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Monthly Archives: January 2008

I realise that my last Multiplatform link dump was also (prematurely) called Jan ’08, hence the pt 2.

There are going to be quite a lot of links, but there are some crackers in here so I hope you enjoy them. Interesting things are afoot already this year and I am witnessing first hand the increase in appetite for ARG’s specifically within the UK broadcasting industry. I feel very lucky indeed to be able to be a part of this and all I can say is that this year is going to have some stunning projects hitting the market.

Cloverfield still Cloverfield still 2

J J Abrams is once again bringing his flavour of conspiracy, intrigue and mystery to audiences worldwide with Cloverfield. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed following his breadcrumbs across the internet although I still haven’t seen the actual movie. It’s amazing how much this has had an impact on the broadcasting industry and their interest in using some of the same tools to build around their own projects. Of course, I hope to be playing a role within implementing these ideas!!

OK, onto the link dump, I hope you enjoy.

“Alternate Reality Business” makes annual “Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas” List
Hmmm, maybe there is gold in them there ARG hills? Jane Mcgonigal once again writes a great article with links to her report on how ARG’s can benefit business.
QNX PocketGeek – Home
I love this little Flash coedy game type thingy… Hmm, I get zero points for that description!
Fight Amongst Yourselves on Outquib
Outquib is an upcoming site that lets you debate or voice your cause, rally up other users around the topic, and see where things go.
MySpaceTV Signs the BBC
MySpaceTV is officially going global, with a new deal with BBC. Hallelujah for that!
Cloverfield is Out — What Now?
A great break down of what is going on with Cloverfield in the ARG world. Great links as well.
JJ Abrams Enables One CMU Professor To Check Off An Item On His Own Personal Bucket List!
It’s 2:48am as find this, all because I watched the videos you’ll find within. A truly great watch. Randy Pausch is a legend. Very touching and inspiring.
Website with the editorial controlled by a young team of editors aged between 13-18. Nice design too. Music, writing and culture collide. Makes me feel old though… Grrrr.
Ruby Pseudo Wants a Word: Tribe Talking
Ruby Pseudo is my favourite non TV/Online focused blog. Always great insight, perfect resource when trying to keep up to date with teen trends. This post is about ‘Teen tribes’, from a teenagers point of view, how the different people in London can be defined b the fashion and the area they live… The Tribe hey are part of.
The Slowskys
Love the stop frame animation style web design – kind of like a cross between steam punk and Pee Wee Herman!
Looks like an amazing agency. Great design, had fun looking around here.
YouTube – kungfu bunny 2
Nice piece of work. Live action and animation.
New video blogging site. I now have an invite and will be looking to have a go soon, keep your eyes out for me!
White Dwarf – Flash Game
Fantsatic Flash game!! Love it.
xavierenigma’s next physics game
Very simple physics based flash game (not really a game, more of a tech demo really). – showcasing the best in independent games.
Games games games!!
How to Prototype a Game in Under 7 Days
Thanks again to Phil. Great link.… Flash Mobbing with food?
I like this, I’m not sure whether it has the same scope as other instalation based stunts, but Its original.
The Multiplatform Game
I’m a bit slow on the uptake! Great blog with tons of great stuff in it all multiplatform focused. Brilliant.
BBC iPlayer bags 1m users in festive season
Thanks for this link Phil! iPlayer is steaming ahead… And lets be honest, it is very very good.
My run is a videogame — wanna play with me?
I’ve a few friends that got themselves Nike+ running gear for xmas, Jane Mcgonigal writes about her experience with it and how she thinks it would make a great ARG. I totally agree, with the success of the Nintendo Wii we can see that people want to play.
Sock Master’s Video Game Controller Family Tree
The evolution of the videogame controller.
Vinyl Sleeve Heads
I’ve seen a few iterations of this concept for a while but I like it.
Big Think – We Are What You Think
Youtube for brainy people?

New Knght Rider

Knight Rider is coming back to our television screens or at least he is back on American screens in a new 120 min TV movie soon to air on NBC. KITT has had a bit of a facelift, he’s been blinged up in the guise of a new Ford Mustang (see Youtube video of the unveiling).

NBC has announced some multiplatform goodness in the form of an ‘interactive’ digital KITT car and behind the scenes footage. Not all that groundbreaking, but I can’t help but be a bit excited as I was a huge fan of the 80’s Knight Rider, I grew up on that series. One man (The Hoff), his car (KITT) and needy citizens wanting some Knight Rider protection. Knight Rider was a sort of Robin Hood figure… Without the tights.

NBC seem rather committed to multiplatform support for pretty much all of its output, in The Futon Critics post you can see what they have planned for the year ahead.

Torchwood Banner

BBC’s Torchwood series (a spin off from Doctor Who) is back for a second series starting tomorrow night at 9:00pm BBC2. Alongside its launch there is an interesting ARG that has appeared on the Torchwood Website (click on the jobs section top right). It’s looking really nice and from what I hear quite a large project out of BBC Wales. The online offering runs separate to the TV series, although it does cross over in places. There will be minisodes to watch and puzzles to solve, with the storyline taking part between episodes.

This is a great opportunity to expand the Torchwood transmedia universe and perfect story fodder for a gripping ARG.

Check out this Youtube preview (it may not work if you are outside the UK though… Sorry).

