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TRANSMEDIA
STORYTELLING
      Siobhan O’Flynn
 narrativenow.blogspot.com
      November 2009
DIGITAL STORIES
    TODAY...
     TRANSMEDIA
    CONVERGENT
    PARTICIPATORY
     INTERACTIVE
what’s convergent???


 DIGITAL   TRADITIONAL
 MEDIA      NARRATIVES
three ways of thinking
 about today’s online
‘stories’ & storytelling
FORM 1


STORIES   GAMES
FORM 1
FORM 1
CHARACTERISTICS?
FORM 1
CHARACTERISTICS?

 STRUCTURE         SPATIAL
  CLOSURE           OPEN
    PLOT         EMERGENT
REVEALS STORY   PLA...
FORM 2


EXTENDED     INTERACTIVE
NARRATIVES    NARRATIVES
FORM 2

DISTRIBUTED   INTERACTION
CUT SCENES      CHANGES
   FIXED         STORY
INTERACTIVE
STORYTELLING
World without Oil

• ARG
• Serious Game
• ‘What if’ scenario?
• How would your life change without oil?
• world without oi...
the landscape has changed....
Jordan Weisman
42 Entertainment
Jordan Weisman
    42 Entertainment

• creator of A.I. ARG, I Love Bees,
  Why so Serious?


• "If we could make your toas...
42 Entertainment
42 Entertainment

• “Anything with an electric current
    running through it.
• A single story, a single gaming
    exper...
MAMET
FORMS 1& 2
     STORY

CONTROL   CHOICE
BOTH ARE
PARTICIPATORY
EXPLORATORY
 FOSTER UGC
   SOCIAL
4 PROPERTIES OF DIGITAL
        ENVIRONMENTS



• PROCEDURAL - RULE BASED
• PARTICIPATORY - INVITATION TO ACT
• SPATIAL - ...
WHAT DO STORIES
     DO?
2 VIEWS
• “Database and narrative are natural
    enemies.”
• Lev Manovich (2001)
•   http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/AI_Society/manovich....
DAVID MAMET
          3 USES OF A KNIFE


• ‘Our survival mechanism orders the world
 into cause-effect-conclusion.’

• ar...
STORIES/storytelling are innate
 and function as the cognitive
 tool for organizing the world
  into a coherent, meaningfu...
• Any meaningful negotiation of a database
  (vs. random) is potentially a story
• either of what is found
• or of the exp...
FORM 3
FORM 3

  LINEAR      NON-LINEAR
   story        fragments
    plot       connections
progression    exploration
FORM 3
SWITCHING
MORTEN SCHøDT
    2003
INTERACTIVITY


CONTROL   CHOICE
INTERACTIVITY

DESIGNER      USER
CREATOR      GAMER
AUTHOR     PARTICIPANT
INTENTION


GOAL ORIENTED   EXPLORATORY
INTENTION
GOAL ORIENTED:   EXPLORATORY:

   PUZZLES           PLAY
   QUESTS           SPATIAL
    GAMES          EMERGENT...
PARTICIPANT IS
 CO-CREATOR
DIGITAL MEDIA
   = RULES
DIGITAL MEDIA
   = RULES
DIGITAL MEDIA
         = RULES
STORIES =
             GAMES =
•   GENRES
•   PLOT     •   GENRES
•   WORLD    •   GOALS
  ...
STORIES

  LINEAR/     EMERGENT
NON-LINEAR

CONTROLLED     ACTIVE
 SCRIPTED    ENGAGEMENT
STORIES

CAUSE & EFFECT      LINKING
                   THROUGH
   = PLOT        ASSOCIATIONS
STORIES


      DYNAMIC
     RELATIONS
STORIES


 CONTROLLED      DYNAMIC
STORY THREADS   RELATIONS
STORIES

  STORY        STORY
CONTAINED     CREATED
    IN           BY
  DESIGN    PARTICIPANT
IF INTERACTIVITY ≠ PLOT,
HOW TO CREATE NARRATIVE
     COHERENCE?
         = STORY
      = IMMERSION
     = SATISFACTION
ROOTS OF
NARRATIVE
ROOTS OF
          NARRATIVE
• EPIC: Gilgamesh, Homer
• ARISTOTLE
• ARCHETYPES: Myths; folk tales, fairy tales
• GENRES = ...
THE EPIC
THE EPIC
• HOW DO YOU CONTROL A NARRATIVE
  OVER MULTIPLE DAYS TELLING?

