BELLYFEEL & LEEDS SCHOOL OF ARTS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LEEDS ARTS RESEARCH CENTRE PRESENT A ONE-DAY ONLINE CONFERENCE ABOUT INTERACTIVE STORIES – FEATURING CREATORS, FANS AND COMMENTATORS.
From HIGHRISE to Collective Wisdom at the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab - how to co-create and why?
Few art forms are as collaborative as mediamaking, even as the auteur theory has long celebrated the director as a film’s primary creator. A corrective to that single author outlook, this session underscores the ubiquity of co-creation in nonfiction media-making, as well as its crucial importance to the pursuit of equitable and community-centered storytelling. In this session, Research Scientist and Lead Author (with Uricchio et al.) Katerina Cizek will share her journey from the Highrise digital project to the MIT Co-Creation Studio to discuss the MIT Press book Collective Wisdom and the expansive artistic possibilities of co-creation.
3.50pm 4th March 2024
Emmy-winning documentarian, author, producer and artistic director of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab.
Katerina Cizek is an influential figure in international media, with over 25 years of experience as a Peabody- and Emmy-winning documentarian, author, producer, and senior leader working with collective processes and emergent technologies. She is the co-founder, research scientist, and artistic director of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. She is lead author (with Uricchio) of the world’s first comprehensive book on co-creating media, Collective Wisdom, published by MIT Press in 2022. For over a decade, Cizek worked as a documentary director at the National Film Board of Canada, transforming the organization into a world leader of digital storytelling with the projects HIGHRISE and Filmmaker-in-Residence.
How I wrote Cyberpunk 2077's Judy Alverez character and what she taught me
In my talk I will analyze CP77’s Judy Alvarez, one of the romanceable characters in the game. I will explain how we benefit from focusing on NPCs rather than the playable character when creating the story and I’ll compare the creation of an original character vs working with a lore legacy character basing on the example of Yennefer from TW3.
2.30pm 4th March 2024
Screenwriter and Storycoordinator for CD Projekt Red on Cyberpunk: 2077 and Witcher games.
Screenwriter and Story Coordinator at CD PROJEKT RED since 2015. Worked on The Witcher 3 expansion “Blood and Wine” and on Cyberpunk 2077. Teaches a course “Dramaturgy and Narration for Game Development” at the Warsaw Film School, mentors aspiring writers as part of the “Girls in the Game” program. Published a novel entitled “The Seven Glasses” (in Polish). Loves traveling the world and staying in with her wife and two cats, in equal parts. Trekked the Swedish Lapland last year because of a horror film she saw that was set there. Her mantras are: “There’s no such thing as a dialogue draft” and “Writing is rewriting.”
We're All in the Story - it's a Crowd Thing
Bilal will dive into his ongoing live streaming on Twitch where he becomes a football manager and much hilarity ensues. That's not the weird thing about this, the weird thing is that the audience follow and also get into character.
Why do they want to believe so much?
What gets them so embroiled in the ongoing story?
3.10pm 4th March 2024
Stand Up Comedian, Actor, Writer and Twitch Streamer.
Bilal Zafar is Stand Up Comedian, Actor, Writer and Twitch Streamer. He has been nominated For Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Fringe and appeared on BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4 and BBC Radio 4. During lockdown, Bilal began to stream on Twitch where he was able to create an ongoing part improvised, surreal, immersive comedy soap opera with the character of an unhinged football manager.
AI is crap at writing scripts. But it's great at interactivity.
As creatives, we're programmed to be wary of AI tools: heck, they could take our jobs, couldn't they?
But in reality, originating material using AI is out of the window: you'll know why if you've ever asked Bard or ChatGPT to draft a script or tell an original joke. The smarter money is on how we apply our creative chops to these tools to pilot and build entirely new experiences.
Phil Birchenall walks through a series of interactive experiences he's developed using ChatGPT-4, including an educational resource that immerses students in the role of Macbeth and a play-along version of - perhaps - the dullest daytime TV of them all, Homes Under The Hammer.
