readers was rapidly formed, participating or responding every day and, more widely, this community shrank very little over the months. With Fanfan2, it’s clear that involvement went far beyond simply liking/following (which is frequently limited to a passing interest).

    The other surprise was the effort made by participants in terms of their responses and contributions. Users were not satisfied with a single line comment such as “LOL”, they took the time to really enrich the stream of interactions with the characters (without wishing to stay on the right side of them, quite the contrary!). This quickly created a kind of standard and those who joined in the adventure along the way followed this example.


    In October 2010, Alexandre Jardin said he was fascinated by the possibility of creating a real time narration and being in permanent contact with readers. How did the FanFan2 community enjoy the experience offered by the author?

    SA: Writing in real time in the form of tweeted messages or Facebook statuses leaves a lot of scope for the reader’s imagination, with the latter trying to anticipate and extrapolate whilst waiting for the next episode. After taking the time to grasp the potential and limitations of this writing “in a stream”, Alexandre took great pleasure in playing with the ellipses, the intervals between the main character’s idealistic plans and his carrying them out. It was not unusual for readers to be on the edge of their seats waiting for a report on the “situation on the ground” and sharing their opinions or predictions with others, and even moaning when the character took a long time to tell them what had happened.

    On a number of occasions, we were also surprised that the characters were attacked, as if they were really “Facebook” type friends. Alexandre Crusoé, the protagonist, received a ticking off more than once, but it was ultimately only readers who enjoyed playing a role – that of the confidante of a fictional character. Obtaining this result was one of our aims, but it happened far more quickly than we expected.

    Happy Fannie, Orange’s teams and Alexandre Jardin needed to work together on this project. How did you divide the duties and know-how?

    SA: On the part of Orange, we first took the time to work with Alexandre Jardin on the general concept, adapting his writing to social media and the scheme’s schedule, as well as tailoring it to the brand image. We then linked up with 6Degrees (which brings together a number of companies and studios, including, specifically, Oahu for development, and Unity for design) in order to develop the concept into a website and applications. At this stage, Happy Fannie was already involved in exploratory meetings, but it was at the launch at the end of October that the team, led by Sandrine Girbal, played a central role by moderating the community and monitoring the smooth progress of the story in cooperation with Alexandre Jardin. From that point, we all got together for weekly editorial meetings to discuss the latest news and developments in relation to the project.


    This new form of narration allowed readers of Fanfan2 to be immersed in the intimacy of Fanfan and Alexandre in real time. The latter implicitly needed the help of the community every day. Which media most encouraged participation?

    SA: The protagonist’s requests were more than just implicit! The real time style of the narration led us to highlight the smartphone aspect, but this media lends itself poorly to writing, which was at the heart of the project (limitations in terms of the interface, context, available time, etc.). Ultimately, it was therefore Facebook that became the hub as it was most widely used by the readership in question and was most suited to the anticipated interaction.


    Fanfan2 was created as a project that could be developed as it progressed. What was your strategy for maintaining the loyalty of your community and interest in the experiment for the entire duration of the project?

    SA: The establishment of a dedicated team, constantly listening to and in a close relationship with the author, was the key. It’s thanks to this daily attention that we were able to “take the temperature” of the community and respond rapidly to expectations or anticipate lulls in intensity.

    Anticipation rightly, but in the longer term, was also our concern. For example, beyond the impetus of the first few weeks, we needed to steer through the minefield of Christmas (leading to an inevitable decrease in public attention and a much smaller team, naturally). In the last few months too, we needed to keep the flame alight by making changes to the format or rhythm to avoid falling into a routine, which could have adversely affected both the public and the team.

    On the other hand, our initial plan anticipated the establishment of new modes of interaction with the world of Alexandre Jardin. We could have moved towards applications that aimed to make the atmosphere of Fanfan2 into a social game, which would have made use of geolocation, for example. However, in contact with the community, we came to understand that our audience was made up of readers, who were fans of stories, and whose daily lives were already sufficiently full not to need additional challenges. Benefitting from the time to escape via a serial or soap opera, or a space for sharing and discussion was enough and going further would have divided the community. Instead of sticking with our initial vision, we changed, choosing to give more space and influence to participants’ contributions in relation to the writing, based on a fun, less formal, approach.

    Beyond our initial strategy, Fanfan2 was therefore mainly managed “just in time”, responsively and as closely as possible to its public. Obviously, this type of flexibility is far easier to achieve with literary content than with video, for example. Nevertheless, once again, without a dedicated author and a committed editorial team, it would not have been possible to continue for such a long time.

    What lessons can be learned from working alongside a “traditional” author?

    SA: Alexandre Jardin did not turn out to be traditional in this case. Apart from the aforementioned writing, which clearly remains the domain of the author, it was also a question of collective working methods, a convergence of community management and web development. And even though publishing is a collaborative effort, “traditional” writing has not accustomed authors to this type of interaction. The upstream phase turned out to be the key for this kind of project, in order to guarantee coherence with the reference work and the feasibility of the approach.

    There is no generic formula for projects which are so heavily based on encounters/interactions: an author, designers specialising in new media, community managers and, naturally, the public! An adventure packed with lessons, which opens up new prospects for literary works.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    • Transmedia Immersive University

    Transmedia Immersive University: transmedia goes back to school


    by Ana Vasile, published on 12.10.2011

    Transmedia Immersive University is a completely new project that is taking transmedia to France’s universities. An initiative launched by Jérémy Pouilloux, associate producer of the film company la Générale de Production, the aim behind Transmedia Immersive University is to encourage students to write transmedia material by supervising the production of their projects and then broadcasting these projects as part of a public event. This approach is supported by the expertise of more than twenty transmedia specialists working in France, including the producers of FDP, Fanfan2, Addicts, Detective Avenue, and Les Geeks, and brings together the leading transmedia figures from the various national broadcasters.

    The project takes the form of a specialized tuition period provided for the students during their normal academic curriculum. It is intended to allow them to realize their transmedia projects as part of an event during which these works will be broadcast and which will bring together people involved in every sector of transmedia creation. The tuition period includes a writing period, from October to December 2011, a pitch session arranged for 13 January 2012 and a production period between February and June 2012.

    Organized over a period of three days, the first Transmedia Immersive University will be held in October 2012 in partnership with the Paris City Council, the Gaîté Lyrique and lemonde.fr.

    The participating universities include the most prestigious academies in Paris as well as many other institutions: Gobelins, Cnam/Enjmin, Supinfocom/Supinfogame, EMLyon, Celsa MISC, SciencesCom, InaSup, Gamagora, Arfis, Factory, Ecole Bellecour, CEEA.


    Transmedia Immersive University

    To help us gain a better understanding of this project and find out what we can expect from this innovative initiative, Jérémy Pouilloux kindly took the time to answer all our questions:

    Jérémy, you decided to create Transmedia Immersive University. What motivated you to launch a project of such scope?
    There were two main reasons. The first is that I believe deeply in the potential of this type of writing. Creative potential, emotional potential for the audiences, on the one hand, and economic potential and a source of renewal for French fiction, on the other. The second concerns the market situation facing this type of writing. It is still a very difficult undertaking to conduct large-scale projects in this field and find a way of exploring new narrative modes. It was necessary to do something that would allow professionals in the sector and the public to see this type of project. So that they can experience them. So that we can make our own contribution to the development of a transmedia culture in France and in this way send out a strong signal to and maximize the profile of authors who want to express themselves in this field both now and in the future.

    Are the hopes of the transmedia market vested in the student generations?
    I wouldn’t say that. If this question is meant to refer to a possible distinction between students and established authors, I think that many of the authors who are writing today are very interested in these innovative narrative approaches. And it is very important that these experienced authors get to grips with this type of writing if high-quality work is to be produced in the future. One of the aims of Transmedia Immersive University (TIU) is precisely to convince these established authors of the value of these new forms of expression and share our enthusiasm with them.

    Having said that, it will be interesting to see what the students are capable of inventing, in particular since they are not obliged to fit in with any particular viewpoint or editorial policy. I should add that one of the tasks of TIU is to disseminate the “transmedia culture” within academic training and help improve the quality of this type of writing. Students are therefore a key audience for us.


    Are they the new storytellers, better suited to cope with the complex realities of transmedia projects?
    Once again, I don’t really believe in this type of distinction between generations. Some “old” authors are far more familiar with the technological tools and what can be done with them than the students themselves. Whether young or old, the new storytellers will be the ones who are able to bring together drama skills, a passion for technology and an understanding of its practical implementation. Having said that, it is true that young people, the “digital natives”, want to make use of the new tools that are now available and their enthusiasm is fundamental for future development. Nevertheless, you still have to learn to tell stories.

    les nouveaux storytellers

    What is the maximum number of projects that will be produced?
    This year, the intention is to support between ten and twenty projects. TIU combines a period of tuition, administered to the students by their teachers and professionals from the industry, and an event during which their work will be broadcast. The tuition period includes a writing period which will take place from October to December 2011, a pitch session organized for mid-January 2012, and a project production period between February and June 2012.

    The exact number of projects won’t be known until January because some establishments may decide to focus on one or two projects for production out of a number of projects developed during the writing phase.



    What are you hoping for in terms of the quality of these projects?
    That is one of the unknowns! We are experimenting and so there are bound to be surprises… I personally am very confident and have high expectations as to the results. The organization of the TIU as I have just described it means that these projects have every chance of succeeding and the motivation of the students I have met so far is a key factor. And having seen plenty of student projects, I think we are in for some pleasant surprises.


    When will we be able to see the results (trailers, productions)?
    Some elements of the projects will be made public as of the end of January and we intend to set up crowdfunding mechanisms to ensure that finances will be available for the completion of these projects.

    You will have to wait until October 2012 to see these projects in full and experience them with us during a three-day event at which the projects will be broadcast and professionals from many different disciplines will be able to meet in what we hope will be a festive atmosphere.

    In order to keep you posted on the advancements of this project we scheduled a future article with Jérémy, he will inform us on the stories this project created. Jérémy Pouilloux, associate producer at la Générale de Production, produces fiction, documentaries and transmedia projects. He is currently working on a number of transmedia projects including L’Œil Américain, a burlesque, interactive tale of a bank robbery, and Le Trou Noir, a transmedia documentary focusing on quantum physics and the fear of science.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Iron Sky: reimagining transmedia for 2012


    by Ana Vasile, published on 5.10.2011

    Enter into the Iron Sky’s world: a dark science fiction comedy that takes place in the year 2018, when the Nazis, who fled to the dark side of the Moon in 1945, return to claim the Earth.  This Finnish-German-Australian co-production with a budget of 7.5 million Euros was created by the makers of Star Wreck, ( a Star Trek parody)





    What makes Iron Sky special is the wide collaboration with fans and community: the project’s fans joined in by creating ideas and content in a collaborative movie making platform called Wreckamovie, they helped spreading the word about the film by sharing information online, they even funded the movie by designing and buying merchandize. Almost one million Euros should come from fan funding.

    Directed by Timo Vuorensola and co-produced by Tero Kaukomaa (Blind Spot Pictures), Samuli Torssonen (Energia) as the visual effects producer, Oliver Damian (27 Films Production), Cathy Overett and Mark Overett (New Holland Pictures) the film should be completed in December 2011 and launched in 2012.

    Using the internet and doing it right

    Iron Sky managed to achieve an active collaboration between the film makers and the online community. The team is in direct contact with over 200.000 fans on a weekly basis: with more than 8 million views on , almost 73.000 fans on and 55.000 on Iron Sky’s official website.

    iron sky

    The fans and followers can take part in Iron Sky by offering their ideas through a collaborative film making platform called Wreckamovie.com. There, the film makers can give their followers tasks, which go from very simple (finding a name for a character) to quite complex (build a 3D model of a starship).

    An integral part of the Iron Sky publicity campaign is a system called Demand to See Iron Sky : a tool that enables visitors to demand to see the movie in cinemas in their home city. Paris, Madrid, London, Berlin and Barcelona seem to be conquered by this idea.

    They demand Iron Sky

    The Iron Sky community can also take part in creating movie merchandise. The fans will be able to download a Design Kit, which includes Iron Sky themed graphics, fonts, pictures and other materials, with which they can create their own suggestions for Iron Sky merchandise. The most convincing creations will be added to the Iron Sky’s official line of merchandise which is distributed globally by EMI. The designers will be rewarded with movie tickets, cash and tickets to the Iron Sky premiere. More than 36 422 demands have been made!

    Iron Sky, not just a movie

    The movie is only one part of the Iron Sky storyworld. The producers imagined a series of three prequel comics, which will be published before the movie and a fully fledged graphic novel of Iron Sky story. There will also be a novelization of the film and a book about how this unprecedented movie project was created.

    The producers attested that a videogame based on the Iron Sky storyworld is under development and it will be published on the PC platform. There will be also Iron Sky themed content on mobile platforms, such as smartphones: these include an Iron Sky iPhone game and a free application which brings the latest Iron Sky news and content directly to the user’s phone.

    Real time making-of videos

    In order to keep up with the online community’s interest, Iron Sky offers a view behind the scenes as the movie is being made. The team publishes each month Iron Sky Signal documentaries on . The making-of crew offers an overview of the work progress from different departments, such as the art or costume department, in order to allow the audience to understand how a multi million euro sci-fi movie is actually produced. In addition, the film crew publishes shorter video diaries, such as the Director’s Diary: which Timo films often in a daily basis.

    Preview: the first minutes of the film in advance

    Iron Sky published a new feature called Iron Sky Sneak Peek which gives the fans a chance to see the first five minutes of the film in advance, for as little as one Euro. In addition to that people will get the chance to follow how that part of the film is made, starting from the idea of the scene, script, storyboards, animations and other various steps.

    Funding and overall budget

    About half of the Iron Sky 7.5 million € production budget is covered from Finland, and the rest from Germany and Australia. The producers attested that they have secured about 6.3 million Euros through traditional film funding channels but in the same time they hope that the online communities will finance almost 1 million.

    The rest is coming from more traditional sources such as Finnish Film Foundation, Hessen Film Invest, Eurimages, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Screen Queensland, Media development, several pre-Sales and spend related financing like DFFF in Germany and Australian tax-offset (Qape).


    Avatar Image

    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

    One Response to “Iron Sky: reimagining transmedia for 2012”

    1. The 11.03.2012 à 10:54, from togen

      Question is that all this is very interesting, but is the film good. Apparently there’s a lot people can learn from the making, but according to the reviews it might not be that good =/

      Very interesting concept though.

      Here’s some reviews

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    • Balance of Powers
    • Christy Dena
    • crowdfunding
    • NightVision
    • online communities

    Transmedia and the crowdfunding


    by Ana Vasile, published on 28.09.2011

    The crowdfunding is at his hype! A long list of websites like MyMajorCompany, Kickstarter, People For Cinema, Invested.in or Touscoprod propose to the online community to finance music artists, films, journalism project or documentaries. More and more transmedia and cross platform projects appeal to this type of funding. We chose three different emerging projects that base themselves on this type of financing. Balance of Powers, NightVision and “A History of the Future in 100 Objects” are three emerging projects based on crowd funding, proving that this type of funding is efficient. Another project worth describing, Christy Dena’s, kept our special attention for its different approach.

    Supporter vs. Producer


    At first, the crowd funding websites advertised to cybernauts: “become producers”. A tricky question, especially in France, where the producer title implies winning part of the profit… Eventually, the creators learned that it’s neither practical nor plausible to share the profits with thousand of unknown “online producers”.

    They started to offer objects or exclusive content in exchange for the cybernauts financial support. On the paper, this should perfectly work for transmedia projects, where the storyworld plays such an important role.

    Crowd funding for a storyworld: Balance of Powers

    Created by the team that wrote Perplex City, Balance of Powers is a project aiming to create a dark new alternate-storyworld: a web-based free-to-read story, structured in eight chapters unfolding over eight weeks. Crowd-founded through Kickstarter, Balance of Powers introduces us to four main characters and to their Cold War era world. “Their stories converge at a strange city on stilts called Midway; a place between places, where the balance of powers will be decided.” Murders, international politics, armed interventions, investigations, an ex-spy and a lot of imagination… an interesting promise and a rich storyworld that might be developed on multiple seasons if the community is supportive enough.

    Balance of Powers is presented as a hybrid online experience, a mix between a book and an ARG: a free-to-read online episodic story with special content available only for the subscribers like letters from the characters, live story events online, and even newspapers and artifacts from the story world.

    The money raised through the crowd funding should help the team to create the graphic design and physical objects, to pay the web hosting and to “make the user experience as enticing and engaging as we can”, as the team wrote on the kickstarter.com’s pitch. If the project raises more money than targeted, the team promised to start working on Season 2 of Balance of Power. The project already raised 1 565$ more than asked, so we may keep our hopes up.

    More than 100 cybernauts are baking to Balance of Powers. We might think that the creator’s names played a part, but I’m inclined to say that the project itself has all the chances to catch the eye : Adrian Hon, Andrea Phillips, David Varela and Naomi Alderman: four award-winning storytellers, writers, and game designers who love creating together captivating fictions.

    Nevertheless, the promised objects directly extracted from the dark storyworld seemed to interest the online community. For a pledge of 15$ the cybernaut receives the title of “Cadet”, extra content and exclusive behind the scenes commentaries. For more than 40$, the backer is promoted to “lieutenant” and receives at his doorsteps a newspaper shipped directly from the storyworld. For 75$, he can be named “commander”, be proudly invited to an online special performance or might even be a part of the story. More than 10 backers pledged more than 200$ in order to receive a limited-edition book of Balance of Power Season 1. One backer paid 500$ and will receive at home one special artifact from the world of Balance of Powers.

    Crowd funding for a “Facebook Theatre”: NightVision

    NightVision is another project appealing to crowd-funding as a source of pre-financing. Presented as a horror experience, not a movie, a book, nor a game; another hybrid storytelling project trying to emerge thanks to the online community’s help. NightVision will be played out on Facebook, Youtube and across the web. The creators call it “Facebook Theater”.

    It is a story of terror and nightmare where “a group of mates from Imperial College are trapped in a pitch black where they only have a camera’s nightvision mode to act as their eyes. The footage from the camera’s is being uploaded to youtube LIVE.” The show will take about half an hour to complete and will unfold through an intricate social platform web. The audience will be able to interact with the characters via Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

    Created by PlayThisNext, a cross platform development company, NightVision hopes to raise $10 000 through crowd funding, in order to finance cast costs, crew costs, technical equipment and the script. By this hour, they managed to raise $10,051 on the Invested.in platform. The rewards are given as advance tickets, VIP invites to online screenings, special thanks credits, and a multiple screenings pass.

    Addressing a niche market: “A History of the Future in 100 Objects”

    The crowd sourcing might be interesting for smaller projects or more specifically for those targeted at a smaller audience which would never be aired by national broadcasters. This type of financing assures the diversity of content and the creative innovation. By crowd funding, the creator speaks directly to the audience targeted…

    “A History of the Future in 100 Objects” is a crowd sourced project imagined by Adrian Hon, one of the cofounders of “Six to Start”, a company focused on next-generation stories. Presented on kickstarter.com, “A History of the Future in 100 Objects” is a journalism project born from Adrian’s personal imagination and desire to think of the future. It is a weblog exploring the future and proposing 100 posts for 100 objects, accompanied by newspapers from the future and podcasts. Adrian wanted to transform this web experience into a real book, rooted in science facts. This approach seemed to interest the readers. In fact, “A History of the Future in 100 Objects” raised easily the double of the pledged initial goal of $2500.


    But don’t imagine that the author will be greatly paid. He attested doing this for pure pleasure. He raised the money for his project’s technical needs, like recording and producing a high-quality podcast with real actors, hosting the website, illustrations, printing the newspapers and books, and converting the last ones into open and non-DRM eBook formats. He also promised that if he raises more than the target, which evidently happened, they would create more content, smart phone or tablet apps, and even to hold an event at the British Museum with guest speakers.

    The project looked interesting on paper and the author is more than qualified to create it. However, why did the cybernauts joined the adventure and invested? More than 100 backers helped Adrian raise the money he needed to make the project happen. Pledging from 5$ to 500$, the cybernauts were conquered by his cause and by the promised gifts, all within the universe of the future as seen by Adrian Hon. The promised gifts were:  exclusive newsletters, ebooks, printed newspaper directly from the future, autographed books, naming a scientist of the future, an Olympic athlete or even a President… the chance to star in a podcast as a Mars mission controller, or a 3D sculpted object, from the future of course!

    Why use crowd funding?

    For Balance of Powers, the creators confessed that they chose this type of financing in order to be in direct contact with the readers and players every day. They said that “Funding by Kickstarter is a great way to start to build a community around our new world.” Other than building a relationship with online community, the crowd funding may allow a certain freedom of creativity. PlayThisNext, the creators of NightVision, wanted to innovate and to allow the final user to be involved into the creative process of this new type of storytelling.

    Other than obtaining funds, the crowd funding seems helpful to create a community around the project even before its launching. It might be an interesting way to test the project itself. Christy Dena told us that for her project “Authentic in All Caps” presented here, she asked for the cybernauts’ financial support by offering a pre-order feature:

    “However, the pre-orders are not there as my primary financial model. The pre-orders are there for a different reason, to see who is seriously interested in this creative project. It is a form of market testing. Most crowd funding projects gather finance from people supporting the people behind the project. They’re not necessarily interested in the project. I’m working on my long-term goal of having a sustainable artistic life. I’m interested to see who will pay to experience my creative projects. I’m working to build a direct relationship with my audience/players! » said Dena.

    For all of these projects, the crowd funding appeared to work on different levels: financing, testing or obtaining publicity.A new way to obtain financing for content creators, the crowd funding may be more than just an online wallet, but a way to connect to future online communities, so eagerly needed by all transmedia projects… Perhaps, one of the main reasons is that the traditional financing paths are too crowded to allow creative and different projects to emerge.


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    • Inanimate Alice

    Inanimate Alice: a cross-platform educational project

    Inanimate Alice home

    by Ana Vasile, published on 22.09.2011

    Considered as a revolution in the “book publishing” industry, Inanimate Alice is a multiplatform immersive project. Often presented as transmedia, mostly thanks to its interactivity and multimedia use, Inanimate Alice is an interesting case of storytelling usage. With a six figure budget and different levels of utility, this project’s development took an unexpected turn…

    The Story:

    Inanimate Alice was created as a digital book; the immersive story allows users to interact with the central character, Alice, and to help her advance into the story. Text, audio, video, special effects and gaming are all used to deliver the narrative in a compelling way.

    Written by award winning author Kate Pullinger, directed by digital artist Chris Joseph and produced by Ian Harper, this interactive project introduces us to Alice, a young girl growing up in the first half of the 21st century, and her digital imaginary friend, Brad.


    Ian Harper explained that “Inanimate Alice is a multimedia interactive fiction, produced using manipulated images, text, games, music and sound effects.” As the story evolves, the authors describe Alice’s life, told in episodes, her travels around the world with her parents, then at school, in college, and then at the video game company when the main character grows up.

    Even though Inanimate Alice is not pure transmedia if you take in consideration the Wikipedia definition by being mainly web based, the project has inherent transmedia features like a non-linear mode of reading, evolving storytelling and user’s interactivity that spans across multiple media platforms (the story can be experienced on any device that supports Adobe’s Flash Player). The reader becomes a part of the story, by participating rather than just consuming the content.


    The origins of the project

    Ian Harper confessed that Inanimate Alice began as the back-story to a movie screenplay called E|Mission, he had written in 2004. The events presented in that tale called for some explanation of who Alice is, her relationship with her digital friend Brad, and what events led her be the one person who would save the world.

    Unlike most digital content, Inanimate Alice is not a traditional text-only story, which has then been reorganized and enhanced in digital form. This project was conceived, written and created entirely for the web.

    The producer stated that as the story progressed, each episode became more interactive and complex than the one before, thus reflecting Alice’s character growth and her developing skills as an animator and computer game designer. Even the formats evolve: from still images to video and 3-D games.



    The viewer is tasked with multiple actions mostly destined to increase the immersion into the story. The simulated multi-tasking environment is supposed to be similar to a computer game requiring the reader to solve puzzles before being able to access new portions of the text.

    In August 2011, Inanimate Alice launched a new website and a new tool, developed in partnership with Promethean Planet that establishes a resources and news-sharing community around Inanimate Alice. These recent developments help expanding Alice’s story world.


    It’s quite interesting that one of these developments is Alice’s gadget. Pulled out of one episode, the gadget is brought to life and serves as a centralizer for the new free resources: a trailer, a teacher’s guide, a literary resource pack, a whiteboard guide and a showcase for all user generated contents.

    While the Promethean Planet User Group was created for the teachers, it actually created as well a community of involved students eager to create their own Inanimate Alice episodes, alongside unofficial wikis like this one: Alice and friends.

    The Target

    Ian Harper estimated that the total episode views were well in excess of one million, in the US, Europe, Asia, and especially Australia and New Zealand. An official and account accompanies the main website, alongside two “Alice’s School Reports” a webzine about the relation between the students and the Inanimate Alice storyline.

    After the airing of the fifth episode, the early ones were translated into French, German, Italian and Spanish for the European Commission’s Intercultural Dialogue initiative. The producers discovered then that they might use Alice for something beyond simply reading. That’s when the project started to evolve into an “educational” tool for foreign languages teachers.

    The storyline and the graphics let us think that the project is mainly targeted at children and teenagers; this assumption is confirmed by the project’s “educational” evolution. Over the time, the producers observed that Inanimate Alice was, indeed, popular with international schools and language learning schools around the world, particularly in AsiaPac countries.


    Alice for education

    Inanimate Alice’s producers developed a series of partnerships with different teachers and university students in order to develop complementary educational materials. Now, said Ian Harper “education departments at universities around the world use those lesson plans and worksheets as core materials for literacy and ICT education objectives targeting 10-14 year old students with widely differing competencies.” The early episodes provide the framework for a considerable (100+ hours) modular non-native-language training program. Following the format of the online series, this program provides content for both language-schools and individual learners.

    A Million Dollar Story

    The project’s producer, Ian Harper stated that “The team’s commitment to this project far exceeds the six-figure sum that has been spent thus far.” In the same article he mentioned that the series completion will demand another investment, pushing the overall budget over the one million dollars limit.

    Alice has become a bridge between technologies, languages, generations and education. The producer’s hope is that the industry will, as well, meet them in the middle.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    TEDxTransmedia 2011 : An interview with Nicoletta Iacobacci


    by Ana Vasile, published on 14.09.2011

    TEDxTransmedia returns for its second global conference focusing on Media that Matters, on September 30th 2011. 20 engaging speakers will explore the concept – Making a difference with Socially Responsible Media. We had the chance to exchange with Nicoletta Iacobacci, TedxTransmedia’s Curator and she kindly answered all our eager questions and explained what to expect from this year’s event. The organizers stated that “the idea of Socially Responsible Media should be at the core of broadcasting, and in particular of the PSBs’ mission; in order to create a call for action and help driving social innovation.” Focusing on the power of remarkable stories to translate universally across media, TEDxTransmedia aims to enhance the storytelling as a powerful tool of change-making throughout media;

    The event will take a new approach on:

    This year’s event is committed to generating a call-to-action to bring together and mobilize concerned audiences and engage fragmented communities with a global voice to make a change.

    In order to get a better glimpse on this years’ event, Nicoletta Iacobacci takes us on a Q&A tour of TEDxTransmedia 2011:


    What is the target you imagined for this year’s edition?

    I imagined for this year’s event to reach a wider audience, not only the specific NewMedia, CrossMedia, Transmedia audience. Transmedia is the strategy that has the capability of reaching different groups of people and aggregates them in powerful communities. A multigenerational audience that can become proactive and help making the world a better place. Why not expressing this concept instead of talking only about how to make Transmedia, what business model can be used or what platforms can we utilize?

    At this year’s TEDx we will use transmedia as the “fil rouge” to connect different topics in order to inspire, to enthuse and to challenge the attendees. We will perform some Transactivism, starting from the power of a non linear/multiplatform narrative (the spring revolution in Africa) to the Harry Potter alliance; from Lina Srivastava, who is well known for being a transmedia activist to Jem Bendell who will give us an unusual and scary image of money.

    Of course many well known transmedia professionals will take part of the conversation, but again with a wider, extended overview. We also planned a surprise at the end of the conference… that still needs to be confirmed. I have to confess that this year I tried to apply a sort of Transmedia strategy to curate the conference, engaging the attendees to enter in the conversation from different entry points…

    What are your attendance expectations?

    I think many Italians will participate, the European Transmedia crowd and some from abroad. Then artists, writers and at least 50/60 PSBs. The venue, the MAXXI Contemporary Art Museum in Rome is a great place to host a transmedia conference, being transmedia itself. The museum architecture encourages non linear experiences and allows different expositions to intersect and consciously overlap.

    What should attendees expect from the conferences?

    To be inspired, to continue with the DARING message I tried to convey at the last year’s event. We need to be bold, to try, to experiment, maybe to fail as well… but to continue… and if we consider the fact that we can use transmedia to contribute for making a better world, I think it could be a more pleasant activity. We will have many Public Service Broadcasters attending and the occasion will be great to spread this message.


    What are the main ideas this events aims to spread?

    The title of TEDxTransmedia 2011 is WHAT IF: Socially Responsible Media. I would like to generate a big number of “WHAT IFs” and see many of them realized!

    The program

    This year’s event will approach the Socially Responsible Media from three angles: Courage, Passion and Magic. Each angle will unfold under different conferences going from covering the spring revolution of North Africa, transmedia as a weapon and the strength of non-linear communication to advices on how to push the bar by daring to innovate. The full program, still subject to change, is available here and you can make your reservations here.

    The place

    Nicoletta Iacobacci,TedxTransmedia’s Curator chose Rome for this edition of TEDxTransmedia because the city embodies in her point of view the three main angles of the event : Courage, Passion and Magic. She presented the MAXXI, the national contemporary art museum created by architect Zaha Hadid to promote 21st century art and architecture, as the most transmedial museum she has ever experienced.

    You may be impressed by the speakers and the event’s conferences, but you shouldn’t miss the expositions on permanent display at the museum: installations by Anish Kapoor, Sol Lewitt, Maurizio Mochetti, Giuseppe Penone and Massimo Grimaldi.


    TEDx was created in 2009 in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    • Authentic in All Caps
    • Christy Dena
    • interactive

    Authentic in All Caps: a playful comedy-drama by Christy Dena


    by Ana Vasile, published on 7.09.2011

    The first independent project created by Christy Dena one of the transmedia worldwide legends, “Authentic in All Caps” has just been launched with a fresh new website and teaser. The project is presented as an audio drama that takes the cybernaut across the web, interacting with fictional websites while hearing the character’s stories behind them. It is an online episodic comedy-drama that is “explorable, ever expanding, reactive, playful, and replayable” as depicted by Dena herself.

