About Gary

 Posted by on April 27, 2007 at 5:13 am  Add comments

Garys Full Wikipedia Profile Link.

Short Bio

Mr Gary Hayes – Founding Director Storylabs.us  and CEO MUVEDesign.com

Gary is an award winning multi-platform producer, author, educator and Director. He was recently Senior Producer and Manager of Product Development at ABC TV Multi Platform responsible for delivering new editorial formats against ABC TV shows including dual screen, social TV, games and mobile. He founded the global training group StoryLabs.us in 2010 (previously founding and running innovation lab LAMP from 2005-10) growing innovative multi-platform, game, virtual world and transmedia productions. He is also currently CEO of Augmented & Virtual Reality company MUVEDesign.com (multi user virtual environments) and creating branded & story based multi platform for major brands. Gary was previously Senior Development Producer and Manager at the BBC in UK for 8 years – delivering interactive Social TV, broadband internet and emerging platforms to millions of UK users. After 2 years in the US as interactive producer Gary then became the founding director in Australia of the Innovation Training Unit LAMP.edu.au via AFTRS between 2005-10. He recently became a Distinguished Talent permanent resident in Australia and since 2005 runs the top ten AdAge Power150 Media & Marketing blog covering personalized pervasive entertainment, personalizemedia.com. Gary designed & lectured full time multiplatform courses at MetroScreen and AFTRS and adjudicates on Virtual Reality and Multiplatform for several Government Screen funding organisations and has been an award juror for many years including the International Interactive Emmy’s and recently Banff Media.

extended bio

Mr Gary Hayes – Director MUVEDesign.com & Founder Storylabs.us

After many years working in the UK’s Music and Multimedia industry Gary joined the BBC in London as a multimedia editor and quickly became a Senior Development Producer then Manager and leading thinker in the BBC’s development of the internet, interactive TV and emerging platforms from 95-04. He devised & produced many of the BBC’s ‘firsts’ – Digital Text, the first broadcast interactive TV service – ‘Nomad’ the first live internet documentary – ‘X-Creatures’ the first broadband TV service and even introduced the first video and audio onto the BBC’s internet sites in 1996. Gary produced and devised over 20 other eTV and broadband TV services including Top of the Pops, Travel Show, State Apart and several future BBC cross-platform navigators. He also conceived with the linear show producers award winning iTV projects such as Antiques Roadshow, Walking with Beasts & various BBC iTV game formats. Gary created numerous courses and seminars on Interactive thinking for linear producers, was active in the Blue Sky Imagineering and R&D depts looking at personal TV and virtual spaces and was a leading part of BBC strategy teams from 2001 in preparing for on-demand, cross-platform services.

Living & consulting in the US during 2004-5 he line produced Showtime’s PVR enhanced L-Word, as part of AFI digital labs and devised a range of new on-demand program formats for two national TV networks. Gary also produced & chaired conferences around LA including Hollywood industry panel seminars and Digital Days both looking at emerging media super-distribution models. He also chaired the Business Models Group from 99-03 for TV-Anytime (the lead media-on-demand standards body) and co-authored a Department Trade and Industry Report on Personal Video Systems. He has been an International Interactive Emmy juror for the past three years.

Between 2005 -10  Gary was the Director the Australian Laboratory for Advanced Media Production run through AFTRS (Australian Film TV and Radio School) and based in Sydney and was probably Australia’s premier emerging media R&D and production labs. It combined seminars, workshops, immersive rapid prototyping residentials and industry focused product development. Through AFTRS he also ran workshops in multi user virtual environments (MUVE) for cinematographers, designers, script writers and directors exploring the potential of shared social online virtual spaces for collaborative production, creativity and education.

From a commercial perspective Gary is CCO and Head of Virtual Worlds with MUVEDesign (and previously the Sydney based Project Factory respectively) pioneering alternate, augmented & virtual world creation and immersive & organic story experiences for TV/Film, Education, Business & Performance. MUVEDesign are currently building and devising commercial and game-like services in Transmedia, Augmented Reality and also virtual worlds, having recently produced and built major Second Life Australian presences including Telstra, ABC, MultiMedia Victoria Laneways, Deakin University, AFTRS, Thursday’s Fictions & other Fortune 100 companies in Second Life. He runs a fictional MUVE blog JustVirtual and a renowned top 10 Australian Media and Marketing blog on media personalisation, digital brands, new media forms and creativity at www.personalizemedia.com and has presented at over 450 conferences on subjects ranging from Transmedia, Augmented Reality business, Advanced and Interactive TV, Personalization, Brands and Education in Virtual Worlds, Media Futures and Interactive Art and Music amoungst others. As a published music producer, composer and performer he has had over 200 works performed live and on TV/Film and Radio.


