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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

POV Interviews Transmedia Expert Anita Ondine | DOCspace :: The Home of Canadian Documentary


Read the full interview on

Here's an excerpt to get you started:

"Posted by Robin on January 16, 2012 - 5:37pm

Point of View magazine recently spoke with the internationally renowned transmedia expert Anita Ondine about the challenges and opportunities of transmedia. Ondine is in Toronto this week to headline Merging Media TO on January 19 to 20 at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

POV: Transmedia requires content creators to completely rethink how they engage their audiences and to rethink the concept of ‘media consumption.’ It’s a big task to grapple with...

Ondine: Yes, transmedia is a different paradigm altogether. I hesitate to use the word ‘consumption’ or I use it broadly. The word I like to use most is participation. Not every member of the audience will become a participant but it’s my sincere hope that we get a large number of audiences to move from the lean- back mode of consumption and go even beyond the interactive stage. I like to make this distinction, that what we’re moving through right now is something of a continuum, which started a century ago with the lean-back consumption of [visually created] stories. When the first silent films came out, people would sit there and watch them. And as that moved through TV and broad scale film distribution, we still were in that lean-back mode of accepting content in a very uni-directional manner. Then, depending on where in the world you’ve been, in the last five to ten years there have been increasing efforts to make stories interactive. There have been some really good examples out of the UK because Britain in my opinion has been one of the leaders in the world [in this activity] and the BBC has been behind a lot of these projects. But there has been more and more emphasis on interactivity.

Interactivity is a state where the audience chooses to interact with the story but the interaction has always been contained in a specially predefined set of potential outcomes. What I mean by that is the storyteller--the documentarian, the director, the producer or whoever is defining it---knows what the potential set of outcomes can be. That’s interactive. Now transmedia, I believe, takes that a step further and we move from interactive to truly participatory storytelling. What that means is we enable the audience to step into the shoes of a protagonist and actually become storytellers themselves.

To me that is one of the very, very exciting elements that makes transmedia so powerful. It really flips the whole concept of what distribution means altogether. It’s a different paradigm. It allows for engagement. I can see looking at Point of View magazine, for example, that you’re very socially aware, so there are often stories about socially conscious storytelling. Transmedia is fundamentally such a powerful tool for those kinds of topics to be aired and to be discussed and to gain support and to get people actually active in taking the change forward. Not only do we tell people about what’s going on, but we give them tools to participate. Whether this means participation in a purely entertainment mode, or it goes further than that and it has an activist element which is also entirely possible. One of my major projects has an activist orientation to it. So what we do instead of giving people purely entertainment based participatory experience is we say: ‘so you have heard about this, now this is how you can participate in the change.’..."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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