In the previous edition we exposed some relevant aspects about the new audiovisual production schemes, incorporating technologies such as the Internet and new devices and platforms, for the creation of products that can be exploited in a wide range of screens.
Mg. Luis Fernando Gutiérrez Cano
Mg. Luis Jorge Orcasitas Pacheco
In the present edition we return to the topic, based on the observations that were expressed in Mediamorfosis, a Latin American multiplatform event for dissemination, exchange and production, which took place in the city of Medellin, with the accompaniment of the National Television Authority, ANTV, and the Master's Degree in Digital Television at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, which focused on developing considerations about transmedia narratives and their feasible potential for public and community media systems in the country.
Then, new reflections that international lecturers like Damián Kisner, director of Mediamofosis, and Ricardo Andrada, screenwriter of interactive webdocs, both from Argentina; also, Suzy Sierra Ruiz, representative of the Civil Society before the National Television Board of the ANTV and Olga Castaño Martínez, representative of the Universities before the National Television Board of the ANTV. In this opportunity, the critical look of these experts is addressed to topics such as transmedia experiences in other Latin American countries, the limits of transmedia communication and what audiences expect from audiovisual products in the new communication ecosystem.
In the first place, Damian Kisner, Argentine transmedia producer, rescues the experience in his country, where transmedia currently includes narrations of all kinds: news, journalism and fiction, among others, that is, life is being narrated, reality, among other aspects. This as a consequence that, increasingly, the mass media begin to understand that they have to participate with the audiences. From those mass media, both fiction program, realities, or journalistic products, the participation and crossing of audiences is generated. Hence, this type of dynamics are those seen in Argentine television in different programming instances.
In relation to the direction that Trasmedia communication processes will take in the short and medium term, Ricardo Andrada, scriptwriter of interactive documentaries, was emphatic in pointing out that these processes are still uncertain, given the clear phase of experimentation in different areas of the media ecosystem ( seeing how the models are, what things work, what things do not). He also points out that this becomes even more complex when, in parallel to this phase of experimentation, new technologies enter the markets, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, that is, it is a world in permanent movement.
Today in the world there are many models to look at and they should not be ignored because, in one way or another, they are a source of inspiration. It is well known that the news of the media ecosystem poses many things that are not difficult to do, some others will involve investments, more costs and even higher budgets that, possibly, you do not have, but for other things, you can appreciate the myriad of experiences transmedia all over the world and find models, even from the public media, which are very interesting to analyze and also apply.
Is it good to experiment?
Facing a technological wave that is unpredictable and that at the same time generates so many changes -we are not talking about changes but implosions-, faced with so many perspectives posed by digital phenomena, a series of questions arise about the experimentation factor: Before an audience that today is active, how to motivate channels to experiment and "play" with this audience ?, how to involve it in co-creation processes ?, how to generate that change of mentality and give a little more voice to the citizen, who is on the other side and who can contribute more to the environment?
Faced with these questions, Suzy Sierra, representative of Civil Society before the National Television Board of the ANTV, points out that there are no absolute answers; However, they can be built with a collective contribution, that is, with the participation of all the agents involved in audiovisual communication processes.
Sierra points out that certain initiatives particularly in Colombia are difficult to develop, given that there are legal parameters that often turn out to be limiting for creativity; In this sense, he emphasizes that the country needs to bring to public television fundamental concepts such as entrepreneurship, which necessarily implies that it is necessary to experiment and that, if this is not successful, this experimentation becomes a teaching for others and, starting from of it, new attempts are staged, without "punishing" or stigmatizing those who "fail".
According to the above, what is perceived is that the experimentation processes in Colombia, from the ANTV, are difficult components to feed with public resources and it is a challenge to apply the concepts of entrepreneurship to an industry that has traditionally using the same formulas that have worked; even, it is also evident in private television, which uses formulas that serve it and tests them again and again, because it perceives a lot of security in its results.
Budget, limitation for transmedia
According to Damián Kirzner, the budget issue for transmedia production is also disruptive, because each platform has its own independent way of monetizing. When the traditional monetization model enters into crisis, the medium faces the challenge of finding new systems that can generate crossings of platforms. This means that, probably, when you develop a transmedia script, an architecture of a certain content and move on different platforms, already at the time of creating each of these platforms, the creative group has to imagine how it will monetize each of them.
What has been described above makes everything very complex and there will be cases, where one platform is probably subsidizing the other. Maybe there is a platform that bills and makes money and another that does not, but this second is necessary in the scheme. Therefore, this budgetary system is more complex than the traditional one, where there was a television program, which had a very good audience, the second one was more expensive, there was more rating, and therefore advertising was more expensive; Now it is much more complex.