    “Authentic in All Caps” The Story:

    The project’s website presents the story as a dark investigation between two worlds: “An Underworld gambling philosopher desperately trying to earn a living in the Overworld as an autopsy pathologist takes on a bet to find the meaning of death. Despite help from her part-time Time Traveling Assistant, she finds her investigation upsets fellow Gambling Philosophers, Ticket Inspectors, Artist Assassins and the Quantum Physicists’ Organized Crime Boss. Ultimately, her inability to fit in with either the Overworld or the Underworld makes everyone involved want to kill her.”

    Christy Dena was kind enough to answer our questions and to give us special insights into the project’s creation, without spoiling your future experience of “Authentic in All Caps”:

    How would you qualify Authentic in All Caps? Is it a new form of entertainment?

    It actually is a new form of entertainment! This is surprising, since new things are quite rare and publicity spin usually claims a project is new when it is not. But I have researched for a long time to find out if anyone has ever created a project where characters guide you via audio across websites, and I haven’t found a single one. Many people have created alternate reality games, where fictional websites are created and the players need to traverse the web to find them. I’ll be doing that. And many people have created audio-driven street games, where characters guide players through streets via audio. I’ll be doing that, but across the web. So it really is a new form of entertainment, and a new way of navigating and experiencing the web.


    Were you inspired by your research in the transmedia field?

    I was inspired by my research and work in the transmedia field, and beyond. The design of this project is based on my research insights into the way people respond to complexity, and the role media plays in that experience. It is also based on my work as an experience designer, writer and producer on transmedia projects – both alternate reality games and the expansion of films, TV shows, games and theatre. I’ve learnt a lot over these past eight years, and I am keen to act on them in an independent setting. I’m also inspired by my experiences with and excursions into a variety of artforms and interests: animation, pervasive gaming, experience design, music, emotions, performance, philosophy, mortality, ritual, and my ongoing attempts to feel at home in this world.


    What transmedia rules or practices did you apply in the creation of your project?

    There are some things I’m utilising that have worked for me and for others in the past, and there are some things I’m not utilising even though they appear to have worked for others in the past. I’m drawing on a variety of things I’ve learnt regarding audience/player behaviour whether they have been enacted before for others or not. These include accessibility, simplicity that encourages mastery, “beauty”, pacing, and so on. Creating creative projects, and especially the role of a director, requires making decisions all the time. Nothing happens as you intend it and so you continually have to figure out ways to reach your vision through a different path. This sometimes means letting some things go.


    Will the social networks play a role in the plot?

    I cannot confirm what social networks we’ll use just yet (as I’m still doing the writing and design and I don’t want to reveal some). But at the moment we are using Facebook and Twitter (or networks that look like them). Social networks play a role in grounding the characters in this world, and also enabling the audience/players to communicate with them and contribute to the greater storyworld.
    I’ve read that the user’s input can influence the story? How exactly did you imagined that flexibility of the script?

    User input is a very tricky proposition at any time, and it is even more complicated in this project. This is because the project is designed to be released and experienced in real-time first (like a traditional ARG unfolds live), but then once that live unfolding happens the project becomes automated. This means anyone can experience the world at anytime (if is not a one-off event), but it does create a lot of challenging design issues. I’m using a mix of human response and automation to achieve this. And in the end, it is in some ways the creation of two projects: one that is live and one that is replayable.

    What exactly do you mean by « interactive with the website »? What kind of quest or tasks would the users perform?  

    The experience is designed to encourage activity in a way that is easy and rewarding. The audio (and sometimes visuals) give in-story calls to action to encourage clicking on the websites and across websites. It is not quest or task-heavy at all, but there are things to do both during the playing of the audio and after.

    What can we expect from this project presented as “playful, reactive, explorable?”

    Authentic in All Caps is explorable, ever expanding, reactive, playful, and replayable. What explorable means, is there are things you can take your time discovering yourself if you wish (like other websites, characters, sub-plots). It is ever-expanding, which means it is designed to keep growing during its live launch and afterwards, by our own actions as creators and by the actions of players. The world is reactive to the actions of players, in that there are certain things that the players do that will cause a response and can permanently change the world. When I say it is also a playful world, I’m referring to the fun things you can do of your own choice with little rules attached to them. And finally, Authentic in All Caps is a project you can experience more than once and people can enter at any time…which I call replayable!

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    DIY Days, a free transmedia conference


    by Ana Vasile, published on 31.08.2011

    If you happen to be in Los Angeles on Oct 28th, be sure not to miss the DIY DAYS! With a new website, freshly launched, DIY Days is returning to LA for a free day of talks, workshops and networking. Organized under the supervision of Lance Weiler, one of the co-creators of this event, DIY Days aspires to bring you closer to inspirational speakers sharing insights and a number of action oriented initiatives that focus on co-creation and open access.




    The upcoming event in LA is the 9th DIY Days event in less than 3 years. Currently, the event is held twice a year, in New York City in the spring and in Los Angeles in fall.  Presented as a roving conference for those who create, the event can be considered as national with past stops in LA, San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia.

    One of the most important features of DIY Days is its free access and being organized by volunteers. The event claims to be all about the accessibility of ideas, resources and networking that can enable storytellers to fund, create, distribute and sustain. Lance Weiler declared in an interview accorded to The Creators Project that “There is something about making it free that lets people put their guard down. They feel the organic nature of the event—that we’re not trying to sell anything, but in fact working to inform and hopefully inspire something. »

    The organizers declared that the main goal was to share information and creative process within a social environment. Apparently, DIY Days came out of the desire to transfer into the real world the storytelling-involved community formed around WorkBook Project, a project focused on innovation, new trends, cutting edge projects and an open approach to a once closed industry by creating a collaborative and open system that shares resources, networking, information and knowledge.



    Speakers and innovative projects

    Lance Weiler insisted that “What DIY Days looks to do is weave together a mixture of speakers working in film, music, gaming, print, design, and software. We’ve found that many of the issues are the same in terms of the impact of technology, but what’s a bit different is how people are dealing with them.” He explained then, that the filmmakers should realize that their creative world is expanding, which in fact is a great opportunity to experience new ways to tell stories.

    The first round of announced speakers to this “DIY Days” edition include the transmedia legends Henry JenkinsTommy Pallotta and Christy Dena. The organizers promised to announce the detailed program in the coming weeks.

    If you are motivated and you have a great project to present, you should and let them know, they are still looking for innovative projects and people who would make wonderful speakers.


    Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problem

    While waiting for October, here some of the “action” the event’s organizers prepared for us.  “Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problemis special R&D project described as a “creative exploration into problem solving using storytelling” that should be at the center of the event.


    WS WP assembles a “core team” of programmers, designers, storytellers, community leaders and researchers in an effort to harness the power of storytelling to impact a “Wicked Problem” that is affecting a community in Los Angeles. By combining design thinking, storytelling and co-creation, the project should evolve from concept to working prototype within a 48 hour period. DIY DAYS LA will close with a presentation of the prototype to a live audience, announced the event’s website.

    Robot Heart Stories


    Robot Heart Stories is another project that will take place during the DIY Days LA. Conceived as an experiential educational project and created in a common effort with the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma de Montreal, Robot Heart Stories will have students in two underprivileged schools, one in Montreal and one in Los Angeles, co-creating stories that will move a robot (connected plush toy with GPS capabilities) from Montreal to Los Angeles. You will be able to dive into this project here.



    Show & Tell » par Cinema Speakeasy

    A special section of DIY DAYS will be highlighting some new innovative work. DIY Days teamed up with Cinema Speakeasy to create an innovative exhibition, in other words a space to show to creators of film, games, music, design projects, immersive experiences and anything else that deals with storytelling. Evidently the exhibition’s space is limited so the organizers told us to make sure to contact them early if you want to expose your work. For more details, check out this website.

    DIY Days LA partnered with the UCLA Library as one of their Open Access Week events. You will be able to find the free tickets here, starting on Sept 12th.


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Pottermore opens its doors to 1 million fans


    by Ana Vasile, published on 23.08.2011

    Before its brilliant launch, we had talked about Pottermore, the new brick of the Harry Potter universe, right here. Presented in the biggest newspapers as the site that will bring together the whole community of the little bespectacled sorcerer’s fans, which until now was spread out onto thousands of informal sites, Pottermore launches under the aegis of J.K. Rowlings, the creator of the fictional universe.

    After a digital marketing action open onto the whole world, Pottermore opened its doors, as a preview, for only one million diligent fans who earned their virtual place in the site’s community. For 7 days, the Internet users answered riddles on the site to find “the magic feather”: the virtual object that opened their access to the internet portal.

    The search for the “magic feather”

    The riddles remain anchored in the universe of the book. An element that once again emphasizes the target of this operation: Harry Potter initiates. Here is, for example, the first question: “How many types of owls are on the sign of “The Owl Kingdom” shop? Multiply this number by 49 to get the answer…”. If you can answer this question (without cheating with a search engine) you are indeed part of the little sorcerer’s community! We can therefore assume that the goal of this operation is to identify and value the most active members of this global community.

    The quest is now over! You can retrace the winding path of the Internet users who won “Harry Potter’s magic feather” on the IDBOX blog. The participants who correctly answered the riddles received a welcome email, bringing this part of the virtual game to an end. The organizers promised the winners that their accounts would be activated between August 15th and September 30th.

    This hunt for the magic feather seems to continue the jovial and enigmatic spirit of the site’s opening, when JK Rowling had challenged the internet users to find the ten letters of her new project’s name through a game of clues published on her Twitter thread. The letters matched 10 geographic coordinates from the Harry Potter universe. Once integrated into the site Secret Street View, they gave the name of her new website.

    Rowling highlighted, in one of her important declarations to members of her community: “It’s the same story with some essential add-ons. The most important element is you. In the same way that reading implies a collaboration between the imagination of the author and the reader, Pottermore is partially built by you, the reader.”

    Pottermore and the PotterWar

    This focus on the internet user’s role is a beneficial attitude change on behalf of the owners of the Harry Potter brand! Deep Media reminds us of the PotterWar, ten years ago, when the fan community was threatened by Warner Bros… The studio wanted to protect the integrity of its brand, but the readers were outraged by the threats of lawsuits from using the “Harry Potter” brand on their websites, which were specifically created to prolong and cover the story with praise.

    For his book Convergence Culture,Henry Jenkins had interviewed the leader of this group of angry fans. Heather Lawyer, only 16 years old back then, answered that Warner Bros. had underestimated the fact that all these sites were interconnected. Before the studio had time to change its mind, the British public opinion was already offended by these threats of legal action against children passionate about Harry Potter. Today, more and more producers understand that UGC is not a threat to their brand or for the content that they’re commercializing, but a strong declaration of commitment towards the content. The actions surrounding Pottermore today confirm the place of the community and promises interactivity with the creation of a “gratification” system for the most active fans.

    Jeff Gomez, the co-founder of Starlight Runner was describing in Forbes, the importance of Pottermore’s community aspect: “It’s not only there to sell books, but to feed and finally to develop Harry Potter’s strength. It’s a historic moment!” He highlights the fact that the site’s producers created a “participative storytelling system”. The act of formalizing and assembling the fan base in a single place allows them to offer services adapted to a community hungry for interaction and participation.

    The Harry Potter fan community has showed a strong implication for more than a decade, with innumerable UGC and local events organized around the books. The Pottermore Twitter and  accounts already have about 400.000 fans. Few sites would have succeeded in creating so much interest around a website.

    Speculators around the Pottermore project go further and dream of a transmedia project: an MMO game that would continue into the real world. The UK Times said that “this new website is a sophisticated online game unveiling clues that lead to prizes hidden in the real world. The magic wands will be found in the UK, in the US and potentially in other countries.”

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Creative Commons Licenses

    Creative commons1

    by Sebastien Lachaussee et Rym Soussi , published on 9.08.2011

    Transmedia professionals often bring it up: French legislation has trouble adapting to the needs of its creators’ projects. It’s actually quite restrictive when it comes to UGC or public domain resources. Sébastien Lachaussée Lachaussée, Attorney at Law, and Rym Soussi, explain to us what Creative Commons Licenses are and how they can be used in France.

    Creative Commons Licenses are born from the General Public Licenses (GPL) imagined by Richard Stallman, a researcher at MIT in Boston. By operating a free cession of rights for works registered under this license by the author to any user, Creative Commons Licenses want to offer a legal framework to share content created by the Internet revolution. After Free Software Licenses, Creative Commons Licenses have been met with great success on the web given the numerous criticisms of Internet users towards intellectual property rights, judged as too exclusive, too numerous, too heavy for a digital universe. It’s true that the efficiency of our legal systems is heavily compromised by the ease of reproduction of works on the Internet, with the numerous ways of exchanging, sharing and transferring data and documents. How do these licenses compare to classic contractual relations and what is their relationship with intellectual property rights?

    The mechanism

    Creative Commons licenses want to take advantage of this ease to exchange by offering a simple legal tool, which guarantees both a free circulation of the works on the Internet, but also the protection of the authors’ rights. The fundamental characteristic of these licenses is their modular aspect. The vulgarization and simplification work, namely through the use of pictograms, make them accessible to all users, who, as long as they respect the exploitation conditions of the work, can exchange it, duplicate it, change it or even exploit it commercially. These licenses allow creators to easily share their work and users to use them without having to previously contact the creator to ask for his authorization.

    Any type of work, as long as it’s original, can be concerned. Authors choose the most suited contract for the distribution of their work among several types of contracts offered by the Creative Commons Foundation. The Creative Common licenses define the facts and the conditions under which the free use of the work is authorized.

    In France, the author has the choice between six licenses:

    -          “Attribution” license

    -          “Attribution – No Derivs” license

    -          “Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivs” license

    -          “Attribution – Non Commercial” license

    -          “Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike” license

    -          “Attribution – Share Alike” license


    This way, the author can agree to the duplication of their work with derivatives or share alike or on the contrary, forbid any changes. He can also authorize the commercial use or on the contrary, forbid it, or allow the distribution under the same conditions, all these different options can be combined as long as the author is always credited.

    Creative Commons and authors’ rights

    The system established by the Creative Commons Licenses cannot ignore French intellectual property rights. Yet, the very principle of these licenses is a paradox and a disruption of French copyright. Whereas copyrights are exclusive rights that the owner trades and sells, licenses aim to use authors’ rights to favor sharing and exchange and lead to a free circulation of the work.

    This reversal is a “re-structuring” of authors’ rights and encounters some difficulties in terms of the legality of these licenses. First of all the term “license” is not recognized by the “Intellectual Property Code”. The only contractual mechanism recognized by literary and artistic property is cession (L. 122-7, L. 131-3 du CPI). The latter is defined in terms of length and territories, contrary to free licenses which are usually defined by the lack of timing and where the object of the contract goes further than what the law permits since it gives a non exclusive exploitation authorization, with the possibility of changing the work and redistributing it.

    The work of the author registered under Creative Commons Licenses remains ruled by the Intellectual Property Code. The moral right, an inalienable right of the public order, which the author cannot give up, still binds the users of the work. The outcome is that a contract where an author would completely give up his attribution right would be worthless. Consequently, since the second 2.0 version of the Creative Commons Licenses, “attribution” has become an essential condition of Creative Commons Licenses, in conformity with French authors’ rights.

    Furthermore, French law does not recognize the general cession of rights or the notion or “royalty free”. Consequently, contracts that allow a cession of rights for all forms of exploitations, all media, ad vitam aeternam and for the whole world are judged abusive and run the risk of being worthless. The reason being that they don’t clearly define the limits of the cession of authors’ rights as described in article L 131-3 of the Intellectual Property Code.

    This question is a good illustration of the difficulties that these licenses met when transposed to the existing French legislation, especially in terms of moral rights.

    However, Creative Commons Licenses do try to conform to the formality of literary and artistic rights contract cessions as described in article L 131-3 of the Intellectual Property Code. They thus have to mention each right yielded (specifically if the cession is with regards to a representation, reproduction or translation right) and limit its territory, its destination, the location and duration of the exploitation (which must necessarily be determined and limited in time). The protection of the work through the Creative Commons License and its exploitation duration therefore faithfully conform to the Intellectual Property Code. The territory, for the whole world, is also identified and copied on French law.

    Furthermore, regarding free cession, article L 122-7 of the Intellectual Property Code says that “the right of representation and the right of reproduction are accessible for free or at a cost” and article 122-7-1 specifies that “the author is free to make his work available to the public for free, provided the approval of eventual coauthors and those of other parties involved as well as with respect to other agreements that he has entered.” These dispositions were specifically inserted into our legislation to take into account “free” licenses.

    However, while jurisprudence condemns contracts that don’t allow serious remuneration for the authors based on article L.131-4 of the Intellectual Property Code, doctrine and jurisprudence admit its legality within the framework of article L.122-7, when the author makes his work available in a free and voluntary manner in exchange for the publicity seeked through an increased distribution of the work. Finally, it’s unlikely that a judge would consider a free cession through licenses allowing a commercial exploitation of the work, legal.

    But the main conflict between authors’ rights and Creative Commons Licenses resides in the principles of moral rights. The latter is of public order, inalienable, imprescriptible and intangible, making it impossible for the author to give it up. With this regard, the question of the validity of licenses, whose main interest is to authorize derivatives of the work, is highlighted.

    It applies first and foremost with regards to the right of respect of the work listed in article L212-1 of the Intellectual Property Code, thanks to which the author can oppose any changes that may distort his work. In a context such as that of free licenses, how can the author evaluate the change made to his work and at which moment can he decide that it impedes on his right to the respect of his work? A tentative answer to this might however be in vain since the right of respect of a work can be an obstacle to such an authorization. The principle of inalienability of the right of respect of a work, a principle of public order, was recalled by the French Supreme Court of Judicature according to which it “opposed itself to the fact that an author abandon to the transferee, in a preliminary and general way, the exclusive appreciation of the use, distribution, adaptation, withdrawal, adjunction and changes to which the latter might choose to proceed”. Consequently, only ratifications are valid, meaning approved abdications with full knowledge of the subsequent consequences. It’s logical not to conceive that the author would accept changes to his work without prior knowledge of what they might be. The obstacle of the right of respect of a work submitted to common authors’ rights therefore runs the risk of questioning the legitimacy of Creative Commons Licenses. However, the fact that an author might authorize changes in advance is not equivalent to a renunciation of the right of respect of a work since, in the hypothesis where the change would alienate or misrepresent the original work, a recourse based on the right of respect in case of prejudice is still possible.

    In conclusion, despite the efforts of the Creative Commons Licenses writers, on the one hand, and by French law, on the other, compatibility problems remain regarding Creative Commons Licenses anticipating the possibilities of changing a work or using it commercially. If Creative Commons Licenses are an efficient tool to create a framework for the free sharing of work, all commercial exploitation will not be able to forgo the use of classic cession contracts.

    Article initially published on avocat-l.com


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    author Sebastien Lachaussee et Rym Soussi

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    What’s Possible with Transmedia: Case Studies in Successful Projects


    by Ana Vasile, published on 26.07.2011

    While waiting for one of the most important transmedia events, the StoryWorld Conference + Expo in San Francisco, we have some goodies for you. We explained here what StoryWorld Conference aims to achieve during its conference marathon in October 31 and November 2. The producers of this event organized a free WEBcast, in order to keep you informed on the transmedia storytelling.

    The web seminar is a free of charge public event; scheduled on July 27th at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT (American Time Zone) Here you can find out the schedule for your time zone and register. The subject seems quite interesting: “Surveying Transmedia: Case Studies of Successful Stories.”

    The organizers explained their intentions: defining and discuss the transmedia evolutions through case studies. They might be called cross-platform stories, transmedia projects, branded entertainment, or even alternate reality games, but, whatever you call them, at the heart of these new forms of entertainment is engagement across platforms.It’s hard to believe that the earliest “extended” experiences are now at least a decade old, and it can be difficult getting a handle on the full scope of what’s already come in the world of transmedia storytelling.

    For this special StoryWorld WEBCast Michael Andersen, owner and senior editor at the Alternate Reality Gaming Network, will lead attendees through a tour of what’s possible with alternate reality games, cross-platform strategies, and transmedia storytelling.

    Michael’s goal is to introduce audiences to takeaways and tactics from transmedia storytelling projects, providing an in-depth analysis of a few key projects in addition to a broad overview of what specific industries have done to leverage existing networks and IPs, extend into new markets, and create meaningful connections with fans.
    For those deeply asleep during the webcast event, here you might be able to catch up a recording.

    See you on the cyberspace!


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transmedia Lab changes skin!

    transmedialab nouveau site

    by Nicolas Bry, published on 18.07.2011

    Created in July, Transmedia Lab is celebrating its two years anniversary. A transmedia projects catalyst, an explorative and audacious place, The Lab aspires to reunite the actors issued from different universes: TV, cinema, video game or Internet… and follows three priorities: training in the transmedia culture and know-how, advice and projects accompanying and development of new technological tools for the multiplatform broadcast: the transmedia apps.



    These last two years were intense and we are proud of the work we’ve done.  We evolved through some key stages:



    We are grateful to Xavier Couture for his active support to each of these stages, for his empathy with the subject and for his belief that the link between the technology and the creativity is unbreakable, meeting the audience’s needs: « creating by breaking the old borderlines! ».

    This accomplishment could not have been achieved without the help of the Orange teams : (Orange Vallée – Jean-Lous Constanza, Studio 37 – Frédérique Dumas, Content Direction – Morgan Bouchet, Stéphane Adamiak, Boris Duchesnay, Frank Guillouard, Sebastien Goales, Jean-françois Rodriguez, Stephan Jost, Programming and Broadcast – David Lacombled, Carol Cuneo, Orange Lab – Christophe Aguiton, Dominique Cardon et Fabien Granjon) and the broadcasters, so important to our work: TF1 (Eleanor Coleman & Damien Rety), France Télévisions (Harold Valentin, Jean-Marc Merriaux, François Guilbeau) , M6 (Philippe Bony), Arte (with the special support of Michel Reilhac, so remarkable by his mixture of intelligence and energy), Dailymotion (Martin Rogard), as well as the multi-screens pioneer in UK: Liz Rosenthal, Power to the Pixel. At the end of this article we mentioned the others actors that helped build this experience.


    Many projects emerged in 2011, especially under the impulsion of the Orange’s Content Direction that accompanied creations like Detective Avenue, Fanfan 2, The Prodigies and the Cross Video Days event.

    Generally the transmedia conception methods are spreading; the physical and virtual places are accompanying the professionals’ community development and the technological applications emerge.  Transmedia aims to satisfy its audience; nevertheless it still has a beautiful challenge: establishing its business model.

    While acknowledging this positive context, Transmedialb.org undergoes its transformation. Here we take a few minutes to discuss the technological innovations we’ve been working on for the past few months.


    A new design for Transmedialab.org

    Our blog changes skin, but not only! We have improved the structure of the website, in order to better help you find the transmedia references, by giving a themed structure to our articles and case studies. We created a glossary of all the transmedia scientific terms.

    The Transmedia Lab blog opens up to you! This becomes your blog, with an intern community opened to all transmedia professionals, in order to help you connect and share your transmedia info with your followers. You can directly contact any member of the community and find the missing know-how to your project.

    The transmedia apps

    The transmedia projects accompaniment helped us imagine some applications and tools to help the multiplatform broadcast of transmedia content. By tapping into our know-how of innovation management and into the Orange’s Lab, we created a selection of transmedia app that provide an easier broadcast of the story’s universe through different media, by allowing a broader audience access and by offering new interactive experiences even more immersive for the viewer.


    iPhone and iPad video playlist generator

    Allows a producer to generate rapidly and at a low cost his own iPhone and iPad app able to reflect his production company or his content universe. This application allows the mobile owner to create and manage his playlists, to search and buy a certain video, as well as highlight premium content.

    The video content is available « anytime anywhere ». The mobile owner can be « connected » to the content; he can share the videos with his friends by using Facebook or Twitter, just as he can receive some informational “pushes”.


    This instrument was conceived for:


    A transmedia video player that offers multiples « augmented » paths inside a certain content universe

    The transmedia player offers a new navigation experience inside the universe of contents all throughout the Internet.

    Two main axes are proposed:

    The cybernaut can navigate in the player from content to content, using semantically interpreted links. The player associates rich content to its display: multimedia content (texts, images, sounds, maps and commercial links) directly linked by semantics to the users’ profiles (social recommendations).



    These tags can be enriched by the cybernauts and off course, the player can offer ratings and Facebook/Twitter sharing functions.

    This augmented navigation finds its first applications in the games created in a fictional universe, in documentaries needing associated information (Travelling for example), news reporting and news feeds, the creation of video playlists on a certain theme. The platform is conceived as a toolbox: available when you need it and able to adapt to your creative ideas.


    Blended TV, a service crossing TV/Video content with social networks

    Blended TV helps you find and choose faster a TV program, and then to simply participate: by transforming the social buzz around TV programs and video content into an intelligible flow of information in order to help you better choose a program and enrich the experience in a playful manner.

    Blended TV « scrolls » the social networks, especially Tweeter, in order to enhance the Buzz on these contents: TV, movies, VOD, web video…  It can organize the programs by their “buzz” levels; it can personalize the recommendations and associates the online social discussion to each program by using a filter that facilitates the participation and the reading (tweet, iTag, iVote): the best tweets, the experts’ tweets, the most recent tweets, my network’s opinion…

    Blended TV it’s an “enabler”: available on API form (meaning that it can be research enabled and formatted to respond to questions: What programs are buzzing? What people say about my channels? What are the comments on this movie? Etc), the answers to these searches can be integrated to an “end-user” service, created for the viewer.


    Transmedia Lab is a project that we build together, a collective adventure, a community gatherer around our passion: the transmedia, the digital writing and the multiple screens. We count on you for your contributions in creating the reference transmedia community. It is your turn to play!




    This series of actors helped us on our evolution, involved themselves in the new formats development or they just simply opened their door and their ear to our transmedia ideas!

    While the founding team of  Transmedia Lab remains more than important, we are canalizing our thoughts to:

    Seize the media (Lance Weiler et Anita Ondine), Starlight Runner (Jeff Gomez), Pierre Lescure et Alex Berger, Tim Kring, Christy Dena, Générale de Production (Jérémy Pouilloux), Mascaret (Bénédicte Lesage), Making Prod (Matthieu Viala), Bridges (Eric Pellegrin), Faismoi jouer (Julien Aubert), Caroline Gerdolle, Honkytonk (Arnaud Dressen, Guillaume Urjewicz), Happy Fannie (Mathieu Chereau et Sandrine Girbal), Mutation Narrative (Simon Kansara), Enfin Bref (Jeremy Sahel), Trajectoire Givrée (Brigitte Coquelle), Darjeeling (Marc Lustigman, Noam Roubah) et Brèves de Trottoir , Endemol (Frédérique Micouleau, Axel de Charentenay), Citymoviz (Laurent Guerin), Silex (Elisa Larrière, Judith Nora), Story Factory (Dan Benzakein et Sandra Albertolli), Upian (Alexandre Brachet), In Prod We Trust (Cyril Pennec), Les Raconteurs (Sarah Hemar), BBC (John Denton), Idao (Franck Perrier), Google Creative Lab (Ed Sanders), IMCA (Pascal Josephe), Club Galilée (Philippe Chazal), Médiamétrie, Emery Doligé, Vivaki (Gaël Solignac)

    CNC (Laurent Cormier, Guillaume Blanchot), SACD (Pascal Rogard), SPI, La Femis (Marc Nicolas), Les Gobelins, National Film and Television School of London (David Croft), l’ONF (Office national du film du Canada, Tom Perlmutter, Monique Simard, Hugues Sweeney), France Culture (Xavier Delaporte), Forum d’Avignon (Laure Kaltenbach), Ministère de la Culture, EBU Eurovision (Nicoletta Lacobacci, Nicolas Jeanrenaud), Forum des Images (Laurence Herszberg), EU Media (Nathalie Chesnel, Arnaud Pasquali), Media Club (Jérôme Chouraqui, Florence Sandis), Paris Sorbonne University, Cap Digital (Jeremy Sahel à nouveau), Paris 2.0, Paris Science, Festival 4 écrans (Claire Leproust again), SNPTV (Aude Tremedet), Buzz the brand, EGTA (Anne-Laure Dreyfus), Cinéma Tous Ecrans (Gaetano Stucchi), INA (Ana Vinuela et Dominique Gratiot), Stratégies, …

    Avatar Image

    author Nicolas Bry

    Nicolas Bry a fondé le Transmedia Lab en 2009 chez Orange Vallée. www.nbry.wordpress.com/about/

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    The Pottermore experience: a new brick in the Harry Potter universe


    by Ana Vasile, published on 5.07.2011

    Pottermore is a new element of the Harry Potter universe. This saga spreads over 7 films and 8 books: a rich and magical narrative universe whose origins are rooted in J.K. Rowling’s novels. Her books sold 450 million copies. The second part of the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out on July 13th.

    Pottermore is a website promising a new online experience into the bookish universe of Harry Potter, placed under its author’s high patronage. Built as a social network, the site’s ambition is to unite Harry Potter’s global fan community, which until now, had been spread on hundreds of sites, official or created by fans.

    In a press conference in London, J.K. Rowling declared that this site offers users new stories, never before included in the books or in any of her novels, sold for the first time in e-book format. The books have the ambition of being multimedia, with interactive illustrations and elements. , Henry Jenkins wrote that this experiment could be the most visible transmedia project of our time.



    Rowling said: “Pottermore is a magnificent experience where I have the possibility of being creative with media that didn’t exist in 1990.” Rumors say that the platform will become the main meeting point for fans by offering games, an official encyclopedia, readings by Stephen Fry and competitions. The speculations have a solid base: last year, Warner Bros studio registered the “Pottermore” brand specifying its content as such: online games, live chat, videos and literary program.

    The speculations go even further and we dream of a transmedia project: with an MMO game, which would continue into the real world. The Times UK said that “this new website is a sophisticated online game unveiling clues that lead to prizes hidden in the real world. Magic wands will be found in the UK, in the US and potentially in other countries”.

    Rowling already wrote more than 18.000 words for this online platform, that describe the characters, locations of the objects and her magic universe in detail.


    A revolution in book editing

    If, in the past, Rowling had refused to publish the Harry Potter saga as e-books by fear of pirating, Pottermore will become the exclusive distributor of Harry Potter digital books. Strangely, it’s the author that owns the right to these e-books and not the editors.

