Interview with filmmaker Amit Breuer about Transmedia Storytelling and the “Why Transmedia?” – Amit Breuer is an Israelian born documentary filmmaker and producer. She founded AmythOS films in 1993 as an independent documentary production company and won several prices as filmmaker and producer. When she moved to Toronto in 2004 her company moved along with her to a country which is very open-minded towards transmedia projects. The National Film Board of Canada finances a lot of transmedia productions already.
Amit Breuer is co-creator of “Love Letters to the Future” a project supported by Greenpeace, which gives you the opportunity to send a personal letter about climate change to future generations. 100 letters will be preserved in a time-capsule.
The on-going global cross-media campaign addresses climate change in a personal and creative way and invites the world to send twitter length messages, videos and photos to future generations. The interactive game-like project was launched across the web, mobile and urban spaces. It was supported by Greenpeace and a group of NGOs and featured in a live event during the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.
We met at Cross-Media Net Lab Dok Leipzig 2011 where she was one of our experts. We are very glad that Amit found the time to answer our questions – thanks a lot again!
As a filmmaker why are you into transmedia?
Transmedia opens new creative frontiers in storytelling. It allows our imagination to push boundaries and experiment non linear story telling that moves between platform and traditional narrative. It also opens new ways of outreach the audience in more flexible ways like mobile, live event and other entry points to the story.
What’s driving the sudden activity and buzz around “transmedia”?
Everyone realizes we live in a very fragmented media environment and tries to reach audience everywhere and all the time. As mentioned above the dynamic technology and mainly the relatively new mobile devices flooding the market by Apple and others opens great opportunities now more then ever.
Can you think of any examples of content, either mainstream or niche, that are great case studies for how things should play out?
Heroes by Tim Krings comes to my mind. The first season was a huge success but it changed dramatically after. See this link its interesting to hear the conclusion of why the following one did not work so much. His other project CONSPIRACY FOR GOOD is a great example.
Lance Weiler has an interesting take on the architecture of transmedia story telling. There are more but I think these are great examples to analyze the potential. In Europe I think Gebrüder Beetz are doing an interesting work in Germany, Farewell Comrades is a good example. And of course Submarine in the Netherlands.
Do you think that only Hollywood and big networks are able to realise “cool” transmedia projects? (What does it need to accomplish great projects?)
Well it helps to have a good budget from a sponsor like Nokia or LG , especially if you are working globally with invested vidoes etc. it takes a lot of planning and coordination that costs. But I think we will see more and more less major experiments. Innovation is a key here, we see that its difficult to repeat the same old in the next project, (Heroes) and also i think the audience patience to follow and actively participate is very limited.
What do you wish for upcoming transmedia projects?
Its a very long answer that my time won’t allow a serious answer here I am afraid, but in short: as said above we have to keep being creative, every original new experiment if its cool and innovative lies within audience interest, potential pro active participants from the branding major mainstream world or niche activism community who are committed to a certain cause, can work!
We learn as we go, certainly we should have a very rich plan carefully developed to keep the interest of the audience to the next step, so the story telling and the unfolding deployment should be developed and mastered like a good Chess championship. My tip: always think that the collective mind of the audience is bigger then yours!
What is the transmedia scene in Canada like?
Well there are lots of ARGS, webisodes mostly are linked to TV properties. Some active companies are Stitchmedia, who are experts in ARGs and The Secret Location.
Thanks a lot Amit!
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