Conception of the transmedia script
According to Damián Kirzner it is a factor that changes all the time and that depends on the type of content that you want to do; For example, if you want to develop content, such as Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, which has to do with a British problem, such as abandoned houses, but at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of people who are homeless, this means then created a television and transmedia content in which, on the one hand, the audience is invited to identify these houses through an application and take a picture of it, on a map of the abandoned houses and the audience is invited to Tell your stories and why does that family need a house?
All this leads us to reflect that at the moment of creating the script, or the map, or the transmedia architecture of a certain content, we must think that this content will require a mobile application so that people can georeference and a distribution of this application to reach the audience; likewise, you must have a television program with a production team that is creating the programs and that from that structure, you are going to create a social articulation so that through social networks people tell their stories.
This map and its architecture are prior to and prior to the construction of each of the contents; then, the application and how the application is developed is a script and a content; the television program, as we know it and understand it, the history of these two families is a more traditional script, but prior to each of the scripts we must develop a map that draws a transmedia architecture that allows everything to be articulated.
Transmedia narrative as a business model
Before the topic of the transmedia narrative as a business model, for Ricardo Andrada, it is a concern that at this moment there are many agents of the audiovisual sector throughout the world. In that sense, it is evident that, despite clear evidence that the audience is elsewhere, the advertising investment is still in spaces that are losing power or relevance. The question of monetization is not so easy, there is a key issue that still needs to be examined in all its complexity; there is a very important debate that the whole sector must give, because it is directly about the sustainability of the models that are generated.
In the case of business models, for Damián Kirzner it is necessary to point out that the commercial structures of traditional companies are very rigid and also have interests, that is, whoever sells advertising for television earns money if that advertising appears on television, not on the Internet or in any other medium; therefore, there is a structure in the media center, in the advertising agency and in the commercial management of the television channel, where it is evident that there is no exchange interest, although paradoxically each time the forms of measurements indicate that fewer people see that channel.
On the other hand, the convergent or cross-platform contents begin to put in check all that paradigm, now it is the brands themselves that begin to challenge this scheme because they do not want to already "traditionally" rule, but rather they begin to want to follow an audience through a content that is sometimes transversal.
For the Colombian context, Olga Castaño agrees with the previous approach, with the exception of the particularities facing a country like Colombia, whose territories are extensive, which sometimes hinders the implementation of certain products related to education and technology. It is not Holland, nor Guatemala, nor Nicaragua, nor El Salvador, which are small. Castaño recognizes the importance that television still has in very remote rural sectors and the educational contents that can be contemplated.
For the ANTV the proposal of creation of educational contents for other platforms and devices by the Colombian State, is a viable possibility, without leaving aside the other, that is, this type of projects must be done and are being done. However, Castaño recognizes that we have to start with what public television and television sets that are still in the most remote parts of this country, complementing it with other proposals.
According to Damián Kirzner, what comes is the realities and experiences of immersion, that is, the possibility of participating and being inside, immersively, in the stories. Says Mark Atkin, a British specialist of Crossover Labs, who was at the Mediamorfosis of Buenos Aires and Brazil at 2016, that the key to creating content in the future is to be immersive, interactive and generate empathy.
Immersive realities have different alternatives: the interior mapping of a space, virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, parallel reality. From these new tools to tell, new experiences will surely come. Today we talk about virtual reality and we can see it, but there is not a massive market of gadgets, artifacts; in the world, there are 20 millions of oculus or similar, and the number of televisions multiplies it by a billion, but it is a new medium that is growing and that is advancing, and it is a different and different narrative experience towards investments and interactivity .
On the other hand, Suzy Sierra, as a member of the board of the ANTV, visualizes that in twenty years we will have passed from the television of the sofa to live the television, to feel it through the 5 senses and to feel the own experience in situ and that will happen to him to the children who today have one or two screens and to the groups between the 18 and the 44 years that has five screens in front, it has already passed from the passive attitude to wanting to feel.
Finally, Ricardo Andrada believes that we are indeed going to a world in which experience is going to command and where relevance is another of the key words: we must generate content that is relevant to the one on the other side.
We are in a scenario in which technology has deeply democratized the creation of content; Today we are all consumers and generators of content: anyone, when turning on your phone, can transmit what you want for an audience on Facebook Live, for example. The user is the medium, while consuming. We are already and increasingly going to a space of formidable horizontality and democratization of the means of content production