    Why finally accept to enter the world of digital edition? The Pottermore producers hope that they will succeed in attracting a new generation of readers, who will discover the Harry Potter universe thanks to its digital incarnation.

    The e-books will be compatible with most e-readers. Furthermore, they won’t be blocked by the programs that control the use of digital works (DRM). The e-books will, however, have a digital watermark with the buyer’s data.

    Wired had named this way of publishing books the “Radiohead moment” of edition. Like Radiohead, Rowling is eliminating the intermediaries of the sale cycle by addressing their audiences directly through their own websites.



    How to create the buzz?

    The Pottermore experience is interesting from its launch. These past few weeks, the directors of the Pottermore.com site have set up an ingenious system to create the buzz around its online launch.

    Taking advantage of a large fan base and of a community always active in a rich and extensible universe, the project was discovered through a game of clues. Rowling released clues on social networks, asking internet users to find the 10 letters of her new project. Theses letters matched 10 geographic locations from the Harry Potter universe. Once integrated into the site Secret Street View, they gave the name of her new site.


    After this discovery, Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as a channel were created. A week after its creation, the  account already has 122 072 followers, while the  account has 20 510 fans.

    Dozens of articles have been published on the subject in most major newspapers such as The Telegraph, The GuardianWiredThe New York Times, The Times UK, The Independent…and on a multitude of blogs. Journalists and bloggers launched rumors and speculations on the content of Rowling’s new project.


    The fabulous launch of Pottermore and all the buzz around it are directly linked to the content of the Harry Potter universe, the most powerful reading brand in the world. Few other brands could have managed to create so much interest around a website.

    Once Rowling unveiled the principles of this experience, most journalists concentrated on the sale of ebooks. Simon Pulman highlighted that in his point of view, the most important element is the unification of a huge community around a website in direct interaction with the author of the universe.

    At this point, it’s difficult to declare that the Pottermore experience is the element that we missed in the Harry Potter transmedia system, but it’s certainly a transmedia interaction element that we will talk about again in the next few months.


    Avatar Image

    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

    2 Responses to “The Pottermore experience: a new brick in the Harry Potter universe”

    1. The 11.03.2012 à 10:54, from togen

      Question is that all this is very interesting, but is the film good. Apparently there’s a lot people can learn from the making, but according to the reviews it might not be that good =/

      Very interesting concept though.

      Here’s some reviews

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    Just goodbye


    by Olivier Godest, published on 30.06.2011

    After having worked for two years at Orange, and especially at the Transmedia Lab project, I will finish my missions within this team starting with the 1st July. This is the end of an adventure, and the beginning of a new professional era.





    It’s with a certain emotion that I announce you my departure from Transmedia Lab, starting from Friday… an experience wealthy in emotions, memories, learnings and great encounters.

    Good luck to Transmedia Lab and especially to its entire community, I sincerely wish that you emerge all those stories that we envisioned for such a long time and that stirred our imagination.

    Before knowing more about my professional future, I can only tell you that I will be working as a consultant, in order to help building multiplatform and digital projects, always keeping in mind the objective of developing innovative communication mechanisms (transmedia if needed!)

    We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but the past years evolution encourages me to think that we are on the right road!

    For all those heading for the summer break, have some good holydays!

    See you soon,

    Olivier Godest



    Avatar Image

    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    London Transmedia Meetup: America 2049


    by Ana Vasile, published on 23.06.2011

    Transmedia Meetup is a new event for London-based creatives, scholars, and enthusiasts in order to gather informally and share information and news about cross-platform projects and ideas. Organised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the event starts on Tuesday, 05 July 2011, at 6.30 PM.




    This month, the main speaker is Andrea Phillips, co-designer and writer of America 2049, a transmedia project/Facebook game/alternate reality game from human rights group Breakthrough. Lasting for 12 weeks, the game incorporated websites and live events.

    Andrea’s other transmedia and ARG projects have also included Routes for Channel 4 Education, The Maester’s Path (Game of Thrones), and Perplex City.

    will be talking about Varytale, an open and intensely sexy, platform for building (and monetizing) interactive stories. Alexis is the Chief Narrative Officer and Chairman of Failbetter Games, the company behind the award-winning Echo Bazaar.

    Noam Sohachevsky, the Product Director of Picklive (a real-time fantasy football game) will provide a brief history about his project and what they’ve learnt over the past 2 years about designing for split attention. He’ll also talk about different patterns within TV programmes that one should consider when creating a 2 screen or split attention project. at Picklive.

    Julian Phillips (BBC) and Matt Wieteska (Six to Start) will introduce The Code, a groundbreaking TV documentary/treasure hunt airing this summer that combines Lost, Masquerade and online gaming into a heady and fun mix.


    Booking Information:

    This event is free to attend, but members of the public must pre-register via the simple Eventbrite sign-up. You can find more information about the event here.

    BAFTA’s public events and online resources aim to bring closer to the creative talent behind your favorite games, films, and TV shows. Find out more at www.bafta.org/newsletter, or 

    Avatar Image

    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

    One Response to “London Transmedia Meetup: America 2049”

    1. The 11.03.2012 à 10:54, from togen

      Question is that all this is very interesting, but is the film good. Apparently there’s a lot people can learn from the making, but according to the reviews it might not be that good =/

      Very interesting concept though.

      Here’s some reviews

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    Glee: the music at the center of a multi-platform story

    Glee1 (1)

    by Ana Vasile, published on 21.06.2011

    Glee is a TV series that was aired for the first time by Fox in 2009: a musical comedy about the life of a group of talented teenagers, looking for celebrity. Using a multi-platform system, punctuated by the intelligent use of storytelling and music, the series draws a committed audience.


    TV: two seasons of the series aired by Fox, with 42-minute episodes

    Events: Glee Live tour in 2010 and 2011 in the US and Canada

    Videogames: two karaoke style videogames for the Wii and Nintendo

    iPhone, iPad and iTouch Application: a karaoke application produced by Smule

    Internet: official website, , , Hulu

    Musical editions: five compilations “Glee: The music” volume 1 to 5 and two special editions: “Glee: The Music Presents The Warblers” and “Glee: The Music, The Power Of Madonna”, edited by Columbia Records.

    glee1 the music 4Glee-music-power-of-madonna


    In our case study about the music industry, we tried to highlight the advantages that this economy could draw from transmedia principles. One of the reasons of Glee’s dazzling success is, among others things, the original use of music as an integral part of the narrative construction.





    Glee Live Anaheim USA

    This series has become a pop culture sensation. Criticized by parents and adored by its young adult audience, its universe is defined as inventive and full of energy.

    In 2010 the show received a Golden Globe award for Best Comedy or Musical TV Series. It also received two EMMYawards: one for best actress and another for best director.

    For the final episode of the second season, on May 24th 2011, Glee had an audience of 12 million spectators! The anecdote is that Fox had programmed the third season even before the end of the first one in 2010.


    If we go by transmedia’s definition, the different supports that work together in the multiplatform system must each bring new and complementary perspectives to the universe and the story. As we’ll see later, the different bricks of the Glee system don’t particularly enrich the main narrative, but rather represent different entry points into the musical universe of the series.

    Narrative arcs punctuated by music

    Glee is a very special series, especially through its narrative construction. A main narrative arc presents the evolution of a group of wild teenagers who is trying, with the help of a few professors, to become famous with their college choir.

    The music represents an original way of enriching the narration: strong emotional moments are told through song, the music highlights the key moments of the story. For example, a mystery is played out in a song in one episode, in another, the resolution is revealed through a music video.

    The characters interpret hundreds of familiar tunes with talent. Simon Pulman, transmedia producer and creator of the blog Transmythology.com, pointed out, in his analysis of the series, this enrichment of classic audiovisual narration with musical storytelling.

    An approach that brings a third layer of signification for the audience of Glee is the internalization of the music interpreted by the key characters of the series.

    Ryan Murphy, the series’ creator, declared that the music is an integral part of the script’s development: “Each episode has a main theme, just after writing the story, I’ll choose the songs that will help me move ahead”.

    The songs chosen already have an established success. For example, the first season used covers of different genres: Country (Carrie Underwoodwith her hit “Last Name”), Hip-hop (“Gold Digger” by Kanye West), Pop (“Take a Bow” by Rihanna), show tunes (“Maybe This Time” from Cabaret) and rock classics (Queen’s “Somebody to Love”).

    The creators take musical storytelling further by inventing mash-ups (a mix of several songs): the best sales of the Glee 2010 season were mash-ups between the Bon Jovi song “It’s my life” and Usher’s “Confessions Part II”, and the one between Beyonce’s song “Halo” and “Walking on Sunshine” from Katrina and the Waves.

    Glee excels in music sales

    glee the music

    Since May 2010, more than 4 million Glee songs have been downloaded on the Internet. The first CD edited under this brand entered directly in the 4th position of Billboard’s Top 200. The second volume began in third position. Both albums received the “Gold” certification from theAmerican Music Industry Association for selling more than 500 000 units each.


    Online communication

    With a multi generational target, this series manages to touch college students, captivated by the choir’s adventures, but also their parents, drawn in by the musical references of their youth.

    The online communication strategy is targeted to the main audience: young people between 13 and 25 years old. On the Internet, Glee is everywhere: on their official website, on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Hulu

    Glee-We love fox

    The official website seems targeted at teenagers, with videogames, quizzes, behind the scenes and bonuses (an application that gives advice to organize a Glee party at home, a virtual photo booth), catch up episodes and VOD are available only in the US.

    Twitter Rachel

    A little over 14 million fans have liked the  page of the series where they can enter contests, respond to polls or watch videos from the series. Each character has his own Facebook and Twitter profile. For example the character of Rachel Berry communicates every day with her 479 759  fans and 152 767  fans by telling them anecdotes about her daily life.


    Glee Rachel Berry

    Youtube and Hulu are used as content distribution platforms while the forums created by fans circulate information on behind the scenes gossip and organize contests, sponsored by Fox.

    The iPhone application

    Glee Appli

    Built by Smule for iPhone, iPad and iTouch, Glee Karaoke plays on the spectators’ thirst for celebrity. Everyone can become a star and enter the Glee musical universe.

    The players have to sing to move ahead in the circuit through missions. The application promises to slightly adjust the voice of the player to give them the illusion that they’re a pop star and go up in the daily tops.

    It’s a real music epidemic that is taking over the planet: with Glee Gobe, players can share their songs with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or through email. You can find more information about the application here.

    A similar type of game is offered on the Wii. Two versions of Glee Karaoke Revolution have been distributed. Even though these videogames don’t bring much evolution from a narrative point of view, they represent other entry points into the series’ musical storytelling. The games have the advantage of being a good way of getting players to have fun being the stars, while integrating themselves fully into the universe of the series.




    A participation culture

    It’s not at all surprising that many wikis and forums have been created by fans on the Internet and it’s quite interesting to see how Fox manages this growing community. This group has its own name: they’re the Gleeks. A badge that gives them a feeling of belonging to a community with a strong identity.

    Performe with Glee

    Consumers are encouraged by Fox to create content. Gleeks record themselves singing, replay their favorite scenes from the series and organize  and events under the Glee name (for example the London Gleeks Club ).

    Partnership with Chevrolet

    Glee’s online communication becomes a source of revenue through its partnership with the Chevrolet brand: an online game mixes the DNA of the brand and of the series. The partnership goes further: during the series’ second season launch, the car brand was present on the red carpet alongside the actors. A presence that can be felt as intrusive since the brand can’t justify its role in the narration. It’s not product placement as much as sponsorship. For the music video filmed with Glee for the Superbowl 2011, the brand integrates the shoot of the commercial into the story of the series.


    Glee: transmedia or not?

    At first glance, the elements of Glee’s multi-platform system seem to be simple derived products: none of them really enriches the evolution of the series’ narrative. But by pushing the reflection further, this system holds some of the characteristics that we could assimilate to transmedia mechanics, like the circulation of audiences or the implementation of a participation culture.

    Transmedia purists will never accept these derived products as extensions of a transmedia universe without their narrative value but Simon Pullman andAnne Laroque qualify Glee as such for its creative use of musical storytelling.

    Pieces of the story told through songs go beyond the TV screen and take on meaning. They are listened to, covered, reinterpreted by hundreds of fans, until they become a sort of unifying element for this community of Gleeks.

    Although I have no doubt that music can carry feelings and become an integral part of a story, I find it difficult to accept that that these extensions, which are devoid of narrative value, such as the redistribution of a music video on several platforms, can truly be enriching factors of a narrative universe, allowing for a transmedia qualification. What about you? How do you see Glee’s multi-platform system? You can give your opinion here or in the comments on  


    Avatar Image

    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Panzer Chocolate, a transmedia project selected at the Cross Video Days

    panzer choco

    by Julien Aubert, published on 14.06.2011

    The Cross Video Days are a series of conferences bringing together 30 international experts, but they’re also a market for cross and transmedia projects. Julien Aubert, the founder of the blog faismoijouer.com and of the production company Bigger Than Fiction, asked the director of a transmedia project entitled “Panzer Chocolate” to answer 3 questions to.




    Can you explain the ARG aspect of your transmedia project? Can you describe its main mechanics?

    Our “Kidnapped” project is an ARG. It’s based on a detective adventure series composed of 14 episodes of 3 to 5 minutes each, distributed on smartphones and tablets (for example iPhone, iPad, Android).



    The story is transmedia and its architecture is very ARG inspired since it’s told on several media: 1 offline/online game, 3 keys to open things, 3 web pages, 4 clues, 5 different technologies, 6 Universities, 7 murders and 7 towns. The story is transmitted through 11 coded messages, 12 little wooden characters, 14 short episodes, 101 telephone numbers, 101 treasures and 115 GPS points…all this in 20 days.

    In “Kidnapped”, the protagonist (Lucia) only has 20 days to find a treasure hidden by her best friend (Elena), who was kidnapped by an extremist group, who doesn’t want her research to fall into the public domain. The adventure is a quest for this hidden treasure, an adventure in the Lara Croft style but with a detective mystery tone, consequences are murders and multiple clues.  But Lucia isn’t alone in this treasure hunt since the audience will be able to participate and contribute to her search. The mystery is supported by a popular game in our country, Geocaching (treasure hunt with a dowsing rod).

    Each episode concludes with a short coded message that the participant has to decode in order to be able to watch the next chapter of the story.

    Finally, there’s already a first experience to try online before starting our ARG. Go to this page (in Spanish) to enter our universe.

    Why did you choose to do an ARG in your project? What are your references?

    Since I was a child and still today, I enjoy role-playing games on paper. Even though I haven’t practiced them much, I’ve always been fascinated by life-size role-playing games, massive online multi-player role-playing games and ARGs.

    When we started working on Panzer Chocolate, we had followed projects created in the US and Northern Europe, for example The Truth About Marika and The Art of the Heist. We had noticed that, in general, ARGs work very well with horror, detective and adventure stories. So it was a “must” for us to develop one.

    We also saw an opportunity in Spain, where this type of entertainment is still very confidential. Being a “new generation” production company, we wanted to position ourselves on this market.

    For which reasons are ARGs not more popular in your country? How do you plan to reach a wide audience?

    First, I don’t think that we have as many professionals, producers and brands promoting ARGs with the players in our country, as there are in other countries. This could be a question of culture, or maybe our teenagers play too much football? (laugh) I’ve met a few foreign ARG developers, they’ve played and are still playing many life-size role-playing games for example, which give them a hands-on experience that they can then use in their development. I’m not sure that these games are too developed in Spain.

    Secondly, I think that Spanish producers, advertizing agencies and brand managers are more conservative than in other countries. They probably don’t know how to monetize or analyze the real impact of a campaign including an ARG, which is often costly. The consequence is that the country doesn’t yet have success stories and their case studies, necessary to take the risks involved in developing ARGs.

    We are one of the first Spanish production companies that focuses mostly on the development of transmedia projects. We plan on taking ARGs to a wide audience, integrating them in each of our productions, and communicating about our innovative and interactive ideas to agencies and brands.

    Among the 23 projects selected, we would like to draw your attention on 3 projects with an ARG aspect:

    Crimeface² – Union City Shakedown, Bellyfeel, www.crimeface.net

    Hémophages, Haut et Court, www.hautetcourt.com

    Panzer Chocolate, Filmutea, www.panzerchocolate.com

    This article was initially published on www.faismoijouer.com

    Avatar Image

    author Julien Aubert

    Julien Aubert s’est forgé une expertise des communautés et médias sociaux en développant des communautés pour Orange sur Second Life. Parallèlement, il crée Fais Moi Jouer avec Thomas. En 2010, il crée une agence de production transmedia, Bigger Than Fiction, centrée autour de son expertise en Experience Design. De l’élaboration du concept à la rédaction du scénario communautaire, Julien supervise la direction artistique de projets transmedia.

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    Bar Karma, an experiment in crowd-sourced entertainment

    bar-karma logo

    by Vanessa Meheut , published on 9.06.2011

    Vanessa Méheut, analyst with Orange San Francisco. Her areas of interests include traditional and online video, transmedia distribution and marketing, and new ad formats. We gladly share with you her point of view on a “community created show” as she defines Bar Karma.

    TV show creator Will Wright is not your traditional TV creator. First he is based in San Francisco, the temple of new technologies and not in LA. Second his background is in gaming: he is the creator of the Sims. So it makes sense that the TV show he co created with producer Albie Hecht, is not your traditional TV show.

    Sci fi show Bar Karma is, to my knowledge, the most advanced example of a community created show that made it to the air.  Mr Wright’s background in gaming makes him a proponent of interactive experiences. His point of view on Bar Karma is that community produced TV will create a higher level of emotional engagement and involvement for co-producers in the crowd than any professionally written show ever will.


    Bar Karma relies on the wisdom of the crowds but a great part of the work is still done by professionals. The concept is to make it possible for anyone to come up with an idea for the show, from a “one liner” to a complete story-board. They can also volunteer their own creations (music, paintings) to be included in the show.

    The community also votes on the suggested ideas, to determine the most popular plots which will then shape where the story is going. But professionals check which suggestions are actually feasible before they are submitted to the vote, and once plots are selected, a traditional production process starts with professionals. There is a few weeks delay between the moment a story is chosen and when it actually airs on Current TV, the TV network that bought Bar Karma.

    The TV show premiered on February 11th 2011 and its first season was made of 12 episodes of 22mins which aired on Fridays at 10pm until season finale on April 29th. Carrying a strong Twilight Zone feel, the show is about an internet mogul who wakes up one day and walks into an unusual bar where a 20,000 year old bartender informs him that the bar is one of his proceeds for a poker game he won and that he is now in charge of helping the Bar Karma team accomplish its mission.

    Outside of space and time, the Bar Karma is a place where lost souls at a karmic crossroads find themselves. Each episode features a new guest of the bar who will need the help of the bar team (a 20,000 year bartender and the on staff waitress) to reflect on their lives, the consequences of their actions and eventually make life altering decisions.

    The whole concept of crowd-sourced entertainment is not new and has been tried before. But Will Wright used his background in programming to bring to the table a tool to manage this whole crowd-sourcing process.

    The program, called Story Maker, is online and those willing to participate in the story making can sign up on this website and start using the software. A dedicated iOs app for audience participation was also released on the Apple app store. There are no official numbers as to the number of participants for Bar Karma and comments from Mr. Wright at the recent TV of Tomorrow conference in San Francisco suggest it is rather small.


    Bar Karma Facebook page

    The show has 5,000 fans on Facebook and the official Bar Karma page indicates that tens of thousands of ideas were studied for the show. It is possible that crowd-sourced entertainment is the type of experiment that probably follows the Pareto principle (20% of the people create 80% of the value.) Mr. Wright indicated before airing that the first episode would credit 30+ volunteer contributions in addition to the show’s professional crew.

    As far as distribution is concerned, it looks like Bar Karma has not yet been made available for transmedia platforms: some video clips are available on Hulu and YouTube but full episodes are not available on the traditional web/mobile platforms (Hulu, Amazon VOD, iTunes, YouTube,…) or on Current TV properties, most likely because licensing issues have not been sorted out.

    There are a lot of challenges to the concept of crowd-sourcing entertainment:

    1/ Hollywood is run by unions and the Writers Guild, which protects the interests of its writers members, will have its says in whether communities becoming authors are entitled to compensation: an interesting concept should not become a way to write shows on the cheap and destabilizing writing talents,


    2/ There is no question not all talent is in Hollywood, but there is also no question that not everyone can have a good idea for a TV show plot. Outsourcing the process of filtering out the good from the bad can be a dangerous decision. Other experiments in crowd-sourced entertainment sometimes involved professionals making the calls after reading through hundreds of suggestions to find one diamond worth polishing (eg: William Shatner’s web series The Zenoids). Which raises the question whether such a process (finding a needle in a haystack) can be efficient?

    Bar karma s01e11

    3/ While crowds can be very creative, TV shows have a show runner because stories need to follow a vision, something which is better achieved through one or two individuals guiding a crew of writers than by the hands of an invisible community. Fans of TV shows have strong opinions about developments happening and shows, and don’t hesitate to address the writers with their suggestions, but they still expect writers to have a master plan (think ABC’s Lost). Not to mention the fact that most TV viewers like the passivity of the TV experience and are not looking for a lean forward approach, which means few would actually have the high level of emotion engagement sought by Mr. Wright.

    Bar Karma website

    Down the line, and like every TV show, the viability of Bar Karma will be determined on the basis of its ratings, which hopefully will be linked to its quality. Current TV, which premiered in the US in 2005 as an alternative to news channels like MSNBC, CNN and Fox News, is available in 60M households in the US, has a very small viewership which enables it to take this kind of creative risks. Crowd-sourced entertainment is not a mass market and it might never be: numbers in terms of TV ratings have not been made available by Current TV (the network usually carry a rather small 23,000 viewership average in prime time), the show has not been picked for a second season yet. But it can be a brand maker and an interesting differentiator for smaller TV networks. And it is an intellectually challenging concept.

    More information about Bar Karma and Current TV can be found on a recent article from the NY Times dated February 2011 and an interview of show creator Will Wright.

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    author Vanessa Meheut

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    StoryWorld Conference: The content industry meets up in San Francisco


    by Ana Vasile, published on 7.06.2011

    StoryWorld Conference + Expo is the first major gathering of content creators, platform providers, and entertainment industry leaders dedicated to exploring new business models and working together across media boundaries. The event takes place in San Francisco from October 31 to November 2.


    StoryWorld Conference aims to help attendees develop new revenue streams and add depth to their narrative. Through seminars and workshops, this event strives to help at the understanding of cross-media partnerships and transmedia-friendly story development, while providing the ideal setting for establishing new partnerships.

    The event promises to help attendees:

    This brand-new event is making waves throughout the entertainment community with speakers like Lance Weiler, Jeff Gomez, Robert Pratten and Christy Dena.

    Here you can find more information about the event. Hope to see you there!

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    The Stream – The analysis of a social connected TV show


    by Manon Perroud et Mathilde Prat , published on 31.05.2011

    Al Jazeera English, the international information channel of the Al Jazeera group, was created in 2006 as a similar concept to CNN International and BBC World. The channel’s editorial policy is to be a forerunner in terms of innovations for information technologies and intends to use this advantage to compete against other international media providers.


    With its new program The Stream, launched on May 2nd of last year on television, and before that on their website, the channel has again demonstrated its avant-guard character by bringing the experience of social media to a TV audience.

    After the events of the “Arab Spring” and the scandal of Wikileaks, social media have become a keystone of political mobilization, making a place for themselves in mass media, including television.

    The concept of The Stream rests on the participation of audiences through the Web. It’s composed of a daily TV show presented by two American journalists: Derrick Ashong and Ahmed Shihab-eldin, in 3x30min sequences (5 days out of 7 at 10h30, 16h30 and 21h30) and a website gathering all non-professional information, which integrates all main social media (Twitter, Facebook, Ustream, Skype). The goal is to treat information from a “civilian-journalistic” perspective.

    In fact, The Stream gives everyone the possibility of producing content, giving their opinion, sharing their feelings and their experiences about the daily news. The internet users can react on their site,  or  .

    It’s a remediation process of traditional media: instead of having TV feeding content to the Web, the Web is feeding content to the TV show.

    During the broadcast of the TV show, a Storify, retracing the key points of the theme discussed, is published on the website. It consolidates the tweets, photos and Facebook comments that allowed to illustrate the subject on set.


    On TV, the daily show

    Each of the three shows, each day, takes up the theme of a hot new topic that’s already discussed on the web: “The Stories”. The debate is launched and we witness 30 minutes of interaction between presenters and internet users interacting live. The show is built under our eyes directly from the broadcasting studio, which is also the newsroom. The screens are omnipresent on the set, each presenter, playing his role as a moderator, has his computer and the Twitter flow projected on a giant wall. There can also sometimes be Skype interviews.

    On the Web

    The Stream website is hosted on the Al Jazeera English website and offers the possibility of watching previous shows, accessing different information flows for each theme with Storify (updated when the news require it) and displays the different sources (videos on YouTube, comments on Facebook, Tweets…). This presence centralizes discussions and also encourages interactions between the different followers.

    With the recurrent innovations in social media and the Web in general, we can imagine that The Stream will develop and gain new tools, exponentially increasing its presence on social networks. Since the concept of the show is based on Web participation, The Stream will have to be able to follow technological evolutions and renew itself if necessary.




    With its original concept for The Stream, Al Jazeera English is giving its big competitors CNN and BBC a run for their money, by offering a real international civilian journalistic show. They give a real legitimacy to all these information sources that escape traditional media circuits, criticized by the latter but increasingly favored by audiences that have lost their trust in mass media: too expensive, too institutionalized, too politic, too corrupted…

    By defining themselves as a social media with information sources coming from the web, The Stream doesn’t pay for the content it broadcasts. This gives the website the advantage of not being scattered with advertising like most information media, be it free or not. Video contents are posted for free on The Stream’s website, making the show innovative as an entirely free information source, not sponsored by advertizing. Once more, this is only possible thanks to the Web and the information goldmine that it represents, as well as audience participation through social networks, that bring The Stream to life, both on TV and on the Web.

    By allowing audiences to be real content producers, which they can edit thanks to their daily communication tools, The Stream is different from a classic talk show through the freedom and flexibility of its editorial line. Each show is unpredictable, just like the audiences’ reactions.

    Crowdsourcing (1)

    However, isn’t there a limit to this participative element? Indeed, how can one be sure of the information delivered through these channels? The main problem with web-based information is the identification of the source’s legitimacy.

    But since The Stream gives voice to everyday people who don’t have this legitimacy in the world of media and information, one can wonder which sources will be privileged and debated on the set? Is it really a place where everyone can express their feelings and their experiences?

    Moreover, giving voice to “everyone” also implies some abuses. Insults, lies, unconstructive criticism, identity theft, release of secret information, must also be taken into account in this type of relations between the show and its audience. The role of the journalists is therefore very important, they are the community managers that animate this community of civilian journalists, and that choose to talk about a tweet over another, or which video to publish.

    Under the guise of a free radio system, encouraging freedom of speech by everyone and for everyone, The Stream is still managed by journalists that embody the identity of the show and of the channel throughout the world.

    The Stream’s team will also have to create a system to sort the different content and direct its editors towards the subjects that they’re tackling in order to avoid flow saturation.

    The Stream TwitterThe Stream offers an opportunity to break from the traditional pattern of bringing television into people’s houses: here, people are easily allowed to bring their contribution to television with the tools that they use on a daily basis. At the same time, the editorial policy of the channel and its reputation are embodied by the journalists and the choices they make during the live program.

    Since its creation (early May), The Stream has already built a community of 2971 fans on Facebook and 4391 followers on Twitter, we can therefore talk about a success for this “participative” show. It has already allowed Al Jazeera to recruit new, younger, more international and more “connected” audiences.

    With this concept that rests mostly on the democratization of media and the democratization of the Arab world, as it’s undergoing a sweeping revolution, we have the right to believe that television channels will increasingly give voice to their audiences through social networks, and therefore open the way for Social TV.

    About the authors

    Manon Perroud and Mathilde Prat have both followed studies specialized in audiovisual production. Convinced that media convergence will open new opportunities for the creation of multi-media content, they have recently joined Julien Aubert at Bigger than fiction, to counsel companies who want to set up transmedia strategies.

    @mannonperroud, @Mathildmedia


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    author Manon Perroud et Mathilde Prat

    Manon Perroud et Mathilde Prat ont toutes deux suivi des cursus spécialisés dans la production audiovisuelle. Convaincues que la convergence des médias va offrir de nouvelles opportunités à la création de contenus multi-supports, elles ont rejoint récemment Julien Aubert chez Bigger than fiction pour accompagner les entreprises voulant mettre en place des stratégies transmedia. @mannonperroud, @Mathildmedia @BggrThnFctn

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    The Young and Independent Producer’s Day: the audiovisual industry in speed-business meetings


    by Ana Vasile, published on 26.05.2011

    The Young and Independent Producer’s Day is an event that proposes a market for the young producers and for the decision-makers from the audiovisual field searching for innovating programs, through a speed – business meeting. The event strives to offer a 360° overview: a thoroughly conceived diversity with a transmedia approach of the content. The first edition of this event will be held on Tuesday 31st May at Porte d’Aubervilliers, France.


    All formats for all screens

    The declared objective of the event is to discover emergent talents and to valorise the content diversity.  Laurence Lascary, the head of DACP, the YIPD organising company, told us that “the audiovisual innovation rests in its market’s democratization, which will allow the emergence of new companies and a widening of the content proposals accessible to a larger audience.”

    Convinced that the independents producers can propose “programs that are better fitted to meet the audience’s needs, in a better degree than the “patrimonial” ones, Lascary emphasize the fact that « the producer’s job rests the same (to join human and financial resources in the service of creativity) but the young producers innovate through their capacity to propose alternative content, by making use of their international influences, by proposing content accordant to the contemporary society, a high quality content, able to meet the audience’s request. “

    Catalogue JJPI

    The selection of young producers was made in May. About 30 enterprises will present more than 200 programs, in a development or production state. Between all these projects, the organisers will present “about fifteen transmedia programs. Essentially short formats, developed for web and television broadcast.”

    While the inscriptions as independent producer are already closed, you still have the opportunity to attend the event as participants, by making a demand of accreditation on the event’s website.

    The decision-makers attending the YIPD issued form a wide range of audiovisual entities, from TV channels or distributors to professional associations: TF1, Arte, France 2, France 3, Canal+, Lagardère Active, Coyote, Endemol, TVFI, Planète Nolimit, CapaTV, Film&picture, Bellianne, QG Distribution, 3A Télésud, Touscoprod.