Take your pick from any of these emails:

  • gary @ personalizemedia.com
  • gary @ muvedesign.com
  • gary @ storylabs.us
  • mail @ garyhayes.tv
  • gary @ korkyt.net
  • gary @ justvirtual.com

Garys web universe

  • www.PersonalizeMedia.com – Gary’s main media blog. Started mid 2005
  • www.StoryLabs.us – Gary is the main founder of this global, multi platform storytelling development initiative
  • www.MUVEDesign.com – His company designing and producing Transmedia, Augmented Reality and Virtual Worlds. Started mid 2007
  • garyphayes.com – A comprehensive hub site, partly devoted to composed music and other personal creativity
  • www.Korkyt.net – Currently Gary’s Filmic Composer Site. (originally homepage/blog format started mid 1995)
  • www.GaryHayes.TV – Focus on Advanced TV blog. Started beginning 2004
  • www.JustVirtual.com – POV as Gary Hazlitt in Second Life. Started early 2006
  • www.LAMP.edu.au – The Australian leading Social & Cross Media Development Lab directed by Gary. Started mid 2005 ended 2010
  • www.TheProjectFactory.com – Gary was Head of Virtual Worlds, most video content on the site still his work. Started 2007.
  • The BBC Musical Nomad – a reconstructed blog site from a live webumentary project (live satellite blogging from Central Asia in 1997) originally at bbc.co.uk/nomad from 1997 – 2008.

Other sites & social media:

Gary’s Web 2.0/3.0 and Social Networks

Selection of wikipedia and wiki cited blog based articles (up to April 07). E.g.:

Aug 122006

I was quite shocked when I heard the news that TOTP (Top of the Pops) is to close down after 42 years and some 2100 episodes. Is this the first of many major ‘heritage’ media brands that are just becoming irrelevant in today’s easy find, on-demand and share with everyone emerging media landscape? Will many major brands simply not be able to turn back time?

Moving recently to the other side of the planet I am somewhat removed now from this cultural icon that became one of a few must see’s during the UK weekly schedule and Thursday evenings (thenFriday) was once THE place to decide what vinyl or CD to buy at the weekend. But I also have a personal connection to the brand having been the producer for six months of the interactive TV pilot back in 1999 which also coincided with a major brand face-lift – more on that later. The BBC News report “BBC Calls Time on Top of the Pops” though captures some of the mixed reaction to this and hints are some of the reasons why this has happened…

In a statement, the BBC said the weekly programme could no longer compete with 24-hour music channels.

“Noel Edmonds said he thought it was “dangerous” to “throw out one of the most recognised brands in TV today. It’s a huge commodity and kids are still listening to music, even if they are downloading it. It’s a tragedy when a broadcaster doesn’t understand such a powerful brand.”
“Top of the Pops has been overrun by video of music on TV.” Said Jimmy Saville. Mike Read, who was a presenter in the 1980s, said: “It was a situation that was obviously coming because of dwindling audiences.”

Top of the Pops – (perhaps paraphrased to ‘best examples of contemporary pop music’) has simply become irrelevant. It appeared to many of its audience as a live performance but, and I hope not to spoil the fantasy, it was never live in the last 10 years or so – I was close to the varying degrees of miming that took place on a pre-record a day before. No TOTP was nearer to a talent show than an up-to date place to really find out about new music. A weekly batch of eight songs selected by a couple of ‘programmers’ prior to a Monday morning production meeting was never going to survive in a world of twenty 24/7 digital music channels, peer-to-peer sharing and the likes of iTunes/iPod. No in the music long tail, a weekly sheduled programme that shows a handful of some of the music at the head of the tail would only survive if it had something truly live or unique.

