New Frontiers in Storytelling

Posted on: Friday 08 July 2011 2:05pm



Jayne Kirkham goes boldly…….


Introduced By:Rebecca Denton, Senior Producer, Cross Platform Development , Turner BroadcastingSpeakersPaul Bennun, Chief Creative Officer, Something ElseTriona Campbell, Producer, BeActiveMatt Costello, Writer/producerJon Spooner, Creative Director, UnlimitedAlice Taylor, Founder, Makieworld.comProduced by:Rebecca Denton, Senior Producer, Cross Platform Development , Turner Broadcasting.

There was some genuinely exciting stuff going on in this session.  Starting with the more traditional (already?) ‘transmedia’ space (last year it was Multi-platform…) Triona Campbell talked about BeActive’s adventures with Sofia’s Diary.  Storytelling is the key to whatever platform you are on.  There was a helpful check list of dos and don’ts. The first being don’t follow a check list: the platform must come organically from the story. Sofia started on the web because she had just moved to a new town…  Their new project Beat Girl arose from another idea that they realised didn’t have legs despite being successful.  Make sure you know where the project will be going in seasons 2 and 3 and use more than one protagonist to allow greater story potential. 

Using his experience as a consultant on Nerd Corps’ new property Slugterranea (which is top secret and if I tell you any more I will have to kill you), Matt Costello suggested that it is essential to know and understand the story world at the deepest level. That then suggests the type of game play, which then has implications on character leading to the specific mechanics of toy and game manufacturer.  Consistency of storyworld and its rules is essential no matter what platform.

Unlimited Theatre took us into truly new Frontiers, with their exciting mission  to  engage children with science.  Using seriously cool space research with astronauts, live performance and based on genuine science, they have set up the Unlimited Space Agency which kids, through schools and also in public spaces like the foyer of the Science Museum can join and take part in exciting adventures, taking charge of mission control.  Rather than an algorithm at the back of the project is a real writer so the project is very much a two way adventure to inspire the next generation of “poet scientists and space explorers”

The final speaker Alice Taylor of Makielab took us even further into new territory – 3D printing.  Wowee.  You can take a look at it on Youtube – Instead of using ink, you use a powder to create a 3D object in plastic or metal – the possibilities seem endless and the potential enormous.  Of course price is perhaps an issue but each year the price comes down.  It looks like a good tool to develop prototypes of dolls and toys for producers and developers.  It could make manufacturing in the West once more competitive with China.  And it probably won’t be long before the consumer has the technology to customise their own figures.   This really is new territory, and as everyone disappears for lunch, I’d say ‘go explore’.