Led by storycentralDIGITAL founder and transmedia pioneer Alison Norrington, StoryWorld’s conference council is an international group of the smartest, most in-the-know people working in media today. Together, they’ve identified the hottest topics in storytelling and used their considerable influence to attract the best possible experts to provide solutions and insight at StoryWorld.
Alison Norrington, Conference Chair
Alison Norrington is an English author, playwright and journalist, and founder of storycentralDIGITAL. She consults to publishers, broadcasters and authors globally on transmedia strategies, participative experiences, production, architecture and planning, and utilizing social media. Alison has written for WIRED magazine on transmedia publishing and runs various transmedia workshops and boot camps in London, New York and Europe. She commenced her practice-based PhD in January 2009 researching Transmedia Storytelling in Publishing, and has presented at a variety of conferences, including Digital Book World, TOC (Tools of Change in Publishing) and others.
Head of Digital & Interactive
San Francisco, California
Ivan Askwith is Senior Director of Digital Media at Lucasfilm, where he oversees strategic and creative direction for the wide range of online, mobile, social and cross-platform initiatives that make up the digital presence of Star Wars, Lucasfilm and the company's other properties.
Prior to joining Lucasfilm, Ivan was the Director of Strategy at Big Spaceship, an award-winning digital agency in Brooklyn, NY, where he led efforts to develop immersive digital experiences and presences for clients ranging from Google and Apple to Sony Pictures and NBC Universal.
Ivan is also a founding member and consulting advisor to MIT's Convergence Culture Consortium, with a particular focus on transmedia development and cross-platform narratives. As a graduate student at MIT, his work focused on the rise of transmedia strategies for building audience engagement with primetime television series, as well as the creative and commercial applications of alternate reality games.
Ivan has published chapters on audience behavior and franchise development in numerous books and encyclopedias, and appears as a frequent speaker on digital strategy, transmedia development, and online communities at both academic and business conferences, including ad:tech, CAT, Digital Hollywood, NAB, SXSW and more.
Director, Universe Creation 101
Universe Creation 101
Christy Dena specializes in the design and production of trans/cross-media projects. Recent projects include working with Tim Kring, The Company P and Nokia on Conspiracy for Good; with No Mime Media and Cisco on The Hunt; on ABC’s global alternate reality drama Project Bluebird; and with the Bangarra Dance Theatre Company. Christy has recently run Transmedia Victoria and has given keynotes and speeches at Power to the Pixel, TEDxTransmedia, XMediaLab, Crossover, Cartoons on the Bay, Whistler Film Festival, Slamdance, DIYDays, the First International Conference on Cross-Media Interaction Design, and many more.
Transmedia Learning NetworkAmsterdam, Netherlands
Ian Ginn is a creative producer with 20 years experience in the entertainment and digital media industries. Working with multiplatform storytelling since 2004, he founded Hubbub Media in 2008 to develop original transmedia properties. He is a frequent expert speaker and moderator at international events including TEDxTransmedia Geneva, Power to the Pixel London, Cannes Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, and Mobile 2.0 Europe Barcelona, and NPOX LAB Transmedia. A committed educationist he mentors professionals on developing their transmedia projects in programmes such the EU MEDIA-financed PixelLab as well as individually. He founded the non-profit Transmedia Learning Network in 2010 to develop and deliver transmedia innovation, education and training. Ian is a leading strategist on transmedia storytelling, advising companies and organisations including Sanoma Publishers, the Netherlands Public Broadcast Company (NPO), the Netherlands Film Festival, the European Broadcasting Union, and the EU MEDIA Programme.
Starlight Runner Entertainment
New York, New York
Jeff Gomez is the world’s leading producer of transmedia entertainment properties. He is an expert at incubating new entertainment franchises, strategic planning and production for cross-platform implementation. As CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Jeff leverages intellectual properties into global franchises that successfully navigate an array of media channels. Jeff has worked on such blockbuster universes as Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean, Microsoft's Halo and James Cameron's Avatar. He sits on the board of the Producers Guild of America East, as well as on the PGA New Media Council. Jeff has also recently joined the Advisory Council to Power to the Pixel.
John David Heinsen
CEO and Executive Producer
Bunnygraph Entertainment, Inc.
Los Angeles, California
A seasoned multi-platform producer, John and his company Bunnygraph Entertainment, work with writers and talent to create serialized formats for television, interactive/web and mobile platforms in what he calls “Storytelling through Advanced Content”. His current projects include the 85th Academy Awards, where he is under contract with the Disney ABC Television Group for a second year as Multi-platform Experience Lead overseeing production of all web, mobile and social media for Oscar.com. Additionally, John is Director of Digital Media for ONE GREAT NIGHT ON EARTH, a twelve-hour global concert event in 2013 providing charitable relief to flood and fire victims on the Australian continent.
John’s 20 year career in entertainment includes experience as Manager of Primetime Programming at the FOX Broadcasting Company, where he creatively helped oversee series such as "Family Guy", James Cameron’s “Dark Angel”, and "That 70's Show". He is a veteran of the Branded Entertainment and Television Packaging Divisions of International Creative Management (ICM) and has produced television projects for Castle Rock Entertainment. He was recently elected Vice Chairman, New Media Council for the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and serves on the Executive Committee of the Interactive Media Peer Group, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In July 2012, John led a NAFF Master Class on Transmedia at the Pi-Fan Fantastic Film Festival in Pucheon, South Korea designed to introduce storytelling through advanced content and social media best practices to film students from across Asia.
Brian Seth Hurst
The Opportunity Management Company
Santa Monica, California
Brian Seth Hurst is CEO of The Opportunity Management Company, a strategic consultancy driving the next generation of entertainment. Referred to as “the father of cross platform”, Hurst coined the term in 1998 as MD of Convergent Media, Pittard Sullivan, where he launched TV Guide as the first ever cross platform brand. Hurst's credo “go to where your audience lives” continues to transform the relationship of audiences to brands and programming.
