Mas y Mas April 2012

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mรกs ymรกs

monthly newsletter of NISI MASA


TRANSMEDIA conversations:

What is Transmedia? interview:

Liz Rosenthal

"The Matrix" by Andy and Lana Wachowski (1999)


European Short Pitch Occupy: MashUp Workshop

Selected projects at Cross Video Days 2011

editorial When I ask my former colleagues, all involved in the film industry, if they understand the words “transmedia” or “crossmedia”, the most common answers are “more or less” followed by an uncertain definition or a simple “no”. So is “transmedia” really a buzzword? Sure, but it is not a common word even among the cinema crowd. There is no a ultimate definition of “transmedia” even if the Producers Guild of America established a credit for Transmedia Producers two years ago. The definitions are numerous. One of the most quoted is Henry Jenkins: “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.” There are many other references including the many European transmedia practionners and experts interviewed below: Robert Pratten, Liz Rosenthal, Simon Staffans, Indrek Ibrus, Monte Carlo...

The idea of this special transmedia issue is to help young European cineastes to understand this new buzzword – especially since it is a growing part of the entertainment industry including the film industry. There are indeed many connections between cinema and transmedia. A famous example is Matrix: animations, comics, video Games expand upon the stories of the films. Transmedia is all about building bridges, making various creative teams and diverse professional fields work together: marketing, brands, cinema, video games, ARG, connected TV, books, comics and any other Medias where you can extend a story… At Cross Video Days, we try to bring all these people together. Our call for transmedia projects is open and I am sure that their variety will reflect the diverse interpretations of “transmedia” – which is great because transmedia is wide open to creativity!

by Pervenche Beurier, Programming and development Manager of Cross Video Days

Mas y Mas is a monthly newsletter published by the association NISI MASA. EDITORIAL STAFF Coordination & Layout Lucia Ros Serra

Contributors to this issue: Pervenche Beurier, Simon Staffans, Montecarlo, Indrek Ibrus, Nuno Bernardo, Robert Pratten, Liz Rosenthal, Àlex Badia, Frédéric Zeimet, Jude Lister, Cristina Iurissevich, Lucia Ros Serra, Karl Taul

NISI MASA (European Office) 99 Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis 75010, Paris, France Tel/Fax: +33 (0)9 60 39 63 38 + 33 (0)6 32 61 70 26 Email Website





What is Transmedia?

Telling a story across different platforms can be very easy nowadays thanks to new technologies, but it's not so easy to create an effective cross-media audiovisual project without getting lost in the different media. That's why we have asked some professionals to explain us "What is Transmedia?" and to show us some of their successful projects. Name: Indrek Ibrus Country: Estonia Job: Head of Crossmedia Production MA program at Tallin University Baltic Film and Media School 1. What is Transmedia? At the Baltic Film and Media School in Tallinn where we have new BA and MA programs called Crossmedia Production we also teach ‘transmedia storytelling’. The difference between the two terms for us is that ‘crossmedia’ is a more generic term. Firstly, it is used in more than one industry – in addition to AV-industries it dominates in print industry, in software, etc. Hence we prefer this, somewhat interdisciplinary term. Secondly, ‘transmedia’ is usually used when people refer to specific narratives, specific projects. As for instance Matrix and other examples that people usually bring – one story that is narrated across multiple media. At the same time ‘crossmedia’ is used to refer to much more metalevel actions – to strategies that large media enterprises use to diversify their content offerings. This is why we have

Name: Montecarlo Country: Spain Job: Filmmaker and storytelling. Funder Quimica Visual

1. What is Transmedia? In plain words, when we talk about Transmedia we mean multiplatform storytelling: a narrative (in the widest sense you can imagine) that uses two or more platforms to expose and expand its contents. They can be “work in progress” stories or closed ones; digital, non digital or a mix of both. Here is an example: a story that includes a TV series, offers additional information in books, takes you to the net and then includes some live meetings. 2. How Transmedia storytelling enriches our stories? A complex transmedia narrative allows you to explore all kinds of situations, see the story from different points of view and experience some moments that can’t be included in a conventional, one platform story. That is why we talk about “StoryWorlds”.

