Transmedia Storytelling May Become BC’s Goldmine

by John Gray

The art of storytelling really hasn’t changed through the centuries: human vs. human, human vs. nature—the foundation remains the same.

The progress and impact of technology on story sharing makes for interesting history; from verbal storytelling around a fire, to the first cave paintings, to the internet of 2001, and now today’s mobile device explosion delivering content anytime and anywhere. It's undeniably turned the relationship between storyteller and audience on into one big question mark.

The question led to the search for answers around the relationships between content and money, content creation and ownership, and distribution and a rapidly fragmenting audience. Certainly the recent CRTC decision to block Bell’s acquisition of Astral Media is a case in point.

It’s with these kinds of questions in mind that makes the Merging Media 2012 Conference so compelling.  With the gathering of thought leaders capable of leading meaningful discourse, it’s possible that answers, a positive direction, and new business opportunities will emerge.

This is the third Merging Media conference led by Executive Director Christine Lim-Labossière, who is working with the Canadian Media Production Association to create unique partnership between themselves and The StoryWorld 2012 Conference in Hollywood. This partnership is a joint effort to grow strong transmedia communities and build a lively and connected cross-media industry on the West Coast.  

This continued building of a creative community has huge significance to the BC economy. Considering the recent report suggesting BC leads the country in people working for startups, the creation of BC base intellectual property, (transmedia generated IP) will create new opportunities, will create new companies, and will create new jobs.



Merging Media is not just about talk, or enjoying a few days of cocktails and hobnobbing, it’s where business gets done. Last year, for example, a conversation between Matt Toner (Zeros2Heroes) and Shaw Showcase executives led to the Continuum “project” being born.

With a “Hollywood North” sized budget and a very tight timeline the Reunion Pictures/Shaw Media and Zero2Heroes team collaborated and delivered an impressive transmedia storytelling campaign for season one of the new sci-fi series Continuum airing on Showcase. Creating the website, building the social media presence, developing an eight-issue graphic novel, an interactive online game, and an engaging mainstream blogger campaign—the Continuum audience was not only engaged, but grew beyond all expectations.

With the resources at hand it’s an impressive feat to see over one million page views in four months, over 20,000 Facebook likes, a verified Twitter account with more than 4,000 followers. The template is in hand and the momentum is with them, it will be interesting to see how the Contiuum franchise grows in anticipation of season two.

Merging Media 2012 is also helping create business opportunities for our emerging digital companies with the BiZHuB. This year’s featured companies include CineCoup Media Inc, Invoke, iXLd Media Inc, Magnify Digital Inc., SoKap, VeriCorder Technology Inc, Xomo Digital.

Merging Media 2012 runs October 24 to 26. There are a limited number of tickets still available, you can still register here.

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John Gray

John Gray

John jumped into the startup world in early 2009, bringing his experience in business development and sales to companies creating new software products. He was co-founder and CEO of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company that was acquired by OverInteractive Media in October 2011. Before that, he sold legal software and services (LexisNexis), medical devices (Auto Control Medical) and... more

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