The TOTP enhanced version, got a a few special XMas airings in a cut down form, but more importantly as a pilot was responsible along with a Wimbledon pilot, for convincing the BBC to do interactive broadcast media. In the pilot, we wanted to explore in one of the many features, a range of ‘extras’ such as those rare backstage glimpses that at least appealed to the ‘goss’ in all of us. But that was not enough. Neither was the ability to sing along in karaoke mode or a link to the video for those who were never keen on the staged ‘screaming kids’ pre-record. One thing I put in the pilot interactive TV version that never made it to the tx versions may have been its saviour (if there was a continous presence on 24/7 digital TV) and that was the web 2.0 elements. Alongside all the ‘insight’ information about the acts I was insistant on including in the pilot community areas that included simple casual games, emails, chat, voting and instant messages from viewers and forums around the show (see the images attached). But most big broadcasters are simply not very good at this sort of stuff, and chicken out, often with excuses of it being too difficult to moderate, or fall back on the technically too expensive excuse (I know we did) – so best leave that to the millions using free, easy to use, open source web 2.0 publishing software then – geez and we wonder why audiences are on a broadcaster exodus. But back to TOTP I really believe that the brand should have been given a chance and rather than a half hearted attempt at the eTV version around XMas specials, a TV 2.0 version would have allowed this particular icon to jump the chasm created by the latest tsunami sized digital wave. But that will never happen and the BBC Worldwide, commercial website, or the weaker bbc.co.uk version, may continue for a while until the brand itself fizzles out in the next few years.

The editorial stance that TOTP had that is now seen as an irrelevant voice to the music youth in the UK must shock other large media brands who believe their editorial team are truly representing what audiences want to consume. I even fear for MTV and those other 24/7 music loop channels who will be very soon relegated to ambient background or occasional party channels as the audience simply shifts to on-demand, shared playlists and only really trusts a global ‘collective recommendation’ system. An individual simply has their own personalized Top of the Pops, which incidentally changes moment to moment. No the editorial winners in the future are not teams sat inside boards rooms, those existing ‘heritage’ aggregators of content (magazines, broadcasters, film studios, newspapers) they will simply be a ‘wisdom of the crowds’ range of trusted filters. An avid music fan in Wisconsin becomes as important as the programmers at MTV or BBC – music will be found by searching for groups of trusted like-minded ‘browsers’ – Top of the Pops becomes Top of the Aggregators.

To put a slightly different slant on it, the distribution channel is now irrelevant for most media consumers, they can get their content in many ways, no now the important thing is trusted sources of links to content. YouTube and GoogleVideo will of course do the same to TV programming over the next few years that MP3 (etc) did to the music industry and TV music programming. The only TV programmes that will survive will not be the ones who simply plop their content a day earlier on iTunes but ones that differentiate themselves from the masses – those who build brand across multiple platforms and more importantly create a web 2.0 blanket around it. If viewers cannot resonate with the content they simply forward it and forget about it. Those brands that do have the ability to receive and incorporate audience content (and not of the “home video show” type – I hate it when some TV folk tell me that is already happening!) – but allow them to offer content and weave it into the fabric of the offering, which becomes effectively what TV magazine programmes used to be – a collection of what people like to see in one package. That will be far more important than anything sixty people, a well equipped six camera shoot studio and the record business can come up with.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006

Oct 032005

Turn off the TV, get off the phone and pay attention! Been doing some recent audience research and feel the need to opine. I talked about this in previous posts but not looked in great detail at some of the interactive, cross-media implications of this very current evolutionary trait. Our (newly developed?) ability to take part in simultaneous activities, parallel process or to simply multitask. It has not appeared out of the blue and I will refer below to one project I produced for two-way interactive TV, way back when. It identified a much sidelined but critical part of all service creation today – so read on. But before I go there let’s get up to date – those 25-34 year olds are at it again, this time they lead the multitasker field.

In July BIGresearch published a survey entitled “Simultaneous Media” to help producers of media and especially advertisers understand this new’ish trend. There is a feeling by many (me included) that this is less to do with a kind of ‘awakening of consciousness’, bigger brains or faster responsiveness but more to do with just tackling too much choice – and peer pressure (needing to know about more – albeit superficially).

“The complexities of everyday life seem to be increasing, and as a result consumers are multitasking as a way of coping.” Joe Pilotta, VP BIGresearch

The survey statistics speak for themselves. Of those studied this is the percentage of users (based on the media type) who do at least one more other thing while using:
Online 69.3%
Radio 69.0%
TV 68.1%
Newspaper/Magazine 40.2%

We are looking at more than two thirds of the audience who are forced perhaps by necessity to parallel process or constantly switch modes. Here lies the rub – are we talking about true parallel processing or just having all channels active and constantly switching between them?. Much research suggests the human brain does not naturally parallel process, but it is incredible at super fast focus switching. Mr. Pilotta agrees

“It’s apparent that multitasking and simultaneous media consumption creates competition for the same time and space. Media may be relegated to the background when consumers multitask e.g. talking on the phone. When they simultaneously consume media, one of the media can morph into the background and back to the foreground intermittently.” said Pilotta

Back to a service I created for BBC interactive TV. Top of the Pops pilot for Digital Interactive Television. I naturally did quite a bit of digging around into the audience demographics and habits for TOTP and found something even in 1999 that resonates even stronger today – young audiences are using TV as ambient filler media while they do immersive, more communicative things (nothing new there – but it was back then!). A slightly more up to date report from 2003 “How Children Use Media Technology – PDF” states now that the 75% of the 8-17 bracket (my TOTP audience) multitask while watching TV. (Incredibly the same report also said that 43% have visited a web site based on a TV ad or promo in the past week – are you listening advertisers?).

