Some Transmedia and The LBD questions.

Q: Hey Bernie. I remember reading recently that The Lizzie Bennet Diaries spending so much on writing (a whole team!) and transmedia (another team!) is practically unheard of in the world of webseries. Do you think the show’s Emmy nod will impact how other projects allocate resources to writing/transmedia/pre-production? Also, congratulations!!! The fans are over the moon!

A: Thank you! Well I hope the success of the LBD gets everyone in web series to at least consider thinking a little differently.

As for the division of labor in the LBD in pre-production there was

  1. The Writing Team: Consisting of 4-6 writers.
  2. The Transmedia Team: Which was Alex, Jay, and Myself. (with occasional support from other writers)
  3. The Production Team: Jenni, Stuart, Jason, Katie, etc

Now generally pre-production for say a short film or most webseries that I’ve seen have the division of labor as.

  1. The Writer and Director:  Many times just one person.
  2. The Production Team. 

Which is generally fine but structurally it feels very unbalanced to me. It feels very top heavy. 

If you’re gonna do a long campaign series like an LBD or even longer it’s really about building a really strong creative base (The Writers) then supported simultaneously by both the production and transmedia teams. 

It may seem like a lot of resources, a lot of people, and pretty complicated, but as you said… we won an Emmy… which is CRAZY!

As far as impact, I think web series world wise I definitely think it’s an eye opener. Here is a web series that on the surface is a “girl talking to camera in a room” show and it goes on to win arguably the ultimate award in web video. As all of you fans know, the show is so much more than just some girl talking to a camera and hopefully that is what gets people thinking and innovating.

Q: Hi Bernie — this fall I’m creating an independent study for college in Transmedia Storytelling. I’m looking for examples of how it’s been done in the past and how it’s being done now to study so I can learn about it and I’ve currently got the LBD, Emma Approved, and Lonelygirl15. Do you have any more suggestions, or books or articles you’d recommend on the topic? Thank you!

A: Hello there. I’m honored that you’re looking at us and LG15. Both Hank and I give LG15 a lot of credit in influencing what we do so if you’re able to dig up the different things that they did, I think that’s a great place to start. 

A book that I’d highly recommend would be Frank Rose’s “The Art of Immersion." It covers a lot of the great transmedia/ARG campaigns of the past few years and though I’ve heard different opinions of the book from people within the space but it should give you a lot of ideas. It’s also a very quick read.

The book does a lot in highlighting some of the mass market transmedia campaigns that you may have missed, like the LOST (the show) expanded universe and the legendary campaigns that the Batman films did. 

A far as individuals, you definitely should reach out to Jay. He’ll know far more resources then I will. Jaybushman.tumblr.com.

Other projects I recommend checking out are. 

1. My Music from The Fine Brothers on YouTube.

2. East Los High on Hulu. They have a Transmedia trailer that can help you understand just how much there is. You can also go to their main site here.

Each of these shows have very vast experiences. I’ve also heard that both these shows have both writer teams and transmedia teams which is great! I highly doubt that we influenced either of these projects which is great because I think it shows that there is a creative shift happening in the process.

Exciting stuff ahead.

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