Transmedia storytelling was well received at this year’s International Digital Emmy Awards. Primeval Evolved and Reservoir Hill received Emmys for their innovative storytelling, while Heroes creator and executive producer Tim Kring received this year’s Pioneer Award at the award show in Cannes.
This past year has been particularly good for Primeval Evolved developer Hoodlum. In September, the Australian digital entertainment company took home a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy for its work on Dharma Wants You, the third alternate reality game for ABC’s hit drama LOST. Earlier tonight, Hoodlum added another Emmy to its growing collection, as the Primeval Evolved experience won the International Digital Emmy for “Best Digital Program: Fiction.” The campaign allowed players to join the Anomaly Research Centre (ARC) team from ITV’s drama Primeval.
UK residents can still experience the Primeval Evolved interactive drama, a series of ran concurrently with the third season of Primeval. Each chapter of Primeval Evolved is preceded by a recap of the previous episode of the television series, before allowing players to begin the adventure. In addition to a series of online games creating a framework for the story, the series featured Temple TV: In Living Connor, a series of videos filmed by series regular Connor Temple, played by Andrew Lee Potts.
ITV recently announced that Primeval has been picked up for two more seasons starting in 2011 on ITV1 and Watch. Congratulations to ITV, Hoodlum, and Impossible Pictures for their International Emmy win.
Congratulations also go out to Reservoir Hill for securing New Zealand’s first International Emmy. The interactive web series picked up an Emmy in the “Digital Program: Children & Young People” category. At the end of every Reservoir Hill episode, viewers had the opportunity to text in suggestions to influence the course of the story. They could also interact with the main character through weekly video blogs and through her Bebo page. New Zealand viewers can still enjoy the Reservoir Hill web series at TVNZ Ondemand.
Tim Kring received the 2010 Visionary Prize at the awards, honoring his contributions to the field of digital entertainment. International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences President and CEO Bruce Paisner noted, “Tim Kring is a masterful storyteller and the Heroes Evolution digital experience is the ultimate showcase for successfully integrating technology and content.” As the Visionary Prize recipient, Kring delivered a keynote address earlier today to MIPTV conference delegates.
Image courtesy of Nina Bargiel
Yesterday, the Streamy Awards kicked off its Streamy Craft Awards Ceremony, recognizing excellence in original web television programming. While the Streamy Awards Ceremony will take place on April 11 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, tonight’s ceremony at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre recognized innovation in the craft of digital production in particular.
Among the night’s winners were a few series that utilized alternate reality games as part of their storytelling. MTV’s Valemont took home the awards for Best Interactive Experience in a Web Series and Best Mobile Experience in a Web Series. The series was produced by Gemini Division veterans Electric Farm Entertainment, and consisted of a series of two and a half minute episodes broadcast on MTV.com and through Verizon Wireless’ V Cast service.
Nina Bargiel was tapped to create the alternate reality game for the series that allowed players to enroll at Valemont University, interact with characters across various social media, and participate in the show’s ongoing murder investigation. Since the episodes were so short, the alternate reality game became an integral element in the story’s development. Indeed, after the game’s conclusion, Valemont released two alternate endings for the series. Electric Farm Entertainment is set to produce a Valemont spin-off TV movie and five half-hour episodes that could be slated into a full series in the future. Winning two Streamy Awards may help push these plans forward for the web series and alternate reality game.
Riese will also be returning from the Streamys with an award, after picking up Best Cinematography in a Web Series. The show promoted its release with an alternate reality game that brought the series’ distinctive steampunk flair to life. Riese, like Valemont, has partnered with Fireworks International to manage the show’s transition from web to television.
Click Here to visit Valemont Commons, the fan community for Valemont.
Artwork by Reinier Clabbers.
Between January 21-31, cinephiles and celebrities will converge on Park City Utah for the annual Sundance Film Festival, immersing themselves in a rich tapestry of stories from independent filmmakers around the world. However, the immersion will start a few days early for Lance Weiler. Seize the Media’s upcoming transmedia project HiM was selected as one of twelve projects for the Sundance Institute’s Screewriters Lab. Weiler and his co-writer Chuck Wendig will spend the five days leading up to the Festival at the Sundance Resort honing their writing.
