John Swords III, field commander for THE 33, is kind of a badass. He's got some badass combat duds, too. You'll see 'em in Episode 2, on sale Feb. 28.
Aw, hell. Why wait until Feb. 28? I asked award-winning artist and costume designer Jared Axelrod to draw and paint Swords in his combat gear, based on my written descriptions from Episode 2. Jared has. The piece looks GREAT — and I want YOU to see it well before the story goes live.
It's a The 33 Newsletter exclusive. Just mosey on over to my The 33 page and sign up for the newsletter. You'll get the awesome in a few days. And a few days after that, you'll get another newsletter-exclusive treat. Pretty spiffy.
(And hey. If you're new to the newsletter, you'll also snag a 33% off coupon for Episode 1. Mmmm, tasty savings.)
I'm delighted to announce that the premiere episode of The 33 — Pramantha, Part 1 — is now out in the wild, and ready to be consumed by your eyes and ears. Oh, happy day!
This represents a gale-force exhale for me. I've been thinking about, and creating, The 33 in one form or another since 2008. That's a helluva long walk, friends. But the project is finally here, and I'm proud of its first episode.
What is The 33? It's the A-Team meets The X-Files, a weird present-day world where science and sorcery coexist — along with gods, monsters, rogue AIs and anything else you could throw into the bizarre blender that is my brain. It's about thirty-three men and women — misfits, every one — who've been hired to protect the world from a cabal of baddies intent on jumpstarting armageddon.
In many ways, The 33 is my salute to 1980s TV adventure shows and comic books. It's my quirky take on team-based, save-the-world stories. It's also my spin on ebook publishing. The 33 isn't a novel. It's a series of short stories, told in season-long arcs — just like TV. Some adventures are multi-parters. Others are one-shots. Just like comics.
Episodes will be released monthly.
If you're diggin' what I'm transmittin', head over to The 33's page. There, you'll learn a little more about the The 33's cast of unusual (and ever-changing) characters, and find links to purchase the first episode at my site, Amazon and other marketplaces. (Ebook episodes are available at several stores, but The 33's audiobooks are sold exclusively here.)
And hey. While you're over at The 33's page, take three seconds to sign up for The 33's newsletter. Do that, and you'll snag a free excerpt of Episode 1 in text and audiobook formats. You'll also get a coupon for 33% off your purchase of Episode 1. Freebies and deals. Not bad.
Unlike my past digital fiction projects, The 33 isn't free. I hope you're cool with that. I am, 'cause I gotta eat. But I've made sure the prices are fair for you, and for me.
I hope you'll check out the first episode of The 33 … and if you like it, I hope you'll tell a friend or two. Or two dozen!
As always, if you have any questions or feedback — or if you're a blogger/podcaster/reporter who'd like to learn more about The 33 — don't hesitate to drop a line. Thanks so much … and remember: The world needs The 33.
Nobody's got it figured out. Everybody's doing the best they can.
Dude’s wife drinks a bottle of wine. Tries to tell a joke. Dude records & and animates it. It’s pretty brilliant.
Polygon isn't a perfect online publication, but it's often thoughtful and deliberate in its coverage of video games entertainment. Story for story, it's become my go-to site for well-written, timely coverage of video gaming news. Its long form features are especially good.
The Polygon team recently reviewed the next generation consoles, the PlayStation 4 and XBox One. While the site's long form text reviews (XBox One's is here; PS4's is here) are insightful and well worth reading, Polygon's video reviews of both products, seen below, represent some of the best the site has to offer.
If you follow video games journalism for any length of time, you soon discover that so much of it is ill-written, hyperbolic and downright bad journalism. That's because most of it isn't journalism at all, but attitude- and personality-driven punditry. Blech. Polygon strives to transcend that, and often succeeds.
I'm a PlayStation guy, so I'll eventually pick up a PS4. (My PS3 games backlog, right here on my bookshelf, is still too big for me to justify a PS4 purchase at present.) Polygon gave the XBox One an "8" in its review; the PS4 received a "7.5." For invested console gamers, those scores are interesting — and perhaps even underwhelming. But Polygon is examining the big picture, confident both consoles will improve in time, as new games, UI improvements and software patches are rolled in for both consoles.
These are terrific text and video reviews. They show us what great games journalism looks like.
I do love it so.
This is all kinds of wonderful madness.
"I'm never happy with what I've written. You imagine, before you start, there's a cathedral, and the moment it starts on the page, it's a garden shed. And then you just try to make it the best shed you can."
