Content Development: BE the Story*

Content generation that is engaging is a problem!!

Creating something that is enough to hold somebodies attention as well as incorporating interactivity and anonymity is very difficult!!

How about if people generated their own story?! Like the Arcade Fire Music Video  where the viewer is meant to visualise themselves within the story, and likewise with Take this Lollipop , it was people putting themselves in the story that had the effect and kept them engaged.

This blog by script writer and blogger, Declan Dineen, reflects my interest in potentially position real people’s story in some kind of unified story dependant on place, time…



Additionally, I think augmented reality blurring with actually reality, by a story taking place within a known environment would hold audience attention. For example, if Bournemouth Uni was the setting, then BU students would be interested surely?

Ideas coming to mind:

– Crazes that go viral – how can I make a story go viral?

– How can I get people involved to share the story?

– Passing on a message/good deed/ section of the story? Almost like chinese whispers?



Just call me the Puppet Master…

To clarify my role on all of this… I basically need to be the puppet master of a bunch of characters and control each and everyones lives online to come together and flow as one solid narrative ran in real time to a real audience…. hmm.  This could be tricky.

I want the story to appear realistic, like these characters are real people living a real life… and since most people adopt an online self and perform their personalities online then I don’t feel like this is an unrealistic wish.

Based on my research regarding common types of social media users I constructed these online personalities, in order to be able to properly demonstrate my online community I was creating

Introducing you to…

andybox beckybox freyabox jackbox rosebox sophe

Production Analysis: Methodologies

The dreaded Pitch Presentation…. 15 minutes of solid pressure to sell The Hashtag Life to my production tutors.

Here are the demonstrations videos that I used to portray the way in which THL is carried out and how the audience is required to have specific purposeful engagement.

I apologise the quality isn’t great and my voice over is massively whiney… The video is also a little slow in places.

What I learned from my presentation pitch was to include target audience responses in perhaps the form of a videoed interview recording peoples thoughts and ideas and how they think it will work in the real world. The target audience for THL is 20 something year olds and I know my tutors who I pitched too were definitely not 20 somethings (no offence meant).

Production Analysis: Idea Synopsis 2


A transmedia, fictional narrative constructed and told online via popular social networks. A series running in real time following the lives of 5 friends purely through the creation of content distributed across fake Facebook, Twitter and Blog account. The stories of the 5 characters will be interlinked in someway with each cast member being responsible for releasing the next part of the story through a certain type of media. The ‘hub’ for the centre of the story will be hosted on what the viewer will believe to be one of the characters personal blogs.

In order for the online soap opera to achieve momentum and purpose, an element of audience participation will be required in that the audience must add the characters as “friends” online and follow them on Twitter. The audience are able to contact the characters as they see fit.

The script will include the 5 individuals journey through life and the circumstances in which their naïve behaviour online has come to play a part. For example, Andy, our loud and boisterous funny man fails to secure his dream job after an inappropriate picture is made public online and Lucy, our quiet and reserved sweet girl is left emotionally distraught after being made a mockery online in a joke turned sour. Overall, the moral of the series will be to understand the consequences and affects of our online actions and how the online world will blur with the real life.

By getting the online viewers to achieve an emotional attachment to the characters by being friends with them online, their subconscious mind will be drawn into the story that unfolds due to it coming up on their relevant newsfeeds. If an audience can seek out and immerse themselves in Coronation Street of Eastenders, then what is to say the same achievement cannot be succeeded online?

  • The narrative would be run in real time so how can I make a prototype?
  • Am I taking too big a risk with audience engagement – what if no body pays attention and how will I record their involement?
  • Would I need to launch the story and a one of a kind fictional reality show in order to gain an audience (or is the audience already there)?
  • How will I record audience involvement?
  • Establishing character profiles and online presence
  • Do I have to include clues to unlock the next stage of the story or would a specific time slot on a particular day (like a TV program) be enough to maintain viewership?

Production Analysis: Idea Synopsis 1

“I didn’t do it!”

Interactive, immersive short video experience demonstrating our emotional attachment to our online profiles. By retrieving the viewers personal details via their Facebook log in, each experience will be unique to the user. The single fixed narrative video will include their Facebook profile taking on a life of its own and aim to achieve an emotional response. By using cleverly scripted video animation, the web application will convince the viewer that a status or post will be written on their behalf, an extreme amount of ‘likes’ will be awarded or taken away from one of their recent pictures, friends may be removed or added and just that general mayham is being cause on their profile in real time. The idea is to make the viewer feel uncomfortable because they cannot control or stop what is happening in front of them. The video is interactive in that it puts the viewer into the narrative itself, and makes them think about how what they are putting on their Facebook or other peoples Facebooks could be affecting themselves and others. The moral of the story is to be careful with what and how you portray your identity online and to be aware of the safety of your profile.


“The Hashtag Life” 

The initial Pitch Idea was to carry out a fictional story distributed via online characters telling their section of the story on their personal profile page, either on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or WordPress blog. It would require an audience to follow every characters social media outlet in order to follow the next part of the story.