Tag: Brent Friedman

Valemont Wins Streamy Awards for Best Interactive, Mobile Experiences


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.

“Hooking Up” with Lonelygirl15’s Jessica Rose: Not Quite What I Anticipated

hookingup.jpgImagine, for a moment, half of your favorite YouTube stars going to the same college, obsessively using all your favorite social networking programs. It’s almost like some alternate reality where obsessively twittering, texting, Facebook stalking, and playing Halo is the epitome of coolness.

Apparently HBOlab has an active imagination, as they’ve gathered together Jessica Rose (Bree from lonelygirl15), Phil DeFranco (sxephil), and Kevin Wu (kevjumba) to produce Hooking Up, “a College Comedy Series about Relationships and Communications.”

Starting October 1st, “Hooking Up” commenced its ten episode run, with new episodes released weekly. HBOlab is showcasing the project at the American Film Institute’s DigiFest 2008, billing it as “a cross-platform alternate reality game” seeking to “explore how [an] online narrative series might integrate cross-platform promotions to build both intrigue and audience.” AFI’s Digital Content Lab is working with HBOlab on the production.

So far, the interactive and cross-media elements of “Hooking Up” are admittedly sparse. This may change after adding the characters to my social networking profiles, as the site claims you can “Become friends with your favorite HOOKING UP characters…and be part of the hidden story!” The Hooking Up homepage features “bask-book”, a social networking Facebook clone for the fictitious Bask University and its attendees that leads to MySpace and Facebook profiles, where the characters communicate (and miscommunicate) with each other. A post by Kevin Nalts implies that the series will expand to include access to e-mails between the two main characters. The site also provides links to bonus video content.

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