Over the course of the workshop, writers meet one-on-one with a distinguished group of creative advisors. Reflecting on his experience, 2009 Sundance Lab Fellow Avi Weider explains that the Lab served as “a great opportunity for everyone who got to go to really work intensively on the script and not to be able to hide from any of the soft spots that are lurking in all of our writing.” Weiler notes that he looks forward to the one-on-one sessions as a chance “to not only be able to workshop the script, but to be able to talk about ideas about how [to] deal with pacing and focus, and how [to] execute across multiple platforms effectively.”
Michelle Satter, Director of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program, notes that this is the first time the Lab will support a transmedia project. The Sundance Institute Screenwriter’s Lab has supported an extensive list of award-winning independent films in the past including John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, Kimberly Pierce’s Boys Don’t Cry and Quentin Tarantino’s Resevoir Dogs.
HiM has attracted attention at CineMart and Power to the Pixel for the elaborate transmedia narrative planned. Weiler admits that some of the game’s content has been out in the wild since the end of Hope is Missing in 2007. Sometime in 2010, these assets will be complemented by the release of geo-locative applications for the iPhone and Android tied to the experience. Later in 2010, Weiler hopes to begin shooting the feature film, which will serve as “just one larger component within [the] whole story world.”
Power to the Pixel’s Cross-Media Film Forum at The Times BFI London Film Festival has come to a close. Capping off the event, Power to the Pixel announced that Desedo Films won the 2009 Babelgum Pixel Pitch Award for their project Heart of the City, taking home a £6,000 prize to turn their pitch into a reality.
Power to the Pixel received 120 submissions from 14 countries for the Pixel Pitch competition. Seven teams from production companies hailing from France, the UK, and the United States were invited to present in London during the festival. In the end, Desedo’s project came on top, with the evocative tagline, “What if Kanye West Met Lord of the Rings?“
Heart of the City was pitched as a “quest narrative set in the world of urban teens: a web series, an ARG, comics, products and a feature film.” The story revolves around two New York City teens who discover a talisman that enables them to transform their daydreams into reality. Over the course of the story, they explore the talisman’s secrets “between skateboarding, romance, and momma jokes.”
ABC, the producers of LOST, and Australian digital entertainment company Hoodlum walked away from last night’s Emmy Awards with the award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction for their work on the alternate reality game Dharma Wants You. ABC secured a win from its NBC competition, beating out both The 30 Rock Digital Experience and The Office Digital Experience for the award.
The game, centering around the now-defunct website DharmaWantsYou.com, subjected participants to a series of tests administered by Octagon Global Recruiting on behalf of the Dharma Initiative. Each test included a cheat function, allowing savvy players to achieve higher scores. Participants taking advantage of the cheats were eventually sorted into the Black Swan groups, while those who played “fairly” were placed into the White Swan Group.
According to Hoodlum, Dharma Wants You utilized a “variety of media platforms ranging from websites, exclusive video, interactive games, Bluetooth, mobile, TV, VOIP, social networks, and complex real-world events involving hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.” Spanning the gap between the fourth and fifth seasons of LOST, Dharma Wants You is ABC’s third alternate reality game for the show.
The show’s first alternate reality game, The Lost Experience, captured a dedicated global audience, while the show’s second ARG, Find 815, secured a nomination for a Primetime Emmy in 2008. LOST is currently promoting the release of the season five DVDs with Lost University, an in-depth look at the show’s mythology. Enrollment at the university is slated to commence tomorrow.
Click Here for our previous coverage of Dharma Wants You.
Congratulations are in order to 42 Entertainment and all of the staff involved in the alternate reality game ‘Why So Serious?’ for taking home the coveted Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Cyber Lions ceremony on Wednesday, June 24.
According to an article by Ed White, Lars Bastholm, the Chief Digital Creative Officer at Ogilvy and president of the Cyber Lions jury, noted that the ‘Why So Serious?’ campaign “aggregated the elements of the Batman cultural phenomenon with an ARG, and added that the 18-months build-up prior to the film’s launch heralded a welcome trend in brands taking more time to create deeper relationships with consumers.” The article notes that fellow juror Bram De Rooij noted the underlying metrics supported the campaign’s success.
This is the second consecutive year that 42 Entertainment has taken home the Grand Prix Cyber Lions award. Last year, the company took home the prize for their work with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor for their work on the alternate reality game, ‘Year Zero.’
Congratulations again to the crew, which included Steve Peters, the previous owner of this website, ARGNet staff writer and frequent ARG Netcast panelist Brooke Thompson, and former ARGNet contributor Krystyn Wells.