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Welcome to Transmedia Seattle- MeetUp! 13 - Where Should My Story Begin?

“None of us can know everything; each of us knows something; and we can put the pieces together if we pool our resources and combine our skills.” Henry Jenkins

Thanks so very much for your interest in Transmedia Seattle!

So, what's new? - Here's a question, Do you think that a computer will ever create a book worth reading?and the video that raises it.  And where exactly should your transmedia story begin? The Story's Telling Begins In the App Store.   And if you'd like to play around with an interesting new platform check out Paperlet to crowdsource your next story. Lots left to say about Theatrics  too (Sanditon- anyone?)- whose messing with it? 

The Story's Telling Begins In the App Store- an excerpt

by Mike Jones of

Where does the story begin?

It’s a question that would appear to be that most fundamental to storytelling since a caveman first grunted to his family about the ‘mammoth that got away’. And yet in the digital age of cross-platform, interactive and multimedia storytelling, this question takes on new significance.

The question of ‘Where does the story begin’ suggests not just conceptual narrative questions of Where and When in the story diegesis, but also Where and When in regard to platform, technology and experience? On what platform, in what mode, does the story start? Where does the audience first enter? What expectations, experiences and mechanics have they engaged with to get to that beginning? The answers to these are often a mix of conceptual and practical elements and what became apparent to me in recent work on an immersive interactive production for iPad, was that the app-store itself is, in many ways, where the story begins.

The idea of an online app-store for electronic devices is arguably one of the great innovations of recent decades that has created enormous opportunity for creative producers to reach an audience. Whilst many, myself included, are often highly critical of Apple’s belligerent approach to its eco-system and the insular and restrictive nature of both its business models and its technology platforms, it’s still fair to say that the app-store creates an incredibly viable and vibrant economic framework for digital creation. More specifically, the combo of the app-store and the iPad created the most accessible and versatile creative platform we’ve ever known for cinematic and interactive storytelling.

But, by and large, the app-store is seen and used solely as a delivery mechanism - a means to get the product to the audience with a ‘no mess, no fuss’ purchasing mechanic. But what we might also recognise is that the app-store, in a very literal sense, is the first contact point between the story and the audience. This is particularly so when producing ‘premium content’ for the iPad (digital products for which a premium price is charged along with an expectation on the part of the audience that the product will be of a premium quality) the app-store itself represents the start of the story experience.

With such digital products as games, interactive media, hybrid books and immersive entertainment apps it’s a fair assumption that the audience will certainly read the blurb and overview-synopsis text, as well as view the preview images of what they are buying into. I would argue that if you treat this blurb as nothing more than an explanatory and advertising hook then you are missing an important narrative opportunity.

When you’re working in mediums and forms of storytelling that are outside of - or extend upon - traditional movie or book, you have to recognise that you are placing higher demands and barriers to entry for the audience. If you’re going to ask them to interact, solve puzzles, role-play and immerse themselves in an active way in a story experience then you are quite directly making them work harder. As such there is a need to provide scaffolding to ease that engagement in and establish context and motivation for what you’re going to ask them to do.

The app-store is where that process begins.

 But what do you think?

 We'll chat up this, and more.

Bring yourself and a buck or two for something warm to drink, look both ways before crossing Broadway to Roy Street Coffee & Tea, who we thank again for their cozy and conducive to transmedia location. As always, LOTs afoot, Transmedia-wise- and ever less daylight left to see it, so- WON'T YOU JOIN US Thursday, Sept. 19th at 7pm- at our favorite coffee shop for another major Transmedia catch-up?


And here's what's been burning a hole in my brain this past month:

1) Wasn't ARGFest 2013 a blast!? Meeting Rob Pratten in person was a high point, as was watching our Phoebe in her element, and getting to meet ARGFest's fantastically creative community. I see that Steve Peters and the 4th Wall crew have a new offering:   Whose in?

2) How to bring transmedia to our recent Seattle 48 Hour Film Project, or more broadly put - to projects already finished? 

Like this maybe?

3) What ONE THING can we as a group do for your next step in transmedia? Here's one I can think of: This ProjectFlip the Cliche 


Some links that might help further the conversation:

Transmedia Seattled

ScoopIt! Transmedia Seattle

Active Story System – a design methodology for participatory transmedia storytelling

The Perfect Transmedia Pitch

Sherlock- Transmedia Elements, And Why It Works

Transmedia storytelling: what's the alternative to alternate reality games?

Getting started in Transmedia Storytelling


Loose Agenda:

Where should your transmedia story begin and why?

1) Bring a transmedia project that resembles one you want to make 

2) How to Entrain Your Team- motivate and mobilize

3) How to make a cinematic book trailer for $3.00

4) How to make 4 literary short films for $10,000

And as always, any questions- just drop me a line -

Brad at [masked], or [masked].

WAY looking forward to meeting you all, finding out whether you are a hacker, storyteller, educator, presentation expert, photographer, filmmaker, editor, camera gal, activist, game designer, entrepreneur, shaman, or otherwise- and how you hope to use those skills through Transmedia Seattle to produce transmedia worthy of our Seattle.

See ya soon!

We love Roy Street for their location support!!!
Let em know!

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  • --stephan

    Leslie's articulate presentation of objects and sundry items received as part of her following the Find the Starlight story echoes the correspondence between Griffin and Sabine. It was engrossing and provocative, raising questions about storycraft and the peculiar way this one unfolds, how it generates discussion, speculation as to story direction. I look forward to her next installment--as well as to the next TM meeting. Thanks to Jeff for the announcements. Props to Brad for ongoing commitment to TM and unflagging organizational wizardry.

    September 19, 2013

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