Transmedia Elements in Seattle Washington
Transmedia elements create an engagement with audiences to create various platforms utilized to pass information and entertain (Alyssa 6). The Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival (STIFF) in Washington is a platform acknowledging, celebrating and encouraging transmedia domestically and internationally. Activities undertaken by STIFF are diverse including planning parties, screenings, art exhibitions, and filmmaking panels to entertain, inform and network. STIFF incorporates transmedia narratives through various programs for cultural interaction in Seattle Washington. STIFF was established due to the expanding technologies being applied to increase personal, domestic, and international interactions. The interactions play as vital, constant and multiple mediums in an innovative and technologically savvy environment. STIFF is therefore platform encouraging persons to engage, operate, and intrinsically apply abilities to create, spread, and share educational and entertaining information. Through different points of depth, STIFF has been able to attract media personalities to supplement contents and information through films, stories, photographs, videos, and books among others (STIFF 1).
The Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival
This transmedia element was established in 2005 by a group of filmmakers from Washington. The group members believed it would offer a platform for filmmakers to showcase their talents and skills as either independent persons or organizations. This is because traditional film channels lacked a platform to engage audiences interested in films, documentaries, and storytelling. More so, a research conducted across Seattle revealed residents love watching entertaining and educational documentaries. Thus, establishing STIFF would encourage traditional filmmakers to be creative, innovative, and active in entertaining and educating local and national audiences. STIFF is undertaken for a period of nine days showcasing talents, skills, and attracting audiences through parties, exhibitions, and films. STIFF is a therefore a transmedia element utilizing traditional and digital mediums to tell stories and celebrate various independent innovators. It is a brand and intellectual entertainment property mainly associated with film festivals (STIFF 1). As members of STIFF, we continue to undertake various measures to expand the transmedia beyond and intellectual entertainment property based on a variety of platforms (Robert 21).
Measures to Extend STIFF as a Brand and Entertainment Property
STIFF commenced as a traditional film festival showcasing greatly produced stories by talented and skilled filmmakers without a platform to broadcast them. However, it has now expanded to include other forms of entertainment including art exhibitions. Thus, there exist various options to undertake expansion measures across this transmedia occurring for a period of nine days. Foremost, it provides a platform and sufficient amount of time to accommodate various forms of engaging and entertaining the audience (Alyssa 15). As STIFF, we accept both short and long films running beyond thirty minutes. However, we mainly rely on long films in order to capture the audience attention. Nevertheless, we discovered involving short films can be crucial in expanding this transmedia. In order to succeed, STIFF members ensure short films are entertaining, captivating, informative, and produced under high quality filmmaking standards. For example, short feature films telling fictional and real stories relating to Washington residents can attract a huge audience. More so, short films documenting various issues affecting the Seattle locals and Washington in large can attract a huge audience. They can encourage people to interact and share their experiences while providing suggestions to improve the community. Through STIFF, we provide a platform educating people on the various issues affecting their daily lives. During the nine days, we also encourage people to interact and construct solutions (STIFF 1).
For example, insecurity can be a major concern. A short feature film documenting how locals are affected by lack of security can attract a huge audience. Consequently, after the film producers can encourage the viewers to participate in highlighting various measures to curb insecurities. Consequently, the audiences play the role of storytelling as they narrative personal incidences related with insecurity. More so, they play the role of submitting acceptable measures to reduce and prevent vices associated with insecurity such as robberies, violence, damage to properties, and loss of assets among others. Thereof, the filmmakers can combine the suggestions to create other short and long films uploaded across digital mediums and social media to inform and educate more audiences (Alyssa 50).
STIFF accepting music videos, web series, digital comics, video games, and interactive applications can also increase and expand the number of audiences. Music videos are mainly entertaining. However, they are also educative. They can therefore attract audiences across various age groups and social classes. In order to maintain the audience and attract more participants, engaging them in interactive applications can be effective. Interactive applications can be installed in individual mobile phones. As members of STIFF, we discovered we can provide computers distributed evenly on the venue installed with the interactive applications. This strategy is aimed at teaching participating audience to use them. Consequently, they can be encouraged and motivated to install them for personal use (STIFF 1).