• poet’s ‘word hoard’
• patterns, set pieces, ech...
HBO IMAGINE
POETICS
          LITERATURE

• THEMES
• PATTERNS
• IMAGES
• DOUBLES
• INVERSIONS
• TONE
POETICS
              FILM

• MISE EN SCENE
• LIGHTING
• PACING/EDITING
• POINT OF VIEW
• DEEP STRUCTURE (MCKEE)
POETICS
           DIGITAL MEDIA


• INTERFACE DESIGN (click vs. zoom....)
• TACTILITY
• AESTHETIC (cell phone, webcam, vs...
hi-res.net
bigspaceship.com
Tip #1

  USE WHAT
YOUR AUDIENCE
ALREADY KNOWS
ARISTOTLE
ARISTOTLE
• FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD DRAMA:
• PLOT
• CHARACTER
• SETTING
• UNITY OF TIME & PLACE
• 3 ACT STRUCTURE - rising/fa...
GENRE
    =
CONTRACT
PLOT
    =
CONTRACT
DESIGN
   =
NARRATIVE
PLOT
• HOW YOU TELL (delivery & genre):
• linear & non-linear plots
• in medias res
• causally connected i.e.:
• all event...
SCOTT
MCCLOUD
‘BLOOD IN THE GUTTER’
          =
     IMMERSION
LESS IS MORE
IMMERSION
= SATISFACTION
IMMERSION
    = SATISFACTION
• ACTIVE CREATION OF STORY
• COGNITIVE ENGAGEMENT OF
 AUDIENCE
• ‘WE - THINK’ / COLLECTIVE
 I...
story & plot =
       USER experience

IN FILM:
1Premise - ‘idea that inspires the story’
            the ‘what if?’ facto...
in digital media
core of story = experience

• The controlling idea = the experience
• The centralbe the centralexpressed ...
ASYLUM 626
OUR CHOICES SHOULD BE
     MEANINGFUL
  & DRIVE THE STORY
   / OUR EXPERIENCE
AUDIENCE &
      MCKEE’S PLOTS
• Archplot: Chinatown, Matrix, Star Wars...
• Miniplot: Blow Up, Short Cuts,
• Antiplot: Wa...
REVERSAL
      & DISCOVERY
• the most powerful elements of
emotional interest in Tragedy are
Reversal and Discovery as the...
FORM 3
NON-LINEAR
       PLOTS USE
• JUXTAPOSITION:
• MEANWHILE / FLASHBACKS
• REVERSALS & DISCOVERIES THAT
  CHANGE WHAT WE KNOW...
• ‘Of course my films have beginnings,
  middles, and ends, just not necessarily
  in that order.’
• Godard
CHARACTER
• DEFINED BY ACTIONS (GAMES)
• OUR CHOICES DEFINE WHO WE ARE, NOT
 OUR THOUGHTS & OPINIONS

• CHARACTER IS THEN ...
CHARACTER
SIMPLE VS. COMPLEX
Samsung's interactive video
   Follow Your Instinct
DAVID LYNCH
Interview Project
SETTING
• SETTING - contemporary focus on ‘story
 world’ (Tali Krakowsky, Alex McDowell)

• Henry Jenkins - Game design as...
Architecture
               = Narrative
• spatial/architectural design creates and defines
  opportunities for narrative di...
TINMAN (verizon)
SPATIAL NARRATIVES
SPATIAL NARRATIVES

•   RELY ON:
•   ASSOCIATIONS
•   PATTERNS
•   MIRRORING & INVERSIONS
Errol Morris




Standard Operating Procedure
SPATIAL
ORGANIZATION
SPATIAL
  ORGANIZATION
• PHYSICAL STRUCTURES
• WORLD CREATION
• TIME LINE
• MAPS
• CHARACTER LISTS
OAKLAND
CRIMESPOTTING




 INTERACTIVE CRIME MAP
WHALE HUNT
  Jonathan Harris
• there is sooo much more....explore...
• Part 2, 3, 4.... coming
• Siobhan O’Flynn
• links archive at:
  www.narrativenow...
Transmedia Storytelling
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Transmedia Storytelling

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This was developed for the Telefilm/NFB Melting Silos workshop (Nov.6 2009) and the What's Going On Salons series (Nov.7 2009), both Vancouver

