A Brüno Case Study: The 2009 Audience uprising! (Part 1)

Part 1 – The Story of Brüno

bruno_posterWith the rise of social media, there has been a dramatic shift in audience behavior and how they gather information and choose which movies to attend. This shift has had a dramatic effect on how we measure a movie’s success (or failure) at the box office, and in the ethos of culture. In the past, opening weekend numbers indicated a film’s success – a testament to the marketing campaign and the studios wisdom in choosing a successful story. Today, social media provides a means for the audience’s voice to grow louder than that of the marketing campaign. Which makes it extremely challenging (if at all possible) to sell a bad movie to the masses.

When did this change? Back in 2009, we saw the shift when Universal’s Brüno hit the marketplace. Let’s break it down and see what happened and what it means for releasing films today. Continue reading

Story 101: Story is Active, Entertaining & Human




sto·ry  /ˈstôrē/ noun — A narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.



At the heart of StoryDisruptive changes is the power of story and how it lives, breathes and moves in people’s lives. To engage audiences in story, we need to take a closer look at “story” itself. How is story used in peoples lives? In culture? What makes a “good” story? Let’s start with the basics …  Continue reading

Binge Viewing & 5 Insights on the Future of Story Consumption

imagesThe recent Harris study confirms that binge viewing is the new norm. They found that 62% of people watch episode after episode, right after each other.

I’m definitely one of those 62%. I’ve partaken in the lure, escape and enjoyment of diving into a beloved story world for hours on end. In fact, I watched all 75 episodes of Battlestar Gallactica while writing my masters thesis and working full time (and I don’t regret a single moment!).

Binge viewing might be new, but the instinct is not.

What is behind this “new” phenomenon? Why is this becoming the “new” trend? Should we be concerned? Continue reading

Story Entrepreneurs: Leading the Future of Storytelling

In a digital age where everything is shifting every day, the future of storytelling will rely on the leadership of, what I term, story entrepreneurs. These are people who are bold enough to take risks on developing, creating & supporting untraditional storytelling.

Story entrepreneurs are filmmakers, start-up CEO’s, venture capitalists and studio execs. I must say that I have an incredible amount of respect for studio exec story entrepreneurs who are willing to boldly take risks on untraditional storytelling which seem “crazy” to those within the traditional media system that surrounds them day in and day out.  That kind of risk taking is the leadership we need in shaping the future of storytelling. Continue reading

Transmedia = More than “Storytelling Across Platforms”

storytelling-1 Storytelling is a foundational human experience across time and cultures (thank you Joseph Campbell). Stories are a means of entertainment and escape; how we pass on culture and history; a way we connect and belong; and how we share who we are and come to know each other. Humanity has used stories from the very beginning as a fundamental tool to make sense of our world and our selves – from tales around the campfire to Shakespearian theater. Today, we continue to use story to share, express, belong, connect, think, learn and hope but in convergence culture we are doing so via many different media platforms.

The end of uni-directional storytelling

Transmedia storytelling has emerged as a result of the rise of different media platforms, which has provided us more ways to tell and experience story. Continue reading