Transmedia Storytelling... With A CwF+RtB Twist

from the a-cool-experiment dept

Ross Pruden points us to the news that Zen Films, a decade old production house, is launching a new storytelling project, which they admit is partly inspired by the CwF+RtB model that we talk about here. One of the cool things here is that rather than just making a "movie" or a "book," they've this is a "transmedia" project. That is, it's a single story, but told from the viewpoints of (at least) three different participants in the story. One participant's story will be told via a novella, another via a blog and the third via video webisodes. They're still working on the full "reasons to buy," but the initial focus appears to be on offering a combination of convenience and time saving (two important scarcities) by letting you buy access to the full package of content (even as they're just releasing initial segments slowly online). The project is being written by an award winning crime/thriller author. Zen Films is also looking to sign some sponsors (selling the attention scarcity) but seem open to other ideas as well. It definitely sounds like an interesting experiment -- but perhaps we can have a discussion here about additional scarcities that could be offered. Also, I'm wondering if there are ways to make the "connection" element stronger. A great story is certainly one way to connect, but I wonder if Zen Films can also set up a way to build a bigger community around the story, that makes them feel more connected to it and more bought into the concept...
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Filed Under: cwf, rtb, story telling, transmedia

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  1. identicon
    Tyler!, 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:26am


    I had a similar idea on a much smaller scale. A major component in my idea was to have your characters make appearances that were elemental to the story.

    For example:

    One character is a musician - Fans will get location updates on where to find your actor/musician's performances in locations key to the story.

    Another character might be a detective - Fans can follow his check-ins on social sites like Foursquare as he "checks in" to crime scenes.

    Your enemy character can be a mystery to your fans - or fans can be lead to suspect many characters - but at least one actor is leaving real life clues in real life places.

    Most importantly, these actors are doing real-time social updates ABOUT the fans that are interacting with them in the real world - For example, fans buy access through YOU to all the venues the musician will actually be performing at for the chance to have a conversation with the musician that may become integrated into the story line. The scarcity would be face-time with the actors/characters while they're in character. Real fans of the fiction will want to play a role in the fiction too - a real life conversation with an actor would play more like dialogue that's in context with the fiction than an interview with an actor who's out of character.

    Like I said, my idea was on a much smaller scale and the story involved only two protagonists, making it easier to manage. Still, face-time with real people is a legitimate scarcity - one that people would pay money for if it meant interacting with the fiction they love in a real and meaningful way.

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