chosen to have ‘Crossmedia Production’ as the name of our program. However, the experiments with ‘transmedia storytelling’ have brought us many fascinating innovations. These clever stories unfold across media platforms whereas the unique ‘affordances’ of specific media devices and platforms are effectively utilized to make stories more interactive. 2. How Transmedia storytelling enriches our stories? The enrichment comes in the first place from the user empowerment, their possibilities for participation. But, of course, the capabilities of transmedia to enrich storytelling are relying on the specific affordances of new technologies. For instance augmented reality applications and locative stories that are based on mobile technologies are probably one of the most fascinating developments. Also interactive film has decades of history, but now after the arrival of tablet computers the promise could be finally fulfilled. In our study programmes we are putting an emphasis on exploring the strengths of various media technologies to be used as part of transmedia narratives. Our students learn how to do develop such technologies or applications themselves.

To learn more about our programs please refer to:

3. How the new technologies have helped to develop transmedia projects? The use of digital technologies means that, on a deep level, everything is transformed in data that can be manipulated and reinterpreted in a lot of ways. They can help us to connect platforms at different points allowing us to establish different paths for the audience. It also means that, with the help of algorithms, we can personalize the experience so it becomes unique for each participant. 4. How Transmedia can be useful for Marketing? What is the importance of interactivity or/ and audience participation? People always interact: they can go into different layers through different platforms, including different levels of inmersion. It is their choice: they can play as a classic spectator or become a co-creator. Bigger levels of engagement mean more memorable experiences.

"The idea of Europe" teaser: More info:

dossier Name: Simon Staffans




Country: Finland Job: Format and content developer at Media City Finland

1. What is Transmedia? In my book, transmedia is telling stories over a number of media platforms, stories that are connected and rooted in a common story world. Simple as that. It is a term that overlaps with "cross media" and "multiplatform" to a certain extent, but has a deeper meaning when it comes to storytelling. 2. How Transmedia storytelling enriches our stories? Even if you don’t want to produce a transmedia project, simply using transmedia storytelling methods when developing your content will enrich it substantially. It's all about creating more, to be able to create more. And, if you're going down the transmedia route, you most often won't have to worry about creating everything yourself; your followers and fans will quite probably soon become sort of co-creators themselves. 3. How the new technologies have helped to develop transmedia projects? It depends on what you mean by new technologies. Transmedia is often very reliant on the Internet, and increasingly on smartphones and tablets. New apps or programs to engage with the audience crop up all the time, evolving the possibilities for transmedia substantially. Conducttr or huge services like Twitter or Facebook can be used to serve the purposes of a transmedia project. There is, naturally, a lot of stuff in between. 4. How Transmedia can be useful for Marketing? What is the importance of interactivity or/ and audience participation? Transmedia storytelling and transmedia methods can be extremely useful for marketing. As marketing moves away from pushing products and services at people to engage with possible customers on a deeper level, they have the need for better developed campaigns. Such campaigns should plan for interaction, for immersion, for exploration and for rewards for participants. They should be where the audience is, on a level that is suitable for the audience and the customers to connect to. This is where transmedia methods can help immensely. By, again, creating more - i.e. the story world for your product, the mythology and the character traits of those involved and so on, you will at the same time realize which entry points would make sense to your target audience for them to engage themselves in your product.

"Mask of the Red Death", next Robert Pratten's project Transmedia storytelling is telling a story across multiple platforms in a way that each platform contributes something unique to the audience experience. I think everyone agrees on this basic definition but then opinion diverges on the extent to which the audience should be allowed to participate in the storytelling. I also believe that participation should be at the heart of transmedia storytelling which means transmedia storytelling comes at the intersection of narrative, gaming and social media. I discovered transmedia through researching and experimenting with social media on my feature films. I worked for a year as CMO at a startup exploring user-generated viral videos. This was back when some people thought there ought to be a formula for a video to "go viral". Today there's a greater understanding of social media and that people share content with their friends for improved social status, relationship building and so on: a video becomes a gift, a token of affection.

