Cross-Platform Storytellers = Audience Architect + Story Architect

Information-TechnologyitTo create successful cross-platform story experiences, it’s important to understand there are two sides to the transmedia coin. Transmedia only begins at creating story across platforms; the other half is building a cohesive cross-platform audience experience. The two go hand in hand when building engaging, moving story experiences.

Several years ago, understanding that storytelling was evolving in a new media age, the visionary Lance Weiler made a shift in how he identified as a storyteller and he moved away from identifying as a filmmaker to that of a story architect.

images“At one point I considered myself a film-maker but those days are long gone. I now consider myself something akin to a story architect, in the sense that the stories I tell encompass design, delivery and technology.” – Lance Weiler, 2009

As we build story experiences in this connected digital age, one side of creating story experiences is building story architecture and the other is building audience architecture. Continue reading

Joss Whedon: Reinventing Hollywood by Giving Away Apple TVs

This month’s Story Entrepreneur award goes to Joss Whedon.Unknown-2

And here’s why …

Last month, while Joss Whedon was on set filming The Avengers, his film In Your Eyes debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival where he then announced that the film would be available to rent immediately via the film’s site, powered by Vimeo, for only $5. Not only is that a fabulous digital distribution plan with direct monetization, but what happens next makes this film strategy ground breaking.

Basically, he had an audience strategy!

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 1.49.12 PMOnce audiences started renting the movie, Joss and team started sending out thank you gifts! Yes, they sent gifts thanking their audience for watching. And they were not small gifts, they sent Apple TVs, Xbox Ones, Weber grills and cacti! And they sent them to audiences around the world in Germany, Australia and the UK!

This distribution model and reverse crowdsourcing is brilliant, on so many levels! Here’s a few … Continue reading

21st Century Entertainment Strategies: Re-thinking The Biz

Unknown-3The entertainment industry was built on a media system that no longer exists. The media system that has emerged is embodied with new innovations, multiple platforms for exploring the art of storytelling and opportunities for audiences to participate and engage with story like never before.

Every time a new innovation hits the marketplace, it upsets the existing system meaning that the media system will be ever-evolving (see Disruptive Storytelling). The days of a media system that remains the same for 100 years have come to an end. This means that in the entertainment industry, change is the new normal and constant evolution a necessity.

Despite this evolutionary shift, the struggling industry continues to rely on entertainment strategies built on a system of the past that has changed and will continue to change. It’s time for new, evolved strategies to lead the way toward transforming the art and business of storytelling back into a robust industry.

What are the key principles of 21st century entertainment strategies?

  • Creating meaningful, engaging story experiences.
  • Using new technology to innovate the art of storytelling.
  • Collaboration between storytellers and marketers.
  • Innovative budgeting and distribution models.
  • Inviting audiences to actively participant in story.

It’s a tall order, indeed. Though those story visionaries (see Story Entrepreneurs) who are willing to take risks, evolve and embrace new strategies, will be the ones that lead this industry into a new age of brilliance.

Monetizing New Hollywood = Audience Satisfaction

imagesHow do you monetize the new Hollywood? I believe there are several answers to this daunting question (depending on IP, existing business models, etc.), but the foundation of where sustainable answers will evolve can be found in building models that are in favor of the audience.

What?! Give the audience power?!

For many who have worked a long time in the entertainment industry, this is an insane idea to wrap their heads around. This industry has spent the last 100 years telling the world what stories to consume and how to consume them. Audiences had no other choice but to accept our models if they wanted to be entertained.

Well, that is not the case anymore. Hollywood no longer owns the marketplace on storytelling Continue reading

Death of Hollywood? Or Dawn of a New Hollywood?

“There’s eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown.”
– Steven Spielberg on the film industry, June 2013
Photo by Hameed.Deviantart.com

Photo by Hameed.Deviantart.com

Hollywood filmmakers are waking up and speaking up. Recently we’ve heard passionate speeches from Steven SoderberghSteven SpielbergGeorge Lucas proclaiming the tides of change in Hollywood, their frustration as storytellers and their fear for the future. Gentleman, do not despair. The battles you face seem hopeless, and yet I’m here to tell you that what is transpiring is actually good news for storytellers like yourselves.

Here’s the deal, the media landscape has changed. Audiences have changed. Studios are afraid.

They are digging in their heels to keep status quo on an old system that does not exist anymore and studio execs are reacting by making decisions that affect you and the stories you want to tell. Again, do not despair because what the studios are slow to accept is that the new media system  Continue reading

A Brüno Case Study: The 2009 Audience uprising! (Part 3)

Part 3 – New 21st Century Strategies for SuccessUnknown

Brüno was the first film to be so drastically effected by the power of the audience – who had an opinion, broadcast it and drowned out the marketing messages. This Coup d’état on Hollywood, from audiences over studio giants, has effected how the entertainment industry creates and sells stories. For the industry to survive, it will need to understand, accept and adapt to these changes (see Hollywood and Disruptive Storytelling).

So what exactly does the ‘Bruno’ story teach Hollywood about how to craft an IP in the age of social media? Continue reading

YouTube’s Gamble with Subscriptions: Today’s new Tomorrow

YouTube-logoToday YouTube officially announced the roll out of paid subscriptions to their videos. This is a BIG StoryDisruptive moment. YouTube has taken a risk on a monetization model they think will be most successful on their site. And this changes the digital distribution of content by creating a monetization model available to any content creator – from studios to grassroot creatives. Continue reading