    Event’s schedule:

    The event’s schedule is structured in two parts: during the morning the event offers access to three roundtables on audiovisual hot topics organized with the help of Ina SUP, while the afternoon is reserved for the business meetings and programs’ pitching.

    The YIPD is organized with the help of its partners: The Regional d’Ile-de-France Council, Ina SUP, MpowA, le MediaClub and the Aubervilliers town.

    More information is available on the event’s main website, on the Facebook page, on the Vimeo channel or on the account.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transmedia/cross-media pitch by ARTE & Power to The Pixel

    POWERPIXEL_magNEW-1 [Converted]

    by Ana Vasile, published on 24.05.2011

    ARTE and Power to the Pixel organize a pitch for multiplatform projects. For the second year in a row, the Arte Pixel Pitch will choose the winner of a £6000 amount at the Pixel market: on 12 & 13 October at Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Forum in London

    Power to the Pixel will select up to 25 international transmedia/cross-media projects to be presented to potential financiers, international investors, commission members, technologies enterprises, web portals and media specialized entities.

    The projects can engage in using different formats: cinema, television, web, mobile, interactive content, edition, live events or games. They must be submitted to Power to the Pixel () before the 29th July 2011 (18.00 BST).

    ARTEThe producers submitting their projects must have a strong cinema, or audiovisual, or interactive media experience. Only 25 proposals will be selected and only 8 finalists will be eligible for the Arte Pixel Pitch prize.

    The producers selected will present their projects in front of a hand-picked roundtable jury made up of financiers, commissioners, tech companies, online portals and media & entertainment companies.

    Here you can find more information about the pitch. Good luck to all of the participants!

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    A transmedia overview on the radio


    by Ana Vasile, published on 19.05.2011

    Undead End is an independent multiplatform project that chose the radio as its primarily media. A rather unusual choice that raises a question already asked by one of our readers:  “Why is the radio so rarely considered when constructing a transmedia mechanism?”

    A radio multiplatform drama

    Undead End is a zombies-story, created by Nate Goldman, presents itself as an interactive and immersive experience. The author declared himself inspired by Orson Welles, when he decided to erase the borders between fiction and reality.

    The plot, mainly told through news broadcasts, focalizes on the evolution of a research laboratory specialized on human body studies that start an epidemic with a zombies’ virus.

    The multiplatform mechanism:

    The operation that started in 2010 was concentrated on the Boston University’s campus and broadcasted on the WTBU radio. For the first episode, the audience settled at 2 000 listeners, but the following one gathered the double, more than 4 000. Undead End was broadcasted as well by WZBC Boston radio, two months after its first broadcast.

    If its plot is not that innovative, Undead End has the great quality of proving that we can still tell stories through the radio!

    The radio told stories, once…

    Before the TV’s democratization, the evening was the best moment to listen to the radio, all the family gathered in front of it. It was a cultural shared moment. This media’s function was more than just informational; the radio told stories, created and broadcasted dramatized narrations.

    Devant la radio

    The most obvious example is “The War of the Worlds” an Orson Welles radio adaptation of the SF novel, broadcasted in 1938 by CBS. This radio drama created panic for thousands of Americans, convinced that the fictional narrative was true and that the Martians are attacking the United States. The theorists blamed the program’s authenticity, even though CBS stated the fictional quality of its program: the actors took the role of reporters and told the fictional events as real news.

    Radio evolutions and transmedia projections

    The radios has for sure evolved, nowadays it is listened for its informational function or just as a musical background. The TV democratization has changed the consumer’s habits and evidently the usage of this media.


    The study l’Année Radio 2009-2010, shows that the radio gathers in France more than 42,3 millions listeners aged of 13 years and more that listen to the radio more than  2.54 hours per day. The superior sociologic and professional categories are the highest radio consumers: more than 9 of 10 persons from this category listen to the radio daily.

    A study driven by Ipsos shows that the morning remains the white collars’ radio rendezvous. The radio penetration on this group of consumers is, at least in France, 26, 7% between 7.45 and 8 o’clock.


    In the construction of a transmedia strategy, the radio could become a way to create daily meeting points with some well defined audiences. Keeping in mind the programs proposed by the radio stations nowadays, we have to face a question: can we still can develop fictional narrations like in the old times, like Orson Welles. The debate is still open and we invite you to join it on our commentaries section or on Transmedia Lab’s .

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Decoding a transmedia classic, Enter the Matrix


    by Ana Vasile, published on 17.05.2011

    Acknowledging its massive success, The Matrix is often cited as a reference example of transmedia. We invite you to go deeper into The Matrix’s universe and to take a closer look at its construction.






    Even if the narrative arch of all three films directed by Wachowski brothers is linear, the global Matrix story world is enriched with each piece forming its multiplatform mechanism:



    Neo, the main character of the Matrix trilogy, is a young computer scientist contacted by a group of hackers. These characters make him discover that his real world is actually a virtual world created to keep the humans under control. From now on, Neo starts an epic battle against the system’s administrators.

    The Animatrix : a series of animated shorts

    The Animatrix, released in June 2003, is a series of 9 animated short films set in the world of The Matrix. The creators of The Matrix Trilogy collaborated on each one of them to varying degrees. Four of the stories were written by the Wachowski Brothers, with the other five written by the directors themselves. Each short adds depth to the Matrix Trilogy, from backstory on characters and events from the movies, to introducing new characters from the sequels.



    Four of the films were released completely free-of-charge on the Internet in the months leading up to the release of film The Matrix Reloaded. They remain freely available, and you can still download them. A fifth film (Final Flight of the Osiris) was as well shown in theatres to allow viewers to enter the Reloaded setup before its release. All 9 animes were available as well on a single , creating a double path of distribution: online and in stores.


    The Matrix Comics : a univers extended as well as Comics

    Matrix Comics vol 1

    The Matrix Comics is a collection of short comic book stories set in the fictional universe of The Matrix.

    Originally released on The Matrix official website, most of the stories were published in two volumes printed in 2003 and 2004 by the Wachowski Brothers’ company Burlyman Entertainment. Quite interesting to note that the printed edition brought to light three more stories never released online.

    The comics’ editor was Spencer Lamm. The Wachowski Brothers wrote one script “Bits and Pieces of Information”, narration that was later related to The Animatrix short animated film The Second Renaissance“.




    Les jeux vidéo : how to become The One…

    Enter the Matrix is a third person action game launched in 2003. Developed by Shiny Entertainment, the game was written by Andy and Larry Wachowski. The player can pick his character (Niobe, Logos’ captain or Ghost, his lieutenant) appearing as secondary characters in the trilogy. This game was vividly critiqued by the press and the cybernauts for its technical mediocrity.

    The game is graphically outdated and its game action is quite mediocre. One of the reasons invoked was the time pressure, knowing that the game was meant to be released between the last two movies.



    From a narrative point of view, the game allows certain clarifications on the relation between its characters and retraces the Matrix Reloaded story, from a different point of view:  that of the Logos’ team (Niobe, Ghost and Sparks). Only these secondary characters are playable: the game was conceived as a narrative extension of the global story world, that’s why it shows very few recreations of scenes in the film trilogy


    The Matrix Online is the second game released in 2005 and picks up the storyline from where Revolutions ends. Conceived as an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) it will support thousands of simultaneous players and it’s said to feature cutting-edge graphics and real-time martial arts combat.

    The Matrix Online

    The game’s storyline focuses on the outcome of Neo’s truce made in Revolutions, emphasizing the war between human factions, some that support Neo and some that support the Matrix.


    The Matrix: Path of Neo is the third video game based on the Matrix series and the second developed by Shiny Entertainment. Players control the character Neo, participating in scenes from the films. Written and directed by Andy and Larry Wachowski, the game was released in 2005 in North America. The game proposes a unique point of view: Neo’s with additional missions that extend the storyline of the films. Nevertheless, the game retraces the trilogy’s narrative.



    This time around, it received good critiques: from a technological point of view as well as narrative.  The press proclaimed that the game had one of the best uses of a license they’d seen in quite some time. It’s the first game all about Neo.


    The anthology « The Art of the Matrix »

    The Art of the Matrix is a huge storyboard book. The book does not bring any new narratives to the franchise but instead it’s telling the creators’ story: how they managed to convince Warner Bros to produce the movie and the full-version of Matrix storyboards. Designated to hardcore fans and to graphic professionals, the book


    More than 20 books were published using the Matrix name, but they bring nothing new to the story world. Most of them are essays that discuss the ideas presented in the movie or the philosophical and religious symbolism in the movie.



    In the Matrix franchise, it’s more than important to take notice of the implication of the Wachowski brothers in the development of almost the entire transmedia mechanism. They become the gatekeepers of their universe’s coherence by creating bridges between the narratives of each of their works.  That seems the way to make sure that the extensions are more than just spin-offs.

    By creating some storytelling juxtapositions between Medias, the universe gets richer; the emerging audience is rewarded with a deeper experience.

    mr smith

    For example, in the short « The Final flight of the Osiris » one of the secondary characters tries to send a letter to Nebuchadnezzar’s team. In the game « Enter the Matrix » the first mission is to pick up the exact same letter from the post bureau. In the end, the movie « Matrix Reloaded » brings up a wink to this story: the characters are discussing the last « message of Osiris », as in the letter we all been chasing through the storytelling universe.

    You can also read the article by David Peyron highlighting the concept of cultural convergence introduced by Heny Jenkins, which refers to the universe of The Matrix transmedia.

    If you do think of other examples of storytelling juxtapositions, share them with us, in the comment section or on our page.


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    A transmedia overview on the music industry


    by Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest , published on 12.05.2011

    Faced with the evolution of uses and new media consumption habits, the music industry has to face similar problems to those seen in the audiovisual industry: unstable audiences, growing competition and pirating. However, new economic models and multiplatform projects are emerging: Jay Z, Gorillaz or Nine Inch Nails for example, are reinforcing their relationships with their audiences through storytelling.

    New distribution models

    The authors of record labels are faced with one main problem these days: the decreasing sales of material media (CD, DVD), which is directly linked to the digital explosion.


    Even though it’s often brought up as producers’ number one fear, music only represents 2,9% of illegal downloads, as shown in this Ars Technica study. While most big producers are concentrating their efforts on fighting pirating with entities like the BPI in the UK, the Hadopi law in France or the RIAA in the US, new music development actors and economic development models are changing the playing field.


    For example Spotify is a free music access provider that had 10 000 000 users last year with a service financed by advertizing. Since May 1st, Spotify’s policy has changed under pressure from record labels.

    New Spotify Users will still be able to enjoy free service as it is offered now for the next 6 months. Afterwards, all the users of the free service will be able to listen to a song a maximum of 5 times, after this limit, the user will have to buy the song.

    The number of listening hours will also be limited to 10 hours a month, a 50% decrease from last year. Spotify had to change its free policy under pressure from record producers who were denouncing an economic model that caused them losses. For example, Lemonde.fr criticized streaming based models by analyzing the distribution of money that comes from them and highlighting the fact that they hurt independent labels and artists.




    On the other hand, a million subscribers are already paying 9,99 Euros per month for the premium service, without advertizing and available on mobiles. In a similar way, Last.fr, iTunes or Amazon have also been surfing the digital music wave for the past few years. Apple owns the leading music distributions platform with iTunes.

    These examples show that, faced with the digital explosion, the music world is confronted with the need to make its distribution platforms and economic models evolve. The evolution of the global context also requires a change in the way they sell music. Artists’ marketing operations are also evolving, with storytelling elements bringing an added value to the cultural offer.

    A reason to buy

    Gerd Leonhard, communication and media consultant, compared music with bottled water. Water is available almost for free from the tap, but the bottled water market sells more than 89 billion liters of water each year, throughout the world. Leonhard highlights the omnipresence of music. Internet users can get it for free and more and more record houses want to attract the consumer’s limited attention.

    The economic monopoly held for many years by classic producers and distributors is broken, mostly because of new business models based on digital access. Here is the question Leonhard asks himself: why pay for bottled water when it’s available for free from the tap? The solution suggested by the author is engagement, conversation, attraction and community. We’re not only selling music but rather an experience

    Robert Pratten, founder of “Transmedia Storyteller” and Transmedia consultant, touched upon the same theme during his presentation about the application of transmedia concepts to the world of music. Could storytelling give an additional reason to buy to Internet users, to generations who maybe, have never bought a CD?


    Pratten compares the music industry with the fragrance industry: “We don’t sell perfumed water, but dreams.” According to him, music has to reinvent itself an added value to regain economic value.

    One of the envisioned solutions is to “place the artist in a position of social catalyst in direct connection with the communities, to give them a reason to spend their money.” Instinctively, we can’t help thinking of Lady Gaga, who managed to create a real universe around her character… “Success requires more than a large community, it’s also based on credibility, authenticity, a relationship with the artist” Pratten concludes. He suggests building a narrative universe for an artist’s entire career and a narrative arc for each album and each song.

    This can seem obvious but fans will be more likely to want to extend an experience that has moved them. The musical universe in which they’re immersed consolidates the feeling of belonging to a community that shares the same values as them. An idea exploited by the web-documentary “Ma tribu c’est ma vie” (“My tribe is my life”), in which eight internet users explain how music and Internet have transformed their interpersonal relations and contributed to forging their identity.

    tribu vie

    The creation of a global narrative universe is built, in large part, on the artist’s or the band’s personality, which can be a way of reinforcing the engagement of an audience already more or less seduced by its music. The more passionate fans are rewarded with stronger elements of affinity with the artists that they like, with the right tools, they might even become faithful ambassadors. The more massive ones will appreciate a coherent story that gives them elements of important reference points. Some artists like Gorillaz, JayZ or the rock band Nine Inch Nails, have already started doing this…


    The pioneers of transmedia music

    Universes inspired by their music, their lives or their characters are elements of value added for the products that they sell: a new album, concert tickets or a book…

    The Gorillaz alter egos: characters that live in multimediagorillaz11

    Gorillaz is a virtual British band whose main creators are Damon Albarn (the singer of Blur and The Good, the Bad and the Queen) and Jamie Hewlett (the illustrator of Tank Girl). The members of Gorillaz are represented like characters of a comic book.

    For each music video, they build a story around their easily identifiable characters, each of them representing a member of the band.

    Journey to Plastic Beach” is a 15 minute cartoon that represents the journey of Murdoc (the tall one on the right) to Plastic island, where the character conceives the latest Gorillaz album: “Plastic Beach”. The story continues with his efforts to find all the alter egos of the group’s members and his incredible adventure to find the lost spirit of the Gorillaz.



    To organize the promo of their world tour, a treasure hunt was organized on the Internet. It’s goal? To find the 12 characters of the Gorillaz universe on the net. Those who finished the quest won an exclusive mix and were automatically entered into a contest to win a surfboard designed by Jamie, one of the members of the band.

    On the Internet there are two official sites: the .fr, which is the classic marketing promo site, and the .com, which is a site where you can travel through the Gorillaz universe (especially Plastic Beach at the moment) in the form of an interactive game.


    Port Gorillaz


    On this Gorillaz website, you can also play a dozen mini games, watch videos, listen to a “pirate radio”, have access to all of the group’s albums. Their facebook page now has 3,5 million fans.





    Decoded by Jay-Z

    In 2010, Jay-Z published his memoir, a conglomeration of music and references to his culture. To promote this launch, the New York agency Droga5 set up a multimedia campaign and a treasure hunt on Internet and in the real world.


    Spiegel&Grau, Jay-Z’s editor, signed a partnership with search engine Bing. The dedicated page, created by the search engine, became the starting point of an ARG (Alternate Reality Game). Internet users were invited to find the 320 pages of Jay-Z’s memoir, hidden in Las Vegas, New York, Hollywood and even in the UK.

    Each hiding place was a reference to his book, a key location in the artist’s life. Helped by Bing maps, the clues were given by Jay-Z on his and , the internet users joined this treasure hunt.

    jay z

    Those who managed to decode all the clues were selected for a draw. The prize for the winner was a lifetime access to all of Jay-Z’s concerts.

    To increase the interest of the players, the organizers played on the Internet users’ ego: the first one to find a hiding place could “announce” his discovery on the campaign’s website with his name. This way, other players could see the name of those who discovered each page.

    Pages were hidden on advertising boards, in hamburger wrappings, at the bottom of a swimming pool, in music or jewelry stores, in his favorite bar, on the punching bag of a gym, or on the back of the T-shirts of café waiters.


    In four weeks, the players managed to find all the pages; as a reward, they received books signed by Jay-Z or, through a draw, another prize: a trip to Las Vegas for a New Year’s concert by Jay-Z and Coldplay.

    The promotional campaign was financed by Bing and not by the editor. Bing’s Marketing Director refused to release the campaign’s budget but told the New York Times that “important costs are associated with this project”.


    However, the results were positive! In November 2010, during the campaign, Bing experienced the most important market share of American traffic since its creation: 11,8%.

    Nine Inch Nails: a long-term relationship

    The “Year Zero” ARG

    In 2007, the band Nine Inch Nails (NIN) created an ARG for the launch of their new album “Year Zero”, thanks to the agency 42 Entertainment.

    This treasure hunt took place in an alternate reality, clues were given through texts on NIN T-shirts, singles of the new album left on USB keys, everything hidden in the toilets of concert venues, on websites or through secret phone numbers. All these elements helped players move ahead in the dark story of Year Zero: a world ravaged by an infinite war and an environmental catastrophe.

    The goal of the project was to immerse fans in an experienced linked to the universe of the album.

    NIN transmedia

    The leader of the band, Trent Reznor, qualified this experience as a “new type of entertainment”. According to him, the combined effect of entertainment, word of mouth and engagement of the audience, made this ARG the perfect tool to promote this album. For more information on their transmedia experience see the case study of the agency 42 Entertainement here.


    The NIN iPhone application

    To stay in touch with its audience and reward their loyalty, NIN made a partnership with Tap Tap Revenge in 2008, this iPhone game tests players rhythm in a similar way to “Guitar Hero”.

    tap tap nin

    The band created their own version of the game for 4,99$, everyone could test their rhythm on 13 NIN songs. Furthermore, those who managed to exceed a given score could win places to NIN concerts or the big prize: “a Les Paul guitar signed by Trent Reznor.


    The ticket race

    nin course

    Still in 2008, NIN found another way to federate its community.

    For the inhabitants of Los Angeles, Trent Reznor had hidden concert tickets in parks, under rocks, in ditches… Each hiding place was announced on the band’s Google Earth feed.





    These examples show that storytelling can help artists offer parallel experiences anchored in their musical universes. Nine Inch Nails and Jay-Z managed to engage their communities in sincere ways with an uninterrupted communication like Pratten suggested.

    These two operations are similar in the games’ mechanics but with different approaches. While Jay-Z built a multimedia platform around his life and his character (through his autobiography and its ARG), the rock band built its narrative universe around music, with a particular atmosphere. Gorillaz uses another technical approach by developing virtual characters that evolve with each new album.

    If the music industry can learn from the audiovisual one to build narrative universes around its products to better engage its fans, the audiovisual industry could also learn from the music industry to build events around its “classic” contents.

    We’ve only explored three examples here but the list of artists that developed a transmedia storytelling universe is much longer, we can think of Michael Jackson or Daft Punk for example. If you also have examples of artist that deserve a place on the list of Transmedia music pioneers, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments or on the .


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    author Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest

    Olivier Godest était Responsable de la Communication et des Formations pour le Transmedia Lab jusqu'en juillet 2011. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com Ana Vasile était rédactrice et assistante en charge des publications du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    The start of Transmedia International Masterclass Marseille


    by Ana Vasile, published on 10.05.2011

    Tomorrow is a big day for transmedia in France.  The three days intense training TIMM, as in Transmedia International Masterclass Marseille, will be held in Marseille, France. An opportunity to listen and work with the best Transmedia specialists in the world.



    Attendees will learn about Transmedia issues, and, more specifically, will understand how Games: social games, alternate reality games and pervasive games will influence Transmedia creation content, technology, business models, and delivery issues.

    While morning sessions will be devoted to lectures, the workshops and hands on activities will take place in the afternoon. The first day will be designated to Storytelling, with speakers like Christy Dena from Universe Creation 101 or Eric Viennot, the creator of the « total fiction » game concept and co-creator of the Lexis Numérique studio.  Here you can find detailed information about each day’s program and about all the speakers.

    The second day will be all about production, conducted by speakers like Joaquin Alvarado, from American Public Media or Monique De Haas from Dondersteen.net. The last day will focus on technology with the interventions of speakers like Jean-François Rodriguez, VP of Transmedia & Social Media in Orange Group or Boyd Multerer from Microsoft.


    TIMM 2011

    The content of each afternoon workshop will be organized in accordance with the speakers of the day and will include hands-on activities, group discussion, analysis and critiques. In addition to these analysis-and-revision exercises, attendees will gain further practical experience working with these models through brief collaborative design projects, brainstorming sessions, critical analysis and discussion.

    TIMM is organized by the French university CNAM, the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and NX Publishing. It will take place from May 11 to 13, at Palais du Phare in Marseille, south of France.

    It’s quite astonishing, but the registrations are still opened here. For those of you attending this event, feel free to comment here or on and let us know how it went!

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Spangas : a transmedia soap opera made in the country of tulips

    Les Spangas

    by Ana Vasile, published on 5.05.2011

    Spangas is a daily TV series that shows the life of 10 teenagers from a realistic and funny point of view on their everyday-life problems. Produced by a group of producers from Nederland, with Johan Nijenhuis among them, Spangas is a transmedia native project.

    By targeting the 9 to 15 age-group, this program is addressing an instinctively tech- savvy target, well at ease with multiplatform universes. An opportunity well used by the Spangas producers.



    Spangas’s transmedia mechanism:

    Spangas-MagazineYou might be surprised by the fact that the producer didn’t choose to create an iPhone app, especially with this king of target.  The mobile media was ignored because the celphones are forbidden in Dutch schools: a nice proof that the transmedia mechanism was well adapted to its audience.

    Written like a soap opera, but filmed in a real high school, each season shows an entire school year through 180 episodes throughout 7 months. With quite a record, more than 50% market share at the end of each season, the runs on the Dutch TV channel NRCV. At present, the producers are filming the 5th season.

    An interesting point to the Spangas conception is the way they imagines the audience’s circulation between platforms: TV and Internet. At the end of each TV episode, one of the characters speaks directly to audience by sharing his feelings on what just happened on the show he redirects the viewers to the website, a touching and direct way to assure the flow between platforms.

    The web was imagined as an integrated part of the project. The Spangas website has a forum and each character keeps his profile and diary updated. On their profiles the cybernauts can directly relate to the characters and ask questions. The website is enriched with characters’ testimonials videos where they comment the show narrative and ask for advice. Now and then, the producers organize a virtual meeting with the characters via the live-chat function available on their website. Spangas also proposes on the web extras like touring videos, interviews or the making of.

    This program is even able to integrate on the website the UGC (user generated content): photos and videos posted on the website. By using the forum and the pools, the series creators are always checking the mood of their audience. For example, Charley one of the series character would want to cheat an exam, the cybernauts are being asked their opinions on the matter.

    Spangas website

    The cybernauts reactions are integrated in the series’ narrative by using the pools’ results. Through an intense and scheduled communication, Spangas is forming a strong and lasting relationship with the online community. To give you an idea of the success of this approach: Spangas website is the most visited kids’ website in Nederland with 24% of visitors spending there more than 15 minutes.

    Spangas aired for the first time in 2007 and gathered already 770 episodes, each with a 12 minutes length. Over the years, the program eight prizes in Europe: comme par exemple Best on shifted tv in 2010, Cinekid-Kinderkast Audience Award in 2010 or Cinekid Media Award in 2009. The series was already exported in Switzerland, to the SF channel, and in Germany on SuperRTL.

    You can find a complementary article in French on Backstory website and in English on Transmythology.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    The puzzle of transmedia classification criteria


    by Olivier Godest, published on 3.05.2011

    For several months now, we’ve been analyzing transmedia works and projects, reflecting on methodologies to write them, giving our point of view on some of them and trying to define criteria to understand why a work is transmedia or not.

    Now, the Producer’s Guild in the US and the CNC in France, have drawn up guidelines to know if your project can be called “TRANSMEDIA” at least as far as getting financial support is concerned.

    But despite these criteria, it’s not always easy to know how to classify your project in the jungle of multi-media works that exists today.


    Let’s go back to the start. How do we define a transmedia work based on the studies of a certain Henry Jenkins ?

    As opposed to cross-media (or pluri-media) which spreads a core content across complementary media, transmedia articulates an original narrative universe on different media. This universe is carried by different media (TV, Internet, Mobile, Radio, Print, Tablet, etc), which bring new and complementary perspectives on the universe of the story, depending on their technological capacity. The different elements that compose this universe can be explored and understood independently of each other: we talk about multiple entry points into the story.

    However, I’m often faced with works that approach these criteria, but don’t always include them totally.


    On the other hand, Dr Christy Dena references two types of transmedia works (I invite you to read her much more detailed analysis here):

    - either a collection of several stories told in mono-media in a given universe (ex: franchises)

    - or a collection of media telling one story (ex: an entertainment program that takes place on tv and on the web simultaneously)

    There are then two types of transmedia narrations:

    - those that start from a pre-existing content (she talks about an “expansion” of the universe)

    - and those that are conceived according to the criteria of a transmedia work from the beginning

    This approach seems to me to be the most accurate for the present market. My analysis on the perception of transmedia works today is therefore based on these criteria and is divided into three parts:

    1°) One story told on several media


    Let’s take the example of “Cathy’s book”. This young people’s novel tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of a young teenager. The book is her diary, which she left for her sister.

    On the cover of the book, an intriguing detail: a phone number…

    At the back of the book, the author invites readers to resolve a series of mysteries to find Cathy. In order to do this, she explains that you can use the phone numbers, but you are also pointed towards the web to do your research. The goal: to move ahead in the resolution of the investigation and find Cathy.

    This book also includes an envelope containing clues: photos, business cards, newspaper articles…

    Can this be considered a transmedia work?

    The question deserves to be asked. At first glance, there isn’t a complete independence between the different media… (see definition: “The different elements that compose this universe can be explored and understood independently of each other: we talk about multiple entry points into the story”)

    The mobile and web are extensions of the book medium. These media allow us to delve deeper into the story, to participate, but they don’t bring a new point of view of the main story (then again…this notion is also a subject of debates).


    There is also an iPhone application serving as another entry point into the story.

    And on the web, multiple sites and forums on which amateur detectives can exchange tips.

    From there on, how can we qualify this work? An alternate reality game, an ARG? A digital book?

    From my point of view, it’s transmedia, whether or not the different media are independent… This example is ONE illustration of a type of multi-media storytelling. It shows one universe spread out on several media, a good measure of interactivity and audience participation at different levels of involvement.

    In the same category, we could talk about our french example : Detective Avenue

    2°) Transmedia transformation and franchises

    These are the most common examples since they are, first and foremost, based on minimal risk taking.


    It’s the story of a producer and a broadcaster, who bring a TV series to the screen, let’s take Dexter for example. We’ve already done a full article on it. It all started with a book. The first season of the show is based on this book. At this point, we’re closer to adaptation, cross-media.

    But with the growing success of the series, the story between our producer and our broadcaster goes to the next step.

    Why not take over other media while the “Dexter” brand is successful? Once the trust is established, it’s much easier to find the financial means to spread a universe on several media. Other media are then developed in parallel with the series: web series, games, marketing operations, smartphone application, etc.


    The goal is to fill the fans’ waiting time between two seasons in order not to loose a community that is so hard to build. But also, if possible, to generate business. And the master in that domain is obviously George Lucas.


    This is the same logic that was exploited by this great name of filmmaking with Star Wars. Yes, there are a lot of derived products (that don’t bring anything new to the story), but there are also books, video games, an animated series, etc, that bring new perspectives on the universe. Why? Because at the start, there is a successful film, a trilogy, a brand! Minimal risk taking and presumably, a very interesting return.

    The transmedia universe is deployed in the second step, it’s only the extension of a work that was originally mono-media.

    Another example that we’ve explored recently: Tron and transmedia

    Here, we touch upon two points brought up by Chrity Dena: “a collection of stories that are told in mono-media” and “writing based on expansive universes

    3°) “Pure” transmedia works

    They’re the hardest to find in France today… Still too often in the project stages, they are narrative universes that meet all the criteria of the basic definition quoted above.

    A global media strategy is set up from the conception stage, in order to create the links between each medium in the most harmonious way possible. It’s a narrative universe deployed on several media, not a unique story, which is an important difference from the first point. The difference is tiny but it exists.

    One of the best examples to illustrate this strategy is “The Blair Witch Project” that I’ve recently written about.

    We could also talk about the numerous ARGs that were a great inspiration for these mechanisms.

    A good example is that of the HBO campaign for the launch of the True Blood series. Here, the marketing budget was used to extend the universe of the story before the TV broadcast…and the result in terms of audience circulation was excellent.



    From my point of view, there are two possible perceptions of transmedia works today:
    - the reality of the market and the concrete experiences that are offered, which aren’t perfect but at least they exist
    - “pure” transmedia projects such as we imagine them (with all the criteria that we know), but that still have trouble blooming (especially in France).

    The total independence of media is probably one of the most questionable points in the qualification criteria of a transmedia project. Often, the main medium takes the lead in the global universe, which makes it an almost unavoidable step to get through the first layer, since the other entry points rarely have the same narrative intensity. From then on, can we really talk about a true independence of the media from one another?

    Furthermore, in some works, several media are available to the spect’actor to resolve an investigation or simply to move ahead in the story, such as the example of Cathy’s book and Detective Avenue. Here, each medium is not really a new entry point into the story, but rather an additional communication vector to progress in the investigation or enrich the story of the main medium. From there on, should we say that it’s not transmedia? I don’t think so.

    The perception and differentiation of all these innovative projects is a real source of inspiration for international creation, but, as is the case for many works of art, it’s not always easy to fit them into boxes (and that’s a good thing!).

    I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    « La Zone » : a transmedia documentary on the Chernobyl catastrophe


    by Ana Vasile, published on 28.04.2011

    This multiplatform project proposes a new point of view on the Chernobyl catastrophe. 25 years after, « La Zone » ravished by the radiations is uncovering itself through its inhabitants’ stories, gathered by two journalists through their journeys spread throughout ten years.

    Directed by Guillaume Herbaut and Bruno Masi and produced by Agat Films & Cie and lemonde.fr, “La Zone” unfolds its story through a web documentary (broadcasted on the Le Monde newspaper’s website), an interactive installation at the Parisian art gallery  Gaîté Lyrique and a book edited by Naïve, on the 25 anniversary of  Chernobyl catastrophe.

