Creative Citizens At It in Bristol

September 26th, 2012 by Jonathan Dovey in Creative Networks | no comments

We’ve been busy over the summer pushing forward with our project. Emma has completed the primary research with Vince Baidoo of South Blessed and we’re just setting up our next six interviewees with a focus group to follow. Masses of excellent material already but you’ll have to wait for a bit of pre coding before we can share.

One thing we know. The Informal Creative Economy is driven by dreams. A set of creative aspirations, for expression, for success, stardom and beauty. Often inchoate, contradictory and disturbing our dreams drive us on to achieve a space where we are heard and recognised. Dreams are the fuel of informal creative networks.

Screen still from That Time. Photo: South Blessed

We’ve been talking a lot with our partner Vince about what interventions or projects we could make together that might support South Blessed’s long term sustainability. This sustainability is the basis of our ethical contract with Vince. So far our list of potential projects is :-

  • Live Broadcasts of local news and talent from the freshly rebuilt Studio space. The new system is ready to be tested as soon as we acquire an obsolete camera that runs Firewire output not that damned new fangled HDMI.
  • WebCasting from mobiles at particular events or situations to develop an ongoing mobile community TV platform. From Carnival to confrontation with themed live events. Testing this Winter.
  • A Film making competition.Talent development for the network.
  • An App that geo locates 1800 music clips back to their sites of origin all over town. Clips are tagged, design and testing to come.
  • A Film production. A feature film. Massive talent building challenge. But massive energy and script ideas in place.

We’ve been discussing all these in terms of ambition, outcome, scale and community asset building. There’s a really strong push to guerrilla feature film production. And a strong push back from the project team here that we have to be realistic about what we can support.

The push to feature film is the dream; and it’s a dream that’s articulated here precisely through the interaction between money (University Research) and boot strappers with no access to resource.

This has been a difficult conversation, full of the ethical problems at the heart of the Connected Communities programme. The current outcome is that we have suggested that we could exploring alternative ways of telling a big story that could also mobilise communities, the Alternate Reality Gaming format. It could include lots of high quality film work plus a community involved in telling, contributing, and making the story. Vince has lots of expertise in social networking – its his medium, and this is the new story telling form evolving in from those worlds. Curiously the feature film format feels like a 20th century response to the new conditions of media that we’re investigating. The ARG form has been deployed for all kinds of marketing and educational purposes in the U.S but we don’t know if anyone in UK has launched something local within a community context. Any precedents you know of ?

Here’s our little resource intro to ARGs and Transmedia Storytelling that we’re using as the basis for moving forward.

Slideshow on designing ARGS from the Momma, Jane McGonigal

Jane’s Site – watch her TEDx vid.

Slideshow on Transmedia Storytelling

ARGnet: the network for Alternate Reality Gamers

FAQs on Alternate Reality Games

A Guide to Web Drama with good links written by my friend Rik Lander


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