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Transmedia Storytelling

  1. 1. TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING Siobhan O’Flynn narrativenow.blogspot.com November 2009
  2. 2. DIGITAL STORIES TODAY... TRANSMEDIA CONVERGENT PARTICIPATORY INTERACTIVE
  3. 3. what’s convergent??? DIGITAL TRADITIONAL MEDIA NARRATIVES
  4. 4. three ways of thinking about today’s online ‘stories’ & storytelling
  5. 5. FORM 1 STORIES GAMES
  6. 6. FORM 1
  7. 7. FORM 1 CHARACTERISTICS?
  8. 8. FORM 1 CHARACTERISTICS? STRUCTURE SPATIAL CLOSURE OPEN PLOT EMERGENT REVEALS STORY PLAY = STORY
  9. 9. FORM 2 EXTENDED INTERACTIVE NARRATIVES NARRATIVES
  10. 10. FORM 2 DISTRIBUTED INTERACTION CUT SCENES CHANGES FIXED STORY
  11. 11. INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  12. 12. World without Oil • ARG • Serious Game • ‘What if’ scenario? • How would your life change without oil? • world without oil March-June 2007
  13. 13. the landscape has changed....
  14. 14. Jordan Weisman 42 Entertainment
  15. 15. Jordan Weisman 42 Entertainment • creator of A.I. ARG, I Love Bees, Why so Serious? • "If we could make your toaster print something we would.”
  16. 16. 42 Entertainment
  17. 17. 42 Entertainment • “Anything with an electric current running through it. • A single story, a single gaming experience, with no boundaries. • A game that is life itself."
  18. 18. MAMET
  19. 19. FORMS 1& 2 STORY CONTROL CHOICE
  20. 20. BOTH ARE PARTICIPATORY EXPLORATORY FOSTER UGC SOCIAL
  21. 21. 4 PROPERTIES OF DIGITAL ENVIRONMENTS • PROCEDURAL - RULE BASED • PARTICIPATORY - INVITATION TO ACT • SPATIAL - WORLD, PHYSICS, NETWORK • ENCYCLOPEDIC - eg. THE SIMS
  22. 22. WHAT DO STORIES DO?
  23. 23. 2 VIEWS
  24. 24. • “Database and narrative are natural enemies.” • Lev Manovich (2001) • http://vv.arts.ucla.edu/AI_Society/manovich.html
  25. 25. DAVID MAMET 3 USES OF A KNIFE • ‘Our survival mechanism orders the world into cause-effect-conclusion.’ • art & drama = ‘the human capacity to order the intolerable into meaning’
  26. 26. STORIES/storytelling are innate and function as the cognitive tool for organizing the world into a coherent, meaningful experience.
  27. 27. • Any meaningful negotiation of a database (vs. random) is potentially a story • either of what is found • or of the experience of finding • Digital environments are story-spaces waiting to happen • waiting for structure / design
  28. 28. FORM 3
  29. 29. FORM 3 LINEAR NON-LINEAR story fragments plot connections progression exploration
  30. 30. FORM 3
  31. 31. SWITCHING MORTEN SCHøDT 2003
  32. 32. INTERACTIVITY CONTROL CHOICE
  33. 33. INTERACTIVITY DESIGNER USER CREATOR GAMER AUTHOR PARTICIPANT
  34. 34. INTENTION GOAL ORIENTED EXPLORATORY
  35. 35. INTENTION GOAL ORIENTED: EXPLORATORY: PUZZLES PLAY QUESTS SPATIAL GAMES EMERGENT TASKS ENCYCLOPEDIC
  36. 36. PARTICIPANT IS CO-CREATOR
  37. 37. DIGITAL MEDIA = RULES
  38. 38. DIGITAL MEDIA = RULES
  39. 39. DIGITAL MEDIA = RULES STORIES = GAMES = • GENRES • PLOT • GENRES • WORLD • GOALS • INTERACTIVITY
  40. 40. STORIES LINEAR/ EMERGENT NON-LINEAR CONTROLLED ACTIVE SCRIPTED ENGAGEMENT
  41. 41. STORIES CAUSE & EFFECT LINKING THROUGH = PLOT ASSOCIATIONS
  42. 42. STORIES DYNAMIC RELATIONS
  43. 43. STORIES CONTROLLED DYNAMIC STORY THREADS RELATIONS
  44. 44. STORIES STORY STORY CONTAINED CREATED IN BY DESIGN PARTICIPANT
  45. 45. IF INTERACTIVITY ≠ PLOT, HOW TO CREATE NARRATIVE COHERENCE? = STORY = IMMERSION = SATISFACTION
  46. 46. ROOTS OF NARRATIVE
  47. 47. ROOTS OF NARRATIVE • EPIC: Gilgamesh, Homer • ARISTOTLE • ARCHETYPES: Myths; folk tales, fairy tales • GENRES = PLOT FORMS
  48. 48. THE EPIC
  49. 49. THE EPIC • HOW DO YOU CONTROL A NARRATIVE OVER MULTIPLE DAYS TELLING? • poet’s ‘word hoard’ • patterns, set pieces, echoes, allusions, short hand notation • spatial design
  50. 50. HBO IMAGINE
  51. 51. POETICS LITERATURE • THEMES • PATTERNS • IMAGES • DOUBLES • INVERSIONS • TONE
