· transmedia Essays

TV-Format

REMIX is a 1-hour transmedia infotainment format that gives an EDUCATIONAL SLANT TO POP CULTURE. By investigating the connections that make up our culture the show exposes how EVERYTHING IS A REMIX. The strings of inspiration between literature, movies and music coming together to form an artistic work are revealed in a character-driven presentation that excites, inspires, and educates youth how to BE MORE CREATIVE and express him or herself by COLLABORATING and REMIXING CULTURE with fans from around the world.

REMIX features PLATO, the scruffy-haired peripatetic POP CULTURE PHILOSOPHER who WALKS AROUND the globe looking for REMIX. Each episode is set in a different bustling metropolis (PARIS-NYC-BEIJING, ...), with the season starting and ending in LONDON. Every week — with the help of a SIDEKICK guest expert —  we analyze the cultural REFERENCES of one pop culture phenomenon — from LADY GAGA to GIRL TALK to TECNO BREGA of Brazil. Getting us into strange discussions with artists, street-stranger-remixers and online fans, REMIX is an unconventional show that educates and enlightens us about the REFERENCES that make up our culture of MOVIES and MUSIC.

Culture is about making connections and REMIX crosses platforms to encourage and engage viewers become more creative. Extending from the tentpole television show, a transmedia storyworld emerges, where viewers become participants, a social network where each week PLATO highlights the cleverest CULTURE REMIX submitted by members that leads to a GRAND FINALE  by the end of the TV season.

Format Proposal

Channel

REMIX is designed for  the British Channel 4 public-service television broadcaster

CHANNEL

Audience

REMIX employs game mechanics (also known by the popular buzzword gamification) that takes advantage of psychological insights into what makes games fun and engaging. Game mechanics increase viewers motivation to engage with the story while multiple platforms (TV show, social network, and mobile game) allow varied entry points to the storyworld, each a potential point of capture for audience attention. The platforms are naturally aligned and feel integrated to retain the player across platforms once his or her attention is first captured.

Psychographics

The audience is young but tired and demoralized — _the European I-studied-but-can't-find-a-job _generation, concerned with the economic crisis. An up-beat an hopeful program that educates the audience in an entertaining way is useful for the improvement of their lives and creates addiction (an thus a following) with its message of hope.

Demographics

REMIX aims at a young demographic but makes head-way into more youthful middle-aged groups. In terms of gender, the source of our content — pop culture of movie and music — is interesting for both genders.

Communication Problem

The communication problem is that while the target demographics and psychographics have a very high awareness of pop culture, they have a 1) low awareness of cultural remixability, and 2) an attitude of a powerless consumer who believes he or she cannot create anything of value.

Objective

Inspire target audience for action in the coming week by:

  1. Increasing awareness of cultural remixability
  2. Change attitude from passive consumer to active producer

Team

The show needs a team of 11 people.

Running Order

The running order is conversational with 3 tentpole elements proposed to keep the format structured and coherent. The running order remains the same in each episode in each global city, giving the format integrity independent of the location.

Transmedia

REMIX is accessible across media, with each medium adding value to the format tentpole show but at the same time playing to the strengths of each medium.  For example, YouTube   offers background clips shot during PLATOs travels and he remains in character, answering Twitter and Facebook comments as PLATO. World Cinema experts join over CNN-like video interviews in the social network, offering expert advice on remixing that is not featured in the show. Quick Skype video calls from within the TV show to other parts of the planet give a truly global transmedia aesthetic to REMIX.

Web

Mobile

Brand

Merchandize

REMIX includes content from a large variety of media properties from around the world, meaning licenses need to be tracked down from license holders for some difficult films and music that may take time and relatively high cost.

Analytics

A strong transmedia presence allows sentiment analysis to be performed on each medium used and each episode's influence on the audience calculated independent of and toghether with transmedia extensions taken in account the aggregate score. An analysis of the REMIX social network allows for a graph analysis that results in a visual map of connections by type and frequency that indicates traction (interest in a particular piece of content) which may provide further ideas in which directions to develop the show.

