Jul 272011
 

OK not really a Dummies guide as there are some complex elements in here,  but one has to use whatever memes are in vogue :) A few weeks ago I was commissioned by Screen Australia to write a very basic structure & guide for producers relatively new to multi platform content to structure & document their propositions, after they have developed the ‘audience centric’ concepts. This has just been published on the Screen Australia site as a digital resource for those needing to document projects for transmedia productions.

Background? I had already been using a range of structures in my 17 years as cross media producer (BBC, MUVEDesign, GaryHayes.TV etc:) and lecturer (recently Multi Platform course lead at LAMP, Australian Film TV and Radio School, Metro Screen & many international workshops). These structures are used by students and professionals in ‘growing’ their documentation but also crystallising their ideas into a formal shareable team document – often to go along with a presentation or pitch.

There are many ways to construct this kind of resource for a production team but I broke it into five clear sections – Story/Treatment, Function, Design, Technical and Business, all, like transmedia itself, with connecting tissue and blended narrative arcs :) I am always keen on making the documentation as user centric as possible and that is the focus here, keeping an eye on story, user need and a structure to encourage you to think all the time about whether this is something, someone will truly use! This is also one of 30+ chapters in my Networked Media Storytelling Book much closer to publication – but keeping up with Augmented Reality and Social Media areas, tricky :)

The writing guide is free to download from the Screen Australia site, link below the introduction. Enjoy

This document is intended to provide a useful, best-practice guide to the thinking, planning, documentation and supporting materials required when developing a property across multiple media platforms. It is predominantly aimed at the producers of such projects, who have responsibility for the overall direction of all key areas, and should inform the input they need from their various multi-disciplinary team members.

The bible that this document will guide you towards is not a production bible in the traditional sense – a format document for franchising a TV property into other markets – but rather a catch-all that covers key components of a complex multi-platform service. Your bible may be extended to a full production reference document as the sections it contains become more detailed. Some sections across each ‘chapter’ may appear to be repetitive but should reflect a different perspective and specialisation on common areas of the project.

The Transmedia Production Bible is primarily a document that captures key story and design IP elements, rules of engagement, functionality and technical issues across multiple platforms, and an overview of the business/marketing plan. Each of the five main sections requires specialist members of the project team to be responsible for its development as the service goes from conception to production and the document becomes a fully detailed production bible.

You don’t necessarily need to follow this structure precisely as the final format will depend on the range of content, scope and scale of your proposition – the amount of story, technical complexity, business elements or design thinking, etc. The suggested length of each section is for guidance only, and the included diagrams are intentionally simplistic to encourage your own interpretations.

20 PAGE PDF DIRECT DOWNLOAD HERE – and a contents list for those unable to see the PDF for some reason

INTRODUCTION. 2

TREATMENT.... 4
Tagline.... 4
Back story and context...4
Synopsis  4
Plot points.. 5
Characterisation and attitude.5
Scripts....5
User-centric scenarios.... 5

FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION 6
Multi-platform form....6
Rules of engagement . 7
Platforms and channels . 7
Service build overview .... 7
User journey...8
Key events . 9
Timelines.... 9
Interface and branding...9

DESIGN SPECIFICATION... 10
Design aesthetic ...10
Branding and design guidelines introduction.10
Storyboard....10
Wireframes ... 11
Style guide, colour and font specs 12
Media design styles ..12
Full assets list..12

TECHNOLOGY SPECIFICATION... 13
Technology platform vision ...13
System architecture.13
Underlying magic in the technology ..14
Service build infrastructure ..14
Device methodology .14
User management ....15
Content management, back-end and server .15
Coding and builds.15
Quality assurance testing .15

BUSINESS & MARKETING.. 16
Goals ....16
Success indicators .... 17
User need.17
Target audience and marketing 17
Business models...18
Projections, budgeting and timelines 18
Production team ...19
Status and next steps ...20
Copyright, IP & licensing..20
Summary and calls to action 20

 

And Just for fun: Get your Transmedia brains working. First a Social Multi Platform TV Brief O’Matic. Instructions on the first screen.

for even more fun: The Windmills of your Transmedia Mind – a user journey randomiser

Instructions for above:

  • Choose ‘auto’ (default) and just watch it in veg out mode
  • Choose ‘manual’ then click the top right red button for each of the ‘next’ steps
  • Choose ‘about’ for a little description…

A Cross Media User Journey…should describe the route a user takes through a complex multi platform service. It can refer to their thought processes, the actions they take at various points, the story fragments that are revealed at each junction as they travel across a plethora of channels, devices and forms. It often captures the essence of their UX, user experience and is often displayed as a flow chart.

