X Media Lab coming up

Right now I’m at home for a bit, but soon I’ll be off again. Hot on the heels of my participation at the Filmteractive Festival in Poland, I’ll be talking at the X Media Lab conference in Switzerland.

xml_logo2The line-up is impressive and I would strongly advice anyone who is interested in multiplatform storytelling and transmedia to make the effort to come to Lausanne. If you have a project, even better, you’ll have a plethora of mentors to give you feedback on your stuff.

I had the opportunity to ask two of my fellow speakers what they were going to talk about, and what they are the most excited about in the transmedia sphere right now. Ingrid Kopp is the Director of Digital Initiatives at the Tribeca Film Institute.

What will your talk be about?

My talk is on lessons I have learned from three years of running the TFI New Media Fund. I am going to focus on the tensions and opportunities that storytelling + technology have thrown up along the way. I am constantly inspired by how creators are using technology to tell their stories and involve audiences in new ways but I also want to acknowledge the bumps along the road and lessons learned. I’ll talk about how other initiatives we have developed like Tribeca Hacks and TFI Interactive try to solve some of these problems, or if not solve, at least create spaces for conversation and collaboration.

I’m also going to give a masterclass on how to think about the audience from day 1. One of the reasons we started the TFI New Media Fund was to challenge ourselves to think about what audiences – or the people formerly known as the audience – were doing and respond to this by supporting new forms of nonfiction storytelling. Many of our supported projects are participatory in some way (18 Days in Egypt, Hollow, Dadaab Stories) and I’ve been fascinated by the interplay between authorship and openness in much of this work.

What in particular have you been excited about over the past few months?

I feel like I am constantly on the edge of my seat looking to see what is coming down the pipeline so I’m looking forward to seeing what projects get submitted for Storyscapes at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2014 (a program I curate). I keep tabs on lots of projects but there are always wonderful surprises. I’m also really excited by new interdisciplinary initiatives like the Made in NY Media Center which will help incubate interesting projects: http://www.nymediacenter.com/ Cross-fertilization of ideas and approaches is one of the most exciting aspects of my job and of interactive storytelling in general and it’s fantastic to see brick and mortar initiatives like this encouraging this innovation.

Jeff Gomez is the CEO of Starlightrunner Entertainment:

What will be the focus of your presentation(s) at X Media Lab and why?

Every year I try to devote at least one of my talks to the challenges that my company and I are going to be facing next. This coming year, Starlight Runner Entertainment is going to be entrusted not just with conceiving transmedia narratives and transmedia strategies, but also with implementing them and making them work at the producorial level.

So this is no longer about giving our clients the blueprints, but about working with our partners to develop transmedia expressions from the get-go and stay with them across the implementation process and through rollout. This isn’t easy, but we have a lot to say about how to do this well, and the time to start talking about it is now.

What have you been most excited about this fall?

The work we’re doing at Starlight Runner has gotten more intense, more challenging and more personal. We’ve matured as a company, and we are now able to leverage the respect and attention that’s afforded a premium brand into some amazing projects. The recent announcement about our work on Splinter Cell is an example of this. The new game and the brand as a whole has been positively impacted by our work, and its great that Ubisoft has supported this fact by their participation in the press coverage of our collaboration. This fall, there are going to be developments for us in the corporate and publishing spaces that I feel will take everything to the next level.

Hope to see you in Switzerland later this month!

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