Jun 202013

Alongside my day job for the past couple of years and various labs and seminars I have been involved in, one thing that keeps coming up is ‘why is the process for making multiplatform so complicated / varied / mysterious / technical’. For many from traditional production processes such as film or TV it can seem like a black art. Not only are there the technical and story hurdles for each platform, whether smartphone, tablet, web or games devices but there are the complexities of delivering to all of them at the same time or in a staggered release schedule. Then comes the further black art area of the back-end server and content management issues.

So in the presentation embedded below the main image, I tried to at least raise some of the key issues about process and considerations. This was part of a public talk in a 3 day lab I ran last week with SAFC for its Digital 360 lab initiative, where I had 15 minutes to set the stage for other speakers talking about various production issues. I didn’t go into some of the key problems that I come across daily in a media organisation, where legacy commissioning structures, budget release and content silo’s cause even more process problems – the ever so present issue of ‘multiplatform’ as an after-thought or very worse case ‘a marketing campaign’ to draw users back to the tent pole tv or film property. That I will leave for another day/post.

One thing I and other enlightened multiplatform producers oft talk about is the parallel production process. By that I mean that for truly integrated cross-channel or merged media story driven products, the best process is where they all run in parallel. They still keep to their own rigid production sequence but wherever possible, they run together. So concepts and stories across Film, Multiplatform and Games are mapped out at the same time. The overall planning and pre-production are hand-in-hand and so on. I tried to find a map/chart of how this could work on the web but drew a blank, so I tried to fill that blank in for my talk. But even this only went so far. So the 1st diagram below is an initial stab at what an ideal production process might look like. Each of the components within the 6 stages across the 3 key media types, synchronised.

Parallel Production

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Oct 262008

I gave an early 9-10.15am keynote presentation to the trendy young filmmaker folk at SPAA fringe on Saturday. It was received well by all who I spoke to and on the grapevine. It was sympathetic to the many case studies shown by Peter Broderick in his two sessions highlighting a range of filmmakers selling DVDs off the web and direct to fans. My talk though looked more specifically at social connection and examples of new form media that went beyond ‘flogging’ the linear video story or doco, or just reaping the benefits of cutting out the middleman. I was keen on trying to get under the skin of what new forms are being developed by the audience themselves – this will be developed in a further post. But…

It was clear that the fringe crowd have moved beyond web 1.0 (brochure sites promoting theatrical or TV), many are half way into web 2.0 (starting to share and discuss) so, introducing the concepts of trust’onomics (tm), web 3.0, (the live and immersive web) and instant communication with communities of interest, did not fall on deaf ears – as it would have done last year.

Laurel Papworth (who was winging her way to Singapore at the time) and I also worked up a simple (albeit complex looking) social media marketing campaign diagram to focus on a few simple phases and steps.

  • INVOLVE – live the social web, understand it, lurk, listen, this cannot be faked
  • CREATE – make relevant content for communities of interest
  • DISCUSS – no conversation around it, then the content may as well not exist
  • PROMOTE – actively, respectfully, promote the content into the networks
  • MEASURE – monitor, iteratively develop and respond or be damned!

Related to this I was surprised by the number of film people who I spoke to at SPAA, who now ‘get it’. They have come to realise the need to engage and surround themselves with experts in this field, helping them develop strategies, hand-hold them through the technology. I was not shy in saying that they need to choose their advisors carefully – not be swayed by marketing hype from new kids on the block or traditional web companies – who are suddenly experts! Effective social network marketing comes from deep understanding and experience of communities and how they operate and what motivates them – not the ability to fiddle with facebook groups, learn a few catch phrases or make cute viral YouTubes. Implenting a campaign the wrong way and you will get your fingers seriously burned, and rather than only being ineffective, have no results it can actually have a negative impact if not handled with empathy and integrity…anyway enjoy the slides above and the ‘simple’ SME Marketing diagram below…


Social Media Campaign

Social Media Campaign