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  39 Responses to “Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible”

  1. the pdf looks like a good outline… but under project purposes…WHY only “social good” ;) how come we cant design Transmedia Productions that will cause Social Ill’s?;) i mean we can make them “commercial to make money”, as well as “commercail to lose money”..or am i the only one who ever saw “The Producers” ?

    Bible on..dudes..

  2. ;) yeah…
    Springtime for Hitler: the iphone ARG. facepalm….

  3. Your post is really helpful. This is great!
    Julia recently posted..cheap car insuranceMy Profile

  4. Never even knew what a transmedia guide was until now. Thanks!
    Danny Whitehouse recently posted..Common SEO issues you can fix in an afternoonMy Profile

  5. the post is amazing, great resource

  6. I didn’t know how make this transmedia poduction. But your social multi-platform TV samplee seems nice and interesting to learn. I wish I could learn this through reading your dummies guide to writing a transmedia production. I also like the animation of the adobe flash player on the last picture.
    Stephan Hilson recently posted..Comparateur de forfaits mobilesMy Profile

  7. Story/Treatment, Function, Design, Technical and Business, here is the #Transmedia Production Bible | PERSONALIZE MEDIA http://t.co/vT2uYmT

  8. RT @garyphayes: Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/0ExfFf9

  9. Story/Treatment, Function, Design, Technical and Business, here is the #Transmedia Production Bible | PERSONALIZE MEDIA http://t.co/vT2uYmT

  10. Story/Treatment, Function, Design, Technical and Business, here is the #Transmedia Production Bible | PERSONALIZE MEDIA http://t.co/vT2uYmT

  11. RT @garyphayes: Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/x0rv8J8

  12. RT @garyphayes: Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/4x6sdWF

  13. Guide to writing a Transmedia production bible + free download of document: http://t.co/JOIPyyb

  14. this is really a very interesting software which I have never come across. I guess this will really help in using this to the best to of my utility. I really loved it and I am sure I will share this with every one who needs it in my circle.
    Leonor Miller recently posted..Bras ergonomique ErgorestMy Profile

  15. Uber Media Craftsman Gary Hayes's Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible. http://t.co/MiEYst4 #Transmedia #Production

  16. Guia de produção para a #eratransmídia http://t.co/EnLFRKBc

  17. Guia de produção para a #eratransmídia http://t.co/EnLFRKBc

  18. I never knew it was that easy! Here I go…
    Stacy recently posted..Medical AssistantMy Profile

  19. I am grateful for the PDF. It doesn’t look much of a dummies guide but I think with the info provided, I can learn a lot about transmedia production.
    Deborah recently posted..how to get a girl to like youMy Profile

  20. Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible | PERSONALIZE MEDIA http://t.co/u14grQPc

  21. Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible, by @GaryPHayes http://t.co/vSSu6OcV #in

  22. Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible, by @GaryPHayes http://t.co/vSSu6OcV #in

  23. Wow!!! its amazing details and I’ve learn a lot…its very interesting;-)
    Thanks for the post…
    Ashley recently posted..fishingMy Profile

  24. Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible | PERSONALIZE MEDIA A bit melodramatic, but useful. #yam http://t.co/yw2oqleE

  25. Transmedia separation of church and state? The production bible? #yam http://t.co/l7MY3Mar

  26. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  27. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  28. On my reading list – RT @GaryPHayes: Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/Kbceobt0

  29. On my reading list – RT @GaryPHayes: Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/Kbceobt0

  30. this is good. Scroll down to the Multiplatform Brief-o-matic http://t.co/8vGRskVf (cc @garyphayes, @shensing, @grivvr)

  31. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  32. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  33. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  34. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  35. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  36. Archive: : Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/VVspug2Z

  37. Great stuff Gary! RT @garyphayes: Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/EhD5OGLr @inkyhaze @spitshineflicks

  38. Great stuff Gary! RT @garyphayes: Dummies Guide to Writing a Transmedia Production Bible http://t.co/EhD5OGLr @inkyhaze @spitshineflicks

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