What IS EYESthatHEAR?

The essence of ETH is storytelling.  It is a Brand born to unify all things I find contributory to the telling of stories through the eyes and ears of my own perspective.  I am a photographer, videographer, editor, graphic artist, writer, singer and musician.  Traditionally, these outlets are how artists tell stories.  But there is now another tool capable of telling stories just as poignantly: Social Media.

On the canvas of the Internet, we paint the story of our lives.  Be it personal or business, the stories we choose to tell are largely open to interpretation – both by self and by others.  Herein lies the art: how an individual crafts, shapes, prioritizes, links, and projects their story (or NOT do any of those things) determines what that story is. The beauty lies in choice and control, or the choice NOT to control.  Whatever the choice (or non choice), the story finds its voice.  I think about it this way:

I have a great passion for the moving image – how footage is shot and arranged within a sequence and scene.  The mood and tone of the scene are dependent on the pacing, relation, or juxtaposition of each shot.  A quicker pace or sharper cuts may make a sequence seem more rigid and serious.  A slower pace and smoother transitions may convey thoughtfulness and warmth.  Content disseminated through varying channels of social media can have the same effect, depending on their timing, style or scale.  Heavy facts mean business.  Conversational tones mean personal.  But that doesn’t mean business is always about facts, or that personal is always warm and conversational.  Switch the contextual roles and you have a humanistic business culture that identifies with their customer, verses a serious and militarily minded person who may be seeking a management position at a correctional institution.  Whatever the choice, careful and purposeful action will determine what story is told.  Back to my point:

What is EYESthatHEAR? It’s a culmination of all things the eyes see, hear and feel juxtaposed, or in tandem with all things the ears hear, see and feel.  The gap between my last blog and now is rather embarrassing, but I’m less apologetic than I maybe should be.  Why? Evolution.  It takes time and space. EYESthatHEAR has undergone a bit of that. Now it includes the artistic interpretation of social media and it’s power to influence – just the same as all other forms of media and art do.

Influence: on me and “how so” on others.   That is ETH.

Advertisements

Transmedia and the Evolution of Storytelling

A few days ago I came across a podcast by Hollywood 2.0 called The Future of Storytelling.  The topic was “Transmedia.”  I’d never heard that term before.  Initially the word made me think of Transylvania and blood-sucking vampires.  
Image

Still of Bela Lugosi in Dracula

From there my mind connected thought to the awful trend of producing brain cell-killing films that numb the senses and suck life out of an audience.  And so, naturally, my first gut feeling was not a positive one.  Still, I was curious.  After learning more, I can now recall seeing it around.  But you don’t know what to look for until you learn there is something worth looking for.

Amanda Lin Cost, writer for PBS.org describes Transmedia as a tool for telling stories across multiple platforms. The same story will share elements of its core across outlets like movies, apps, and gaming.  Different yet distinct parts of, say, a film are designed to engage fans on a more dynamic level. All points of the process purpose unique story contributions to stand on their own.  An application of the methodology might include producing a video game of the story, creating Webisodes of character spin offs, or generating a comic book of unanswered questions directed by fans.  Transmedia has the power to extend a film’s deep back-story and characters beyond traditional, singular exhibitions.

Innovent’s CEO, Antonio Kaplan says their operations of this practice began before the process even had a name. He says the experience for customers is like looking through a “three-sided prism.”  Amanda Lin Cost describes the method as “breaking down the fourth wall,” and Henry Jenkins of Fast Company says Transmedia “allows gifted storytellers to expand their canvas and share more of their vision with their most dedicated fans.”  Transmedia Marketing Café compares what marketing was, and presently is, to what marketing could become through Transmedia as the difference between, “interruption to integration, from “sponsor” to “story contributor” and from a disconnected purchase path to instant commerce.” It’s important to note that Transmedia isn’t applicable to all films and forms of entertainment, but, in many cases, its relevancy is obvious. However, as the cliché goes, it’s hard to describe the taste of salt to someone who’s never had salt before.  For many, a salt-less meal is quite simply, bland.  Without Transmedia, some audiences could be deprived the pleasure of a savory viewing experience.  Translating a story into various forms of media has the power to fill that common dissatisfaction.

Image

Collaborative Intermedia Storytelling

Summer Anderson is a up-and-coming graduate of Full Sail University’s Entertainment Business Master’s Program.  Her 10 years of multimedia experience provides a foundation to examine the interrelation between all forms of media while looking through the lens, specifically, of cinema.

Needle In a Haystack

Smaller Than a Big Mac

A beautiful thing entered my life this week: the Roku 2 XS.  It’s a wireless unit the size of a small box of Whitman’s chocolate, and I think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.  Ten minutes after opening the box I had access to an almost cable repertoire of Internet content – on my TV.   The biggest selling point for me was the impressive amount of access to independent films and online video content (i.e. Hulu, Netflix, SnagFilms AND Vimeo!).  But how did those channels even acquire said content?  Digital distribution.  Still, even if a filmmaker has their work available through these channels, it doesn’t mean instant audience gain.  Awareness has to be built; campaigns have to run; and viewer relationships have to be fostered if filmmakers want to attract an audience, and therefore, a profit.  One may argue that since it’s hard enough to land a theatrical release, campaigning for Internet viewership must be harder – especially with the sheer amount of content on the Net.  On the contrary, as Dustin Woodward, ‘WebConnoisure’ blogger and freelance SEO professional says, “People that are passionate about your film’s topic are out there and want to find you. And it is a level playing field—Hollywood studios have trouble ranking #1 for their own film titles!” With the Web and the power of social media, filmmakers without deep pockets can quickly spread the word about and exhibit their work before it even sees a theater.  And, should a filmmaker get the privilege of showing their film in a theater, a solid support system may have already been built under their work.  Which comes first, the horse or the cart?  I opine that, for the film industry, the Web is now the horse and the theater is the cart – not the other way around.

Ben Hur, 1959

As far as churning your film through the glut of content like cream to the top of milk, this is where SEO, or search engine optimization comes in.  But it’s not just about the film’s brand.  Brand building also centers on the filmmaker him or her self.  Sheri Candler, marketing expert and publicist for independent filmmakers, specifically, says SEO is key to building a personal brand.  “Your Personal Brand. Your online reputation. It’s the same thing.”  Know your professional name and how that translates, or doesn’t translate, across the web.  Consistency builds relevance, and relevance builds trust.   The filmmaker is the representation of the work.  As a unique representative, are you ranking positively with search engines? Sheri continues,  “Filmmakers interested in building a personal brand on the web do not have the luxury of anonymity.”  SEO and brand building is not simply a nicety.  For filmmakers, they are essential.

However, the seriousness of SEO should not overshadow content.  Buzz will fall flat without any substance behind it.  If you have a choice between spending time on your blog and producing creative works, produce creative works.  Nobody wants to be considered a poser.   Talk is cheap, and it’s bad for business.  Even still, try to find a balance.  From my end of the Roku, I won’t get the pleasure of seeing your works if my channels can’t find them. Get your stuff found. I’m sure I’m missing out.

** For kicks and giggles, watch this Shakespearian work on SEO.  As serious as having a robust web presence is, it’s always good to keep it real:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnMW0NRPVOo&feature=related