12.35pm 4th March 2024
AI enthusiast and creative business strategist.
Phil Birchenall is a business consultant who has worked hands-on with creative, media, and digital businesses for over two decades. He works with founders and company executives to understand what makes them tick, their ambitions, and the issues holding them back.
Phil’s been obsessed by technology’s impact on creative production and consumption for many years and uses this obsession to justify spending far too much of his time mucking around with AI.
Discussing moments of perfect clarity in interactive storytelling…
COSINESS IN VIDEOGAMES
The last few years saw a rise in popularity of cosy games and cosy game aesthetics. Not characterised by a hypermasculine drive to successfully overcome challenges, nor by the inessentiality of player action typical of idle and incremental games, games like Unpacking, Coffee Talk, or Stardew Valley sit somewhere in the middle. In stark contrast with AAA and esports games dominating the market (and often the discourse), I argue that these games challenge normative understandings of play as fast-paced, high-intensity, performance-oriented, success-driven, and achievement-focused.
Dr Bettina Bódi is a lecturer in media at Leeds Beckett University. She is the author of the book Videogames and Agency, co-producer of the Keywords in Play, podcast, and member of the programming team of Games Lab at Aesthetica Festival. Her research focuses on agency and digital media, with a particular focus on how agency can be supported or constrained by the affordances of software, hardware, and as a result of the circumstances or production.
EMBRACING THE CHAOS – USING THE EXAMPLE OF SECRET STORY NETWORK
Collaborative, participative, story making is often seen as messy, problematic or chaotic. Our instinct is often to try to control. This eureka moment suggests that we are looking at the issue through the wrong lens. Instead of trying to create a sense or order in interactive work I argue that we should think about the conditions for order to assert itself. Using Secret Story Network as an example, a format that creates immersive handheld stories using role-playing techniques, the audience actively participate led by a story conductor who listens, improvises and carefully holds the ideas so that we can all create the best story.
Anna Zaluczkowska is a writer and filmmaker with 25 years’ experience in the media industries followed by 15 years as an academic. She is a Reader in Film at Leeds Beckett University (Northern Film School) and has led a number of funded research projects into writing for interactive media and transmedia.
RE-IMAGINING STORY ENGINES
Realtime technology, convergence and ai are progressing at a tremendous pace. From adaptive learning systems to responsive environments, to new humanistic workflows to democratisation of tools. This talk will delve into the transformative impact this new era of realtime storytelling might have on place, agency, space and possibilities for narrative to infuse everyday life.
Pete Woodbridge is a Creative Technologist working at the intersection of games, film and immersive experiences. Currently leading innovation projects at Mediacity UK in an innovation incubator for the Creative Industries. Pete's work crosses Mixed Reality, Virtual Production and interactive brand experiences, and has worked on projects with Aardman Animations, BBC, ITV, Monster, NBC and many more.
1.15pm 4th March 2024
FREE THE STORY
Interactive storytelling though the lens of author and audience contracts in the creative industries and beyond
Created by Gautama Ramesh, Anna Zaluczkowska and Krishna Stott.
The film presupposes the existence of underlying often unspoken contracts between audiences and storytellers, recognises the vast diverse historical and cultural lineage of interactive storytelling contracts, and makes a case for framing new storytelling contracts that can enrich sectors beyond media and entertainment.
12.05pm 4th March 2024
Carly-Ann Clarke, Alex Kelly, Chella Ramanan, Lizzie McDougall, David Campbell, David Negrin, Donald Smith, Wajid Khan, Emily Zobel Marshall, Kris O'Brien, Kyle Wilson, Lee Stocks, Marie-Laure Ryan, Marielle Reuser, Mary Coaten, Richard Coaten, Nico Carpentier, Lynn Barbour, Fran Flett Hollinrake, Tim Moss and Tom Muir.