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Better Late than Never

Ok – so here it is – the blog post you’ve ALL been waiting for…

All – is possibly too strong a term – let’s just replace it with NFM and be done with it.

The 6 week delay on me writing this post is only a reflection of how busy creating and innovating makes you – or that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

As this is my first (and only?) blog post I suspect I ought to give you a bit of background before I look to entertain and enthral you with the juicy details of my marvellous meander through the world of transmedia.

I entered CreateInnovate with my project Residual. Written and to be directed by Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2013TM, The Brothers Lynch, Residual is a character-driven Sci-Fi Action-Thriller. Set on the margins of contemporary science – a pioneering mind transfer procedure goes horribly wrong and three consciousnesses find themselves trapped within one body, all fighting for control.

With strong genre hooks and a good chunk of finance already in place the opportunity to try and cross exploit Residual away from the project’s original and traditional outlet of film appealed to me and I believe the programme’s selectors and organisers.

As part of the journey I’ve had the opportunity to work with some wonderful individuals along the way including mentors Naomi Alderman, Natalia Buckley and, most recently, Peter Cowley; as well as operating in an open and collaborative environment enhanced greatly by the experiences and damn charming personalities of my CreateInnovate cohorts.

Along the way I’ve learnt far too much to bother detailing it all in a blog post; and, if what I’d learnt was genuinely transferable to a blog then wouldn’t the course itself be redundant – don’t worry, I’m being rhetorical – but it’s a damn good excuse for why I’m not writing 5,000 words.

But the biggest take away for me is that a good transmedia project should deliver on both sides of the equation. That equation has cross-marketing value to the revenue generation in other media on one side and pure revenue generation on the other. There are plenty of examples of transmedia being a good marketing tool (look at the much revered Dark Knight and Game of Throne campaigns) – and there are obviously examples of revenue generating IP in non-traditional media be that online or mobile, social or conventional games (take your pick for examples here). But there are few independent British films where the transmedia elements have worked on both sides of that equation.

So, what we’re doing with Residual is looking at a long term transmedia strategy whereby an online element acts purely as a marketing tool (albeit an engaging and informing one) with the hope of driving bums towards cinema seats when appropriate  whilst potentially holding a revenue generating avenue further down the line by cross-pollinating the strategy with other Brothers Lynch projects due in the coming years.

Will we succeed – who knows? But we’re in a better position to try thanks to the help and support and contacts that CreateInnovate has provided. I’ll have to check in again in a few years time to explain how well we succeeded or how spectacularly we failed.

What with my track record for writing timely blog posts then I should possibly start writing now.

Ed Barratt

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