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LAFF '13: Hollywood and Silicon Valley Collide: Immersion, Interactivity, and Narrative Expansion

Hollywood and Silicon Valley Collide: Immersion, Interactivity and Narrative Expansion panel consisted of (left to right) Florian Henckel Von Donnersmark, director of The Lives of Others, Author Cornelia Funke, Geoffrey Long, Program Manager and Narrative Design at Microsoft, Scott Snibbe, CEO of Snibbe Interactive which was moderated by Andy Merkin, Head of Transmedia and Special Projects, at Mirada Studios. The panel discussed how art could be integrated with transmedia to expand their stories and eventually make them iconic to further serve future generations. With the help of Mirada Studios, Cornelia was able to create Mirrorworld, an app that tells living stories that expand on the fantasy world of her best selling novels.  She usually writes her stories on paper so she can quickly jot down her thoughts as well as pair illustrations to her stories. And with the help of Mirrorworld, she was able to translate her emotions directly onto a platform and reflect the world she created in her mind.
Living in the digital age has opened doors to endless possibilities through transmedia and marketing. With apps and interactive media, it helps artists like filmmakers and writers alike to take their stories to the limits of their imagination and into future generations. Marketing seems like a superficial extension of art but it has created a chance to provide a vast experience and enhance their work instead of destroying it. The best example of good marketing is the Star Wars franchise. They took the image of Darth Vader and produced apps, toy figurines, video games, and so now even when we hear his voice, see his silhouette, or even a hand motion that suggests the way he choked Luke Skywalker, fans immediately can identify who he is. Even bad marketing allows the stories and characters to live beyond from what they initiated started from whether it is from the movies or books. It’s not about retelling the same story but creating worlds big enough where the audience can get lost and create their own realm. Negative space allows more people to explore the boundless universe and share the experience.
Future generations are growing up with phones, internet, television, and films that allows the integration of these projects to be much easier. We are in the best time for filmmaking where anything you imagine is possible. Witnessing artists now thinking about the future in terms of trying to make their projects more interactive as well as iconic even before they create their work is truly progressive. The way art is heading whether it is in films or books, the prospect to integrate it with other mediums and expand the stories for generations to come is the most hopeful and beautiful collision of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

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