Reinvention Summit Archives: [VIDEO] How to Build a Transmedia StoryWorld

In case you’re living under a rock, and haven’t heard about Reinvention Summit 2: Storytelling’s Biggest Online Conference, April 16-20. You have just 7 days till earlybird pricing expires on March 31, 2012. Here’s a sample session from our first Reinvention Summit in November 2010. 

Learn from story architect Lance Weiler

Lance was just one of the 37 speakers at Reinvention Summit 2010. His presentation on building a StoryWorld was a wildly popular session. It’s available in full below. You’ll hear how he designs and deploys engaging transmedia projects while at the same time building audiences and tapping new forms of funding and revenue streams.

Lance Weiler is a critically acclaimed story architect and award winning transmedia writer/director. WIRED magazine named him “One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” He has successfully self-distributed his films The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma to more than 20 countries while grossing over 5 million dollars in the process. 

Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and reach audiences, Lance developed a cinema ARG (alternate realty game) around Head Trauma. Over 2.5 million people experienced the game via theaters, mobile drive-ins, phones and online. His transmedia story “Pandemic 41.410806, -75.654259″ was one of the official Sundance Film Festival 2011 selections, and is part of a larger storytelling experience involving film, mobile, online, social gaming, print, and real world interactions. 

In this video from RS1, Lance breaks down the anatomy of a StoryWorld for you…

Key Takeaways for StoryWorld Building

There are some very interesting things to pick up from this video for anyone in the process of sharing their own story, or the story of a brand, product, or service. Here are a few of the most powerful points:

  1. The Stories You Tell Build the World Around You. Technology is expanding the equation – it allows you to build your story in a vast array. It’s possible to take a piece of content, draft a story out of it, and create a multi-dimensional universe around it where people can actively participate in the story.
     
  2.  Create a StoryWorld Bible. The key components you must include are character, charting and game. The character segment includes things like motivations, arcs, backstory, relationships, notes, dialogue, and experiences. Character points are the connecters – what people are drawn to, what they identify with in your story. Charting is just what it sounds like. It’s the nuts and bolts of how, when, where, why. Be sure to include script annotations, flow docs, mindmaps, points of entry. Game is the creative playground for your story. This is your chance to create content to engage your audience. Consider creating games, social interaction games or narrative based puzzles.You might create collaborative or competitive discussions. Have fun with either live or scripted characters – and develop their world. What will players do? Why is it fun? And make your games replayable – you know you’ve created something special when people keep coming back.
     
  3. Six Tips for Building a StoryWorld
    • Take time to evaluate the story you want to tell
    • Ask yourself hard questions – Why will anyone care? Is this the best way to tell the story?
    • Let go of a single POV
    • Consider how you can show not tell
    • Make it easy for your audience to become collaborators
    • Don’t let the world get in the way of the story

Leave a Comment! What’s the StoryWorld You’re Creating?

Think about the biggest story you’re trying to tell right now. How do you help your audience locate themselves in the story? How are you using different media platforms to convey the depth of your message? What would you like to know about transmedia storytelling? Leave a comment below. Also odds are, you can get your questions answered with the Reinvention Summit. 

Join us April 16-20, for Reinvention Summit 2:  Storytelling’s Biggest Online Conference. When you sign-up, you’ll have access to 20-hour long sessions from storytelling masters including Robert McKee, The Moth, and transmedia pioneer Jeff Gomez. Check out the free 5-part video series on storytelling, or register now for the full online summit. Don’t wait: earlybird pricing expires in 7 days.


Join us for StoryU Online’s next course – Undeniable Story: an 8-week program where you learn our six-step storytelling framework for humanizing business. Priority registration opens in just a few weeks: sign up here for our early-bird discount list.


  • http://twitter.com/neigrando Nei Grando

    Well, we have a great Transmedia group here in Brasil, witch started at ESPM (university) knowed as  “Era Transmídia” - http://eratransmedia.com/ . The group will give a training course on Transmedia Strategy on April 14 here in São Paulo.

    • http://www.getstoried.com/ Michael Margolis

      So great to hear Nei. Transmedia is absolutely a global phenomenon. Appreciate your great work in Brasil. 

  • Kirsten Weiss

    I’ve taken some tentative steps toward transmedia storytelling with an online puzzle/game as a trailer for my next book (and bridge between books one and two), but clearly, I can and should go farther!

    • http://www.getstoried.com/ Michael Margolis

      Right on Kirsten! Hope you found inspiration and structure in Lance’s session

  • http://www.youtube.com/gooncartoons Frank Forte

    Great stuff-very inspiring.