    “We have discovered the abandoned villages from the forbidden zone : that infinite space similar to The Reunion Island, surrounded by barbed wire and punctuated by graveyards where the corpses of contaminated cars pile up. During ten years, we went back to this region, magnetized by its stakes : the incarnation at a big scale of a  disintegrating world, with no point of reference flowing with the instinct, inhabited by fear of extermination, eaten by his own social and economical decay.” witnessed the authors.


    A web documentary

    La zone

    A gallery made by stories and portraits. The men and women living there, orbit around the 4th reactor in Chernobyl.  That restricted area is still one of the most dangerous areas on Earth, a self-contained world eaten away by the radioactivity, this invisible danger… intangible, odorless but always present, a land inhabited by wolves, surveyed by smugglers and state police that will not twitch before pointing up their guns.  A strong and complex tie is woven between this zone and the men and women that inhabit or adventure to cross it. The documentary is online on the Monde’s website


    A multimedia installation

    The viewer’s physical experience at the forbidden zone. By entering a grey cube the viewer experiences the zone on four walls. The system mixing video and photography is proposing a certain immersion into the Chernobyl area, the 450 km zone around the fourth reactor.   From the 26th April to the 10th May 2011 at the Gaîté Lyrique (Paris)

    A book

    La zone le livre

    The book co-edited by Naïve and Gaîté Lyrique is mixing Guillaume Herbaut’s pictures with Bruno Masi’s texts and covers all the five trips that allowed these two journalists to create their documentary, from October 2009 until November 2010. Following two stories with different rhythms, this book is inviting the reader to submerge to the zone’s everyday life. Available starting with the 26th April at Gaîté Lyrique (Paris)

    A complementary article is available on WebTelevisionObserver website.


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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transversal writing and financing : is transmedia the future of TV ?


    by Deni Susic, published on 26.04.2011

    After “The search engines” and “3D relief”, the 4th meeting of the Ina SUP professionals focused on the subject of transmedia in TV production. Jean-Yves Lemoine, a specialist of media convergence, and Didier Giraud, coordinator of the Ina seminars, led the debate.



    The multiplication of media platforms has led to an individualization of audiovisual content consumption. Audiences have also become internet users, immersed in a digital flux of continuous information. Uses have evolved: these internet users have also become multi-taskers. They want emotion and proximity. They want to feel, participate, create and communicate. For these reasons, audiovisual production has to invent transmedia formats, to capture the attention of these super-solicited audiences.

    First part speakers: “How does Transmedia mobilize competencies?”

    Jean-Claude Mocik – Head of the directing department of Ina SUP
    Bruno Masi - Head of the journalism department of Ina SUP
    Eric Viennot – Director of Lexis Numérique and creator of « In Memoriam »
    Mathieu Leblanc et de Mathieu Salomé – Producers – Aomys

    An author tells a story, a transmedia author creates an experience

    The ability of a transmedia author to target an audience and determine the platforms to reach them are the characteristics that differentiate him from a traditional author.

    In terms of writing, the notion of “participation” and using the right media are an integral part of the development of a transmedia project. Ideally, these approaches are included from the conception stage (more efficient).

    Capture d’écran 2011-04-08 à 14.22.49

    In the US, transmedia authors are called “Story Architects”. They’re “Supermen” who script a universe on several media. Their job consists of isolating the narrative elements and transmitting them while creating emotion. They know how to work in teams, accept the expertise brought in by new participants and understand the specificity of each medium. These profiles are relatively rare in France.


    In the journalistic domain, it’s possible to find a certain resemblance between the “Shiva Journalist” and the “Story Architect”. Bruno Masi, Director of the journalism department of Ina SUP, relates the birth of the “Shiva Journalist” to the emergence of new technologies, and he warns us about the economic overexploitation of this new type of journalist: the “Shiva Journalist” is a DOP, cameraman, sound engineer, editor, graphic designer, community manager, all at the same time. This can be considered like a danger for the profession.


    The influence of video games

    “Video Games have become the pop art of the 21st Century”

    in memoriamjeu

    It’s difficult to contradict Eric Viennot, the creator of the game “In Memoriam”, when he announces this in the introduction of his intervention.

    With his company Léxis Numérique, Eric Viennot is developing concepts of “total fiction”. According to him ARGs are too complicated to play and remain, for the most part, promotional works or simple derived products.

    A total fiction is an experience that blurs the boundary between reality and fiction. It allows players to follow a mystery in a non-linear way, to get involved, to modify the course of its story and become the hero. This experience exists on its own. The platforms that build it are independent.

    On the contrary, in ARGs, the player is really guided: accompaniment, engagement and reward processes are created. For example, In Memoriam: Julie’s character was an investigator who sent emails as soon as a player took too long to solve a mystery.

    These markers, as Eric Viennot calls them, allow the game’s editor to “track” the player’s progress. According to him, these mechanisms specific to videogames seem essential in a transmedia project.

    Furthermore, the development of a “total fiction” is very different from that of a traditional fiction. On his latest project, Eric Viennot dedicated an entire year to documentation – accumulating the themes touched upon in the game – with the idea of establishing a coherence between places and characters.

    Whatever his cultural knowledge might be, he says, an author/conceiver is never protected from players that might be better than him. After that, the tools and mechanisms of the game are set up. Finally, he establishes the different levels of the story – the possible itineraries of the player – and creates the project bible.


    “The Gameplay and the story have to be conceived and weaved simultaneously”

    Is transmedia the business of an author or of a conceiver? Opinions diverge. Will an author be able to create an interaction with his audience? Will a conceiver know how to bring to life and make his characters coherent? What we learn from In Memoriam, is that it’s perfectly possible for a conceiver from the world of video games to create immersive transmedia experiences. However, it’s important to note that the development time of such projects are much longer than traditional linear fictions.


    A need for training, collaboration and models

    Jean-Claude Mocik, director of the directing department of the Ina SUP, summarized, in a few sentences, the need to establish transmedia specifications for audiovisual professionals :

    “There’s a real need for training, reflection and exchanges between audiovisual professionals. Traditional authors will have to profoundly review their approach to their profession.”

    Indeed, it’s very complicated for a single author to elaborate a transmedia experience without surrounding himself with a multidisciplinary team to support its creation and distribution. In order for this team to work, it has to come together around a project. Mathieu, producer of Aomys, considers that the climate is favorable to share knowledge between professions and competencies: “There is a real opening in the field of audiovisual production for the convergence of classic and new competencies. In terms of writing, a synchronicity of forms and professions is necessary.”

    In France, however, transmedia projects remain relatively few and difficult to finance. References are beginning to appear but there are still very few models. Mathieu Leblanc concludes: “Before, we had to create prototypes for cars, today, we have to create prototypes for circuits.”

    Second part speakers: “How technology is impacting the financing of programs?”

    Véronique Marino, Digital business development consultant – Espace in.fusion and director of the Interactive Media program of the INIS (Québec)
    Valérie Bourgoin – Director of the Video Game and Digital Creation department – CNC
    Jérémy Pouilloux – Producer – La Générale de Production


    Towards a communal taxonomy

    There exists an understanding and language problem between “classic” audiovisual producers and producers from the web. Few players from the world of the web and interactivity are integrated in traditional production companies. Furthermore, audiovisual production doesn’t really understand the production delays of web creation. It’s incapable of challenging the quotes made by professionals in that field. The audiovisual producer doesn’t really know how to estimate the cost of an interactive component. This will require a redefinition of human resources inside production companies and the creation of a common dictionary.

    Transmedia is an artistic and financial challenge

    As new uses lead us to new forms of content, the financing of a transmedia work remains a real challenge. A transmedia producer will have to fight. Finding the funds to finance a transmedia project is difficult. Jéremy Pouilloux, producer with La Générale de Production, comments: “Transmedia is a loosing production economy compared to traditional productions.”

    According to him, it would be too easy to blame it all on the pre-financing crisis. Distributors, even if they are touched, still remain major and dominant actors in the financing of works, transmedia or others. The CNC production and development funds have managed to create a momentum. Furthermore, the opening of the support account is very good news for the producers of new media works.

    The CNC also allows, within certain criteria, the input of a brand.


    Brand-content, the relationship between a brand and a producer, a brand and a content, can be envisioned, but is confronted with many challenges. When a project is natively transmedia, it’s difficult to integrate it into advertising calendars. In terms of “timing”, in most case studies, the CNC has realized that the associations between producers and brands doesn’t work, because of the constraints established by the public establishment. Brands want a large distribution of the project first and foremost while the CNC is in a logic of helping creation.

    Under the impulse of social media, post-financing, especially in the form of micro-payments, is a possibility for producers. It’s possible to sell certain contents, like applications and mini-games, through these means. Detective Avenue, for example, sells a package of SMS cues for 3€ on its internet site.

    The Canadian Example

    ONF300In 2007, Telefilm Canada created a new media fund, the CMF-FMC, destined for non-television content (multimedia, games, etc). This fund has a good track record since the organism has acquired a real know-how in the field of non-linear production.

    Last year, a federal decision was taken that sent a real shock wave through Canadian TV producers. From now on, they have to subject themselves to the web game, meaning that they must develop an interactive component in order to be eligible for pre-financing.

    The NFB has also stopped its distributing activity. From now on, the organism only finances artistic residencies. Despite that, they are successfully fulfilling their role, by offering very creative contents.

    In terms of brand-content, more and more brands are participating in content production. To go back to the author-artist issue, it’s important that the latter question his role in this case. An artist has to understand that he’s not doing things for himself but for others.

    There is one more real difference between Canada and France. Whether it’s in development or in production, a project’s ability to generate audience is key. The FMC asks producers to make the necessary efforts to find a minimum return on investment.

    About the author : Deni Susic

    Graduate of an Audiovisual Production MBA at the Superior School of Management, Deni worked for the production companies Few Interactive and Karé Productions. Soon, he became interested in the possibilities offered to the traditional audiovisual content by the evolving new screens and the social-medias. Since April 2011, he developed an international community of “story architects” as well as a discussion and exchange portal for the transmedia actors: Mediactivists.com.

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    author Deni Susic

    Diplomé d'un MBA en Production Audiovisuelle à l'Ecole Supérieure de Gestion, Deni a travaillé pour les sociétés de production Few Interactive et Karé Productions. Très vite, il s'interesse aux possibilités offertes par les nouveaux écrans et les médias sociaux pour les contenus audiovisuels traditionnels. Depuis avril 2011, il développe une communauté internationale de "story architects" ainsi qu'un portail d'échange et de discussion entre les acteurs du transmedia: Mediactivists.com.

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    Collapsus : multiplatform project takes on energy crisis


    by Ana Vasile, published on 21.04.2011

    Collapsus is a brand-new multiplatform project produced by the Dutch company SubmarineChannel. Under the direction of Tommy Pallotta, this experience combines interactivity, animation and fiction with documentary footage. Collapsus offers a peak into the near future and imagines how the imminent energy crisis affects a group of ten young people, who appear to be caught up in a conspiracy.



    Nominated at the EMMY Digital Awards and winner of SXSW Interactive Awards in the Film category, Collapsus is designed around the documentary Energy Risk, at the demand of Dutch broadcaster VPRO. The goal was to attract a different and younger audience than traditional documentary viewers. Presented as a transmedia project, Collapsus is deployed though only two media, TV and web. On the last media, Collapsus is proposing to the cybernauts an interactive experience through different content on each platform. On the TV, the audience can simply watch the classic documentary Energy Risk.



    The director presents his project like a “pioneering approach that blends real documentary footage with mini-games and movie fragments, inviting you to choose your own perspective as the story unfolds. Interact and make decisions to avoid further blackouts; get a broader perspective by listening to the experts; or observe the consequences for everyday people through the fictional story”


    On the project’s main website, the players are required, through an interactive game, to make decisions that leave their mark on a global scale. Collapsus is reiterating the codes “of serious gaming” by developing through a game an important issue in an informative and educational goal. The cybernaut is learning to judge the gravity of national governments’ decisions on theirs energetic politics by trying to put an end to a virtual energetic catastrophe.

    The story starts in 2012 and takes the cybernaut in crucial moments in time, until 2025. The audiences will virtually visit a series of locations such as London, the Ukraine, Teheran and Colorado. Live action footage combined with animation will unfold the current political situation – as well the characters’ course of destiny.


    The experience is guided by one of the characters vlog posts of Vera and her friends as they attempt to figure out not only their personal problems, but also what is happening in their collapsing world – and what they can do to create a livable future world.


    Collapsus can be seen as an experimentation of transmedia power, as producer Bruno Felix says, “We always try to approach complex issues in appealing and engaging ways. It was very interesting to produce a transmedia project because it is an emerging genre that is still in development and experimentation is still possible”.

    If we base ourselves on the Producers Guild of America criteria, Collapsus can’t be an ad litteram transmedia concept (as stated in this Wikipedia article) the experience unfolds his story only on two media, the TV and the Internet. Nevertheless, Collapsus seems a very interesting experience because of its double targeting strategy for a documentary: the young audience is involved through the interactive online platform and the mass audience through TV exposure. Its success could give some ideas to the audiovisual producers, by proving that using a certain dose of interactivity and “serious gaming” can be of interest in enlarging the frontiers of the storytelling universe.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Call for children’s transmedia projects: TFou Pitch


    by Olivier Godest, published on 19.04.2011

    This year, the TF1 Unit for Youth Programs is launching “TFOU Pitch”, a call for projects open to any kind of writing and to new talents and partners, whether they’re producers, authors or web agencies…


    To conceive and coproduce an original transmedia event game: with at least three media support like television, Internet and another support of your choice (live event, card collecting, boxes, mobiles, tablets…). The different media don’t just have to be linked but to be organized as a true virtuous circle. Each media will have its own role in the transmedia program and enrich the others.


    TF1 through its TFOU Pitch, wishes to create:

    -          A unifying transmedia program adapted to the TFOU program, aimed for children 6 to 10 years old.

    -          Conceive a fun project: simple, efficient, developing loyalty and mostly CRAZY!

    Registration deadline is June 4th 2011

    Good luck!

    You can look at the specifications here and read the details of the call for projects here.

    Avatar Image

    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    The Media Faculty Training : “How to create and produce transmedia”


    by Olivier Godest, published on 14.04.2011

    The Media Faculty is proposing the training “How to create and produce transmedia” from the 26th to the 28th April 2011. The declared objective is to bring answers to all your questions about the new storytelling forms, through the interventions of specialised professionals.


    The audiovisual field is boiling with new developing technologies and broadcasting platforms (the linear TV, on-demand TV (VOD), the web, the mobile, the tablet).

    Obviously, more and more issues find themselves needing answers, like how to create and produce content for these new media, how to encourage the participation in transmedia stories without forgetting their possibilities and stakes, as well as the financials and juridical issues raised by transmedia projects.

    Media Faculty

    This training can be entirely paid (by your OPCA or AFDAS and by the AGEFICE for company directors and freelancers), if several named criteria are met (for more information call The Media Faculty).

    Here, you can find more detailed information about this training and all the speakers involved.

    Inscriptions and complementary information available by email at and by phone at (Floriane).

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    Tribeca Film Institute : multiplatform projects’ call for entries


    by Ana Vasile, published on 12.04.2011

    Tribeca Film Institute, a New York based nonprofit organization, opened a special fund for non-fiction, multiplatform projects.  The organization position itself as a funding provider for filmmakers and a promoter of film.


    The TFI New Media Fund is specifically oriented towards projects that go beyond traditional screens, integrating video with content across media platforms, from video games and mobile apps to social networks and interactive websites.

    This initiative emphasizes the importance of innovation through storytelling, as the fund members said “We’re looking for projects that activate audiences around issues of contemporary social justice and equality around the world and demonstrate the power of cross-platform storytelling and dynamic audience engagement.”


    The projects eligible for submission must present a non-fiction story focused around issues of contemporary social justice and equality, by including an integrated cross-platform or interactive component designed to engage and activate audiences in imaginative ways.

    The fund welcomes documentary, hybrid/scripted, animation and other innovative storytelling approaches. TFI New Media Fund creators highlight that “We will only accept projects that are in an advanced development stage and beyond,” in order to be accepted the author must submit at least 7 minutes of footage and demonstrate that the “Fund will have a meaningful impact on the completion of your project”.


    While students’ projects are not accepted, first time filmmakers are encouraged to submit their work in order to obtain the funding offered. They only need to demonstrate the innovation brought by their project and how it engages audiences in new ways. The video component can be feature-length or short and can be designed specifically for a new media platform – for example a web series.

    Even if the organization is based in New York, producers and filmmakers from all over the world can submit their creations. The project needs to be relevant for the American public and at least subtitled in English.


    While there are no entry fees, only four to eight projects will be each receiving between $50,000 and $100,000 in funding.

    Entry Deadlines

    The submission deadline is May 25th, 2011

    Here you can find more detailed information on the fund and here you can submit your work.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Do you want to be a Super Villain ?


    by Ana Vasile, published on 7.04.2011

    Global adventure allows participants to join or oppose a super villains’ army. The battle takes place through an Alternate Reality Game that started on 12 March 2011. Dominic de Haas, an independent developer/producer and this ARG’s creator explained the game’s mechanism for Transmedia Lab’s readers.



    Participants are required to locate the virtual Villain Training Program and complete missions at different locations around the world. This training will guide them on their path to become masked villains and aiding the mysterious T.S., the evil mastermind in need of allies. The participants to the ARG can also oppose the villain. A top secret movement is somewhere out there to support them in this war.

    The game concerns a global alternate reality experience that will play out in the real world as well as over the internet through social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. The story includes online and offline elements and will deliver some of its content to the participants’ “doorsteps” by means of phone calls or e-mails. There are also mysterious phone numbers to be found and called.



















    The back-story will be told through a digital graphic novel whose pages can be unlocked by the participants during the experience. Optionally players will receive SMS text messages at later stages of the game. Also, players will directly affect parts of the story line, in the game as well as in the graphic novel. For example, by completing the second mission, the players allowed the villain to gain entry to a database where he finds a lethal virus. Would the players have failed this mission, there would not have been a lethal virus and the villain would have to find other alternatives (through other missions).

    Dominic explains that “The game also requests the players to become actively involved in the game, virtually and in real life. For example, one of the missions has had the players add super villain masks to their photos. Another mission requested players to launch blogs on which they describe their journey into villainy.”

    A game of ‘chess’ is proposed  in which players will have to claim locations on earth by going there and taking photos in which they hold up a piece of paper with a drawn logo and therefore ‘claiming’ that location for one of the game’s ‘camps/sides.’ If the Super Villain selects a city that no player can claim, players will then have to use their networks to find people willing to go there.

    At a later stage in the game, players will have to use their networks to collect game artifacts and fulfill missions in different locations in the real world. For the moment, the cities targeted by the Super Villain are kept as a great secret, but the game master whispered us : think New York, London, Berlin and even Paris… for once, France was not forgotten!

    Super Vilain

    “This experience will introduce participants to a villain they will actually be able to interact with. The premise is for the players to find out whether they would rather join or oppose the villain and do they have what it takes to do so?” Dominic concludes.

    Some known cybernauts, like Jane Doh from argn.com, received a personalized invitation from the Super Villain himself to join his troupes. The recruits already started gathering on the Unfiction forum, but Dominic, the game master, says anyone can join the adventure on the game’s launching site: http://www.sotanaht.com.

    What about you, dear readers, would you rather join or fight the Masked Super Villain?

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Detective Avenue : transmedia innovation transforms production collaboration models


    by Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest , published on 5.04.2011

    At the crossroads of a police series and a detective game “Detective Avenue” begins on April 4th 2011. The winner of the 2010 Orange Creation Workshops, this is a natively transmedia project on tv, web and mobile. The producers (Alain Degove and Laurent Guérin from Murmures Productions) and the Orange teams in charge of Games and Transmedia (Jean-François Rodriguez, Morgan Bouchet, Mickael Ivorra) tell us about the construction and implementation of this multiplatform experience, which should get people talking.






    Detective Avenue invites internet users to participate in an investigation let by Gaëlle, the heroine of the webseries. Her sister was found dead in her apartment and the perpetrator seems to be someone from her building. Gaëlle therefore moves in among them to lead her investigation and discover the truth. A sort of interactive online « Cluedo » interactif et online…

    Transmedia system

    The internet user/player is at the heart of the project. For 5 weeks, he’ll be able to view 58 episodes of 1 to 3 minutes. Located on the official site, these episodes are aired daily and will unlock clues and mini-games aimed at developing internet user participation and commitment to help Gaëlle solve the mystery : text messages, iPhone application, emails, interactive voice server will all be used.

    Additional clues to progress in the investigation will be available via text messages (3€ for 8 texts) or on social networks. The free iPhone application will allow people to find out even more about the suspects by offering additional video content and clues to find in real life, thanks to a geo-localization game around Orange shops.

    appli iPhone

    Each challenge won by the player will be rewarded through a point system. At the end of the first round of the series, on May 10th 2011, the three players with the best scores will be rewarded with a gift (LG Infinia 55 inches 3D TV, Sony VAIO computer, Canon camera).

    Detective Avenue will also be very present on social networks (Dailymotion, Youtube, Twitter…) like Facebook. One of the channels of Orange TV will be dedicated to the airing and promotion of the series.

    Additional information on the website Web Television Observer


    A real evolution for the world of production

    Writing and developing a transmedia program requires many changes to classic production models.

    New production competencies must be acquired and the teams surrounding the producer must also evolve, as explained by Laurent Guérin: “The Detective Avenue production crew is composed of 20 people, including actors, for a period of 3 weeks. The transmedia team is composed of 20 people for a period of one year. Game designer, experience designer, project leader, technical director, graphic designer, photographer, ergonomist, creative writer, developer, webmaster, beta tester, community manager, etc. It’s like putting an orchestra to work, piece by piece, with the right scores

    The writing is also different from the usual linear codes, Alain Degove (Murmures Productions) explains: “We’re at the very beginning of narratives where we don’t show everything onscreen in a linear way. It’s a way of writing that requires an enormous amount of creativity and a real global vision from authors, producers and the director, while making sure to avoid useless distractions that could lose the audience

    detective avenue iPhone2

    Audience participation is one of the key elements of Detective Avenue. The Orange transmedia teams participated in implementing this strategy, inspired, among other things, by models from the world of videogames : for Mickael Ivorra (Orange Transmedia department) “Transmedia experiences can pick and choose elements of inspiration in the rules, mechanisms and know how of the gaming world. “Casual” games and social games often have simple but fun accessibility models”… Morgan Bouchet adds “We’ve noticed that games have an increasing presence in traditional media and even in consumers’ daily lives(gamification)

    New business models and new technologies

    The participation of Orange on such a project is justified by the group’s know how in terms of distribution, entertainment and multi-screen games, but also of telecoms and technologies. The use of technologies and networks to enrich the narration of a fiction program is not yet very democratic, it’s a real research and development experience taking place through transmedia experiences like this one, as explained by Morgan Bouchet (Transmedia and Social Media VP): “We’re working with our France Telecom/Orange R&D teams to develop the tools and applications necessary to accompany producers, TV channels, distributors or authors in these new types of narratives and interactions, allowing them to create a simplified, coherent and innovative presence on the new screens that surround us”

    But is mixing storytelling, telecom tools, applications, networks and platforms accessible to any producer ? For Jean-François Rodriquez “Let’s remember that telecom tools are also the audience’s entertainment tools, transmedia is a natural extension of literature, cinema and television, which any producer and distributor should implement in order to develop “attention” and “commitment” in a connected and multitasking generation

    Another notable characteristic : Detective Avenue was conceived as an exportable (and therefore resalable) ready to use, transmedia system. Laurent Guérin explains: “Detective Avenue is built around a game engine whose vocation is to be able to welcome new projects and therefore start making scale savings on production costs

    For those who want to dive right in and concretely discover this transmedia project, go to www.detective-avenue.com and the .

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    author Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest

    Olivier Godest était Responsable de la Communication et des Formations pour le Transmedia Lab jusqu'en juillet 2011. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com Ana Vasile était rédactrice et assistante en charge des publications du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Dexter in transmedia


    by Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest , published on 31.03.2011

    In December 2010, Showtime announced that a new season of the series Dexter will start shooting in spring 2011 (the sixth one). Since we have some early day fans in our team, we couldn’t resist telling you a little more about this series, which is presently beating audience records in the US. Here’s an analysis of this phenomenon that obviously found an echo in transmedia.




    Origin of Dexter’s universe


    Before the TV series, we can find the origin of Dexter’s universe in Jeff Lindsay’s books.

    In 2004, the author published “Darkly dreaming Dexter”, the book where Dexter Morgan was created. A brilliant scientist working for the Miami Police Department as a forensic expert, specialized in blood projections.

    But this likeable character has a dark side! He’s also a very peculiar serial killer: he has a very strict moral code and a unique vision of justice. Dexter only kills other killers that have escaped the legal system. Traumatized by childhood events, he says he’s incapable of feeling any emotion, except during criminal acts. In the end, it’s the character’s moral and psychological contradictions that make the series interesting.

    The first book sets up the context (locations, characters, origins) of the first season, we’re therefore not surprised to see that Jeff Lindsay participated in writing several episodes. The rest of the series is an original story without links to the other books of the same author. The series and the books therefore quickly diverge into different and complementary stories.

    Today, it’s one of the most watched series on Showtime. With an audience peak of 2,5 million viewers during the broadcast of the last episode of the fifth season.


    Dexter goes viral in the UK

    The FX channel set up a viral campaign to promote the launch of Dexter’s second season. The campaign was called “The Dexter Hit List” and its goal was to promote the series by building up fan interest.

    The video application developed by the digital marketing agency Ralph & Co allowed internet users to send a personalized recording of a press conference and a text message from Dexter: “Hi. I’m coming to the UK sooner than expected. Dexter”

    This text message was followed by an email with the personalized press conference. The surprise was in the content: London police identified the recipient as the potential target of a crime, referring to Dexter as “The Bay Harbor Butcher” as the press nicknamed him in the TV series.

    The jokesters could record their own questions and witness reports to influence the content of the video. They could also choose the questions that the journalists would ask the police officer during the press conference. The recipient of the video could see his name written on a list in blood on the letters shown by the police as proof: “You Are Next”

    This was relayed by a print, TV and press campaign. The campaign created such a buzz in London that Scotland Yard police received terrified calls to denounce the criminal. Yet another example of how hard it is to create efficient borders between fiction and reality.

    But the results were there: for the first episode of season 2 on FX, 348 000 people were tuned in, one of the channel’s best audiences!


    The blood fountains

    fontaine dexter

    Showtime and Pop2Life, an American marketing agency, created a street marketing event in the US to attract the audience’s


    attention for the launch of the series’ second season. Twelve American cities got red public fountains.

    The fountains became the “scenes of the crime”, surrounded by yellow tape marked with Dexter’s name.

    Mobile crews in white coats were distributing promotional objects and free DVDs on the street. You can see pictures of all the cities touched by this epidemic, here.


    Dexter on the front page

    For the third season, Showtime launched an ad campaign spoofing the covers of different mainstream American magazines. Dexter is already nicknamed “America’s favorite serial killer”, he graced the covers of Wired, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, US Weekly and Rolling Stone, among others.


    dexter magCreative Commons : Adam Crowe


    Some magazines, such as Rolling Stone, had articles of six to eight pages about the new season.


    dex mag

    dex mag 2


    To increase the impact of this campaign, the producers set up “Dexter news-stands” with fake magazines and promotional products.



    Early Cuts : : the Dexter web series

    Dexter’s fourth season marked the launch of its spin-off: “Dexter: Early Cuts”, an animated web-series positioned as the prequel to the series, aired on the Showtime website in 2009. To maintain the coherence with Dexter’s universe, the main character Michael C. Hall dubbed the voice of his character.



    Produced by KTV Media International, the web episodes were directed by Bullseye Art, a web animation collective. The directors worked with illustrators such as Kyle Baker, Ty Templeton, Andrés Vera Martinez and Devin Lawson. The story for animation purists is that the episodes were animated in 2.5D style, meaning that two dimensional illustrations were animated in a three dimensional space.

    The narrative of the web-series takes place during the chase of the serial killer of three victims mentioned in the sixth episode of the first season, “Return to Sender”. Each victim’s story is divided into two minute chapters.

    “Dexter: Early Cuts” aims to give a better understanding of the character’s complex reasoning and reveal the development of his sociopath behavior, progressively unveiled under the guardianship of this adoptive father Harry. Early Cuts explores Dexter’s beginnings and technical progression.


    Early Cuts : Dark Echo, a second season on the web

    This second season of the web-series Early Cuts came out in October 2010 during the San Diego Comic-Con. Written by Tim Schlattmann, the TV series’ co-producer, and illustrated by two artists with different graphic universes, Bill Sienkiewicz and David Mack, the story of this web-series begins just after Harry’s death, Dexter’s adoptive father.



    Structured in six chapters: “Early Cuts: Dark Echo” presents a young Dexter at the medical school where he studies anatomy. He’s confronted to a killer who’s copying him but without respecting his “code” to only target murderers. It’s the first time that Dexter is confronted to ethical doubts.


    Dexter Interactive Investigation : a real online investigation!

    And a real success! Online since late 2010, this interactive video module directly implemented on Youtube, allows people to play detective, taking on Dexter’s role. For those who don’t know it yet, it’s really worth a detour!




    Mini online and mobile games

    Dexter Body Bag Toss is based on the same principle as the game Yeti Sport. If you’ve practiced your penguin throwing skills in the last few years, you’ll understand what I mean.

    In this mini Flash game, Dexter is on his boat and your goal is to throw a garbage bag containing the pieces of his last victim as far as possible. The interest and gameplay is quite limited. But the fact that it’s based on a pre existing game model must have considerably diminished development costs.



    body bag toss


    The game Where’s Dexter is much more fun. After the Yeti game, you must have already played “Where’s Charlie?” The idea is similar, you must find Dexter in the middle of a crowd (since he always tries to be as discreet as possible and can easily find his prey). Available on Youtube, you must click directly in the video when you’ve spotted him to go to the next level.



    The Blood Spatter Analysis game will teach you to identify which weapons were used for a crime as well as Dexter.


    Blood spatter


    On IPhone (4,99€) and iPad (5,99€) you can take Dexter’s role in a 3D game. On your smartphone, you can also play a little game for free, where you have to put pieces of a photo of Dexter back into the right order (not revolutionary…) or, for 0,79€, you can take a little quiz about the series. Another application for fans, Dexter Insider Plus, is a database of the series, available for 2,39€.


