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Lowlifes transmedia storytelling

Explanation of the Lowlifes transmedia project from concept through to execution

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Lowlifes transmedia storytelling

  1. 1. Transmedia Storytelling
  2. 2. About this presentation • Part I Intro & Overview • Part II Transmedia Development • Part III Business Model • Part IV Shooting the Web Series • Part V Game & Technology • Part VI Next Steps
  3. 3. Part I Intro & Overview
  4. 4. Lowlifes synopsis • Larry Hayes is San Francisco homicide detective with a drug addiction. • He has a dead informant, an ex- wife fighting for custody of their daughter and a private eye hired to spy on him.
  5. 5. High Concept One story, three perspectives. Told over three platforms: novella, web series, blog.detectiveLARRY HAYES EX-Wife (JEN HAYES) PRIVATE EYE (LAUREN ORTEGA)
  6. 6. Core team WRITER PRODUCER Simon Wood is an ex-racecar driver, a licensed Robert Pratten is an award-winning feature pilot and an occasional private investigator. filmmaker and transmedia consultant. He first His crime fiction has garnered him an Anthony met Simon in 2004 at the World Horror Award and a Crime Writers Association Dagger Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. His movies nomination. Hes had over 150 stories and include London Voodoo and Mindflesh. articles published. His short fiction has Robert spends far too much time playing appeared in a variety of magazines anthologies, computer games can often be discovered such as Seattle Noir and Thriller 2. Hes a wondering the post-apocalyptic wilderness of frequent contributor to Writers Digest. Hes New Vegas around the year 2218. the author of Working Stiffs, Accidents Waiting He is founder of an to Happen, Paying the Piper, We All Fall online service for audience engagement. Down and Terminated. As Simon Janus, hes the author of The Scrubs and Road Rash. Curious people can learn more at
  7. 7. Project objectives • Possible to consume each media independently of any other • Enhanced satisfaction with each additional media consumption • Micro-budget • Freemium distribution model • Creative Commons licensing to allow audience collaboration • Simple, commercial, transmedia story
  8. 8. What’s unique about lowlifes? • Franchise transmedia with concurrent narrative timelines • Engagement rewarded with advance- release or exclusive content • Revenue model dependent on advocacy and free digital distribution (i.e. “piracy”) • Subscription and on-demand content distribution • First project to use the Conducttr pervasive entertainment platform
  9. 9. Part II Transmedia Development
  10. 10. Aim: Whole is greater than sum of parts Movie Game Book Media Franchise Whole is less than the sum of the parts: dissatisfying conclusion to consuming all media Movie Game Book Transmedia Whole is more satisfying than the sum of the parts: euphoria of collecting and connecting the pieces
  11. 11. Each character is hero of their own media
  12. 12. Double impact!
  13. 13. TRANSMEDIA Project development
  14. 14. Lowlifes summary • Story: crime mystery • Audience: author’s existing readers; predominantly older women; crime readers; transmedia fans • Platforms: novella, web series, blog and casual game • Business model: paid book & video options (Amazon DVD, on-demand, Kindle & other eBooks, e-Junkie downloads); free online • Execution: Released for free over 15 days in Jan 2011. Paid content available for 1 week before free content. Casual game run ahead of release for 3 weeks. Online viewing biased towards mobile devices.
  15. 15. Thinking through the Experience Story Real-world fact) (pervasive, built around (strength, depth & authorial control) Participation Gaming(contribute, change, co-create) (goals, puzzles, challenges, trophies) Story = importance of narrative, depth of world & degree of authorial control Real-world = extent to which story-experience pervades real locations & times, real people & events Participation = ability of audience to change or contribute to the story-experience Gaming = audience has goal, use of puzzles, game mechanics (trophies, levels, leader boards etc.)
  16. 16. The Lowlifes transmedia experience • initially conceived as a book, video series and blog Story Real-world • Interactive game added later when technology permitted (runs on Conducttr platform) • Authorial control is the dominant feature • Experience has strong link to San Francisco with exploratory content coming from real-world sources such as Wikipedia, SF crime map etc. • There’s a forum to influence future stories and the development of theParticipation Gaming character but this experience is “on rails” • QR codes & mobile used to provide additional narrative content (sub-plot in video, audio, images) that enriches ownership of paid content (book & ebook) and exploratory content (Wikipedia, coalition on homelessness in SF)
  17. 17. Designed for mobile viewing Website, not an app: • Device-independent • Cheaper to implement • More flexible on timescales and content development
  18. 18. Simple navigation
  19. 19. Part III Business Model
  20. 20. Content released over 15 day period
  21. 21. Qr codes unlock additional story
  22. 22. Two primary PAID options BOOK DVD
  23. 23. Plus paid digital equivalents eBOOK H.264
  24. 24. Part IV Shooting the Web Series
  25. 25. Webisode Shooting process • Narrative outline for all webisodes • Gather shots from real places and real events around San Francisco: nothing is staged or “acted” except the voice-over • Some footage taken earlier in the year in anticipation • Revise voice-over to suit collected footage • Add motion graphics to assist storytelling and increase production value
  27. 27. Cinéma vérité –type approach
  28. 28. Graphics sometimes added to realscene
  29. 29. Part V Game and Technology
  30. 30. Game accessed via blogs – uses real andcustom websites to set challenges
  31. 31. Technology assistance Scheduled events: • Blog posts • Tweets • Video publishing • Notification to subscribers Interactive events • Casual game • Subscriptions
  32. 32. Interaction without programming fictional character responding to trigger “trigger” = expected event email reply in response to trigger possible email responses
  33. 33. Content structured and tracked external links documented and click-thrus tracked using
  34. 34. “fetch from YouTube” avoids re-work
  35. 35. Part VI Next Steps
  36. 36. Lowlifes evolutioN... • New novel with Larry Hayes to be written in 2011 • New video and game implementations dependent on demand and budget • Audience encouraged to contribute to storyworld
  37. 37. Contact details Robert Pratten