Video games and digital comics mainly attract young audiences especially including high school and university students. STIFF is undertaken at the University District of Seattle. Thus, parents and guardians ought to accompany high school students willing to attend for close supervision. In order to cater for the older generation audiences, as STIFF operators we can submit various categories parents and guardians would be comfortable in participating. For example, networking and discussion platforms attract members of public seeking to be entertained. However, the platform can also be utilized to inform and help the audience gain exposure to various issues and factors affecting their lives either directly or indirectly. More so, STIFF can offer both the young and older generations a platform to discuss their future (STIFF 1). High schools students accompanied by their parents and guardians can therefore seek advice on various university courses to pursue in gaining higher education. Consequently, university and high school students can interact and encourage as well as motivate each other. As a result, parents and guardians can appreciate excellent performances with regards to academic and social activities (Burghardt 6).
As the group facilitating STIFF, we assert transmedia projects aligned to films and storytelling are aimed at assisting professionals struggling to set base and develop. We therefore aim at constantly providing new and fresh talents in the filmmaking industry with opportunities to showcase their projects. Currently, the STIFF transmedia provides filmmakers with waivers. The waivers encourage filmmakers with sufficient talent and skills and inadequate financial resources to diversify their invented projects. However, this strategy has been overwhelming as the number of filmmakers in need of waivers has been increasing annually. Thus, we aim to focus on providing waivers to filmmakers developing projects aimed at fostering growth and development in the Seattle Washington community (STIFF 1). Consequently, their projects can generate more financial resources to expand the number of talents qualifying for waivers.
For example, transmedia projects educating the public without being offensive can qualify for waivers. The research across Seattle residents revealing people love watching documentaries can be applied to generate financial resources. By providing filmmakers with waivers to create documentaries with diverse topics, STIFF can attract a huge audience and help the brand grow and expand. Filmmakers can focus on topics relating to drug use and abuse, delinquency, human rights, environmental conservation, food and entertainment as well as travel and holiday destinations to attract a huge audience. The research also revealed controversial topics garner a larger audience. Thus, filmmakers afraid to submit their documentaries based on controversial topics can be encouraged to submit the projects to STIFF (STIFF 1). Consequently, Washington residences can attend the STIFF festivals to gain exposure, feed their curiosity, get entertained and be informed (Robert 42). As a result, the transmedia gathers financial resources expanding the number of persons qualifying for waivers.
Factors Encouraging STIFF Transmedia to Expand
Various factors facilitate STIFF to attract a huge audience and encourage the brand to grow and expand. Foremost, artists including songwriters, filmmakers, storytellers, and art exhibitionists from Washington do not pay a registration fee. The STIFF board agreed the platform is aimed at encouraging and motivating creative talents. Consequently, it fosters individual and community growth in the State. More so, STIFF does not hinder talents from other States from participating. It is therefore a national transmedia entity seeking to draw attention and participation nationally.
However, participants from other states other than Washington are required to pay a registration fee ranging between twenty five and seventy five dollars. The fee depends on the project’s submission period and length. Thus, it offers Washington participants an opportunity and space to showcase their talent for free. It also offers non-interstate participants an equal opportunity at a fee utilized in developing the STIFF transmedia beyond Seattle Washington State. Thus, the registration fee guarantees STIFF to attract a huge audience away from Washington to grow and expand. Lastly, STIFF does not limit participants as there are no entry barriers. It is therefore considered as transmedia labor of love and acceptance. It seeks to encourage the participants to be community entertainers, cheerleaders, ambassadors, and educationists (STIFF 1). These measures therefore encourage participation, production of projects, and audience participation. Consequently, they can foster the growth and expansion of STIFF as a brand and intellectual property.
Alyssa, Fisher. Crossing the Transmedia Frontier: The Growing Trend of a Transmedia Narrative in Music Festivals in the United States, University of Oregon, 2011. Web 30th Oct 2014 https://scholarsbank.uoregon.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1794/11200/Fisher_MSProject.pdf?sequence=1
Burghardt, Tenderich. Design Elements of Transmedia Branding, Transmedia Branding Research Group at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab, 2013. Print. 1=10
Robert, Pratten. Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling, A Practical Guide for Beginners, 2011. Print.
The Seattle Transmedia and Independent Film Festival (STIFF), FAQ Report, 2014. Web 30th Oct 2014 http://trueindependent.org/stiff/submit/