    The Hunter Prey : the Dexter ARG

    For the launch of the 5th season of Dexter in the US, the producers created an ARG. During the 2010 San Diego Comic Con, Showtime unveiled the first elements of the game, including the installation of a very realistic crime scene, full of clues and clearly referring to Dexter’s universe.

    Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, mobile applications, mirror sites etc. were used in the following steps and all along in the investigation. The video below is a good summary of the game. Here, you’ll find some more info about the game in French, or you can go directly on the website of the ARG The Hunter Prey


    Social Networks

    A Facebook application: Dexter know the code is also based on quizzes, destined for fans of the series.
    Still on Facebook, a fan page administered by Showtime, with more than 7 500 000 fans worldwide…(not a bad start), also leads to an online shop of promotional products.

    Boutique dex



    The Twitter account , has no less than 105 000 followers, with frequently updated statuses allowing fans to follow all the series’ news.


    Street marketing in Madrid

    For the launch of season 4 in Spain, a street marketing campaign was set up in Madrid. It might be in bad taste, but nonetheless efficient. Discover it on video, the images speak for themselves…




    For fans looking for extra information

    An official Wiki of series fans is available on DexterWiki

    You can also discover the box containing all of Dexter’s victims blood samples, with complete information about each one.



    Boite dexter


    If you know of other elements of Dexter’s transmedia system, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments!

    Avatar Image

    author Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest

    Olivier Godest était Responsable de la Communication et des Formations pour le Transmedia Lab jusqu'en juillet 2011. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com Ana Vasile était rédactrice et assistante en charge des publications du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Social Reality Game – Concept


    by Aurélien Gaucherand et Cyril Huet , published on 29.03.2011

    Digital marketing aims to create an emotional connection between the image of a brand and its targets. A strong trend in 2011 to reach this goal, is the development of branded content, a brand produces content destined for an audience sharing a certain type of affinities or passions.

    In order to go beyond a simple buzz, this content has to be articulated around a narrative story (storytelling), developing audience loyalty to a program over the longer term. The concept of a web-series is an answer to this challenge.

    While writing such a web series on the theme of snow sports, we imagined a system using social gaming to transform a passive audience into one of active participants.

    This Social Reality Game (SRG) is played online, it allows its participants to have an influence on the script and the product content, almost live.



    Why use a Social Reality Game ? The goal is to recruit, develop loyalty and transform the passive audience into contributors and therefore ambassadors of the program.


    1) Make the content dynamic


    The production of branded video content is a big investment for brands and automatically generate strong expectations for the visibility incurred. No matter what the quality of a video of a series is, using the Internet as a simple broadcasting channel is a mistake, because Internet is not a broadcast media but a place of interactivity. The concept of Social Reality Game allows us to bring content to life.



    2) Stimulate the participative creation

    If the term “social media” is often used inappropriately, it takes on its true meaning when the community of users has a real impact on the media produced. The Social Reality Game’s (SRG) final editorial purpose is the creation of a social media – a participative media, where a part of the audience participates in the creative process of content production.

    3) Valuing the users

    Games mean prizes. The encouragement to participate is presented to users as a challenge where there will be finalists and winners. Of course, prizes are planned to reward the most active contributors. However, it’s through an editorial animation highlighting the contributing players, that the users will feel valued and want to become ambassadors of the project: the image of the project is now part of their personal image.

    Social Reality Game in a few lines


    The call: at the end of each episode, the actors of the web-series send out a call for script propositions for the following episodes. The suggestion: the users can make their propositions by publishing a comment under the video.

    The recommendation (sharing): for the propositions to make it to the shortlist of scripts that get passed on to the production team, it has to be evaluated by a system of votes by other members of the community. The system of votes retained is the Facebook “like”, allowing the propagation of this proposition on the social network. The user who makes this proposition will naturally share it on his Facebook profile, calling his network of friends to vote for him.

    Evaluation: each user can vote for several actions that he wants to see enacted.

    Shortlist: at the end of the script submission period, a list of scripts is passed on to the production team, who decides the ones that will appear in the next episode of the web-series. An alternative consists of integrating two propositions, one chosen by the production team and the other one being the “public vote”.

    Winners (those whose script was chosen) aren’t notified. The only way to know which actions were chosen is to view the next episode, during which the actors thank the winners, among other things. This active participation to the content of a media is already, in itself, a prize. The brand can also offer products to the winners: an original way of promoting its products with its new ambassadors.

    Benefits of the Social Reality Game

    Recruit ambassadors Speed up recommendation, Develop audience loyalty

    cercle-vertueux-social-reality-game Published by united-spirit.com The United Spirit Agency is producing an interactive web series project. Two professional free riders take a three months tour around the world, guided by the cybernauts immersed into a “social reality game”. This is the chance to strengthen the relations between your brand and a young audience, thanks to these authentic ambassadors. Discover the project presentation video here and contact us for more information: http://www.united-spirit.fr/contact



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    author Aurélien Gaucherand et Cyril Huet

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    Cross Video Days: multiplatform projects’ call for entries


    by Ana Vasile, published on 24.03.2011

    Cross Video Days, organized by MobilEvents, is positioned as a B2B gathering place for media professional, working in the video market on all formats and all platforms. On the 15 and the 16th June, the Medias, the brands and the producers will get together around multiplatform projects in order to propose new formats of programs.

    Crossmedia and Transmedia call for entries

    This is the first year when Cross Video Days is organizing a market allowing the cross/transmedia projects’ creators to meet potential financers and buyers. The inscriptions have started and no charge is demanded. You can freely propose your project here before the 26th April 2011, you may be selected to present it to media professionals and you have the opportunity to find financial partners that would eventually produce/diffuse your project.

    20 cross/transmedia projects (web documentaries, web fiction, WebTV, web series, ARG, transmedia…) will be chosen and presented to 10 European buyers specialized in one of the following fields: producers, diffusers, FAI, TV, mobile operators).

    The shortlisted projects’ advantages:
    - 200 one-to-one meetings will take place at the Stade de France’s private loges

    - All shortlisted projects will be pitched in the conference room in front of 300 professionals

    Early in May, a widely known professional jury will choose the 20 shortlisted projects: 10 in a developing stage and searching for financing and 10 already finished and searching for broadcasting partners. The jury will pay special attention to the project’s creativity and viability


    Once more, the Cross Video Days will gather the most important actors of cross and transmedia market. Forty international experts are invited to debate: what innovations or which business model?

    The Cross Video Days are as well an opportunity to extend your network or to develop your project. Breakfasts and cocktails are proposed on the 15th June starting from 7PM where all the participants are invited.  This is the occasion to meet in a friendly way the market’s decision-makers.

    You can sign in for Cross Video Days starting from now and take advantage of the Early Bird price (200 €) until 30 April (after you can purchase your ticket for 300€) More info here: www.crossvideodays.com

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transmedia Next : Advanced Training for Experienced Media Professionals


    by Sam Howey Nunn , published on 22.03.2011

    As the acclaimed course Transmedia Next returns to London 12- 14 April, they’re once more inviting participation from a range of industry bodies and professions. Run by world-renowned transmedia producers Lance Weiler and Anita Ondine, Transmedia Next gathers film, broadcasting, arts and marketing talent from across Europe.


    The course gathers a group of experienced media professionals with highly diversified skillsets; all of whom need to know each other, form new networks, and establish a framework for making their stories and businesses more transmedia- ready. Last year the range of professionals included directors, producers, marketing executives and brand agencies.

    As transmedia fast gains mainstream recognition in the film, broadcast, arts and marketing industries, new revenue streams and production strategies are on offer to those in the know.  Transmedia Next has been created to meet the challenges facing experienced media professionals and place them at the centre of the transmedia movement.


    Anita Ondine and Lance Weiler perform key roles as Instructors over the three days, alongside Inga Von Staden, media architect, coach and educator, and Jonathan Marshall, leading strategist in the field of interactive television.  Both Anita and Lance are globally- recognised thought- leaders in the transmedia movement.

    The curriculum is a carefully designed mix of theory, hands-on exercises and best practice methodologies, all focused on giving participants the tools to immediately go out and build transmedia programmes.

    Tickets cost £850 GBP/ €950 EURO for the full 3 days. They’re encouraging early registration as due to the hands-on nature of the course there are limited tickets which are selling fast.  Tickets can be bought at www.transmedianext.com/buy-tickets/

    You can find more information on the website: www.transmedianext.com. Contact Sam Howey Nunn on or to ask any questions or put yourself on the Transmedia Next mailing list.

    Sam Howey Nunn

    Event Producer: Transmedia Next



    skype: transmedia_next

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    author Sam Howey Nunn

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    Interview : Lance Weiler explaines his transmedia “Pandemic”


    by Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest , published on 17.03.2011

    Lance Weiler is known as a transmedia “story architect”: more than a story, with this new type of narrator, viewers get immersed into an abounding world, a true multiplatform universe.

    Acknowledged as a pioneer because of the way he makes and distributes his work, WIRED magazine named him “One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood” the author returns at Sundance with a short in the “New Frontier” section.

    Pandemic 1.0 is a fictional story on a virus that took the festival by storm. This universe unfolds itself through film, mobile, online, print and live events during 120 hours. Lance Weiler answered our questions on Pandemic 1.0, the transmedia experience he created for Sundance Festival.


    How would you pitch Pandemic story for Transmedia Lab readers ? What are the media involved in the narrative?

    A Pandemic has broken out at one of the largest film festivals in the world. People are starting to exhibit strange nocturnal behaviors and things are slipping into chaos. Together those online must work with people on the ground in Park City to stop the spread of the Pandemic. They have 120 hours to stop it and in the process save as many people as they can. The storyworld experience that I designed was intended to enable those not at the festival to be there.

    So people online could collaborate with people in the real world to accomplish the overall goal and the story was told via film, mobile, online, social gaming, data visualization, connected toys, hidden objects and real world experiences.

    Pandemic water

    You’ve mentioned in one filmed interview “the collective storytelling”: did you build Pandemic 1.0 as a collective story? How would you describe the design work ?  How did you manage to keep things together, to keep the unfolding narration true and respect the franchise property across media ?

    The design of Pandemic 1.0 took careful thought and planning. I wanted the storyworld to be expansive but at the same time design so each of the elements had a beginning, middle and end. It is important that a viewer / player can walk away with a whole emotional moment within the story. If I’m building compelling moments that emotional weight then I often find that it helps to establish the story bridges that I need to enable someone to move from one story element to the next. I look to design with layers of interactivity that allow a viewer / player to go as deep as they want. I work from a principal that I call the “bullet hole in glass” theory.

    In the center where the bullet hole would be is my singular vision for the story but as the glass cracks out I leave room for the audience to participate. Similar to the way software is developed with alpha and beta releases I want the audience to test it, to break it so then I can see in real-time what is working and what is not. The experience at Sundance was a story R&D (research and development) effort. I’m utilizing transmedia to enrich the stories I want to tell by putting them out into the world and testing them. We wrote software that enabled us to time shift elements and unlock parts of the storytelling based on the audiences’ actual interaction with the story.

    Pandemic central room

    Where do Pandemic’s universe roots come from ? Do you see a link with Cinemart (The Rotterdam Festival) winner HIM ?

    Pandemic was born out of HiM. The script for HiM came first and helped to establish the rules, feel, and look of the storyworld and then Pandemic was designed to take place at the beginning of the outbreak. Where is the script for HiM which is the feature film component of the world takes place ninety days into the outbreak. So we worked backwards which help us to inform the whole storyworld.

    Engaging the audience is a key element of your storytelling practice: what levers did you use to engage the audience in Pandemic ?

    I’ve found that if you place the stakes on the table meaning that the audience understands that they are working against a degree of odds that tends to be an amazing way to get them engaged. So in the case of the design for Pandemic 1.0 I worked a 120 hour time limit into the game design. It was a race against the clock which ended up getting the audience very excited to participate.

    The other design element which provided to be an excellent engagement driver was releasing 50 Nexus S phones that we’re NFC enabled into the wild. They we’re placed in bio hazard bags and distributed with hand cranks to keep them charged. They were passed from person to person. Along the way people took photos and shot video - creating a whole real-time document of the festival. I’ve found that people like stories about people. So capturing that element was well received.

    How would you qualify the outcome of Pandemic 1.0? What does this project bring you from a creative point of view ?

    It was a major success for a number of reasons. It gave me a chance to explore the storyworld with a test audience which was quite large.  I was able to work with actors and develop some interesting ways to script and shoot within a live environment like Sundance. It’s interesting to note that while most filmmakers were at the festival in search of distribution I was using it as a testing ground for a storyworld. There is nothing better than playing with an actual group of players getting to do research and development in a real world environment. And as we gear up to take it to a major museum in New York City I’ll continue to refine the experience and test new methods and UX design.

    Pandemic at Sundance

    Lance Weiler is one of the Lead Instructors and co-Founder of the Transmedia Next training programme being run in London, 12-14 April 2011. Attending Transmedia Next will give experienced media professionals the added knowledge to develop their transmedia projects using industry best practice tools and techniques. For more information, visit www.transmedianext.com.

    Lance Weiler is one of the cofounders of the collaborative Workbook Projet and runs the Seize the Media team. Complementary information on this transmedia pioneer is available on his website.

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    author Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest

    Olivier Godest était Responsable de la Communication et des Formations pour le Transmedia Lab jusqu'en juillet 2011. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com Ana Vasile était rédactrice et assistante en charge des publications du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Clem, the TF1’s fiction returns to transmedia


    by Olivier Godest, published on 15.03.2011

    During our several conferences and courses, we had often spoken about the first episode of the   Clem series aired on TF1 in 2010. Actually, it showcases the success of a French fictional series that had the courage to approach a mechanism we could qualify as « transmedia ».

    After a first successful trial, three new episodes will start on March 21st. Caroline Maret, the Transmedia Content Development Executive at TF1’s French Fiction Direction, presents us the evolution of the series’ transmedia mechanism.

    9,5 millions viewers and  2,5 millions cybernauts have already been conquered by Clem in 2010 and starting a few weeks ago, they can already discover what’s happening next to their favorite character, thanks’ to the new Clem blog, available on the official TF1.fr website. The audience could equally follow Clem on MyTF1, on the iPhone and iPad application as well as on Facebook, TF1 Vision and on their dedicated channel on WAT.tv. Finally, TF1 Publishing is proposing as well a short-novels book that should be published on March 23rd and TF1 Vidéo is launching a full Clem DVD pack on the April 6th.


    Caroline, could you present the multi-screens mechanism you have designed for the next episodes?

    We’ve just announced the airing of the second season of Clem (3x90min) starting from Monday 21 March at 20h45, but the story has already resumed since the 7th February on  www.leblogdeclem.com and www.tf1.fr/clem.

    For the second season, we developed Clem’s blog into a social media: Clem is inviting the other series’ characters (his high school friends and her little sister) to post their videos and comments to their everyday life (the new baby, choosing a godmother, the final exam, the holydays, the nights out, the new girlfriend of her baby’s father, and so on).

    Each week is organized around a new plot and the cybernaut can interact by posting his comments, his “likes” or by answering weekly quizzes (“In your opinion, who would make the best godmother?” “Should we accept Lena on the blog?”, “After you, would Hicham be able to face Clem’s challenge?).

    In the same time, on TF1.fr weekly teasers illustrate the narrative plots happening on the blog just to help users create their own opinions (for instance “between Clem and Julien… there is Léna !” is the teaser that helped them choose if Lena should be accepted by Clem on the blog or not). We decided to host the blog on the TF1.fr website (and no longer on the overblog) in order to give it a better visibility and to grow the bouncing between the TV channel teasers and the web series.

    The audience can equally follow Clem’s videos on all ours platforms (My TF1, TF1 IPhone and IPad applications, the dedicated channel on Wat.tv), they can exchange with us and the entire website fan community « fans de Clem » on Facebook and they have, as well, access on TF1 Vision at Clem’s 1st season.


    Starting from the 21st March, the audience will be able to follow, during 3 weeks, the series on TV. Each broadcasting evening, the audience will be invited through a rebound (aired on the TV channel and redirecting viewers to the web), to discover an unseen sequence that’s extending the broadcasting experience. During the following week, the cybernaut can watch, free of charge, the entire episode as a rerun, and discover the next’s episode, just as well as other bonuses (deleted scenes, making of, interviews…). The user could easily access the other characters reactions on the aired plot and he can express his own comments on Clem’s blog and on Facebook.

    The aired episodes will be equally available on download on TF1 Vision as well as 3 games (on Facebook, TF1.fr and Wat.tv) that will allow participants to win a Clem DVD pack  and the books signed by Lucie Lucas.


    As a “connected web series”, is the second episode brining some innovations in comparison with the first episode?

    The innovation of the second episode is essentially a new writing, directing and production point of view, more than a technological innovation. Excepting the digital development necessary for transforming Clem’s blog into a social platform and to host it on the TF1.fr website, which was in fact a real progress from the last year’s form, we have co-written, co-directed and co-produced (with Merlin Production and L’autre Prod) a web series lasting 10 weeks (6 weeks before broadcasting + 3 of air-time + 1 week after broadcasting). Each week brings a new narrative arch, new daily videos through 8 different characters (Clem, Alizée, Gladys, Hicham, Salomé, Lena, Julien, and off course the user’s comments).


    Which are the different types of audience you wish to reach by each media?

    As you have already seen, Clem is a multimedia program (broadcasted on all our platforms) but the transmedia writing of this precise example, Clem 2, it concerns only the TV broadcasting, Clem’s blog, TF1.fr and Facebook.

    Clem is destined to reach all type of audiences, while the main core of our target is the woman responsible for household purchasing; the transmedia mechanism is mainly directed at 15-24 years old women.


    Regarding the fan’s community, have you managed to keep the contact with the same users? How did you handle the relationship with them during the hiatus?

    After the first season’s finale, Clem’s blog and the fan page on Facebook (that brought an average of 2000 supplementary fans each month during the hiatus) were active. We kept the contact with a core of fans that continued searching information on the next events on Clem and exchange around it (by the way, we reached an audience peak in September and January because the cybernauts were checking if the season 2 is launched). We stayed in contact with this core of fans by posting news (information on the production) and some videos (Lucie Lucas’ video answer to cybernauts’ questions asked on TF1&Vous, the cast’s best-whishes video).


    On the 7th February, we started the mechanism for the second season (announced in a press projection, accompanied by a press release regarding the transmedia mechanism, created on our platforms, and the activation of the social network).

    To insure the natural flow of cybernauts from Clem’s blog to the new Clem’s social network on TF1.fr, we kept the name “blog de Clem” and we created an “URL automatic redirection” from www.leblogdeclem.com to the dedicated page on TF1.fr

    The TF1 & Vous team (that manages the proximity operations) organized a B2C sneak-preview of the first episode of the second season in the TF1’s auditorium where we reserved some seats for our Facebook fans.


    Was the community’s feedback integrated into the narrative development of the TV episode (for instance the fans’ choice of godmother)?

    The success of the first season of Clem’s blog motivated us to integrate it in the second season’s broadcasting episodes (the blog is seen in most of the TV episodes, when Clem’s character is updating it). By contrast, the first season’s dispositive wasn’t conceived in order to give us the possibility to integrate the users’ reactions into the second season. Today, Clem’s social network allows a far better communication with the viewers, more oriented towards the content and thus giving us a far clearer image of what they’re expecting, hope, or love … on the program’s evolution. This has become a materiel that we keep on defining step by step and that we wish to explore in order to give the audience a global experience.


    During the launching of the transmedia mechanism, the 7th February, Laurent Storch, TF1’s Program Director declared: “Clem is the emblem of a new generation of French fiction. This series is showcasing a contemporary young woman. It seemed logical to propose her adventures adaptable on every type of channel, in order to converge towards the event that will take place, soon, on the TF1 air-time. This mechanism allows the French fiction audience to widen, a fact that could only make us happy»

    And Olivier Abecassis, General Director at e-TF1 added: “After Clem’s success, and the web declinations for “Un Mari de trop”, TF1 is emerging into the media synergy through stories adapted to each media. We wish to give life to the Clem brand, beyond TV broadcasting and to offer our audience a global experience that starts a few weeks before the airing and that keeps on going after the last episode is aired, on different Medias”

    That’s good news for the French fiction, in general! After these two interesting first tests (Clem’s first season and Un Mari de trop), the fact that TF1 insists on developing transmedia programs is a proof that the French audiovisual market is  evidently  in an evolution process. By adopting this multi-screens mechanism starting from the writing phase, the creation becomes very promising and it will be, as I hope, an inspiration for our writers, producers and channels.

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    The Blair Witch Project, a transmedia reference ?

    the blair witch project

    by Olivier Godest, published on 10.03.2011

    We often look for a reference project in terms of transmedia storytelling. It’s hard to find this rare gem that mixes different media, independently of one another; relying on participation and interaction; all of this with a limited budget and a success story.

    It would seem that this reference could very well be a film that came out more than 10 years ago: The Blair Witch Project.

    Cleverly mixing fiction and reality, the film’s crew had fun exploiting the specific qualities of each media to better immerse us into their universe.



    On October 21st 1994, three cinema students disappear in a forest near Burkittsville in Maryland as they’re filming a documentary on the Blair Witch.

    A year later, their video footage is discovered on the site of their disappearance…it’s the film projected to the audience: “The Blair Witch Project”.

    But is this found video the re-transcription of a real documentary or a fiction ? Are these three students really dead ?




    Horror film – 86 minutes


    Haxan Films


    Promoting the release of the film in theatres by playing on the ambiguity of the “real/fake documentary” to anchor the audience’s feeling of fear.



    January 25th 1999 : The film is presented for the first time during the Sundance film festival.

    July 16th 1999: First theatrical release in the US (27 theatres)

    A website is dedicated to the film also exists (it presents the “Blair Witch file” in a realistic way and purposefully plays on the ambiguity: “is it a film or a real documentary?”)

    July 30th 1999: Amazing success of the film, particularly thanks to viral marketing developed on the Internet.

    National release on the whole American territory (800 theaters in the second week, 1 100 in the third)


    A marketing strategy at the heart of the system

    The success of the “Blair Witch Project” heavily relies on the Internet site developed in parallel. The idea of this platform was to suggest that the film was the re-transcription of a real event. We are indeed talking about the “suggestion” and not a “lie”. At no time did the crew of the film say that it wasn’t a fiction…but they let the doubt float.

    Eduardo Sanchez, the director of the film, had thought about this system beforehand, he imagined this site as the last link of the Blair Witch “experience”.

    After its first presentation in January 1999, during the Sundance film festival, the film prepared its release in 27 theatres in the US. At that time, no poster, no advertisement, but a 15 000$ budget to create a website: www.blairwitch.com

    The crew of the film then worked with Artisan Entertainment, a small distribution company. The marketing director, John Hegemen, didn’t have an advertizing budget so he decided to rework the Internet site created by the directors.

    More and more spectators went to see the film, the directing style was surprising (over the shoulder, intimate camera, minimal image treatment, we really felt like we were discovering the “real” film of these three students). This original way of filming intrigued audiences, rumors began on the internet (a very efficient media for this, since the information that circulates there is not controlled): “Finally…is it really a fiction?”

    Some said they could confirm that the images of the film were taken from real documents, the three students really did exist…collective imagination is often more powerful than we can imagine !

    To find answers to these questions, one of the audience’s privileged destinations was, of course, the Blair Witch site, where they discovered a series of fake elements of proof echoing the film. Nothing was presented as real proof, but it fed the rumor.

    Nice evolution ! We were not on a promotional website but truly in a continuation of the narrative universe. The website contained police reports, excerpts from one of the character’s diary or an interview of the mourning parents. Each week, new elements were added to the website. Expectations were stirred up, online discussions were going strong and the audience enjoyed working up their imagination.




    The rumor increased! Those who didn’t see the film started hearing about it more and more, word of mouth started to spread. Two weeks later, the “Blair Witch” phenomenon had taken over the US, it came out on the whole territory.

    The website of the film experienced audience peaks of up to 3 million connections a day and it registered more than 75million visits…

    To wrap things up, the distribution company, Artisan, managed to sign a deal with the Science Fiction channel (The Sci Fi Channel) to help finance the “Curse of the Blair Witch”, another fake documentary. This one didn’t have dialogue or cost very much, it was created by the two directors from their location scouting footage. Airing the evening before the film’s release, this documentary beat all the channel’s audience records.


    One of the first examples of Community Management applied to a movie

    To find its audience, the film’s crew played on the illusion of reality. The directing style led us to believe that the three students really existed and they really created this “documentary”.

    The website maximized that impression by showing annex documents, intended to reinforce a truncated version of the truth (the film was never “officially” presented like a real documentary).

    The rumors created by this ambiguity started a word of mouth effect, feeding online discussions, communities started forming to find answers to these questions. The media chain took hold of the phenomenon, creating a powerful echo.

    We also discovered the first steps of community management around the film’s release. The “Blair Witch” crew began by targeting the witchcraft community on the Internet. Its members appropriated themselves the concept, and didn’t hesitate to develop a network of online links leading to the official Internet website, today, we would talk about a very efficient natural referencing strategy.

    A few punctual operations were also developed on American campuses, destined for students, through the exhibition of “found objects” or the distribution of flyers to find the three missing students.




    Mixed reactions but the results are there

    The reaction of the audience was mixed: some said it was genius, others denounced scandalous marketing. But the objective aspect of this article and hindsight allow for a less passionate analysis, overall, the “Blair Witch Project” was a real success.

    Nobody is unanimous, but, in this age of Internet, wouldn’t the worst thing for a film be to create nothing but indifference? The” Blair Witch” crew made a real coup in the film industry (65 000$ production costs for 140 000$ box office revenue during the summer of 1999, a return on investment that had never been seen before).

    The management of the online community was also a success (communities engaging in the promotion of the film, fans creating numerous sites to resolve the film’s mysteries).

    More traditional media also participated in its success, relaying the “buzz” and rounding out a well thought out system by reaching a mass audience, led by a more targeted audience; success feeding success.



    One of the answers to “where is the border that allows us to play between reality and fiction” is probably right here: interrogation and doubt are often much stronger than the answers that we can bring to them. And there lies the whole difficulty between hiding the truth, lying and playing on the ambiguity at stake.

    In the case of a horror film like this one, the gratification for the audience also comes from this ambiguity that multiplies the feeling of fear (which is often the goal in this type of film) if spectators let themselves get carried away by the idea that all this “might be” true.

    Nowadays, nobody is surprised by the idea of a website linked to the promotion of a Hollywood film, but the strategy of the “Blair Witch” crew is still ahead of many recent productions. Why ? Because Eduardo Sanchez and Artisan Distribution thought of the marketing system as a prolongation of the initial narrative: less intrusive, more impacting and mostly, more engaging for a thrill seeking audience.« We had created this whole mythology and I just kept massaging it and building more details into it. Really for us, it wasn’t about creating this whole new way of marketing films – people are on the web asking about this movie, how else are we going to get it to them ? » Eduardo Sanchez © BBC News

    Doubts, questions, rumors, a strong subject, additional content, renewal of information (fake information): an ideal ground to prepare the release of a horror film, which will undoubtedly remain a very good example to prepare future transmedia works.



    Today, a part of the Blair Witch crew has created a marketing agency called Campfire…I strongly suggest taking a look at their work if you don’t already know about it!


    Audience satisfaction Capture d’écran 2011-02-15 à 13.33.11

    The facts are there, the success of the film no longer has to be proven. We can conclude that the audience was rather satisfied by the Blair Witch experience; even if though there was also a lot of dissention (which is not always a bad thing), it remains a film that undoubtedly left its mark.


    Creativity Capture d’écran 2011-02-15 à 13.33.18

    The Blair Witch project has a lot of points in common with The Last Broadcast, a Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler project that came out in 1998. But we can also think of Cannibal Holocaust, shot in 1978. The format is also a fictional documentary. The marketing of the film was based on the real of fictional disappearance of the film’s journalists (back in the day, the director was even accused of having filmed real murder scenes).

    The format had already existed, but it also inspired many films such as Rec or Cloverfield.


    Ingenuity of the system Capture d’écran 2011-02-15 à 13.33.11

    If we compare it with today’s means, the online strategy wasn’t very expanded. But it remains very clever. Development of the website for 15 000$ (very little for the time), more than 75 000 visits, a amazing result, especially for 1999. A community management strategy that was limited but precise, to create a base of ambassadors, who were the spearheads of the film’s promotion (referencing, link exchange, word of mouth, etc)


    ROI (Return on Investment) Capture d’écran 2011-02-15 à 13.32.54

    65 000$ production costs, 140 million $ box office revenue during the summer of 1999. Who can do better?

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    Mad Men : fan-fiction on Twitter


    by Ana Vasile, published on 8.03.2011

    Matthew Weiner spoke at “Forum des images” in Paris about the conception of Mad Men, in front of about a hundred of French fans. The film writer admitted it took him five years just to write the first episode. A few years later, the series becomes a phenomenon with an international fan’s community that keeps creating content starting from the Mad Men universe. But did the series producers know how to handle their fan’s creativity?

    The series writing style is still classic and linear. The creator and the producer (AMC a small American network) seem not to be interested in the extremely rich transmedia potential of Mad Men universe.  We have already debated the « Sterling’s Gold » book here and the deception it caused amongst the fan’s community.

    If the transmedia Grail is the fans’ engagement, extending on the web the life of fictional characters can be a solution to increase the viewers’ implication. For instance, CBS is extending « How I Met You’re Mother » with Barney’s blog and account, CWTV is mixing reality and fiction through the « Gossip Girl » blog. In France, TF1 launched in 2010 the first « connected » fiction by using the social Medias to keep a constant contact between the fans and the star character of the series, we explained the mechanism here.

    The Mad Men controversy on Twitter

    Soon after the second season of Mad Men is aired, some fans created Twitter accounts for each of their favorite Mad Men characters and kept on tweeting under their identity for months. Most of their followers simply assumed that AMC was behind this operation. Thousands of fans followed the everyday life of @Peggy_Olson or @BettyDraper. In the end, these twitter account creators (that were actually just fans) never made any interpretation mistake and followed religiously the series’ story. Even more, they communicated with each other in order to give a better sense of authenticity to their practice.


    AMC asked then Twitter to reveal the identity of these mysterious people managing the accounts, admitting that the accounts were not the producer’s initiative and that the company had no control on this extension of the characters.  Even more, this accounts’ creation was interpreted as a Copyright violation of the Mad Men brand owned by AMC.

    Under the protection of the American digital Copyright law () the tweets were considered as unauthorized fan-fiction and qualified as Copyright violation. Henry Jenkins described as well the Mad Men Twitter choir as but he emphasized the beneficial aspect of increasing the fans’ engagement.

