fundamentally about leveraging multiple platforms and mediums to tell a story
or build an interactive experience. In most cases, projects require the
collaboration of people with very different skill sets and specific expertise.
Sometimes, those people also don’t come from the same background and are not
necessarily used to collaborating with each other. As a result, the producer of
such projects is left with the task of having to orchestrate very complex
projects and hybrid teams – more than any other kind of media project. This is
why in 2010, the Producer’s
Guild of America decided to add: "Transmedia
Producer.” to the Guild’s producers code of credits. This decision had a major
impact in that it heavily contributed to the establishment of the term as an
industry standard. More and more companies are now laying claim to expertise in
producing transmedia content.
On Tuesday November 27th, TransmediaSF held a meetup at WESTERNIZED dedicated to the role of the transmedia producer.
Four producers where invited to share best practices and build a "Transmedia
Producer’s Guide” moderated by Maya Zuckerman, TransmediaSF co-founder. The PGA Northwest was very proud to
co-host the all female panel featuring three PGA Northwest members: Esther Lim,
Susan Bell, and Lin Tam. It is not an easy thing to describe a role that is constantly
remodeled and challenged by new technologies, practices and tools. One of the
night’s hot topics was building multi-disciplinary teams.
Multiple platforms need multiple experts in the making. "You’re not
building a story. You’re building a universe” says Susan Bell to describe the
numerous branches and interactions that need to be put together when producing
a transmedia experience. Transmedia producers are responsible for building the
team that will create the magic, mixing complementary skills and finding the
right balance between extraordinary creativity (storytellers, game designers,
story architects) and top notch execution (developers, community managers,
planners, filmmakers, copywriters, etc.). How do you get them to work together
and understand each other? How do you transfer the vision when the project goes
from hands to hands? Good luck with that.
Esther Lim discussed
the importance of educating the client. Over the past few years, transmedia
storytelling has become a hot buzzword – "the next big thing” or "the last big
thing” depending on whom you ask. A lot of brands get excited by the
opportunity to deliver the brand image in a newer fashion, providing
entertainment on multiple platforms and reaching their audience in an
authentic, yet sticky way. But they also easily get lost in the intricacy of
transmedia and its lack of tangibility. One of the main missions of a
transmedia producer is therefore to educate its clients: helping them identify
the business objectives, to know their audience, to measure the risk, to
prepare for uncertainty and to understand new interactions with the brand.
"Don’t underestimate the time you spend convincing, explaining and re-assuring
your client. It’s huge."