Plea To The New Generation: Embrace Transmedia Storytelling!

We have a guest post today from Anita Tovich.

I am Chair of the producing dept. at the New York Film Academy. In reading TFF’s recent transmedia storytelling post I realized this is it! This is it! This is a far reaching piece of the puzzle for my producing students and I sent the article to all current students and some former.

The onus is always on me to make some prophetic statements and decisions based on the research available to me for the students. But I’m no prophet. So I scour the internet day in & day out for some morsel of food to feed the sparrows. Some twig of hope to feather the nest. And every day, we, as a group fly hard against the prevailing winds.

My students are scared. One of them called me for an emergency meeting when his mother wouldn’t stop crying and telling him he was going to live under a bridge some day if he didn’t give up his dream to be a producer. He’s a working producer in Germany right now btw. Another told me yesterday she had a dream she was hit by a truck and screamed at the EMT to get her to her final pitching sessions here and not take her to the hospital. We had a good laugh, but it was ominous indeed.

Transmedia storytelling is a way out of the doldrums. I have these Failure Is Not An Option panels for and with my students. I bring in very disparate members of the community. Jeff Gomez who was mentioned in the blog was kind enough to attend. This man is a gem. He feels that young directors and producers do not necessarily understand what he does. Maybe they regard it as too lofty and/or cognitive. But his filmic universes can be the bread and butter for the newbiest of our community. As the blog stated, it’s not for every film but we should examine it before we abandon it.

I tell my students that if you want to get rich you have probably chosen the wrong profession. Wall Street is a hop, skip, and jump away-go there. Or maybe dental hygiene is in your future. But if you want to align yourself with the Jeff Gomezes of the world who enjoy giving a soul to inanimate objects-those things that wouldn’t have a soul if left to those corporations whose name(s) we dare not say. We don’t need to abandon art or character or humanity or heart or spirit.

I told a former student of mine this morning that a documentary she’s currently pitching has a lot of monetary upside, especially if she configures a new world for her characters. I know her characters from a short doc she did about them and I wouldn’t mind a bit abandoning myself to their world. She maintains this is not necessarily appropriate for a documentary. We are now at the stage where we agree to disagree. But I’m right. J

Help us fly against the wind. If there are enough of us, the wind doesn’t stand a chance.

Anita Tovich
Chair/Director
Producing Dept.
Director
Industry Speaker Series
Director
Intern and Mentorship
New York Film Academy

The transmedia / cross-platform storytelling discussion continues, both here on TFF and over at The Chutry Experiment.