A Very Cool Example of Innovative Transmedia Storytelling from a Chronicle YouTube Post

With having worked extensively with film and television, in training, strategizing and implementing digital and transmedia storytelling, we are aware that it’s been a struggle to get filmmakers to think in advance of how to tell their stories to multiple platforms and to leave a budget for it to be done properly.  Our Message? Remembering that we are storytellers and telling a story, and that this is just as important to your digital feeds, as it is to the screen, to engage and titillate the audience’s imagination. It is for this reason that we get so excited when we see innovative examples of transmedia storytelling from films and television series.

This is exactly what we found recently with this youtube video and real world event, acting as a teaser for the movie Chronicle:


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Thanks to the Roam Mobility Blog for sharing this!

Wish we’d been following this through from the start to have seen how the full campaign transpired.

Introducing the Kids of the Rocket Fund: Shawn and Shawnee

Ahimsa Media is comprised of a cast of interesting characters, so it isn’t a stretch for us to develop a new plethora of personalities – online characters that is.  Our inaugural lady was Emme Rogers, and since then character development has become a creative niche for us.  Amazing how it helps us to deal with all our own multiple personalities by creating characters online from novels, movies and television series; in addition to those for non-profits and businesses.  Incredible how liberating it can be for an organization to have a voice that can have fun, and doesn’t have to wear a tie or an uncomfortable set of heels.

Our latest delve into character creation has been with the Shaw Rocket Fund.  They are already known throughout Canada as a champion and funder of children’s, youth and family television programs. However, much of their exceptional research into youth, media and technology was unknown.  This year also saw changes in their annual Rocket Prize judging to include any entry’s digital content, in addition to the TV show.  This set the stage for the Fund themselves to enter the digital space and begin participating in both interactivity and convergence.  Enter Shawn and Shawnee Rockett.

Shawnee enjoying herself at the beach.

Shawn playing it cool

We built this delectable duo and have raised them to the stage of passing the reigns back to the Shaw Rocket Fund, who will now guide the cousins on their future path.  To accompany our new friends, we also introduced interactive feeds for the company itself.  In a time when convergence is becoming a crucial key to industry success, the CMF creates an experimental funding stream and broadcasters are learning to navigate the digital space, character driven online narrative has helped place the Shaw Rocket Fund amongst some of today’s broadcast industry innovators.  Despite still being only a few months old, the digital world is beginning to embrace Shawn and Shawnee.  So here they are:

The Characters:
Shawn and Shawnee Rockett are cousins. They were both born a few years apart, but on the same day of the year, their great grandfather’s birthday – hence their names.  They are both named after their Great Grandfather, Shawn Rockett.  And yes, their pops, whom are brothers had a bit of a spat over this, but both are terribly stubborn and he was both of their favourite grandfather.  The cousins, on the other hand, are the best of friends, and although they tease each other incessantly, they have gone into business together and love working together.  Their company is a Canadian Production House focused on creating children’s and youth television.

Shawn Rockett

Shawn Rockett

In his late twenties, Shawn is still young at heart, a personality trait often reflected his work where he focuses on youth programming.  He loves his music, bickering with Shawnee and pushing life to the extreme.  He considers himself a bit of a Casanova, much to Shawnee’s amusement.  Shawn also loves being at the cutting edge of convergence and keeps an eye out for new and exciting technology.

Shawnee Rockett

Shawnee Rockett

Shawnee is a couple of years younger and places more focus on children’s and tween TV.  She’s a lover of everything Disney, her cats and and is a bit of a giant kid at heart.  She still loves to climb trees and splash in puddles in her bright red wellies.  Quirky would definitely be the word for her. She loves her folk music.  Yes, she still watches Saturday morning cartoons.  She already is hooked online, chatting with other characters and youth programmers like Seth on Survival and Ruby Skye PI

We loved developing these two, and are sure the Shaw Rocket Fund will equally enjoy creating their voices…

…as for us onto the next character!