TOMC has assisted broadcast clients and content rights holders in extending their programming and building communities on new platforms. The company has a rich practice in the building of “multiplatform ecosystems” including multiplatform storytelling, Alternate Reality Games and the burgeoning field of Augmented Reality. Clients have included: Showtime, Lifetime, SVT (Swedish Pubic Television), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, NBCUniversal, Intel, Les Mills Fitness and AOL as well as successful start-ups including McLean Masterworks, Nixle and Paltalk. Hurst was on the team at Pittard Sullivan as MD of Convergence that developed the original user experience for TiVo. He sits on the advisory boards of MobiTV, Zannel, Vwalls and Nixle. Hurst is currently a principal and at work on Tim Kring’s (creator of Heroes) project the “Conspiracy For Good” for which he created the terms “Social Benefit Storytelling” and “Social Benefit Marketing” to describe this new entertainment genre and the project’s impact.
Hurst spent 10 years on the Board of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences building the Primetime Emmy® Brand Strategy and serving in various positions including second vice chair. He served 3 terms on the Board of the Producers Guild of America, serving two terms as Chairman of the PGA’s New Media Council. Recipient of an Interactive TV Today Award for Leadership in Interactive Television, he was profiled in Emmy magazine as one of the 10 media executives leading the industry’s digital drive and was named two years running to the Hollywood Reporter/PGA Digital 50. Hurst was appointed Global Digital Ambassador for the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2009. He is currently host of the series “StoryCentric” at ITVT.com.
Ball State University
Brad King is one of six Emerging Media Fellows at Ball State University, where his research examines how emerging technologies are changing the ways we tell—and share—stories. Brad has worked for Condé Nast's WIRED magazine as well as its sister website, Wired News, covering the convergence of technology and culture. In 2002 he co-authored Dungeons and Dreamers, a book on the history of computer games, virtual worlds and their effects on American culture. In 2004, he was hired as the senior editor and producer for MIT's Technology Review. He’s currently on the advisory boards for South by Southwest Interactive and Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press.
Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director
New York, NY
Mike has been intimately involved in the creative development of every project that has come through Campfire's doors. From Beta-7 for Sega and True Blood for HBO to Frenzied Waters for Discovery, he's led work that has been awarded top honors at the One Show, Clio, Mixx, ad:Tech, and Addy awards. A vocal force in the world of transmedia storytelling, Mike has spoken at many prestigious events, including Futures of Entertainment at M.I.T. and SXSW Interactive. Prior to co-founding Campfire, Mike was a co-creator of The Blair Witch Project, a movie that changed the way marketers approached the Internet. Before that, he worked at the Florida Film Festival for five years, where he did everything from selling tickets to acting as program director. Mike graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Motion Picture Technology.
Chief Digital Officer
F+W Media, Inc.
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Founder and Managing Director
Transmedia Storyteller Ltd
Robert Pratten is CEO and Founder of TransmediaStoryteller.com a service for interactive storytelling and cross-platform audience engagement. He has more than 20 years experience as an international marketing consultant working with producers, writers, game developers and leading brands such as Ericsson, advising them on business development, market positioning, transmedia storytelling, social media strategy and distribution. Robert has also written, produced and directed two award-winning, critically acclaimed feature films - London Voodoo (2004) and Mindflesh (2008) - and produced the successful transmedia crime mystery Lowlifes.tv. He is a mentor for StoryLabs an organization of leading international multi-platform and transmedia creators dedicated to the education and mentoring of storytellers. Robert has established himself as a thought-leader in the field of transmedia storytelling through major contributions to the evolving field in the areas of new business models, development processes and documentation. He has written for Indie Slate magazine and Culture Hacker and presented at various conferences including Digital Hollywood and SXSW Interactive. He is the co-creator of the Transmedia Talk podcast and author of the book Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners.
Brain Candy, LLC
Scott Walker likes playing in the collaborative sandbox of commercial entertainment, co-creating value with audiences, and advocating transmedia storytelling. He primarily achieves this as President of Brain Candy, LLC , a company he co-founded in 2008 to explore new models for participatory entertainment. The company's first internally developed participatory property, Runes of Gallidon, was officially launched in 2009. Scott is also active in the transmedia and participatory community. He co-founded Transmedia Los Angeles in December of 2009, co-founded a transmedia advocacy group in February of 2011, and recently launched Shared Story Worlds, a site devoted to collaborative entertainment properties with participatory elements. Scott has spoken often about participatory entertainment and transmedia. He’s been a panelist at Digital Book World 2011, a featured guest on the Transmedia Talk podcast, and a guest speaker at Disney’s Imagineering R&D. Scott’s professional career spans several industries and includes the successful launch and sale of Capital West Finance, Inc, a finance company.
The WorkBook Project
Philadelphia, PALance Weiler is a critically acclaimed award winning writer/director. He’s been recognized as a pioneer because of the way he makes and distributes his work—WIRED magazine named him “One of Twenty-Five People Helping to Re-Invent Entertainment and Change the Face of Hollywood.” He has successfully self-distributed his films The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma to more than 20 countries while grossing over 5 million dollars in the process. The Last Broadcast, which he co-wrote and co-directed, became the first film to be distributed digitally to theaters in 1998. Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and reach audiences, Lance developed a cinema ARG (alternate reality game) around Head Trauma. More than 2.5 million people experienced the game via theaters, mobile drive-ins, phones and online. In recognition of these cinematic gaming innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Others on the list included Thomas Edison, George Lucas, Steve Jobs and Walt Disney.