Budget

Episodes

Like the BBC documentary series led by Simon Reeve (Equator, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn) and niche travel shows like Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, REMIX takes a truly global view of remix culture, with cities around the world performing the role of exotic foreign locations that are one of the key attractions of the format.

The format foresees one season to be limited to 12 episodes as finding remix connections in each new city is a time-consuming and research-intensive task which needs a period of preparation before each season; a typical Channel 4/E4 series runs for 7-8 episodes, so this is a bit longer. On the other hand, the almost unlimited number of creative cities around the world creates the opportunity to continue the format in short series (as is common in British TV) ad-inifinitum.

NYC (Season Start)

# NYC

(Episode 1)

#RX01 NEW YORK CITY HOST: PLATO GUEST: DJ SPOOKY

New York City is the capital of remix with artists from all over the world collaborating on the future of music.

PLATO enters with a explosion, stepping through a vintage Star Wars poster and rips the paper apart with his bare hand.

Introduces remix professor Lawrence Lessig who arrives on a skateboard.

The duo start walking towards lower Manhattan with delightful banter going on how remix is part of how culture is made.

They drop into a movie theatre where Star Wars was first shown and talk to an old-timer about what it was like to see Star Wars in 1977.

More walking on the NYC streets and banter with shots of kids skateboarding.

We arrive at comic book store filled with Star Wars comics where we find the book of Joseph Campbell and uncover his idea of the monomyth.

More walking on the NYC streets and banter with shots with kids airbrushing illegal art on the walls.

They stumble upon a writer in a coffee shop who reveals there’s a transmedia storytelling ‘going on’ that has deranged generations.

We meet Nate Harrison and hear about his experience.

We post a video response on YouTube to Kirby Ferguson to ask him about the inspirations to Star Wars and find out about Westerns and War movies.

Before we know it Kirby appears and we hear from him about Flash Gordon (1936), Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo, The Searchers, The Good The Bad and The Ugly

And the Dambusters, the Bridges of Toko-Ri, Akira Kurosawa, Metropolis Tin Man, Space Odyssey, 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Forbitten Planet, Triumph of the Will and Silent Running that in one form or another were remixed into Star Wars.

Everything is a Remix, a web series that in part inspired this format

Tofu Tofu

Photographer Pieter Hugo:

Photographer Ed Kashi

Original version of Waka Waka from 1986

BEIRUT

# BEIRUT

(Episode 3)

#RX03 BEIRUT HOST: PLATO GUESTS: GEOFF GAMLEN, IAN EDGAR

Beirut may seems like an unlikely place to find culture-innovating remix, which is what makes it interesting to explore. We find out why finding remix in Beirut is not unlikely at all.

We meet Eclectic Method, a duo of VJs (video deejays), Geoff "Megolithic" Gamlen, and Ian Edgar, who started here something they call _transformative mashup. _They use source material they can get their hands on and make into beats, where a piece of video become a beat in the music, and see themselves as the arrow pointing towards the future of culture.

They found remixing videos was a way to take their career to a new level and that's how they found their way to New York City. Their work on  sample culture and how that interacts with the law became more widely known in Copyright Criminals, _the American documentary directed by Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod. _ An interview with the artists http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRZbIl4NuDA

DAKAR

# DAKAR

(Episode 4)

#RX04 DAKAR HOST: PLATO GUEST: Amadou Tidiane Niagane

Surprised that there's a long history of cinema in Senegal? Then you'll be even more surprised by the films made in Dakar. We meet Amadou Tidiane Niagane, who is a contemporary Senegalese filmmaker and film historian and Paco Diedhiou, director of a school of African arts.

The senegal film industry is a mix of French movie influences and Senegalese filmmaking, with Djibril Diop Mambéty the prime example. Touki-Bouki is a remix of Senegalese folk-tales with French New Wave sensibilities.