    From that point on, the Mad Men Twitter accounts are being suspended, an actions that brings up the bloggers’ and thousands of followers’ indignation. That obvious deception is heard through and different . AMC decided to follow the advice of their web marketing agency, Deep Focus, and cancels the suspension demand for the « fake twitter », the fan-creators come back with a manifesto: We are Sterling Cooper and keep on playing the characters they have chosen, created and developed.

    As an example of AMC’s bad management of this phenomenon, Michael Bissell, expert in Internet marketing and @Roger_Sterling on Twitter, confessed here that he was never contacted by the series’ creators and that all his efforts to bring to life Sterling’s character are driven by his pure adoration for the series.

    Mad Men

    The creator of @Peggy_Olson account wins in 2009 the Twitter Shorty Award for the best content producer, in only 140 characters. It’s quite astonishing to see that she won the advertising award even though, she started the account as a fan and she never had an official contract signed with AMC. It seems that AMC missed out on this opportunity to meet the fans, and they ignored how to make the best out of their fan’s content producing.
    After studying this « Twitter-drama » I can’t stop myself from asking: do the producers have to allow fans to create and manage fictional characters’ accounts on social media?  Is this a danger for the narrative universe or is just an opportunity to increase the audience’s engagement?

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    The three-screen Oscars

    Oscar Natalie-Portman

    by Ana Vasile, published on 3.03.2011

    ABC, the exclusive Academy Awards broadcaster, registered an audience of almost one billion viewers worldwide. The 2011 Oscars brought a technological novelty in order to enhance the audience’s experience. ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences created an unprecedented “three-screen” (TV, mobile and internet) mechanism that gives access to behind-the-scenes content.


    All Access and 360 camera for the cybernaut

    On Oscar.com, the Oscars’ official website, the cybernaut was invited to get into an event director’s shoes: « This red carpet event has a new director – you. » Multiples cameras with 360 perspective were installed all along the « red carpet », that’s how the user could glaze at his own rhythm at the actresses there and their gowns.

    During the show, the cybernauts could pick their favorite angle between 15 cameras installed in the Kodak Theater, obtaining this way a continuous access to backstage and live-stream. ABC used the same mechanism to broadcast on the internet the highlights of Governor’s Ball. Oscar All Access is not conceived as a free service. The access is to this content costs $4.99.

    Backstage Pass: iPhone and iPad app

    The same content, with the exception of panoramic cameras, is available on iPhone and iPad app « Oscar Backstage » for $0.99. The app was available before the event and was frequently updated with videos and nominees information. During the show, the iUsershad the possibility to watch the red carpet events, the ceremony’s highlights, on scene moments as well as backstage content.

    Oscar app iPhone

    The technology changes the experience

    One of the spokespersons of Oscar.com, emphasized on the importance of these two services, not for replacing the TV experience but to enhance it “both the Backstage app and Oscar All Access are designed to be a companion to the TV broadcast and offer insider access to enhance the experience as opposed to replacing it”. The will to broadcast independent content on both screens give a transmedia touch to the Oscar All Acces mechanism: it’s still possible that someone not watching the broadcast would still be able to follow the action on stage.

    The Oscars broadcast experience was enhanced by the instantaneous comments on Twitter, by following the hashtag This year, the Super Bowl already proved the efficiency of multiple screen usage and of in engaging the public, by reaching the highest ratings since 1987 with 106.5 million viewers.

    Oscar Backstage Pass

    Meanwhile, the internet is flooded with informative about the Oscars; for example Livestream.com and AP are partners on their own live stream on the event. Others companies like MTV and PopSugar will cover the red carpet and the backstage events.  Bottom of line, Oscar.com doesn’t hold the exclusivity on the Oscars’ stream.

    The ABC’s initiative to multiply the screens in order to enhance the viewers’ experience is appreciable, but the fact that they decided to charge the access to this service in somehow questionable. If the purpose of three-screen experience is to attract a bigger audience, one that is normally less reachable on TV, by proposing a subscription service didn’t the producers restrained its efficiency?

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transmedia at EMMY Awards


    by Ana Vasile, published on 1.03.2011

    Cannes will host, on the 4th April, the International EMMY Awards, rewarding digital entertaining programs’ production and direction. The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences acknowledges the programs’ exceptional quality throughout three EMMY categories: Digital Program: Children & Young People, Digital Program: Fiction and Digital Program: Non-Fiction. Only the programs produced by companies based outside the United States entered into this competition.


    More and more creative projects made by producers using new media are receiving recognition for their efforts at international festivals like the EMMY Awards.  After « The Truth about Marika, » the 2008 Digital EMMY Award winner, this year we discover listed between the nominees the multi-platform project « Conspiracy for Good. » The producer, Company P is counting its second nominalization at EMMY Awards, after winning in 2008 the International Interactive EMMY with « The Truth About Marika. »


    The 6th edition of the Digital EMMY Awards nominates, for the first time, two programs produced in Arabic countries. In the Digital Fiction category we find the transmedia project « Conspiracy for Good », that we already presented here, directly competing with a Lebanese project « Shankaboot » : an interactive web series produced by Batoota, a production company based in Beirut, and BBC World Service Trust, the BBC’s international development division  specialized in independent local medias based in Asia, Africa or Europe.

    « Shankaboot », the first web series produced in Arabic, is already at its 4th season. Three friends: a delivery boy, his best friend and a young aspiring-singer are being involved into Beirut’s social problems. The web series creators are using internet as the distribution platform and the social Medias as a constant contact with their audience. In order to give fans the chance to express themselves, the producers organized a series of workshops where they asked their young audience to create other videos as a response to the narrative universe of the web series. Even more, « Shankaboot’s » fans can now choose the next season’s topic.


    « Tilki », a Turkish interactive program, produced by Zorzanaat Production is nominated as a premiere in the Digital Program: Children & Young People category. On the other hand, TV Globo from Brazil is confirming its status of quality program creator with two nominalizations: one in the Digital Fiction section with « The Voices of Araguaia » a participatory documentary on the Araguaia region in Rio, and in the Digital Non-Fiction section with the feature « Globo Amazonia: The Geoglyphs » focused on the discovery of a new geoglyphs site in Amazonia. The feature was broadcasted on Globo Amazonia, the informative on-line platform created by Globo.

    Géoglyphes Amazonie

    The project, « The Voices of Araguaia » is broadcasted on this web-site and presents the Araguaia region throughout his habitants’ testimonials just to enhance the communication mechanism of “Araguaia“soap-opera, produced by Globo under the direction of Marcos Schechtman, the 2009 Grammy Awards winner with « India a love story ».

    In order to choose the finalists, more than 600 television experts are selected every year by the Academy’s EMMY Committee. Is mandatory for the jury’s members to have at least five years of field experience in production, writing, directing, distribution or casting. The jury’s panel is widened to different nationalities, « for a better representation of international trends » according to the Academy’s members.

    We send our best wishes to all of the nominees; who keep on showing us that the quality of a program is not directly linked to the television media. We will report after the 4th April an update with the results.

    Here you can find the complete nominees lists for each section.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Transmedia and web trends by Web Television Observer’s creators


    by Sandra Albertolli et Dan Benzakein , published on 24.02.2011

    After the recent launching of a new French blog focused on the new media and web trends, Sandra Albertolli and Dan Benzakein, the two creators of webtelevisionobserver.com, share with us their vision of transmedia, they talk about their blog and announce their previsions of 2011’s web trends.

    1. You’ve just launched webtelevisonobserver.com. Can you briefly present it ?

    It’s a news website where we showcase and explore original web contents. We focus on the notion of programming (not viral or one-off videos), content that has recurring features and attempts to build an audience over time. Like standard television shows, web programs can be categorized in three major sections: fiction (web series, interactive adventures), informative programs (web documentaries, magazines, news shows) and entertainment (talk shows, games, reality shows).

    Faced with an overwhelming quantity of programs produced for the web, it’s obviously difficult to be exhaustive. We chose to focus on quality programs that make sense with their medium and are innovative in their relation with the audience.  On Web Television Observer, you’ll find a selection of original web programs and content websites from all over the world, interviews with entertainment insiders who are reinventing their trade (from writing to production, from distribution to marketing), and a few thoughts about how the web is redefining television.


    2. Why did you launch this blog ? What are your goals ?

    Over the past two years, we have witnessed an exponential growth in original web content and seen that online audiences crave for quality. Our goal is to showcase the development of an international market for these programs. We wanted to share some of  the best initiatives in web originals, an industry at the crossroads between television, cinema and video games.  We also wanted to provide some space for experts willing to share their experience, for a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this market.

    Like every emerging market, it starts out pretty chaotic. Every key actor (creators, producers, distributors, advertising agencies/media and clients) expresses different needs: measuring the state of the offer and the public demand, finding new concepts, defining distribution strategies, establishing new business models or building partnerships. We made Web Television Observer and Web Television Database, our original web content database, to help the entertainment industry gain insights on this market.

    3. Can you depict your vision of the transmedia and explain how will you develop this subject throughout your blog ?

    Over the past months, transmedia has become a favorite buzzword across the web, at the risk of being often misinterpreted. Most of today’s multiple-media projects ring more like “cross-media”, “360”, franchises or spin-offs. Transmedia, in its literal sense (a narrative universe created for and delivered across several media), is still largely experimental, because it lacks practicioners, budgets and business models. An original transmedia creation can be a risky project, as its narrative complexity requires vision and a perfect knowledge of each medium. That might explain why Hollywood studios are more comfortable churning out spin-offs of popular franchises. Another point that is key to us in a transmedia project is its capacity to keep its promise of a richer experience for the viewers.


    The most important media in a transmedia project may be the user, at the center of the whole experience.  It’s a paradigm that video games designers know well, even if they have been pretty quiet on the transmedia scene, with the exception of Eric Viennot, who since In Memoriam (2003) has been working on what he dubs “total fiction”. Let’s hope 2011 will give us the opportunity to see a transmedia project targeted to the wider audiences.

    On Web Television Observer, we’ll try to approach the subject just as we would with any type of content… its formal quality, its capacity to entertain, to deliver, to engage the audience and make sense with each of the media used.


    4. Which are, in your opinion, the main trends for 2011 regarding new storytelling writing, financing and distribution ?

    The key trend in web content is the elevation of quality: production value and talent are now on par with television. The web is more and more popular with creators who usually work in film and television, who see it as a territory of artistic freedom and as a way to connect direclty with their audience.

    In terms of writing, web content still mimics television’s proven hits: short fiction and reality shows. Not to mention the countless cooking shows (OD of the year, hands down). It’s disappointing, because there are opportunities for original contents – even niche – and audiences for shows ignored by the networks. The web also has its own cultures, languages and forms, that have started to reshape audiovisual creation. Storytelling techniques will continue to evolve with the web’s underlying technologies, themselves in perpetual update. If recent documentaries have extended the narrative possibilities offered by the web, interactivity hasn’t spread that much to fiction. Perhaps because, at times, the Internet user likes to be a couch potato, just like any other…

    In terms of financing and business models, potential sources abound. Today’s answer lies in a mix of sources: advertising, sponsoring, product placement, sales of distribution and adaptation rights, private and public funds, subscription, donation, crowdfunding, VOD or DVD. The traditional entertainment industry is also facing direct competition from online pure players (AOL, Yahoo and YouTube), who intend to play a major role in the production and distribution of premium and original content.


    Regarding distribution, there is an increasing trend in strategic distribution partnerships with different labels and platforms. Destination websites, too, are on the rise (hulu, Tudou) and each studio now has its own web studio (Sony’s Crackle or Disney’s Stage 9). Among other notable trends, more web programs are now crossing over to television (Web Therapy on Showtime, Mes Colocs on MCM).

    It’s quite interesting to look at how some networks are steadily integrating the web into their television shows to boost user loyalty; perhaps most impressive is the way MTV feeds web content back into its live shows (Video Music Awards), a sign of how social tomorrow’s television will be: built on audience feedback, intertwined with social media. Another major player to watch in this rapidly-evolving market is YouTube, who has recently expanded to feature films, live events, series, and is slowly venturing into premium programming. However, this new take on television still needs to adapt to the specificity of the web : its complexity and very own sense of time and space.


    About Web Television Observer

    Story Factory’s team:
    Dan is a digital native involved in online environments since 1983. He has worked over 15 years in the entertainment industry (film, music, web), specializing in content design and distribution, as well as online communities. After 10 years as programmer of 4 major film festivals in France (Deauville, Avoriaz, Cognac, Gérardmer), Dan worked 5 years as an independent music producer, before founding extralab, an interactive agency with a focus on content & community building..

    Prior to Story Factory, Sandra spent 3 years as head of advertising at Dailymotion (the leading European video sharing site), in charge of media sales, sponsorship and branded content. She has an extensive background in media (10 years at Carat TV and Carat Digital) and was a pioneer in working with creative & influential talent online (she founded Influence, the first French network of bloggers & online content creators, in 2004).

    Twitter :

    Facebook : http://on.fb.me/ggzRFt


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    author Sandra Albertolli et Dan Benzakein

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    A new transmedia workshop starting the 28 february 2011

    Capture d’écran 2011-06-23 à 12.09.18

    by Olivier Godest, published on 23.02.2011

    The workshop “Transmédia : juridical and economical ” invites you at his opening session on Monday 28th February, from 6 to 9PM, at Bibliothèque de l’Ordre des avocats, stair  A of the Palais de Justice, 4 boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris.

    This workshop is started by Francine Choay-Besançon, the director of FLF Media, a production company, co-hosted with Maître Christine Allan de Lavenne, advocate at the Paris Bar and organized with the help of The Association for the Development of Juridical Informatics (ADIJ).

    The Cap Digital and Juriscom associations, the Gilles Vercken and NGO advocacy cabinets are as well partners of this initiative.

    This workshop is a discussion and exchange platform on the different juridical and economical issues reveled by Transmedia. Its vocation is to identify the answers existent as well as identifying the necessary evolution.

    Inscriptions at Miss Aurélia PORRET:

    The Transmedia Lab’s team will have the pleasure to be one the speakers of this workshop, with Nicolas Brunet’s and Olivier Godest’s participation on the following section : “Transmedia and economical issues”

    Discover the manifestation’s schedule in the first workshop’s newsletter downloadable at http://adij-transmedia.fr

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    Ankama’s MaxiMini: a mini transmedia project


    by Ana Vasile, published on 22.02.2011

    Conceived and produced by Ankama, a French digital creative group already familiar with transmedia projects notably for Dofus and Wakfu, MaxiMini spreads through four chapters and four different media.

    MaxiMini’s story is directly inspired from the Ankama’s comics’ universe, themselves issued from the Dofus MMORPG.

    The two main characters are Remingtonand Maskemane, two opponent brothers. Remington’s character, designed by Adriàn, makes his first appearance on the 15th December 2010, followed by Maskemane on the 15th February 2011, a Zhifeng Xu aka XZF creation. Both are the main character in a comic distributed bimonthly for 3.50 €.

    In MaxiMini these two characters fight together through different media: a comic published in the French DofusMag magazine, an online game and a cartoon soon to be aired on France 3. This little transmedia story will find its conclusions at the Ankama Convention #6, at Lille on the 5th and 6th March.



    The adventure of our two heroes starts in a comic issued in the 20th DofusMag. The Roublards, an imaginary nation living in the Dofus universe, is robbed of its five trophies (some magical weapons). That’s when Maskemane and Remington start a dangerous journey hoping to get back the weapons and find the guilty party.

    The story unravels itself on the internet through an interactive comic and an online game. Saturday, the 26th February, after the first episode of the second season of Wakfu is being aired, the MaxiMini story will continue with an eight minute cartoon.

    To avoid losing the audience that missed out the first chapter, the producers created on the MaxiMini website a chaptered summary, useful for the cybernauts joining the adventure later on! The team in-charge with this project’s creation and production explains here their creation process and their inspiration sources.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Sortane : a web series based on an ARG


    by Ana Vasile, published on 17.02.2011

    Sortane is a web series produced by NNProd and an alternate reality game (ARG) whose launching is planned for March 2011.

    Synopsis: Remi takes part in an alternate reality game with his friends Melanie and Romain. But when game and reality get confused, their survival will depend on who is leading the game…

    The starting point of the web series is Remi’s arrival in an abandoned park to finish his ARG, his goal: to find a girl who has disappeared. The narrative thread unravels over the course of nine episodes, written and directed to be watched chronologically.


    It’s also where the ARG begins for Internet users who wish to participate in this adventure. The particularity of this game is the ambiguity between fiction and reality, since the internet user participates in the same ARG as the characters in the web series. If you want to participate, you can start here.


    The editorial coherence of Sortane is insured through a collaboration between Charly Lemega and Vincent Sawicki, who shared the creation and production of the whole system.

    While you wait for the first shows to come out, you can see the series’ trailer here.

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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Tron : Legacy an inspiration for the fans


    by Ana Vasile, published on 14.02.2011

    Trough our researches for our Case Study: Tron in transmedia we discovered a creative fan’s community very active in her effort to bring to life the Tron : Legacy universe.  Here’s our selection of most impressive fan’s art.

    The Light Cycle does exist

    A Florida based bike shop created a replica of the Tron : Legacy’s well-known cycle. It’s not just a mock-up to put on a shelf in your dining room; it is a real bike that you can legally drive. Parker, Brothers and Choppers have created just 10 prototype motorcycles and each one costs around 55.000 $. There are only four left, so if you want, it you’ll have to be quick!

    A Tron : Legacy Segway

    If you can’t offer yourself a LyghtCycle, there’s your second chance to roll in Tron style. A hardcore American fan just « Tron-ised » his Segway. If you suddenly want to do the same, you’ll find here a guide to « Tron-ise » your own.

    A homemade costume

    Some fans are so fascinated by Tron : Legacy’s costume design, that they decided to recreate them in real life. Here you’ll find instructions that explain in detail how to build a Tron helmet and here you’ll find inspiration and advice of how to create your own Quorra skin

    Holliday in Tron-land

    In December, two British designers were invited to build a Tron : Legacy inspired suit in the IceHotel in Sweden. They build it in 13 days, and here’s the final look of their work.



    Fan artwork and fan fiction

    We selected some fan’s artwork inspired by Tron universe…just some examples we all liked. The list is still opened, if you found and loved one in particular, please feel free to share it with us!



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    author Ana Vasile

    Ana Vasile est rédactrice pour Transmedia Lab. Diplômé d’un Master Pro en Communication Multimédia et Audiovisuel de l’Institut de la Communication et des Médias à Grenoble, elle travaille en agence de publicité pendant plus de deux ans dans un département de création. Ana a contribué au développement de la politique éditoriale et à la rédaction d'articles au sein de l’équipe du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Mobile video and video on the mobile phone, quite a difference


    by Nicolas Bry, published on 13.02.2011

    Last Thursday I attended the 6th Mobile Film Festival organized by passionate and friendly . The challenge is as follows: you have 1′ to shoot a motion picture using a mobile camera.

    A selection of 50 “1′ movies” was then screened at l’Arlequin Theater. The results are absolutely amazing, and the 50′ went by in a flash. Moving from emotion to comedy, playing drama or serious topic, each of the 50 movies has its own identity, and the laureates are mirroring this great variety and talent.

    Have a look at all mobile videos on the Mobile Film web site.

    One thought about this is that the 1′ framework may help film makers to face the creative challenge: as we see in innovation, “narrowing the scope actually helps the innovation team“. It doesn’t prevent “ad lib” shooting as we saw with best screenplay “T’appuies là“, but helps to focus on the impact of the artistic creation.

    “Mobile video” can be watched in a theater or a mobile, then it meets “video mobile” meaning watching video on your mobile.

    Last trends about “video mobile” are phenomenal. Allot Communications Mobile Trends Report shows how video streaming drives mobile data usage (73% growth in 2010 S2) as “it remains the fastest growing application type, accounting for 37% of mobile bandwidth”. YouTube alone is accounting for 45 % of total video traffic, and 17% of mobile data bandwidth usage.

    Will one day “mobile video” be a significant part of “video mobile”? That’s the best I can wish for them. Though mobile films are not restricted to be watched on mobile, their short format and rythm, and their sense of intimity fit very well with mobile usage. They would only need to be “geolocalized “and “reality augmented” in the future, to take full benefit of mobile media!

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    author Nicolas Bry

    Nicolas Bry a fondé le Transmedia Lab en 2009 chez Orange Vallée. www.nbry.wordpress.com/about/

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    Tron in transmedia


    by Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest , published on 10.02.2011

    Soon after the release of Tron: Legacy in France, we’ve tried to retrace the complicated construction of its transmedia promotional campaign. The film, which came out in December in the US, takes place in a rich universe with a real transmedia potential and a large community of fans.



    The origin of the universe

    We discovered the roots of the Tron phenomenon in 1982 with Steven Lisberger’s film and arcade game that were released at the same time. Unfortunately for him, this first film was a quasi-commercial flop, only appealing to a young male audience. Back then, the director explained to The New York Times that his film couldn’t be “digested” by the masses at that point in time. But this first film set up a universe, which first opened the way for about ten videogames exploiting this license, and the film became a visual and mythological reference for the fans of the videogame.


    Production objectives for Tron : Legacy

    Even if the Disney producers could count on the young players and on a pre-existing community, they had to draw in a wider audience to get a return on an investment of almost 350 million dollars for the development, production and marketing of Tron: Legacy. The goal was clear, Tron: Legacy wants to measure itself to other American super productions such as Avatar, to be come a referential franchise of its time (and of course, to be profitable).

    This is why, for the last three years, the film’s producers have been busy creating interest among internet users in the Tron community with many teasers, previews, online bonuses and marketing tricks of all kinds.


    A transmedia promotion

    Tron: Legacy’s transmedia promotion is based on events, ARGs, partnerships with stars, media partnerships, applications for mobiles and tablets, videogames and other product placements.

    There are several entry points to the universe, developed to reach a mainstream audience (who doesn’t know about the story or the existing universe of Tron). One example of this is appealing to the fan base of Daft Punk, who created the original soundtrack of the film.

    Each element of the transmedia system is conceived to encourage an optimal circulation of the audience, the final goal being to encourage a wide audience to go see the movie.

    Let’s note that we are not talking about cross-media here: the film’s producers created contents that are almost entirely independent from each other while belonging to a coherent narrative universe, that encourage participation and commitment depending on the different media systems described below.


    Details of the transmedia system

    The videogame

    History repeats itself: like they did in 1982, Disney studios decided to launch the film with a videogame.

    Tron: Evolution is conceived by Propaganda Games, a Canadian company affiliated with the Walt Disney group. The proximity between the film production and the company developing the videogame seemed like a good step to encourage editorial coherence, but we found the result ambivalent.




    Chronologically, the game is distributed before the film as a promotional tool, a similar approach to Avatar and its game developed by Ubisoft. In an interesting logic, the storyline takes place in the backstories of the main narrative. This should normally be an efficient foretaste to discover another aspect of the story (the independence of the media is respected).

    Unfortunately, the production of the game disappointed fans enormously, especially because of a gameplay lacking sophistication as well as editorial and graphic incoherencies.

    You’ll find a more complete analysis of the game Tron: Evolution here and here. As you’ll see, it hardly gets above average ratings…


    The Tron: Legacy ARG

    Phase 1: Kevin Flynn is still alive!



    July 2009: Several sites/blogs dedicated to film or to Tron fans received two videogame chips similar to those of 1982 and a USB key, containing hidden links to websites evoking the return of Kevin Flynn, the hero of Tron’s first opus (nobody really knows what happens to him at the end of the movie).


    Phase 2: Tron Operation

    An ARG begins, which will finish at the end of February 2010, the players are the first to discover the film’s trailer in the movie theatre, in Imax 3D.

    It’s also the beginning of the second part of the ARG, the players go looking for Kevin Flynn! Websites are regularly updated, new sites appear, players discover online games, the first graphic elements hidden in the sites’ codes, flashcodes, and are invited to events linked to the story.



    Phase 3: Tron at Comic Con

    In July 2010, the Twitter account of Tron: Legacy is opened during San Diego’s Comic Con (one of the greatest American events for “geeks” that are fans of SF)

    New fax/email elements or Flickr photos are added online and unveil new puzzles to resolve and access a new trailer exclusively.




    Phase 4: The end of the game

    On October 28th 2010, Tron Night 2010 unveils 23 minutes of the film to the greatest fans and game participants.

    New puzzles unveil even more of the story’s elements, especially backstories.

    Of course, the ultimate reward was to win a ticket for the December 13th 2010 sneak preview of the film, four days before its official release.

    + More info on the ARG here


    Product placement and brand partnerships


    In the film, Sam Flynn uses the Nokia N8 to hack the software of the Encom company, his phone is a key element of the film that allows him to be connected to the Internet everywhere.



    Adidas created a  Tron Legacy collection targeting men and children. At the , which will be followed with a Stan Smith II CF BL4 – Tron model.





    Reebok (owned by Adidas) also has a partnership with Disney, creating Tron version Pumps.



    Coca Cola

    The partnership between Coca Cola Zero and the film leads to an immersive iPhone game: “Live Cycle”. Using all the visual and audio codes of Tron: Legacy, the player has to trace virtual walls within reality. The goal will be to win points by inciting other players to break the walls that you’ve built. The game also gives access to additional film content, like the possibility of downloading screen savers and watching trailers.




    England – November 2010

    For the world premiere, London was the playground of the Tron: Legacy virtual world for a whole week in November 2010. In a partnership with HP and ePrint, Disney producers brought the experience to the roof of the Queen Elisabeth Hall on the SouthBank.  attracted the interest of Londoners on a daily basis, two weeks before the projection of Tron: Legacy in Great Britain.

    Fans could receive their own photos taken in front of the Flynn arcade on the spot, printed on HP e-All-in-One printers. A doorway to Flynn’s digital world was set up as well as a Light Cycle motorcycle.



    Norway – December 2010

    After the London projection, it’s the city of Oslo in Norway that welcomed the Tron: Legacy show. For 5 minutes, the windows of a building in Solli Plass lit up to the sound of the Derezzed music by Daft Punk.



    France – January 2011

    In Paris, a giant 400m2 screen with electroluminescent technology was set up at the Porte de Saint-Ouen. The screen was visible from the highway until the end of January. The giant screen used the same technology as the Adidas shoes presented at the Comic Con.




    Partnership with the stars

    The partnerships that Disney set up with the stars go beyond simple creative contracts. The most important one is, of course, the partnership with Daft Punk, who created the film’s whole soundtrack, even appearing as guest stars in the film. The partnership became a bridge to a wider audience for the film’s creators. A choice that was reinforced by the harmony between the graphic and audio universe created by the group and the film. In July 2010, the film’s producers released 6 songs (out of 24) online, a good way to create excitement!



    The Black Eyed Peas also used a  in their latest tour, the film’s “Lightcycle”. Even their performance during the Super Bowl was a wink to the world of Tron. Rihanna, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are also following the trend with outfits inspired by the film. Donatella Versace is showing a  in Milano.

    The emphasis on the Tron: Legacy costume as a new fashion trend is a way of attracting a female audience to the film.



    Mobile and tablet applications

    ( Iphone and Ipad sources)

    Three mobile applications (not a bad start!) were created around the universe of Tron: Legacy.

    The first is entitled “Tron: Live Cycle”: developed with Coca Cola, as we mentioned above.

    The second in entitled “Tron”: the free application allows players to play moonlight and tank games in 2D.


    Capture d’écran 2011-02-10 à 12.26.08


    The third entitled “Tron: Legacy”: more elaborat and costing 0,79€, allows players to play moonlight games or to do “reconnaissance” flights in 3D.



    Capture d’écran 2011-02-10 à 12.32.18


    For the tablet version (IPad), we have…3 more applications!

    The first, “Tron: Legacy” is very similar to the paying Iphone app in a 3D version, with very few changes other than an adaptation to a larger screen.

    The second, “Essential Guide to Tron”: is free, it explains, through a beautiful and rich interface, all the details of the universe. It also contains all the trailers. A real success.


    Capture d’écran 2011-02-10 à 12.36.55


    The third, “Tron: Legacy, The Complete Story”: if you prefer to read a digital book telling you the story of the second Tron opus, it will cost you 6,99€.


    Capture d’écran 2011-02-10 à 12.44.29


    Web partnerships in France

    In partnership with Nokia, on MSN.fr, an editorial feature was created in the “Entertainment” section, presenting bonus content (video, behind the scenes footage, interview and anecdotes). In parallel, a game is organized on the Facebook page.




    On skyrock.com, another partnership has been set up to create a Tron Skyblog with a Flash system, which includes a video layout that interacts with the film’s trailer.



    Despite some faults, an enormous system has been set up, while maintaining a global coherence of the universe. Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list since the promotion campaign has been absolutely enormous. If you have other elements that you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to do so!

    Tron: Legacy has deployed an interesting strategy to address different targets and a large audience, but the risk is to scratch       the Tron mythology and alienate hardcore fans.

    The transmedia promotion mechanism seems impressive but brings up a real question: by using mostly transmedia marketing rather than real transmedia storytelling, doesn’t the story end up getting crushed by the Hollywood machine? On opening weekend, Disney made 44 million dollars, placing Tron: Legacy on top of the American box-office. In comparison, Avatar made 77 million dollars in the same time frame. As we speak, Tron: Legacy has already brought in 372 million dollars from theatre tickets.

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    author Ana Vasile et Olivier Godest

    Olivier Godest était Responsable de la Communication et des Formations pour le Transmedia Lab jusqu'en juillet 2011. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com Ana Vasile était rédactrice et assistante en charge des publications du Transmedia Lab de janvier à novembre 2011.

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    Will my smart TV undoubtely be transmedia ?

    Smart TV

    by Nicolas Bry, published on 4.02.2011


    3 years ago, I posted a few thoughts about IPTV, echoing positive feedback from customers on our “TV on-demand” service: IPTV, the television of the 21st century! I spoke there about IPTV 2 radical diffentiators:

    As this analysis ended also with “Convergence with the Internet” chapter, one might say it was like the premises of what we call Smart TV since 2010.


    Smart TV, in a similar way that we speak of Smart Phones, is bringing the Internet over TV through devices such as connected TV, latest generation set top boxes, and connected game consoles. Smart TV materializes with widgets overlaying Live TV or with on-demand service coming from the Internet such as Dailymotion, offered by triple-play carriers.

    Deriving on preliminary Smart TV offerings, here’s my wish list about what should be my Smart TV.