  52. 52. POETICS FILM • MISE EN SCENE • LIGHTING • PACING/EDITING • POINT OF VIEW • DEEP STRUCTURE (MCKEE)
  53. 53. POETICS DIGITAL MEDIA • INTERFACE DESIGN (click vs. zoom....) • TACTILITY • AESTHETIC (cell phone, webcam, vs. HD) • FUNCTIONALITY (ease vs. resistance)
  54. 54. hi-res.net
  55. 55. bigspaceship.com
  56. 56. Tip #1 USE WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE ALREADY KNOWS
  57. 57. ARISTOTLE
  58. 58. ARISTOTLE • FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD DRAMA: • PLOT • CHARACTER • SETTING • UNITY OF TIME & PLACE • 3 ACT STRUCTURE - rising/falling action
  59. 59. GENRE = CONTRACT
  60. 60. PLOT = CONTRACT
  61. 61. DESIGN = NARRATIVE
  62. 62. PLOT • HOW YOU TELL (delivery & genre): • linear & non-linear plots • in medias res • causally connected i.e.: • all events connected through cause and effect • DISCOVERY & REVERSAL - SWITCHING
  63. 63. SCOTT MCCLOUD
  64. 64. ‘BLOOD IN THE GUTTER’ = IMMERSION
  65. 65. LESS IS MORE
  66. 66. IMMERSION = SATISFACTION
  67. 67. IMMERSION = SATISFACTION • ACTIVE CREATION OF STORY • COGNITIVE ENGAGEMENT OF AUDIENCE • ‘WE - THINK’ / COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE PHENOMENON
  68. 68. story & plot = USER experience IN FILM: 1Premise - ‘idea that inspires the story’ the ‘what if?’ factor 2v.s. Controlling idea: ‘the story’s ultimate meaning expressed through action & aesthetic emotion of the last act’s climax’ (McKee)
  69. 69. in digital media core of story = experience • The controlling idea = the experience • The centralbe the centralexpressed through the plot should also experience experience that defines the interactive experience • ‘Pirates all the way down...’
  70. 70. ASYLUM 626
  71. 71. OUR CHOICES SHOULD BE MEANINGFUL & DRIVE THE STORY / OUR EXPERIENCE
  72. 72. AUDIENCE & MCKEE’S PLOTS • Archplot: Chinatown, Matrix, Star Wars... • Miniplot: Blow Up, Short Cuts, • Antiplot: Wayne’s World, Gerry • BE AWARE OF YOUR STORY DESIGN
  73. 73. REVERSAL & DISCOVERY • the most powerful elements of emotional interest in Tragedy are Reversal and Discovery as these elements change our understanding of the story(s)
  74. 74. FORM 3
  75. 75. NON-LINEAR PLOTS USE • JUXTAPOSITION: • MEANWHILE / FLASHBACKS • REVERSALS & DISCOVERIES THAT CHANGE WHAT WE KNOW • RECONFIGURE AS NEW STORY
  76. 76. • ‘Of course my films have beginnings, middles, and ends, just not necessarily in that order.’ • Godard
  77. 77. CHARACTER • DEFINED BY ACTIONS (GAMES) • OUR CHOICES DEFINE WHO WE ARE, NOT OUR THOUGHTS & OPINIONS • CHARACTER IS THEN A FUNCTION OF THE PLOT • POV - AVATAR, FIRST-PERSON
  78. 78. CHARACTER SIMPLE VS. COMPLEX
  79. 79. Samsung's interactive video Follow Your Instinct
  80. 80. DAVID LYNCH Interview Project
  81. 81. SETTING • SETTING - contemporary focus on ‘story world’ (Tali Krakowsky, Alex McDowell) • Henry Jenkins - Game design as narrative architecture • spatial narratives are exploratory by nature • setting can mirror, contrast, foreshadow actions & themes
  82. 82. Architecture = Narrative • spatial/architectural design creates and defines opportunities for narrative direction. • i.e. what is available in the space, the specifics of place already encode expectations as to the types of action we will encounter • strip club vs. Court of King Arthur • hospital vs. Star Trek but...Battlestar Gallactica?
  83. 83. TINMAN (verizon)
  84. 84. SPATIAL NARRATIVES
  85. 85. SPATIAL NARRATIVES • RELY ON: • ASSOCIATIONS • PATTERNS • MIRRORING & INVERSIONS
  86. 86. Errol Morris Standard Operating Procedure
  87. 87. SPATIAL ORGANIZATION
  88. 88. SPATIAL ORGANIZATION • PHYSICAL STRUCTURES • WORLD CREATION • TIME LINE • MAPS • CHARACTER LISTS
  89. 89. OAKLAND CRIMESPOTTING INTERACTIVE CRIME MAP
  90. 90. WHALE HUNT Jonathan Harris
  91. 91. • there is sooo much more....explore... • Part 2, 3, 4.... coming • Siobhan O’Flynn • links archive at: www.narrativenow.blogspot.com

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