—Sadie Jones, novelist
via The Guardian
Laith Graham, an Australian buddy who's followed my career since my 7th Son podcast days, asked me this transmedia-related question on Facebook. I thought I'd share Laith's Q, and my A, here.
I've been wondering about your thoughts on TV-related Apps and Social Media integration, and if it is "transmedia." For example: Sporting events like Formula One and iPad apps that show live track position, or Big Brother showing viewer Tweets and Facebook comments, as well as extra footage going to the viewer's iPhone app while watching the show live.
Is this now mainstream transmedia? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Here's my take:
These days, the word "transmedia" is being slung about in strange ways, and being applied to different content strategies. By some folks' reckoning, having such "second screen" content is indeed a breed of transmedia — it's certainly content rolling in through a separate channel/medium (the tablet, for instance), and is designed to enhance the experience of the core content.
Personally, I approach and define "transmedia" from a narrative point of view. For me, it's all about story ... which means I think it's best-suited for fiction programming. In this case, a second screen experience that actually pushes in-world narrative content to the viewer in real time (or permits time-shifted engagement) is a more authentic use of the word and content strategy. I'm talking about canonical content, not tweets of what other viewers think of the show, etc.
Of course, this strategy need not start and stop with mobile apps or social media. Savvy showrunners can, and have, hired creators to populate the web with in-world narrative content on YouTube, "personal" blogs, etc. The TV show Castle even features novel titles written by its crime novelist hero ... which then go on sale weeks later in real stores. Crazy cool.
Anyways, that's a longwinded way of saying I personally believe the most valuable application of transmedia storytelling is when it expands and enhances the storyworld of the show — and not merely (and crassly) promotes the show itself. Doing so can deepen interest and evangelism in the show's actual content and characters — which also accomplishes a marketer's mission of promoting the show itself. Everybody wins.
So, that's my hastily-written perspective. What's yours? Am I giving non-fiction and reality programming short shrift? Are there resonant, current examples of TV-based transmedia experiences — be they non-fiction or fiction ... story-driven or promotion-only — we should know about? Pipe up in the comments.
Hey everyone! You’re really gonna like this episode a lot, trust us! In it, Steve chats with Christian Fonnesbech, the Transmedia Director for the upcoming project Cloud Chamber. We talk about story, challenges and more.
Also, J.C. chats with ARGNet’s Michael J. Andersen about the latest happenings in the world of ARGs, and we talk about Douglas Rushkoff’s new book, Present Shock.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Commander Hadfield’s cover of “Space Oddity”
- Cloud Chambers’s Facebook page
- My Sky Is Falling
- “Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries” by Peter Sims
- The Misfit Economy
- “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now” by Douglas Rushkoff
- “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr
It’s another special Mailbag episode! Steve and J.C. answer your questions — and boy, were there some doozies this time!
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Digital Hollywood
- Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three [Blu-ray]
- Hybrid High ARG (video)
- Online Caroline (website up, but limited functionality)
- Hollywood 2.0 podcast
- Transmedia Talk podcast
- StoryLabs podcast
- Transmedia Storytelling podcast
- Google Glass
- Cathedral Trailer
- The Giant Marionettes of Royal de Luxe
I recently had the great fortune to be interviewed by Jay Ferguson, creator of the Emmy award-winning transmedia experience Guidestones. In these three videos, we gab about the future of the craft, being a creator in the transmedia space, and the blossoming business opportunities for transmedia programming. Enjoy!
Professor Henry Jenkins is our guest in this episode! He and J.C. sit down and talk about our current culture of shareable, spreadable media in this epic podcast. Also, ARGNet’s Michael Andersen stops by to update us on the latest goings-on in the ARG world, and Steve and J.C. talk Blade Runner, Survivor and their latest console game addictions.
Note: In our conversation with Michael Andersen, John Green was mistakenly identified as a co-creator of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. We intended to reference co-creator Hank Green instead. We apologize for the oversight.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Henry Jenkins’ website
- Spreadable Media website
- Transmedia: Hollywood website
- You Didn’t Make the Harlem Shake Go Viral – Corporations Did
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
- Lizzie Bennet Kickstarter
- Arkham City
- Bioshock Infinite
- Sim City
- Alpha Protocol
- God of War: Ascension
- Blade Runner
- The Million Dollar Theater
- Wise Guys Events
- Myles Nye’s website
- Myles’ Latest Survivor Challenge