Back to TOTP I attempted and succeeded with my service to start the process of meeting the MT’s head-on. If there are large swarms of the population watching TV while browsing the PC in the bedroom, playing with their laptop on the sofa or talking on the mobile between rooms – why not try to bring some of those desired activities onto one screen? If the tech will allow it why not? So…this particular service, some screenshots below, tested extremely well. Young audiences that were able to simultaneous watch four channels of TV at once and answer questions on what they had seen accurately – really got the principle behind this pilot service.


  • TOTP

    It had everything available on one screen, with one pipe (broadcast in, broadband out) meeting many of the demands of the multi-taskers. So this was more to do with cross-media on one platform – the key difference? Multiple modes of operation. So along with the main studio show on the SINGLE SCREEN we had, wait for it:

    live chat, competitions for prizes, an online store, five fun simple, related games, synchronized lyrics, email discussions, chart rundowns, gossip, backstage revelations, tour dates, vote for favourite acts, letters and so on. This was combined with this at least two alternate synchronized streams running parallel to the programme.

    I designed it so that many of the elements desired by user/s was available. It was possible for a fan for example, to watch just the keyboard player stream, while reading a live chat about him AND taking part in a quiz about his band – all on the same screen, at the same time. Or a more favourite mode was watching (OK ambiently watching) the promo video, streaming some text ‘goss about the show’ and voting for your favourite artist. This is not traditional iTV as it mostly became in the UK (a couple of modes of pre-rendered video or text streams) as you can in effect customize or personalize the viewing format and layout for you – or in edu speak “a user controlled construct”.


  • TOTP

    The very interesting aspect was that in testing it fulfilled two needs. A multi-user need, families would share the screen, the kids would play the game while the parents carried on watching the acts. It also met the demand of the multi-tasker who would go into a three or four way mode – it was easy to set up a chat watch, play a competition and listen/watch the current band for example. We don’t see many of these type of ‘multi-modal’ services yet, probably because they are a nightmare to produce (I know from real experience!) – and one often resorts to doing a single mode, compromised service due to production constraints. Things are changing though and viewers are developing their own single screen composites. Even I watched Live8 recently while doing emails, skyping, typing an article, browsing other parts of the web, playing along with the Floyd (I have a little midi keyboard, yes!) and buying something off eBay – ALL on the same screen – even better when we have clearly defined areas on big screens or 3D layers on small mobile screens. Cross-media therefore can mean hundreds of media-types, available in one place – unless the medium really ‘is’ the message?

    Looking at the above it suggests a nod towards that often mis-used term ‘convergence’ – many channels of activity onto a multi-modal device, probably a big one at home and also a take anywhere version (keep saying that!). We are now in a world where viewers very quickly recognise that a service is one-dimensional and then fill the void in their physical world with additional dimensions (TV + mobile + web + games + im etc). Producers need to produce services targeted directly at this new, ‘hungry’ for media-bits, audience on single platforms (what the whole Interactive TV vision was about – well mine at least ;).

    We are moving towards ubiquitous broadband now. Compelling media types spread across platforms may be the start of the journey – perhaps even transitory because that is the environment of change? What lies at the end may be even more compelling cross-media, multi-modal services now technology is catching up. On converged devices, great ideas reinforced by personalized, synchronized, interrelated media choice…let’s hope technical standards, politics and sheer creativity give it another chance.

    Screenshots – Design Jo Hooper, Produced/Conceived Gary Hayes ©BBC

    Just in: A pricey ($1500 US) report just out today from the Center For Media Design looking at The Media Day also reinforce all the above, but note that younger people are not the heaviest web users – in fact it is women 18-39 and 40+ !!:

    These findings and many more reveal the complex and multi-layered media ecosystem within which we live. Whether at home, at work, in the car or elsewhere, media are almost always with us–often in many forms at the same time.

    While many of the long-held assumptions about media–such as the centrality of TV–are reinforced, others–such as the belief that younger people are the heaviest users of the web–are called into question.

    The Middletown Media Studies: The Media Day–as the largest media observation study of its kind–catalogues our daily interactions with media in more detail than ever before.

    Posted by Gary Hayes ©2005