Exclusive

The latest in our series of exclusive Lizzie Bennet Diaries interviews – Hypable spoke to The LBD Transmedia Producer Jay Bushman about his recent Streamys win, his work on the show, and what transmedia is all about, anyway.

It’s been Lizzie Bennet Diaries mania here on Hypable. Last week we brought you the first in our series of interviews, with the stars of the show:

Mary Kate Wiles: part one, part two | Ashley Clements: part one, part two

Now it’s time to look behind the scenes at one of the most innovative and interactive elements of this Pride and Prejudice adaptation – the use of transmedia. So what is transmedia all about? We decided to go straight to the source – to Jay Bushman, Transmedia Producer on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Hypable’s Exclusive interview with Jay Bushman

Hypable: First, congratulations on your early win at The Streamy Awards. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries won Best Interactive Program, how does that feel?

Jay Bushman: The Streamy Award, along with the IAWTV [for Best Interactive/Social Media Experience] award last month, is hugely gratifying. Especially since I’ve spent – and still spend – a lot of time trying to convince skeptical producers and executives that this kind of storytelling is workable, powerful, engaging and worth the effort. So this kind of validation from the community is incredible and humbling. And I hope it’s a sign that more people will want to explore this kind of storytelling in the future.

It’s also nice because now I can relax during the actual ceremony and cheer on the rest of the team nominated in the other categories.

[Authors note: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries also picked up the Streamy for Best Writing: Comedy (for Bernie Su)]

What is your definition of ‘transmedia’?

Alas, that’s actually a really complicated subject. We have a joke – put two transmedia creators in a room and pretty soon they’ll have three definitions of transmedia. But the short version is “telling stories over multiple platforms.” The term encompasses many different variations on that.

The two big ones are: 1) multiple standalone stories on multiple types of media that all are connected to the same storyworld – Star Wars or The Matrix are good examples of that, and 2) telling a single cohesive story over several different channels, which is the style of transmedia that we use. These two different branches of transmedia have a lot in common, but they also face unique and separate challenges, which is one of the things that I think leads to the term being so confusing.

I tend to fall into the second category; I’m mainly interested in single stories that come at you from multiple directions. I also find the term “transmedia” to be inherently limiting – it implies value in the simple number of different platforms that get used, rather than the unique story qualities of moving a story around over a number of digital channels. It leads to checklist thinking, that in order to have a “real transmedia” project, there’s some threshold of number of platforms that have to be used.

I fully expect the term transmedia to be superseded at some point by something else. We just don’t have that term yet. But in the future, I think we’ll look back at the word as something like “kinescope” or “zoetrope” – an archaic term used for a short period of time as an evolutionary step towards something much bigger.

But for now, transmedia is the term we have, and it’s the way I describe what I do so I can get hired for work.

How did you become involved with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? Whose idea was it to include all of the transmedia elements?

I’ve known Bernie [Su, co-creator, executive producer, head writer and director] for several years, and we’d been looking for a way to work together. Back in 2011, I saw him at the first Storyworld Conference – a convention for transmedia and multi-platform storytellers – and he told me that it gave him a bunch of ideas. I had already been developing a modern take on Pride and Prejudice, but had stalled a bit on cracking the adaptation and had put it aside.

Early in 2012, when a mutual friend found out that Bernie was doing LBD and wanted to add some transmedia elements, she suggested that he reach out to me. Bernie gave me the rundown on the concept, and I jumped at the chance to join the team. It was a perfect fit.

Who decides which storylines are included on the various social media platforms you use?

Everything starts in the writer’s room. We break the stories for each arc, and decide what belongs on camera and what doesn’t. For major story beats, I’ll look at what ends up in the episodes and try to find ways that transmedia can complement the action, show viewers what’s going on from a different perspective of characters who don’t belong on camera at that point, or ways to bridge episodes together. I’ll discuss ideas with Alex [Edwards, transmedia editor] and Bernie and we’ll decide on a course of action.

