Getting Everyone on the Same Page
THE BIRTH OF CROSS MEDIA PRODUCTION
Adventures in Storytelling pt. 8 – Getting Everyone on the Same Page
By Brian Seth Hurst
The network, the creators, producers and writers and the cross media producers all need to start in the same place. Call it mutual education in which the cross media folks learn in depth about the show and the show folks learn what is possible across platforms. Lines of communication and approvals must be established right away. If this is truly going to be distributed story telling that works, then no one can work in isolation. During preproduction, the Cross Media producers should be briefed and then either go away and come back with a fistful of prioritized executable ideas or what I consider to be the most fun a brainstorming session with producers where the possibilities are thrown on the table, vetted and prioritized.
Ideally the Executive Producer Cross Media should ride shotgun with the producers of the show. The story arc, plot twists and turns, and character development are just a few of the things that will provide foundation for cross media ideas.
Cross-platform strategies can vary significantly according to producer Patrick Crowe. “In the Fallen Alternate Reality Game, the TV production provided the framework for the game world,” explains Crowe. “However, we had enormous freedom to develop the game plot and characters provided these remained consistent with the themes of the TV mini-series. By contrast, in our previous ARG for the TV drama ReGenesis, we worked directly with the writing team of the TV series, planting interactive events into every single episode. Sometimes these clues even influenced the plot of the TV drama.”
What should you consider in the process of building a cross media proposition? The process is deep but exciting. A book or even a manual could be written on it. It is both an art and a science, but briefly you should keep the following factors in mind:
The Business Models
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Brian Seth Hurst is CEO of the Opportunity Management Company, Inc. a cross media strategy and production company. Hurst served two terms as Chairman of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council (’03-’05) while simultaneously serving on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors. Currently, he is Second Vice Chair of the Television Academy and sits on the National Board of the PGA.