A Remix-Artist cuts up the film and demonstrates how the movie is put together and what are the French New Wave influences. Touki-Bouki (Journey of the Hyena) by Djibril Diop Mambéty httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DfjvMJywEs
Breathless (À Bout de Souffle) by Jean Luc Godard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2hDR_e1o1M

FORTALEZA

# FORTALEZA

(Episode 5)

#RX05 FORTALEZA HOST: PLATO GUEST: BETO METRALHA

Brazil is the new Mecca for remix, and the cities in the North of Brazil are known for a specific type of music called Tecno Brega (Cheesy Techno). We meet Beto Metralha who is a Tecno Brega DJ and remixer, and gained international fame after being featured in the documentary GOOD COPY BAD COPY by Andreas Johnsen, Ralf Christensen, and Henrik Moltke.

Piece of the GOOD COPY BAD COPY DOCUMENTARY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo2sv3jjJi8

RIO DE JANEIRO

# RIO DE JANEIRO

(Episode 6)

#RX06 LOCATION: RIO DE JANEIRO HOST: PLATO GUEST: DANIEL HAAKSMAN

Rio de Janeiro is a remix hotspot, with the unlawed favelas a prime location where new culture melts together, with little (I should say no regard)  for copyright laws.

We meet Daniel Haaksman who is a DJ and remixer and own a popular record label. He talks about being influenced by baile funk, a style of Brazilian music coming out of the favelas and shantytowns around Rio de Janeiro. First influenced by the booty-whooping Miami bass music, it has evolved to incorporate influences from around the globe, and has itself inspired many artists, such as M.I.A. in London.

Interview with Daniel Haaksman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDLMBdvVT_M

CAPE TOWN

# CAPE TOWN

(Episode 7)

#RX07 CAPE TOWN HOST: PLATO GUEST: OSCAR MDLONGWA

South Africa is a hotspot for finding remix, as strong international connections and high media consumption drive creativity with the younger generations.

We meet Oscar Mdlongwa who is A South-African musician based in Cape Town and discover the roots of Kwaito music that borrows from traditional South-African dance, eletronic beats, and others sources you will discover in this episode.

Music video with Oscar Mdlongwa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT17MRpgGNU

8. LUANDA

# LUANDA

(Episode 8)

#RX08 LUANDA HOST: PLATO GUEST: Tony Amado

Luanda is at once violent and beautiful, incredibly rich and incredibly poor, a place of strong contrast and a place or innovative remix.

We meet Tony Amado, the musician who first named and popularized a style that combines traditional Angolan influences of Kilapanga, Semba and Zouk with eletronic house and techno music that gets people break-dancing in the club.

Kids in Luanda saw Van Damme dance and made their own version. The dance took to the streets, led into a flurry of popular acts in Angola and finally to a global superhit played in radios everywhere.

Kids in Luanda saw Van Damme dance... httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZKLCO18HSk

... and made their own version httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzeIFyt3NHI

... and one the streets httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rdiuPnQswM

... a popular Kuduro track Windeck by Cabo Snoop

... finally leading to a global hit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnBYdUXi3Eg

9. TOKYO

# TOKYO

(Episode 9)

#RX09 TOKYO HOST: PLATO GUESTS: USHIO SSHINOHARA, TOMOKAZU MATSUYAMA

For Europeans and Americans, Tokyo is the capital of weird and the epitome of "expect-anything" culture, a place where incredible remix originates and creativity knowns no limits.

We meet Ushio Shinohara and Tomokazu Matsuyama, remix artists who source ideas from disparate sources, such as boxing, for their artwork. We also meet Bashment Junko, a group of musicians and dancehall fans clubs that remix bashment music from the Carribean islands.