Exciting Times for Media

Times are a changing in the Media World and we are highly excited by some of the most recent evolutions.   Particularly here in Canada where the new Canadian Media Fund (CMF) has been announced bringing in an experimental element. This is a perfect opportunity for members of the digital media community to get funding and branch out, trying new projects that funds would not have previously been available for.

This is the first year such funding options have existed here in Canada and although the fund’s guidelines are still evolving, it is this open invite for submissions that we feel can allow the creative juices to follow.  The CMF are also widening their view towards the advantages of transmedia storytelling for their more traditional television fund with the convergent program.  This provides exciting opportunities for traditional media to discover new avenues with their storytelling and really have fun with the new challenges and opportunities that the changing landscape of media offers.

In keeping with the times, the Yorkton Film Festival has really embraced the idea of Interactive Storytelling, and has contracted us to help them to tell their online story.  They are rebranding their image, doing a bit of marketing for the festival and the Golden Sheaf Nominees, and acting as a case study example to festival delegates of how interactive tools can be incorporated into their stories.  Way to go Yorkton!  And thank you for inviting us along for the ride!

To follow along on the Yorkton Film Festival’s online story, check them out on:

In keeping with this model of forward thinking and moving towards the future of media, the Yorkton Film Festival is hosting some great workshops on Friday May 28th, 2010 aimed at thinking convergently, including a few with our own Erica Hargreave.  Here is what you can look forward to:

Friday May 28

  • 8.30 am – 9:00 am:  Blast Off – Social Media at the Festival, Ramada Yorkton

A look at telling the Festival’s story using social media and how filmmakers can use this to build the buzz around their productions, with Erica Hargreave.

  • 9:15 am – 10:15 am: Panasonic Workshop and Presentation, Ramada Yorkton

Panasonic Canada presents and discusses the latest Panasonic video cameras and technology, including notes and news on 3D.

  • 10:30 am – 12:00pm:  Let’s Play CanCon Convergence Roulette, Ramada Yorkton

A fun filled game show where panelists compete by trying to adapt new convergent technologies and applications to classic Canadian TV shows. Hosted by Robert Hardy. Panelists Cam Bennett, Trent Haus, Rob Bryanton, Brenton Sawatzky and Erica Hargreave.

  • 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Which Way To The Future? Ramada Yorkton

Spend an afternoon with some of the biggest names in the industry, as they try to make sense of and figure out where the rapidly changing screen based media industry is headed. Hosted by Richard Gustin. Panelists Cindy Witten, Daniel Cross, Norm Bolen, Valerie Creighton and Rudy Buttignol.

Saturday May 29th, 2010 at the Yorkton Film Festival hosts some always needed industry staples, putting you face-to-face with the broadcasters, talking finance and actual production, and discovering how to get your proverbial foot in the door.

Saturday May 29

  • 8:30 am – 9:00 am: Blast Off – Social Media at the Festival Part 2, Ramada Yorkton

Explore ways to use social media as a storytelling device on your projects, with Erica Hargreave.

  • 9:15 am – 10:15 am:  Now’s Your Chance, Ramada Yorkton.

Table-hopping group discussions with industry leaders, broadcasters and distributors.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered.  Join industry leaders for straight talking, small group discussions.  A rare honesty that Yorkton offers, unlikely to be found at larger festivals.

  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Oh, Oh! They Said Yes – Now What? Ramada Yorkton

You’ve finally pitched a project that a broadcaster/investor likes enough to make an offer. Join the panel of experts as they share insights and ideas of what has to happen in order to get the proposal into a finished project. Hosted by Joanne McDonald. Panelists Stephen Onda and Peter Raymont.

  • 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm:  My Big Break, Ramada Yorkton.

Five successful Saskatchewan film and television producers discuss their first big “success” and how they found it (or how it found them).  Hosted by Bruce Steele.  Panelists Michael Snook, Jeff Beesley, Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson and Anand Ramayya.

Click here to register for this year’s festival.

We hope to see you in Yorkton!