For some of the other transmedia elements, individual people have a certain amount of autonomy to decide what to do in the moment. Rachel [Kiley, writer for The LBD and spinoff The Lydia Bennet] does a fantastic job with Lydia’s tweets and her choices of which to mark as favorites. Alex has control of Gigi’s music choices, and has used them to tell a great story about that character’s evolution, even before she ever appeared on screen. I had the idea for Caroline’s Thanksgiving ordeal the night before, and I wrote it on the spot.

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Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

Read full article

Director James Gunn confirms the name of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 creature with the release of some concept art from the film.

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been pretty busy lately while they gear up for Vol. 2. On Friday we learned that they’ll be showing up in Avengers: Infinity War, and tonight we got a sneak peek of a creature the team will be taking on in the GotG sequel.

Taking to Twitter, Gunn showed off a piece of concept art created by Andy Park.

guardians-of-the-galaxy-2-concept-art

In his replies, he names the creature and states that, no, they aren’t fighting in space.

Then taking to Facebook, Gunn replied to fans who had questions about the image.

An updated synopsis for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reads:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

So it looks like for those who were lucky enough to see GotG 2 footage at San Diego Comic-Con this year, you’ve already seen this guy in action.

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ lands in theatres on May 5, 2017

Maisie Williams freaks out over ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 scripts

"Nothing will prepare you for this."

7:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

Read full article

Maisie Williams finished reading the scripts for Game of Thrones season 7, and totally lost her sh*t on Twitter.

Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is no stranger to shocking moments on the HBO epic fantasy series. But it seems like the events of Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season are so intense, even the seasoned young actress is left flabbergasted.

Earlier this evening, Williams summarized her experience of reading the Game of Thrones season 7 scripts on her Twitter feed. Suffice to say, the stream reads something like a thrillingly ominous preview of what fans will experience when the show returns next year.

At first, Williams warned fans to steel themselves for the epic events to come.

…but apparently, no amount of mental toughness will be enough for season 7.

To summarize, Game of Thrones fans the world over are now sizzlingly jealous of Maisie Williams… and also, apparently, well and truly screwed.

With George R.R. Martin’s next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire still achingly absent, there’s almost no way to predict the major events of Game of Thrones season 7. Our only theory is that we should probably say goodbye to the feelings we managed to resuscitate after Jon Snow came back to life.

Williams isn’t the only member of the cast hinting at madness to come. Maisie’s on-screen sister Sophie Turner revealed that she too had advance knowledge while pondering Sansa’s future.

“I’ve actually just got the scripts for seven,” Turner tells Variety. “So I don’t want to say too much, because I’ll probably end up slipping some truths out!”

Seven forbid, Sophie. Seven forbid.

Game of Thrones season 7 will air some time in 2017, but not soon enough.

What madness do you think ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 has in store?

Netflix adapting ‘Anne of Green Gables’ for new TV series with additional themes

Anne Shirley is returning to our screens!

2:45 pm EDT, August 22, 2016

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

Read full article

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables book series is being adapted for television by Netflix and Canadian network CBC.

The new series will begin filming next month in Ontario, Canada. Though CBC will be airing it in America’s neighbor to the north, Netflix will be distributing it in the United States and the rest of the world.

Breaking Bad writer and producer Moira Walley-Beckett is penning the entire eight-episode series and will run the show. It is expected to air on the CBC in 2017, and presumably it’ll run on Netflix around the same.

The eight-book Anne of Green Gables series has been adapted numerous times over the years (including the well-known, two-part 1985 televised miniseries), but this will arguably be the biggest adaptation to date thanks to the potential audience Netflix could pull in.

anne-of-green-gables-book

According to Deadline, “the coming-of-age series will focus on a young girl who, after an abusive childhood spent in orphanages and the homes of strangers, is mistakenly sent to live with an elderly spinster and her aging brother. Over time — and thanks to her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination — 13-year-old Anne will transform their lives and eventually the small town in which they live.”

The new adaptation “will honor the foundation of the book, but will incorporate new adventures reflecting themes of identity, sexism, bullying, prejudice, and trusting one’s self.”

The series will be set in 1890. The first book was published in 1908 by Lucy Maud Montgomery and has gone on to sell over 50 million copies worldwide.

Will you watch Netflix’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ series?

If you’ve ever been interested in reading the series, now’s a great time to start!