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An engaging year

It's been the year of engaging and extending audiences for Transmedia NZ's Anna Jackson and Fiona Milburn. Here's some tips and inspiration from their Transit blog in 2014.


It's been the year of engaging and extending audiences for Transmedia NZ's Anna Jackson and Fiona Milburn.

Here's some tips and inspiration they've shared with us on their Transit blog in 2014 including interactive storytelling techniques, tools to extend narratives and engage audiences, finding the elusive audiences in the first place, and why global innovators call NZ home.

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Fiona kicked off Transit for 2014 with a multimedia discussion with Alex Alexander, CEO and founder of Australian transmedia company FourTwelve who walked us through his award-winning pitch for Step 1 at Canne’s Content 360 Pitching Competition and shared some of the secrets of his success. Unsurprisingly, many of the key elements of good storytelling apply, including targeting your pitch to your audience:

“ I ask myself: what is it that the audience wants to hear, how am I going to engage them, and what value can I give back to those listening? It’s less about performance and more about what’s important to the audience. People tend to be drawn in when you make it about them.”

According to Alexander, the good old 3 act narrative structure is gold when it comes to pitching. Find a hook for your introduction, end with a call to action and remember to breathe!


Fiona also rounded off a series on social media tools to extend narrative and engage audiences with a look at groundbreaking projects that utilise Pinterest, Vine, Instagram and Tumblr.

Hollywood and Vines: The first short film made entirely from crowdsourced Vines.


Continuing with the toolbox theme, Anna updated one of 2013’s most popular posts with an overview of some of her favourite free, freemium and opensource tools for creative and admitted to spending $10 on an app that increases her productivity by stopping her from looking at kittens and sloths on the Internet.

Fiona had a fantastic chat with author Cornelia Funke about the transmedia extension of her popular MirrorWorld series with a new app that enables her fans to “touch and go through the Mirror”.


Anna had a conversation with Mike Mizrahi, who (amongst many other things) explained why global innovators Inside Out Productions still call Aotearoa home:

“The New Zealand work ethic is so extraordinary. New Zealanders are, I believe, the most creative and innovative people we've ever worked with. We've collaborated with people from all over the world. There's no one like Kiwis. Kiwis are just brilliant; they are fresh and they've got no preconceptions about what you can and can't do.”


In June, Fiona created and shared The Digital Media Fund Unofficial Cheat Sheet, a guide to NZ On Air’s Digital Media Funds in Infographic form and Anna showcased some of the innovative approaches local film, theatre and transmedia projects have been taking to hunting the elusive and all-important audience (featuring Loading Docs, What We Do in the Shadows, Everything We Loved and The Generation of Z).


Fiona took a journey into transmedia 2.0 in July with a look at Nuno Bernardo’s newly released book,  Transmedia 2.0: How to Create an Entertainment Brand Using a Transmedial Approach to Storytelling.

Returning to the theme of the audience, Anna shared some tips on how to gather and engage audience communities from local experts Anna Guenther (Chief Bubble Blower, PledgeMe), Courteney Peters (Director/Founder/Editor, Gather and Hunt), Elise Sterback (Community Manager, Basement Theatreand Boosted Ambassador) and Kate Stevenson, Director of Communications for


August brought Ingrid Kopp, director of Digital Initiatives at the Tribeca Film Institute in New York to New Zealand for Doc Edge Lab at AUT University.  Fiona had a chat with Ingrid about the creative possibilities of interactive and transmedia storytelling techniques and what gets her out of bed in the morning. Following on from Doc Edge Lab, Anna looked at some of the challenges involved in creating interactive web docs in New Zealand and presented some DIY tools for interactive storytelling.


September was jam-packed with screen industry events, and Fiona reported back from Doc Edge lab, the NZ Game Developer Association’s Hollywood and Interactive IP event and Script to Screen’s Big Screen Symposium.


Last month Anna interviewed transmedia producer Dave Boivin, an interesting ‘character’ in more than one sense. As Anna explained to TEDx Auckland attendees earlier in the year when Dave (as performed by Curtis Vowell) gave a rousing talk on the power of transmedia, Dave isn’t real; but everything he has to say about transmedia is. The interview was part of a transmedia storytelling experience created for Toa Fraser’s play Pure and Deep, which debuted in November to great acclaim.


Finally, Fiona rounded off 2014 with a look at the world of branded entertainment with Brent Kennedy of Camaraderie. 

It’s been an action-packed year, with far more happening in the world of transmedia than we could possibly hope to fit in. There are many things that I haven’t had a chance to discuss yet, such as Tom Uglow’s presentation of The Cube and other treats from Google Labs at Semi-Permanent last month, the launch of KHF Media’s interactive docu-drama Road Trip and a survey of some of the wonderful projects that have emerged from NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund... so there’s a hint of what to expect next in 2015.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Transit this year by sharing their knowledge with us and helped us in so many ways, to Cathy and The Big Idea team for all their hard work and to all our readers. See you in 2014!

Written by

Transmedia NZ

17 Dec 2014

Interests Transmedia NZ supports the ongoing development of New Zealand’s Transmedia production community, creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation, and the sharing of knowledge and ideas.