I’m currently sitting in the audience of X Media Lab’s KR8V Creative Leadership Edition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney, and will be taking notes throughout the day, some of which I hope to post here.
The first speaker for the day was former BBC and Al Jazeera digital producer Kristen Taylor (@kthread). Her presentation on storytelling and community management talked about the nature of knowledge, and posited that the Internet runs on kindness, which is what gives the network the ability to heal itself.
The second presentation was delivered by Professor Martin Zimper (@doktorZ) , director of Cast/Audiovisual Media at the Zurich University of Art, who demonstrated that the rules of storytelling set out by Aristotle thousands of years ago still hold true today.
“We need old craft for new media,” he said. “Writing is a technique, writing is a craft … and even if we look to Hollywood it is old European knowledge that they use.”
His thesis – that a lot of successful online videos show people exceeding thresholds.
The third presentation of the first session was from dirtgirlworld creator and Interactive Emmy Award winner Cate McQuillen (@dirtgirlworld). McQuillen talked about the creation of relevant and creative children’s entertainment, and her mission to influence a generation to understand the need to love and look after the world.
“We believe that little things and little people can make a big difference,” she said, adding her team has had great success in encouraging kids to learn about recycling and composting. Dirtgirl often makes live appearances now, and a dirtgirl album was nominated for an ARIA Award.
The final speaker for the session was Dom Knight, radio broadcaster and writer for The Chaser, who talked about storytelling models, and specifically the Hero’s Journey and its various elements. While ideas are constantly rehashed due to their tendency to work, and the elements can be modified through changing settings and situations, creating interesting characters and dialogue, and through observation. And of course the newest variation is media. He also talked about how truly great storytellers can break the rules entirely, as George RR Martin has done with Game of Thrones, or Quentin Tarantino with Pulp Fiction.