Transmedia Storyteller Ltd is the company I started to develop a service called Conducttr. Conducttr is a "pervasive entertainment platform". You can think of it as the Final Cut or Adobe Premiere for transmedia storytelling. We're currently open for private beta trials which means anyone with a cool project and who is nice to me can use it One project I'm free to discuss is a feature film called “The Mask of the Red Death�. In addition to the feature - which will play and be sold in the usual way (meaning it's not interactive) - we will have 3 webisodes that tell a prequel to the movie and a physical card game with a digital component. Our Conducttr platform links all the components - the webisodes, the cards, the DVD and all print media like the posters etc - to create a unified experience for the audience.

by Robert Pratten More info: Book: "Getting started in Transmedia storytelling"




A TRANSMEDIA TALE ON SONGS AND MEMORIES The voices of memory is a transmedia documentary about a choir made up with Alzheimer patients. It tells their story from the creation of the choir until their final performance at a huge auditorium, through months of rehearsals and music therapy work – besides the little intimate stories of the patients and their families. The interactive approach came very naturally. During the filming, we witnessed the extraodinary effects which music had on the patients: some couldn’t speak but did sing; some barely walked, but they danced; apathy turned into activity, isolation into relation. Their identity and emotions, erased by the disease, was recovered by means of a very direct and intense link which music provided. It gave them communication channels with the world and themselves when other ways lacked.

We also designed a website to share the soundtrack of significant moments of one’s life. We currently work on an interactive repository of experiences and advice shared by experts and carers. We are also designing a phone app where we get deeper into the playful aspect of music as a therapy.

by Àlex Badia, producer and co-director of "The voices of memory"

Anyone can experience this effect. We all hum a song to recall its lyrics; emotions come alive for any of us when we hear a song which was important at a certain point of our lives. Thus we decided to create tools to place the spectators in the center of the story and to allow them to interact with the characters and come closer to understanding their experience. We made a web version of the film, where viewers can participate in the scenes, attending music therapy sessions or even conducting the choir.

YOUR AUDIENCE, YOUR CURRENCY In 2002 when I was shopping around a small homemade promo of “Sofia’s Diary” to Broadcasters, Mobile Operators and Portals I had no idea about the potential of a crossmedia property and how the way audiences were changing their habits of watching entertainment, especially Television. I just knew that I had this little character that had these small stories and I wanted them to be heard (and broadcast). What I knew at the time was that it didn’t make any sense to limit the content to just one platform: TV, Internet or Mobile. So when I collected more than 20 rejection letters and emails, I started to shape the property at my own risk without a commission, starting as a Blog with a monthly column in a Teen magazine and implementing some mobile interactive services so the audience could stay in touch with the character. This self-funded cross-media approach paid off and let these small stories become a mass-market phenomenon, becoming one of the top TV Shows on Portuguese broadcaster RTP2, a book sensation with almost half-million books sold and a licensing hit. In 2006 the show went international and is now localized in 10 territories around the globe.

“Sofia’s Diary” was shaped around the concept that linear broadcast content was becoming less and less effective as a way to attract and keep audiences. Not that Television was dying, but digital technologies were allowing audiences to shape their own entertainment experience. The Personal Video Recorders and the Internet based devices allowed each person to create their own schedule. The truth is, a single episode of a show can be seen and consumed in so many different ways, during the weeks of it’s first traditional TV broadcast. Although this is a reality, the industry does not seem to be catching up with this new paradigm. The broadcasters are still focusing on formats and content aimed at the linear TV Broadcast. More than 90% of their content is created for TV broadcast, and the Internet and digital are just other windows to re-run the TV material. Original Web (or Digital commissions) or Web-only licensing are still a rarity although broadcaster’s websites, VOD services and other forms of on-demand entertainment already count as a significant part of their daily audiences.