    1. Smart TV is still a TV, a better TV: it’s a playful entertainment centered device;
    2. Smart TV is “all-in-one”, meaning it inludes all advanced TV services: Live TV, EPG, PVR, VoD, TV Replay, Media Centre, Blu-ray reader;
    3. Smart TV builds experiences on-top-of TV, blending Internet with TV, drawing to me content coming from the digital world, related to what I’m watching: when watching a live game, I can access to goals from previous goals, have a look at the statistics, bet on bets player with other viewers, or replay last pass I have just missed. The same works for reality shows or kids universe, Smart TV is broadcaster friendly as it extends the viewer experience within the channel universe;
    4. I don’t search my Smart TV for content: content is bubbling up to me, based on my viewer profile, and catching recommandations from my social network. The system knows me, it serves me the latest episode of the serie I’m a fan of, and pushes me The Event if I’ve declared to watch Fast Forward;
    5. Smart TV accomodates collective and individual TV usage; when Live twitting, it’s my personal feed that is displayed if I want it on TV;
    6. Smart TV creates connected experiences across devices: Smart Phone and Tablet become my TV companions; Tablet and Smart Phone are not only control device for TV, they are media devices in itself: they enable instant access anywhere, and supporting transmedia narratives and Live companioning; after having watched Mad Men, I get on mon Smart Phone the app to prepare cocktails the way Don does … or I access the premiere of Roger Sterling memories … or connect on Live Tweet to share views about episode currently aired. It’s another opportunity for the broadcast channels to recapture the interest of young people through the development of real time interaction around TV shows;
    7. Smart TV offers interactive TV Apps and gaming, extending TV experience, moving playfully from monologue to dialogue and adressing multitaskers; it gives the opportunity to bring other players to the TV screen: online video, photo & music, social network services, casual gaming, information services, e-commerce, enhanced video search and access to relevant websites;
    8. Smart TV opens the window  for full Web browsing with TV-adapted interaction;
    9. Smart TV is more than ever emotional: it creates immersed experiences, leveraging on gesture motion control, 3D content, and 3D user interface;
    10. Smart TV brings closer my friends and family through video call and communication services.

    “You may say I’m a dreamer”, as first implementation of Smart TV in connected devices are not exactly in line  with my expectations: they are functionally limited, for example not TV enabled (Apple TV, , Boxee), they are Internet centric, with no relation with current TV viewing (Yahoo! widgets), or they are bringing Internet habits on the TV through customer unfriendly experience (Google usability not included, ).

    Recent Freebox Révolution seems a lot more promising: neverthesless it is still not very transmedia, TV and Web being two seperate world, not blended in an extensive experience as I believe they should be.

    Other players might go the other way, bringing TV usage into the Internet world: when one sees how Zynga games have met massive succes through Facebook access, one can imagine the attractiveness of Facebook TV app in the future.

    The potential to generate new revenue streams is huge: pay video services,  TV apps, interactive advertising mixing the impact of full screen TV ads and targeting & tracking of the Internet, e-commerce or should I say TV-commerce!

    So no doubt that current Smart TV achievements will rapidly iterate and move to a completely TV-designed experience, giving simply and rapidly access to an infinite of content and services: to be successful, Smart TV will have to center aroud the viewer experience.

    Now the bet are open: will Smart TV meet the same speed of adoption that its glorious previous Smart Phone cousin is currently experiencing? Hanging over the 75 millions iPhone sales in 3 years will be my last wish!


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    author Nicolas Bry

    Nicolas Bry a fondé le Transmedia Lab en 2009 chez Orange Vallée. www.nbry.wordpress.com/about/

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    Celebrating 10 years of Wikipedia, the French transmedia updates its article


    by Nicolas Brunet, published on 17.01.2011

    Transmedia Lab decided to update the transmedia article on wikipedia. The purpose is clearly to facilitate the understanding of this new narrative mode and to promote a better knowledge of transmedia’s origins, personalities and actors in France and abroad. Do not hesitate and give us your point of view, your corrections and improvements. Or you can simply go to the wikipedia article and contribute!

    This is our way of celebrating the first 10 years of wikipedia. This internet encyclopedia, a universal, multi-language and working on a wiki base platform it’s still precious!

    On the other hand, this collaborative initiative is one of the main sources of inspiration for the transmedia concept: remember Lostpédia, dedicated to the Lost universe, or even Wookieepedia dedicated to Star Wars are two encyclopedias fueled by thousand of fans. That keeps allowing imergence and information on these two transmedia universes!

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    author Nicolas Brunet

    10 ans d'expérience entre marques et contenu (advertainment, branded content), entre marketing et storytelling (brand content, transmedia) en media, en agence de publicité puis en 2009 chez Orange (musique). Dans la team du Transmedia Lab depuis 2010.

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    Inside “Paroles de conflits”, a transmedia documentary


    by Antoine Cayrol, published on 27.12.2010


    Everything started in November 2009 when a reporter, a journalist for Point.fr whom I had first met 6 years previously at Paris’s Sorbonne University, visited us with a project for a transmedia documentary entitled “Paroles de conflits”.

    “Paroles de conflits” is the tale of an unsuspecting French cyclist who strays into zones where war, bloody confrontation and interethnic violence has raged, sometimes months and sometimes years ago. These are places where, although still scarred by the experience, the inhabitants have been able to rekindle hope, even though the future often still remains uncertain and bleak.

    It is the emotions of “real human beings” – some familiar, but most of them unknown people who have lived through the misery of war and conflict – that contribute to our understanding of History thanks to the subjective camera of an author who is both curious and without prejudice.

    The aim? To present his journey and the events he has witnessed seen through different lenses which allow different interpretations and make it possible to view the content from different perspectives.


    To do this, we intend to create a transmedia documentary which, at the end of the journey, will give rise to a documentary series of 8 episodes of 26 minutes each (one episode for each conflict-ravaged country he crosses), a Web documentary and an exhibition of photographs taken by the reporter.

    Each of the media will be characterized by a different type of scripting and narrative. In the TV series, as is often the case in television documentaries, the viewers will be led “by the hand” by Raphaël. Using a framework that recurs throughout the various episodes, he will travel through the different countries and recount what he witnesses.

    The Internet format will be interactive, vibrant, evolutive and will take full advantage of the unlimited resources offered by this medium: up-to-the-minute news from press agencies, photos published by the Internet community, Wikipedia articles revolving around an important date or key player… there is no end to the possibilities.

    To further deepen the experience of each video episode, the latest resources available on the Web can then be synchronized, selected and overlaid to provide an additional real-time dimension which dovetails exactly with the content that is being viewed. This editorial use of selected external resources (as well as content created by our own production team: mixes etc.) will constantly give users a new, unique experience thanks to the relevant and evolving context.

    At FatCat Films, we were won over by this project, which is simultaneously human and historical, at our very first meeting with the author.

    We then spent 3 months redrafting and 2 months getting ready for his departure: finding partnerships for his bike, his GPS tracking system, all his equipment etc. Lafuma, Sierra Echo, Ecologieshop, Ortlieb and Cyfac all proved to be enthusiastic as soon as they learned about the project and did not hesitate to sponsor us.

    At the production level, this project harboured one particular challenge.

    The journalist, Raphaël Beaugrand, wanted to set off in March 2010 irrespective of any production-related considerations which were our responsibility.

    For reasons of weather, he had to start his odyssey in March while, for personal reasons, he did not want to postpone his departure for another year.

    We therefore had to draw on our own resources, at least in part, to enable this journey to go ahead…

    Because given the time it would have taken to complete the production dossier, apply for the various scriptwriting grants and then find a broadcaster, Raphaël would never have been able to leave on his preferred date.

    Convinced of the project’s qualities and confident of being able to find broadcasters and financial support during the coming months, we let Raphaël set off and we, too, set off with him on an adventure that would last more than a year – and here we are talking only of the journey and filming time.

    Now Raphaël is at the end of his travels, in Japan.

    Our dossiers have been completed, the episodes and the Web documentary have been written and the scriptwriting grants have been applied for. We have even put together the first episode which Raphaël will undoubtedly want to rework on his return before turning his attention to the others.

    To cover a part of the costs of the travel, we had the idea of raising finance from Internet users. A mechanism that is gaining in popularity, crowdfunding has been attracting large numbers of participants over the last two years in France (more in the USA) and a number of projects are starting to be part-financed by the Web. We therefore placed our project on the crowdfunding site KissKissBankBank with the aim of raising 18,000 euros, a goal which we achieved almost two months ago.

    Raphaël will be returning to France in just a few weeks and the editing and post-production work can start. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to say that he has 6 to 9 months of work waiting for him.

    The same applies to our production activities. We now have to find broadcasters for the TV and Web material (for the photograph exhibition, we already have a preferred partner but since nothing has been signed, I’d rather not say anything just yet) who are interested in our project and a number of contacts have already had a favourable response…Insha’Allah…we’ll tell you more very soon :)

    While waiting, you can find out more and keep in touch with our progress in real time on 

    To see the trailer

    Paroles de conflits TEASER
    envoyé par FatCat_Films. – Découvrez de nouvelles destinations en vidéo.

    Antoine Cayrol

    Producteur Fatcat films

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    author Antoine Cayrol

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    Transmedia in Canada at the NFB


    by Hugues Sweeney , published on 23.12.2010

    The NFB is a national organization that employs almost 500 people and has an annual budget of around 70 million CAD (about 520 million Euros). It’s important to understand that this budget includes the NFB specific mandates such as the archiving of all its audiovisual heritage – meaning about 14 000 films in more than 70 years.

    The National Film Board (NFB) or Canada is particularly active regarding the use of new technologies for audiovisual creation. Hugues Sweeney, Head Producer of Interactive Productions, summarizes a few particularly interesting initiatives for us.


    Montreal in 12 locations: a web and TV project that brings a new vision of Montreal, the web section has won several prizes.

    Bande à Part: a radio, TV, event, and web project to promote emerging French language music is a media staple.


    Infusion: Initiative of the INIS training center, the goal is to join the forces of the TV, cinema and new media departments in order to elaborate strategies and solutions for traditional companies who would want to develop transmedia projects.

    FNC: the FNC_LAB at the Festival of New Cinema is a privileged conversation platform for producers from different fields.

    SAT: the SAT is both a laboratory and a distribution platform that encourages the meeting of arts, sciences and technologies.



    NFB is first and foremost a public producer. We aren’t an international donor or a fund. We produce creations for the cinema and television but also for digital platforms, physical locations (installations and museums) and innovation technologies (ex: IMAX was invented here).

    The spine of our productions is the artist, the creative vision of a person who wants to use a technology to tell a story – express subjects with a renewed perspective, question our way of seeing the world, question himself on how we lead our lives, the way we cohabitate. Beyond their distribution purposes, we believe that interfaces and networks are the canvases on which a new generation of artists will express their creation.



    It’s neither a budget proportion nor a production number but rather a measuring scale. It’s a way of saying that we are seriously investing in this type of production while maintaining a portfolio built mostly on documentary and animation films. 20% means that every month, our audience will discover new works.

    To complete your discovery, go to the NFB website

    Hugues Sweeney

    Head Producer, interactive productions

    National Film Board (NFB) of Canada

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    author Hugues Sweeney

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    Mad Men, a failed transmedia experiment?


    by Nicolas Bry, published on 20.12.2010

    Simon Pulman looked for the book of Roger Sterling’s memoirs on Amazon and stumbled upon Sterling’s Gold: thinking he’d found the famous memoirs, already excited to learn more about his favorite series, he was incredibly disappointed to get a boring book of Roger’s quotations from Mad Men scripts.

    Simon Pulman drew four lessons from this failed encounter between the cult series and transmedia:


    Simon Pulman article: Sterling’s Gold – Important Lessons.

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    author Nicolas Bry

    Nicolas Bry a fondé le Transmedia Lab en 2009 chez Orange Vallée. www.nbry.wordpress.com/about/

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    Transmedia, crossmedia: a legal void?


    by Sebastien Lachaussee , published on 16.12.2010

    Content producers swear by it: according to Orange, in the next five years, most audiovisual creations will need to integrate crossmedia to survive. As is often the case for novelties, many wonder which legal system to apply to these “unidentified creative objects”.


    Transmedia, what’s that?

    Transmedia content is a work or body of work whose specificity is to mix genres (audiovisual, multimedia, digital…) and to be conceived, written and produced in order to be adapted to different screens: mobile phones, internet, television, game console, movie theatre… Transmedia should not be confused with multimedia, which refers to one content mixing several media (image, sound, video). Often, transmedia no longer limits the audience to the role of passive audience. With interactivity, transmedia allows the spectator to become an actor, to choose, to decide, to participate, to create. Mixing codes, habits and frontiers between different media, transmedia is the participative web result of media convergence. The new trend of the second decade of this new century, this notion is at the root of many projects. Here are a few examples of transmedia activity:

    Transmedia: examples

    a)     Connected TV, or “smart tv” is on its way to becoming the unavoidable engine of transmedia. Indeed, connected television, whose main battle horses are Apple TV and Google TV, offers entirely digital and connected content on the small screen. It’s tomorrow’s television: interactive, un-linear and connected to the internet.

    b)     ARGs (Alternate Reality Game) are a fusion of reality and the virtual world. Under the form of paper chases or role-playing, they take place IRL (In Real Life), using internet and connected smartphones in order to “enhance reality” for the players. One of the pioneers of this genre is the game In Memoriam that came out in 1999, which offered the player the possibility of embodying his own role in an investigation aiming to arrest a serial killer. In In Memoriam, an actor answered the players in a personalized way 24/7.

    c)      Some projects are born from videogames: the game Wakfu, from the French company Ankama, was originally conceived to offer a massively multiplayer online role playing experience, coupled with an animated series unveiling a coherent universe. The project Chica Booma is an animated series for children whose aim is to teach different dances. Web and videogame versions are integral parts of the project.

    d)     Other projects are born from documentaries: with the project Prison Valley, journalists created a television and internet documentary, offering the audience the possibility of stopping the flow of the film to deepen their knowledge of the subject by accelerating to interviews and “hidden” content. The web-documentary Gaza/Sderot allowed viewers to witness, in parallel, the lifestyles of inhabitants of Gaza and Sderot. These projects use transmedia tools for journalism, allowing viewers to go further than they would with a classic documentary as far as the knowledge of the subject at hand.

    e)     Transmedia is also used in order to promote more classic content. An illustration is the film Buried, by Redrigo Cortès, whose trailer is interactive and allows the “spect’actor” to interact with the hero of the film. Or the pluri-media promotion of the film “Un mari de trop” (“One husband too many”) produced and aired on TF1, offering internet users the possibility of participating to the heroine’s fake blog or to watch fake “docu-dramas” based on the film. Today, many brands are counting on transmedia to reinforce their web marketing.

    Transmedia: a legal void?

    Despite all the potential of cross-media, there is, for the moment, no text, usage or law that talks about this new “non-identified object”. A “legal void” that can be explained simply by the fact that this is a new world, taking shape in front of our eyes.

    A legal void that is becoming increasingly important to fill for several reasons. First of all, the increasingly fast growth of transmedia, requires legal security to foster a healthy expansion. Since transmedia content includes one or more “classic” media, the contractual transmedia relation must be broken down into “classic” transmedia contractual relations in order to determine its legal system.

    For example, Ridley Scott started the transmedia project Life in a day. It consists of “documenting a day through the eyes of people throughout the world”. The film is edited from a selection operated among videos posted by users on July 24th 2010. For Life in a day, it’s necessary to refer to contractual models used in the web 2.0 and in feature filmmaking. Between amateur videographers and the platform where contributions are posted, there must be a general agreement.  By posting the video to submit it to the film Life in a day, in the hypothesis that it could be retained in the final edit of the documentary, the author of the selected video will have to be associated as an author of the film depending on the importance of the use of his work and copyright of the images used in the film will have to be agreed upon with the production company.

    ARGs can bring about a different problem. The judgment passed on June 3rd 2009 by the legal assembly of the Court of Cassation (n°08-40.981) regarding the reality show l’Ile de la Tentation (Temptation Island) admitted that participants in the game could be employed under a work contract in certain conditions. The question is to know if the participants in an ARG could also have access to a work contract.

    Transmedia often integrates the creation of videogame programs and complex works. The creators of these works are creative employees, the rights that they could claim on this work are automatically yielded to their employer. In this case, we have to refer to the contractual uses in terms of computer programs or videogames.

    We will talk about the problems specific to creative commons licensing in another article.

    These examples go to prove that the contractual relations existing in crossmedia are far from being the object of a real legal void, and that it’s possible, for each specific case, to find their legal system by breaking down the different steps for each media used in the transmedia content. However, if there isn’t a real creative void, the complexity of the contractual relations is increased and requires a “custom” analysis of each project, in order to determine the applicable legal system. Only trained legal council will be able to suggest efficient and innovative solutions for all the participants involved in this new bridge to the future that is crossmedia.

    Article co-written by Sébastien Lachaussée, lawyer with the Paris bar and Jonathan Guibert, intern more information on www.avocat-l.com

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    author Sebastien Lachaussee

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    Transmedia and the Koulechov effect : Why authors should become technophiles


    by Jérémy Pouilloux, published on 8.12.2010

    Do you remember the Koulechov effect? In 1922, Lev Koulechov, the young director of the National Cinematography Institute in Moscow, leads a series of experiments. One of those, where he shows the importance of editing in the cinematographic narrative, becomes famous.

    This experiment consists of showing an audience three sequences built, in one part, of an actor with a set expression, which is identical in the three sequences, followed by a second part where a still shot shows a different element each time, a bowl of soup, a coffin and finally, a woman lying on a couch. Koulechov recorded the reactions of the audience to the actor’s attitude and three attitudes were consistently considered to be: huger, sadness, desire.

    This experiment can seem a bit trivial today, a hundred years of film later, but it still highlights in a simple way what we call semantic contamination: the meaning of the independent content in each of the two images is different from the meaning of the content of the associated images.


    is what it looks like

    and this is what Alfred has to say ,

    now I’ll continue.

    In semantic contamination, there’s semantic! And talking about semantics today means talking about the web. Semantics is to web 3.0 what participation and sociability were to web 2.0. But the transmedia aspect of semantic contamination is elsewhere (for more information on the web 3.0, you can even look , or here).

    The transmedia narrative, by definition, spreads across several media: cinema, television, radio, web, mobile, videogames, real life (posters, events…).

    And to tell a story across several media, authors have to find a way to tell stories that can be appreciated autonomously on each medium, in such a way that the audience can access the universe without being forced to go back and forth between media.

    The asymmetry of information is born from the multiplicity of media and creates the conditions of a semantic contamination between media, with a variable geometry, simultaneously creating the conditions for the spread of this information.

    Let’s take the example of a love story that ends badly (sic) and let’s assume that this story is being told through a web series and a TV series.

    Didier and Valerie love each other. But their love dies and our heroes end up having affairs. In the TV series, we never find out that Valerie cheats on Didier. Only Didier cheats on Valerie, until he gets caught red handed. Didier then looks like a jerk, the weak guy, a guy “like all the others”. Valerie is then in the position of the victim.

    But by watching the web series, we realize that Valerie has also been cheating on Didier for a long time. We also realize that what she says about Didier is quite different than what she seems to think in the TV series. Etc…

    With this example, we understand that, depending on the media that we’re watching, our perception won’t be the same, the meaning changes. There’s semantic contamination. But this time, the media that play the role that the images played in the Koulechov experiment.

    By bringing some sophistication to our scenario (on the story front or on the media front), we can easily envision that the semantic contamination between media is a particularly rich source of narration.

    We also understand why transmedia creations foster socialization and the circulation of audience: by re-introducing an asymmetry of information between spectators (some will have seen things that others won’t have), we renew the information exchange and create the conditions of interaction, the bases of a common culture.

    So get writing!



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    author Jérémy Pouilloux

    Producteur @ La Générale de Production

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    Training : Conception and writing Transmedia project, December 8th to 10th


    by Olivier Godest, published on 2.12.2010

    Transmedia Lab is part a Media Faculty training course entitled “Transmedia writing and design”. It will be held in Paris on 8, 9 and 10 December 2010. Media Faculty training is a three day intensive session focused on the full cycle of transmedia development, writing, and production .

    Transmedia encompasses a kind of storytelling that takes place across diverse media platforms, such as film, television, internet and mobile devices as well as live events (Alternate Reality Game). While there are multiple entry points to the story through the different media involved, all plot lines are designed to flow within a single, integrated storyuniverse, creating an enhanced engagement and interaction with the audience.


    Workshop: transmedia conception and writing, December 8th to 10th

    The Media Faculty is offering a complete and practical workshop on transmedia conception and writing!

    The present context of fiction and documentary is a universe in which different media are used together: linear television, VOD, web, mobile and many others (iPad, …)

    The question, then, is to learn how to write for these different media in an individual and complementary way, in order to favor the emergence of transmedia stories, to accompany the audience’s new uses on all the screens at their disposal.

    To answer these questions, The Media Faculty is offering a brand new three day workshop “Transmedia Conception and Writing” on December 8, 9 and 10, taught by the best expert in this domain. This workshop is targeted at producers, authors and directors interested in these new forms of writing and narration.

    As usual, this workshop can be entirely financed by your OPCA. A few spaces are still available, don’t hesitate to contact Floriane Cortes by email: or by phone

    Transmedia conception and writing (3 days)

    (December 8, 9, 10 2010)

    Goals: The Media Faculty is offering a complete and practical workshop on transmedia conception and writing!

    The present context of fiction and documentary is a universe in which different media are used together: linear television, VOD, web, mobile and many others (iPad, …)

    The question, then, is to learn how to write for these different media in an individual and complementary way, in order to favor the emergence of transmedia stories, to accompany the audience’s new uses on all the screens at their disposal.

    For: producers, authors and directors interested in these new forms of writing and narration.


    First day

    9:15 – 9:30 Welcome coffee

    9:30 – 12:30 Introduction to transmedia and market context / Olivier Missir (ex CEO of Marathon Digital)

    Coffee break around 11am

    13:00 – 14:14 Lunch

    14:30 – 17:30 Writing and directing for the web, the mobile and the new screens Jérémy Pouilloux, Producer (La Générale de Prod) & Julie Jouvencel, Producer (Jawls – TelFrance)

    Coffee break around 16:00

    Second day

    9:15 – 9:30 Welcome coffee

    9:30 – 12:30: The web and its communities: the driving force of the transmedia experience Julien Aubert, Co-founder of Story Factory and creator of the website faismoijouer.com

    Coffee break around 11:00

    13:00 – 14:15 Lunch break

    14:30 – 17:30 Conceiving and producing transmedia projects / Claire Leproust, Associate Director in charge of digital development, CAPA DEVELOPMENT Group

    Coffee break around 16:00

    Third day

    9:15 – 9:30 Welcome coffee

    9:30 – 12:30 and 14:30 – 17:30 Writing leadership workshop on a transmedia project / Olivier Godest, Communications and Training Manager, Transmedia Planner – Transmedia Lab / Jean-Yves Le Moine, Transmedia Author and Producer with Kidoma

    Coffee breaks at 11:00 and 16:00

    Lunch at 13:00

    17:30 – 18:00 Educational assessment

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    author Olivier Godest

    Brand Manager #MIPCube @ReedMidem // Digital & Social Media Strategist, expertise Transmedia. Ex-Transmedia Lab. Plus d'informations sur www.olivier-godest.com

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    Transmedia, crossmedia, multimedia, plurimedia… What if we had to describe these notions to someone…


    by Laurent Guérin , published on 29.11.2010

    Transmedia, crossmedia, multimedia, plurimedia… What if we had to describe these notions to someone working in a completely different field. What if we had to break down this avant-guard mumbo jumbo to a notary or a 6-year-old child? Here’s the starting point proposed by Laurent Guérin (co-founder of citymoviz.tv and co-producer of Detective Avenue, who reviews the innovations of the last decade and the new behaviors they entail for 21st century spectators in this article.

    The other evening, a notary friend that that I hadn’t seen in 10 years politely asked me what I’d been up to. “I create transmedia programs” I answered, after he’d shared a few of the latest divorce laws that had made the most impact in his field of specialty. “What’s the difference with multimedia?” he asked me. I admit I didn’t have the courage to explain to him that the word “multimedia” was a term inherited from the 80’s and 90’s, from the days of Minitel and CD-Roms, and which has already become obsolete despite its modern connotation; that we now used crossmedia or even, if you’re on board with Henry Jenkins work and Jeff Gomez Productions, the term’s evangelists: “transmedia”.

    I summarized the difference between “crossmedia”, inherited from advertizing and the press (same content/message on different media) and “transmedia” (different content for different media, each contributing to the creation of a unique final product) with two simple sentences:

    Crossmedia is 100 pieces of a single piece puzzle.

    Transmedia is 100 different pieces forming a unique puzzle.


    But instead of explaining the word, its origin and its definition with power point slides, I preferred telling him about the context, and launched into a long pedagogic discussion – or so I hoped – of which I will share a few excerpts.

    I started telling him that in the past 10 years, technological advances and innovations have revolutionized user behaviors in the field of entertainment: I’m talking about high speed internet, Digital TV, video sharing websites, social networks, mobile phones and smartphones, game consoles accessible to everyone, tablets, so many elements that changed entertainment, information, communication, interaction, sharing, gaming and also buying habits.

    I concluded this introduction by telling him that video now represented over 50% of global Internet traffic. According to Cisco, it will represent 91% of global traffic by 2014, and mobile devices will have surpassed traditional computers as the prime way of accessing the Internet.

    Furthermore, I told him, traditional television channels have seen their audience numbers dramatically reduce (-15 to -30% depending on the channels) in this same past decade.

    “Is it the end of television?” he asked me.

    Absolutely not, quite the contrary in fact. Traditional channels have lost audience numbers since the TV offer has completely exploded with the advent of Digital Television. But contrary to popular belief, Internet has not turned spectators away from television. The daily average listening time has even slightly increased to 3h25 per day in 2009 (France).

    But, besides being more spread out, the audience is also multitasking. Especially the young audience. And today’s young audience is tomorrow’s mainstream one. The teenager who watches “Pop Idol” while sending text messages, surfing on youtube and publishing a Facebook status is a goldmine. Just as his mother – today’s mainstream consumer – has been hooked on Farmville or his dad, an ex “adulescent” in his forties, doesn’t go anywhere without his Smartphone… All these new tools have only appeared in the last 10 years and people have adopted them beyond all expectations, using them in their day-to-day life. It’s normal. How can they now be satisfied with one level entertainment?

    Transmedia programs answer to two obligations: reaching out to the audience wherever it is, and offering a rich and multitasked experience adapted to its behavior.

    We can talk about a more “interactive” form of entertainment.

    Personally I like to use the term “active contents” to describe this new form of content: content that lets the audience be more active.

    I like to talk of spectators, or “active viewers” rather than Internet users or TV audiences.

    I consider television, smartphones and other tablets as screens with different properties. The Smartphone is an individual and connected mobile screen whereas television is a collective screen whose “connection” abilities aren’t yet used on a daily basis.



    The quickest to respond when it came to reaching out to the audience and offering a rich and interactive experience were, logically, advertisers. The two 2010 hits come from the agencies Wieden+Kennedy and Buzzman for Old Spice and Tipp-Ex, two interactive campaigns that have exceeded expectations. 40 million views in one week and 107% sales in one month for Old Spice. 45 million views for Tipp-Ex in 230 countries for a campaign targeted to France and that was aiming for a few hundred million views…that’s what I call hitting the jackpot!


    TV channels

    The first step for TV channels was to set up “catch-up TV” offers in order to satisfy the dispersed, volatile and connected audience who still like to consume professionally made entertainment and remains attached to signatures. For example, “Secret Story”, a “wild card of the TF1 group for the 15 to 19 year old audience” (in the words of one of the group’s directors) attracts more audience through the Internet than through television.

    In three years, from 2007 to 2010, almost all the channels have developed a catch-up TV offer. Mediametrie will soon be publishing its first audience results for catch-up TV, integrated in its new “NG”: New Generation Audience Measurement.

    The second step is being played out right now. Channels are beginning to integrate cross and transmedia systems into their programs.

    TF1, for example, created such a system around its TV movie “Clem” last February. The heroine’s blog was accessible before the prime time airing. After the show aired, the TV audience was invited to view a bonus, a kind of “epilogue” (Clem, 3 years later), available only on the Internet. This bonus generated more than a million views.

    Recently, the airing of “Un mari de trop” (“One too many husbands”) with Lorie and Alain Delon, gave way to the creation of the heroine’s blog (modeetconfidences.com) and a fake web-documentary (“Made in Mode”) with the 4 episodes yielding a modest 200 000 views.

    A pioneer in this domain, Arte has been innovating by offering extremely interactive documentaries on the internet (“Gaza/Sderot” in 2009, “Prison Valley” in 2009), while Canal Plus tries to recruit new spectators for their self made dramas by offering new online experiences. If you go to the website for “Maison Close”, the latest Canal series, your whole Facebook entourage will be able to see that you’ve become a prostitute and lost your virginity in the pink room…

    At France 2, by creating an @franceTVDirect account, the channel offers viewers the possibility of following the greatest events of France Television on Twitter and organizes – among other things – photo contests, also to be published on Twitter.

    This can all seem a bit shy, but what an effort on the part of these large institutions, which singlehandedly owned all video entertainment only 5 years ago…aside from movies and rented material, which is another market now confronted to the rise of new technologies and undergoing great transitions…

    To go one step further, we have to take a look at what’s being done on the side of our Anglo-Saxon friends.

    With its game “The Million Pound Drop” (a kind of reversed “Who wants to be a millionaire”, at the beginning of the game, each contestant has 1 Million Pounds the key being not to loose it), the British Channel 4 has recruited all its contestants through Facebook and Twitter. The claimed goal: to create a buzz and boost “online” activity. But that’s not all: by connecting to the show’s internet website during airing time, you can also play – with virtual money – and therefore go from a passive state (“I told you it’s the Prince of Whales who said that…”) to an active state (you can bet and win live, while watching the show. Season 2 begins on October 25th, you can connect here: channel4.com/drop for those of you who have access to Channel 4…

    American channel ABC has developed an Ipad application for its show “”. The application allows for direct interaction with the program (votes, comments…)

    The slogan couldn’t be more explicit: “Change the way you watch TV”. One screen in your hands, one screen on the wall.


    Live Tweeting

    “Change the way you watch TV”: but audiences haven’t been waiting for new applications to start doing that. Today in France, about one thousand people are “live-tweeting” television programs, from “L’amour est dans le pré” (“Love is in the field”, the tweets are marked #adp by those who are tweeting them) to football matches (#edf), “L’amour est aveugle” (“Love is blind” #laea), “un diner Presque parfait” (“An almost perfect diner” #udp