Echo beach

*Update* Well – as if by magic it turns out that Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach are very much a multiplatform project so for those that read the old post – I’ve updated to reflect this change. Produced by Dare Digital, Kudos productions¬†& Red Planet Productions,¬†online there is a section called ‘The Mole’, and from here you can watch mobile phone videos of behind the scenes of the behind the scenes show (Moving Wallpaper) and try and figure out who the mole is leaking the footage onto the web… Confused? Well it all makes sense if A: You’ve been watching the shows and B: You head on over to the website and take a look. Needless to say this now means my post title isn’t actually true any more hence the edit!


So Tony Jordans new pairing of a comedy show Moving Wallpaper and TV Soap Echo Beach aired last night on ITV1, and… I really enjoyed it.

The way it works is that Moving Wallpaper is a behind the scenes comedy show that follows the trials and tribulations of making a TV California Style soap called Echo Beach. What makes the pairing so innovative is that the programme Echo Beach is then shown after Moving Wallpaper in its own 30 min episode that is played straight but does include in jokes for those who watched Moving Wallpaper. It sounds confusing, but in practise works really well.

Tony Jordan, best known for Life On Mars & Hustle, has created what truly feels like a great example of a British multiplatform programme… And about time too!

In an interview with the Guardan newspaper Tony says that this concept has been sat in his drawer for 12 years and I think it is very much due to the way in which broadcasters are becoming more adventurous with multiplatform storytelling that this has finally been commissioned. The more that broadcasters understand and embrace that content can be delivered in multiple ways, the more this thinking crosses over into the way in which content is presented on TV. What needs to continue to develop is to make sure that multiplatform content is of equal quality across all platforms. Not just in the quality of the assets but the way in which there is an incentive for the audience to consume it and a real reason for it to exist.

There is something really refreshing in the structure of these prorammes and although I think Moving Wallpaper outshines Echo Beach in the writing department (and acting), as part of a package it sits perfectly well as the in jokes and back referencing make the viewing experience engaging.

I notice that the online presence will ramp up and am interested in what they do with that space. Whether the viewing figures will reflect how highly I rate the programmes is another matter, there were moments during the viewing where I was confused as to whether Echo Beach was in fact a stooge for Moving Wallpapers comedy or whether it had the depth to stand up on its own. Only time will tell I guess. Definitely worth checking out though. 2nd episodes are on tonight between 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.

*Update* Reviews are in… Nothing that insightful, but opinion seems to tally with mine in that Echo Beach is the weaker of the two propositions. Tonights epsiode (EP 2) was even funnier than the 1st, I’m having to kick myself to make sure I’m really watching this on ITV1!!

For those of you not in the know, Cloverfield is J. J Abrams (producer) and Matt Reeves (Director) top secret monster movie set to hit theatres on 18th Jan 2008.

Five young New Yorkers throw their friend a going-away party the night that a monster the size of a skyscraper descends upon the city. Told from the point of view of their video camera, the film is a document of their attempt to survive the most surreal, horrifying event of their lives.

Ever since the teaser video hit theatres before the Transformers movie (the video had no title at this point, just the date 18-01-08), the web has been going wild as to what the project is about and what they can expect.

Matt Reeves says:

The fun thing about doing the teaser trailer was that it was a throwback to a time when we would see a trailer for a film like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” You were sitting there seeing a trailer for a movie that was completely mysterious. There’s so much media saturation now we felt we’d shoot a quick teaser and throw something out there. Throw it out to the people so they can have a sense of discovery again. Then Paramount said, ‘What if we don’t even put the title out there so people can speculate?’ We wondered if the MPAA would go with it, they didn’t even know how to respond at first. They were like, ‘That’s never happened before.’ But they let us do it. We knew people would be intrigued, but we had no idea the level to which they would begin to engage. We spent a large part of our prep period making the teaser trailer and using it as a basis as a prep for the movie. Shooting the teaser trailer was our way to understand how we were going to pull this off.

Full interview here

Being a J. J Abrams project, the web expected there to be some crazy online shenanigans supporting the project and they have not been disappointed. There have been related viral websites such as Slusho a fantasy Japanese drinks company, Jamie and Teddy (needs a password: jllovesth), Tagruato Corp (a deep sea drilling company) and T.I.D.O. (A kind of Greenpeace group). All of these sites are linked in with the Cloverfield world and the connections between them are becoming more and more apparent as we near the release of the film.

J. J Abrams has said that he is wanting to create an American monster movie along the same lines as Godzilla. With J. J’s experiences with Lost and Alias, he is able to engage an online audience using multiplatform tools to enrich and deepen the story he is wanting to tell.

It’s looking pretty good so far, I got caught up in all the buzz when I saw the trailer in a cinema in Leicester square London. I just hope that the movie can deliver. There have been some images appearing online of the monster which I’m not so sure about, but there is a pleasant ‘Blair Witch Project’ feeling about this project.

This is a top example, in my eyes, of quality viral marketing. The teaser trailer came out of nowhere and has managed to keep its momentum going right the way up to release. Discussion is alive across the internet and I just get the feeling that what the world needs right now is a huge monster movie to shake it up.

*Update* Harry Knowles over at Aint It Cool News has seen it… And loves it. I quote:

CLOVERFIELD is a bold genre-reinvention unlike anything we’ve ever seen before… The movie is fucking brilliant. It’s what we were told it was going to be. An intimate perspective on an impossibly grand scale human disaster beyond most human levels of comprehension.

Cloverfield Poster