By Nuno Bernardo, Head of BeActive Media




interview... Liz Rosenthal Liz Rosenthal created "Power to the Pixel" in 2007 after she discovered how the Internet and new technologies could empower creators, producers and distributors to reach and engage with audiences. After 5 years, Rosenthal and her colleague Tishna Molla have helped a lot of projects to go to the cross-media level and helping film and media professionals to get into transmedia thanks to their trainings and courses as "The Pixel Lab" or the annual Cross-Media Forum. Why did you create "Power to the Pixel? Power to the Pixel was set up to up to help content creators, film and media companies and other storytellers grapple with how they need to innovate in this cross-media evolving world. We help them find new ways to create, finance and distribute story projects across multiple platforms and help with strategy for both cross-media properties and company innovation. We have created an ever-expanding network of the leading thinkers, practitioners, innovators and decision- makers from across the film, broadcast, online, interactive and publishing industries. As well as advising organisations and creators we run a number of programmes. Our centerpiece event is the annual Cross-Media Forum (16-19 October), connecting the film and media industries with key innovators and businesses, pioneering new models of storytelling, finance and distribution. We also run the Pixel Lab, the leading project-focused business course for developing European cross-media properties. We select up to 20 producers with a project that has cross-media potential (fiction and/or nonfiction), and 20 media professionals (producers and other professionals) without a project. Mentoring is led by the best international practitioners currently working in the cross-media and transmedia space. Do you think is essential to have a cross-media development in a film production nowadays? We think it’s essential for creators and producers of film projects to take a cross-media approach. Entertainment and communication is a multifaceted experience today. Limiting your idea to the theatrical-driven feature format will limit your audience and the discoverability of your project.

Even if feature film is the core format, we advise developing a strategy of how to engage audiences with your story using other platforms and to begin as early on in the process as possible. The audience need, more and more, to feel involved with the story and interact with it, why do you think this is happening? Audience culture is changing. We are no longer solely passive consumers of media but are often actively engaged in the media that we love and hate. Your audience can be an incredibly powerful force if you treat them as collaborators – we now see audiences as co-creators, as evangelical marketers and distributors and even as financiers. This has been driven firstly by the rise of a huge array of social tools, networks and consumer authoring and publishing tools and then the rise of gaming culture. Audiences are demanding content that is way more social and interactive than ever before. In “Power to the Pixel” you aim film and media companies to use new ways of distribute their stories, which steps do you follow to create a new cross-media project? Producers often approach us with cross-media projects that include a checklist of every type of cross-media element: film, TV series, web experience, game, ipad app, book, live event, endless social profiles, ARGs. For most producers, it is a challenge to create, finance and distribute the traditional element that they know best. We believe that the best way to approach a multiplatform project is to have a great strategy and to plan out how to build your project step by step instead of thinking of launching a huge franchise all in one go. Even if for example, the feature film is the core experience that sits at the heart of the project, it is really important not to limit yourself to this one experience but to imagine how your future audience may encounter and experience your idea in different places, platforms and ideas. For this approach thinking of your story project as an experience as opposed to a format is key. We are at the beginning of a new era of storytelling are in the experimentation phase. There is no established language, no rules or financing model and therefore no template or one-size-fits all model. Exciting for pioneering creators and entrepreneurs but less appealing for those who are loath to take risks!

by Lucia Ros Serra

More info:



What an intense month we had! First the Occupy: Mashup Workshop where our participants learnt "the art of MashUp" and thought about collaborative movies about political movements. Second, an intense weekend in our annual European Short Pitch, where young filmmakers and scriptwriters pitched their projects in fron of producers from all around Europe. The common point? Maribor, of course.