Ushio Shinohara httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25fF1qL9Yl8

Tomokazu Matsuyama httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQHHThN6tPc

Bashment Junko http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8WI3L325Os

10. TORONTO

# TORONTO

(Episode 10)

#RX10 TORONTO HOST: PLATO GUEST: BRETT GAYLOR

Toronto is a hot-bed of documentary filmmaking and we meet the best example of a remix documentary.

We meet Brett Gaylor, the director of RiP: A Remix Manifesto, an open-source collaborative documentary encouraging people to remix content, and GIRL TALK, the protagonist of his film, and one of the best known faces of remixing, hailing from the US. Trailer for the Remix Manifesto http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F93z5aFkuY

11. PARIS

# PARIS

(Episode 11)

#RX11 PARIS HOST: PLATO GUEST: DJ DIMITRI FROM PARIS Paris is known for it coffee shops and writers, but a new wave of DJs and musicians is taking over the city.

We meet Dimitri From Paris, the first Electronic artist to be awarded by the French Government the title "Knight of the Arts and Letters", and whose work is often describe to have a cut and paste aesthetic, that mixes from disparate sources. The artistic scene of Paris is also known for borrowing from philosophers, with Bernardo Bertolucci's the dreamers remixing various scens from classis movies that's we're going to explore.

DJ Dimitri From Paris mixed and old French vibe with electronic music.
httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWdr-ohVmOc

Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU1brBVMBkM

12. LONDON (Season End)

LONDON (Episode 12)

#RX12 LONDON HOST: PLATO GUEST: M.I.A. London is a multicultural soup of cultures that mix and mash intro new forms of media.

We meet M.I.A. who is Grammy-winning musician and a former film student, influenced by visual imagery, as is very apparent from her videos. She tells us about her learning experience in Brazil (Rio De Janeiro) and about her work with American producer Diplo (also a former film student) and how she has incorporated Baile Funk and other influences in her work.

M.I.A.'s Paper Planes, with a beat from Diplo's Funk Carioca

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sei-eEjy4g

Diplo influences in Rio de Janeiro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=325SZzaCP00

Takeaway

The current program in the Channel 4 Sunday 20:00 slot is underperforming as recent research predicts a younger and more web-oriented audience for the Sunday evening slot. This demographic is looking for an inspiring and encouraging show to identify with — and REMIX offers an educational yet engaging show optimized for that exact audience. REMIX provides an hour of inspiration each Sunday night, pushing for creativity for the coming week. The demographic is looking to be more creative and connect with like-minded individuals from around the globe. REMIX offers an engaging transmedia platform complete with a social network to do just that. By learning together from  references from around the world we help a young audience find their creativity and form new personal connections that may lead who-knows-where in the future.

Example content from EVERYTHING IS A REMIX:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq5D43qAsVg


A few weeks before. These past weeks I've been playing around with developing a TV format. That's curious because I don't watch TV. Not because I have anything against TV but just because I'm used to the web and always have been. It's a generational thing. I wrote the whole thing as a PDF but the web version has videos and is far more visual and you can read it here.

Here's list of the things that gave me a headache:

Firstly, writing little enough, so as not to describe things that would make a format into a series.

Secondly, out of habit I chose a strong main character and got into writing episodes when I finally realized that every territory (should the format be sold, in theory), has its own protagonist. So how do I solve this? Can I write the protagonist for a format or not? If the protagonist is too recognizable, then does that get into the way of extending into other territories? Perhaps not, if you look at Tyra Banks in America's Next Top Model and her format franchise around the world.

And thirdly, my format was global in its scope from day 1. Even though this seemed suitable for my _theoretical _multicultural target audience in Britain (Channel 4, Sundays 20:00), maybe this will be a nuisance extending into other territories? If the show is already global, how do you extend it into other territories around the planet?

So maybe the result of all my work is not a format after all, but something more similar to a BBC documentary series. I know I've seen many BBC documentaries and am influenced by them. And I've really only followed one format, the aforementioned * Next Top Model. In any case I would appreciate feedback, so if you have something to contribute, please tweet me at @krishaamer or shoot me an email.

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