September 26, 2014

The Strange New World: Transmedia

Collectively, we're reaching a point in our society very similar to the early 1900's, when electricity came on the scene and started changing everything. We are undergoing a mass transformation and people are having strong reactions to it. Some of you may be feeling the resistance and some of you may prefer to sit in the dark.
Here's the deal. There's no such thing as a "novelist" or "filmmaker" any more. Pure forms are dead, the world has gone digital and we're dabbling in every sphere. TRANSMEDIA is not a trend, it's the new method, replacing the old horse and buggy and lifting us into the future. But this means Artists must be on board, must become multi-disciplinary, and repackage and rethink the art we deliver and the people that we are. I too felt stumped by the cross-platform, DigiVerse, new "technologist" lingo, but understanding transmedia is very simple:

Boom. You got it. Thanks Michael Vogel for this great diagram. Transmedia is the ability to extend the life of our characters and storylines, to reach different demographics and best of all, find ways to bypass those Old Boys Club "Gate Keepers" that have been pumping out formulaic garbage and keeping artists starving or worse - living at home with their parents. Worse for the parents. I like doing my laundry at home.

As an artist, you have the ability for more autonomy, more freedom of expression, increased engagement and collaboration. But you won't reap the benefits without your active participation and the willingness to learn. Resistance could mean your extinction. Why? There's nothing more common than creative people. I heard this from a local filmmaker this week and it couldn't ring more true. We have high school boys with 2 million followers on YouTube. Ordinary soccer moms from Calgary blogging about celebrities and getting book deals and film options and cameos in Sharknado 2 (not making this up). The early bird on the transmedia scene gets the worm.

StoryWorld Quest

We have an international transmedia conference coming to Edmonton from October 24-26, 2014. This is an opportunity to learn how to empower yourself as an artist, utilize new media and technology and step outside the realm of tradition and embrace a new understanding of what the form and consumption of art looks like. 

Over 45 of the best minds in the industry are coming, people who are leading the way and creating some amazing opportunities. Ana Serrano (CFC), Jeff Gomez (Starlight Runner), J. Joly (CineCoup), Aaryn Flynn (BioWare), Tessa Sproule (Vubble), Michael J Sikorsky (Robots and Pencils), Evette Vargas (Digital-Reign), Sean Stewart (xBox Entertainment Studios), Lowell Dean (Wolf Cop), Paul McGrath (CBC) and more...

PitchQuest Contest

Participants will be challenged to develop Digital Media, Entertainment, Content and/or Technologies that envision and advance entertainment and storytelling experiences on the theme of "Making the Most of My City" - hello Edmonton lovers - or an open them of their choice. Six professional and six student teams will be selected from all online applications and will pitch their ideas in front of an expert panel of judges who will award a $10K first prize. 

For the Culture Collective Attendees, you know what this is: PQSTU

I sincerely hope you take advantage of what's happening in your own backyard. And before you start going on about how "expensive" conferences are, the leading conference in Alberta is $2K for two days. StoryWorld Quest is a steal of a deal and no where else will you have such an intimate access to these amazing people. Could change your life. Or, you can just turn the lights off and pretend it's not happening.  Just ask yourself one thing: what would Nikola Telsa do?

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