Picture by Cristina Iurissevich


Occupying the Workshop As being the coordinator of the Occupy: Mashup workshop, for me the workshop began already a couple of months before the actual event in Maribor. Reading the applications and seeing how young filmmakers are concerned about what is going on around them, made me feel relaxed and secure. It was nice to read that many of the to-be participants had already been working on different documentaries about the Occupy Movement and Arab Spring. But our goal was to get all the participating involved in this global movement, to make them go deeper into its roots and to make them analyze the possible further developments. To do this, we began a preparation phase already over a month before actually going to Maribor with everyone gathering, filming and sharing their ideas and inspiration among the others. This way, when

we arrived in Maribor, everyone had some visions of what they want to say and in which way. With the help of the lovely tutor Maja Malus the groups were formed and the ideas developed. We all agreed that the thing we had the least was time and all our actions should be directed in getting our videos done before the deadline. This helped us save ourselves from a lot of stress and made the week a truly pleasant experience. The people, who showed so much care to what is going on around the world, didn’t disappoint in caring for the fellow participants. With the background of the lovely city and people of Maribor, a family-like atmosphere of the young filmmakers, a topic, that didn’t leave anyone cold and an enjoyable work-process made Mashup: Occupy workshop a fantastic week of experiences.

by Karl Taul

EUROPEAN SHORT PITCH 2012 MARIBOR A Luxembourgish Man in Maribor If anyone ever told me, a Luxembourgish young screenwriter, that I would share a room with two Maltese men, while being tutored by a Hungarian story editor in a class with a Greek-Russian-English female animator, a French screenwriter, a Slovenian director of 500 shows and a German often awarded director, I would have laughed out loud. That’s one of the greatest and most amazing things about the European Short Pitch: we meet a lot of people from all over Europe. These 25 other screenwriters and directors are all really talented people and I learned a lot just by spending time with them. During the workshops and because of these authors, one enters a creative cocoon where one’s writing gets better and better. The human part of this adventure is very special too. A real intimacy grows between the participants. Pictures by Jude Lister

We get to know each other better and I came to understand that making films, working in cinema is an everyday struggle and it gets worse when we want to make great things a little bit out of the ordinary. Of course, another interesting part was the meeting with the producers. How often do we get the opportunity to meet more than 30 producers in one day, all prepared to listen to us, read our script? I am still young but I know for a fact, it won’t happen a lot of times. I know that sometimes these articles all sound the same: “It was great...”, “I really loved it”…. These articles repeat themselves because it’s true! I loved the European Short Pitch and so will you! So, write down the next deadline for the Workshops and be part of a journey that will help you in your craft and change you as an author.

by Frédéric Zeimet



European short pitch 2012 Awards

There was talk about it for quite a while, but now it’s official: during the month of March, founder, visionary and all-round driving force of NISI MASA Matthieu Darras left his position as General Delegate…

Between the 2nd and 4th of March 2012, European Short Pitch organized its annual coproduction forum and pitching sessions in Maribor, Slovenia where a total of 24 projects by young filmmakers and scriptwriters from all over Europe were pitched in front of industry professionals and producers.


For those who are panicking reading this announcement – don’t fear, he will still be around as a volunteer on various projects and initiatives! We’d like to say a big thank you and all the best to Matthieu. And watch out for a special dedication in next month’s newsletter. We couldn’t let him sneak away without marking the occasion in Mas y Mas :)

Nisimazine Cannes participants!

The three projects that received the European Short Pitch Award 2012 were: - The Chicken - Une Gunjak (Bosnia/Italy/ UK) - Chain - Eicke Bettinga (Germany/ Bulgaria) - Electrifying Love - Avgousta Zourelidi (Greece/UK)

The pixel lab

Marvelous news! We are proud to announce the name of the 8 participants of our Nisimazine Cannes 2012! Participants from France, Estonia and Turkey will take part of our Film Journalism Workshop in Cannes Film Festival (16 - 27 May 2012), where they will form an international team motivated to make innovative and fresh festival coverage. The team will create a 96-page-e-book covering the Camera d’Or competition (open to 1st feature films only) and the shorts of the festival! Every selected participant will spend a week in Cannes in this unique opportunity to gain practical, hands on experience in film journalism. These are the name of the participants: - Aurite Kouts (France) - Greta Varts (Estonia) - Emilie Padellac (France) - Chloe Vollmer-Lo (France) - Franziska Knupper (Germany / France) - Ali Deniz Şensöz (Turkey) - Marek Mäemets (Estonia/Austria) - Cecile Janvier (France)


NISI MASA Sweden organized a five-day Stop Motion Workshop during BUFF - the International Children and Young People’s Film Festival in Malmö in the middle of March. Now that the Workshop is over, it's time to analyze the results and they couldn't be better! The participants and organizers had lots of fun and they get to shot 5 beautiful stop motion short films that, hopefully, we will be watching soon online! Good job!


Power to the Pixel is leading a cross-media course called “The Pixel Lab” to begin in July, outside Berlin. “The Pixel Lab” course is opened to European media professionals interested in learning the innovations in the crossmedia space and how to create, finance and distribute a story within different platforms. Power to the Pixel will select 40 European producers, storytellers, filmmakers or creatives to attend an immersive six-day residential workshop from 1st to 7th July. Also, selected projects will receive a distance mentoring during the summer and a final workshop in London that will be held from 15th to 18th October. Deadline to be a part of The Pixel Lab is 30 march. Application form: pttp-events/pixel-lab-2012

French actress Jean Moreau is in charge, in conjuction with the Premiers Plans Festival, of the Angers Workshops, which arrive to its 8th edition this year. The Workshops, that will take place in from 4th to 11 July 2012, are directed toward young European filmmakers with one or two short films to their credit and a feature film in project. During the Angers workshops, the participants will have the opportunity to develop their artistic projects in classes focusing on the artistic, technical and financial aspects of making a first film. Directorial skills, filming, editing and post production, music and sound will be the main objectives of the workshops. You can apply till the 24th April. More info and application form:



- during pre-organised one-to-one meetings with European commissioners The selected teams will be invited for free to the Cross Video Days incl. the European transmedia Market, conferences and workshops with European experts of digital content, and networking lunches! It's a unique opportunity to get seen, financed, (co)produced and distributed!

12 young lucky video journalists and filmmakers from Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia, will create their own TV show covering the festival during a workshop tutored by NISI MASA Austrian member, kino5. The workshop will be held from 24th- 29th April during the 9th edition of CROSSING EUROPE Film Festival Linz (Austria), where will be shown the most interesting and innovative films of young European filmmakers. The participants will become TV reporters and live a real film journalism experience making film reports, interviews and covering events. For more information about the film selection of the festival and the workshop:


To participate, fill out the form - free of charge. Application deadline: 10 April 2012. Form:


Slovene Philanthropy and Zavod Voluntariat will celebrate the 2012 World Refugee Day (June 20th) in Slovenia with the 3rd edition of the On the Road festival of migrant film (Ljubljana, 18th – 22nd June). We once again aim to offer our audience a selection of insightful and provocative films focused on migrants and migrations worldwide!

Do you want to co-produce or/and distribute your cross-/transmedia programme ? Come and meet business partners at the Cross Video Days Market on June 12-13 in Paris! Cross Video Days is looking for innovative digital content such as webdoc, webfiction, webseries, webTV, ARG, transmedia projects...

An activist festival first and foremost, FMF strives to uncover a wide spectrum of topics related to refugees and migrants of any and all kinds and (formal) statuses, explore past and contemporary migratory trends and highlight integration processes and cultural heritage of immigrants in an effort to promote acceptance and inclusive coexistence in the 21st century’s multi and intercultural societies.

20 projects will be selected and pitched : - in front of 500 professionals and an online audience of thousands of people in the trade. Be seen by potential buyers and investors!

For more information about the possibility to participate with your own film or video check the open call on our website Deadline 25th April

agenda 30 march

Deadline for applications for The Pixel Lab

1 april

Deadline for applications for IFDA Summer School

10 april Deadline Cross Video Days Market

12 -18 april

Dazoo's Visegrad Shorts of Tour

24 april

Deadline for applications Angers Workshops

25 april

Deadline for submissions at Festival of Migrant Film "On the Road"

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