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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‘Galavant’ cast thank fans for #MoreGalavant campaign

"So just dance, dance, dance."

4:30 pm EDT, May 25, 2016

Galavant may have been axed over on ABC, but the fans refuse to stop the beat — and the cast are getting down to it!

There’s nothing worse than seeing your favorite show cut off in its prime, but if there’s one thing that fans do best in moments of crushing adversity, that’s come together and use their voices in a cacophony. And Galavant fans? They want a third season of their little show that could and are campaigning for it to return.

That campaign has not escaped the notice of the cast, who came together to thank the fans in a video that you can’t help but move your feet to — and the rest of your body.

“It warms the cockles of my heart to see everything you’re doing to save our beautiful little show,” Timothy Odmunson says, at the top of the video — right before it launches into Justin Timberlake’s newest hit, “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” and we’re treated to a montage of familiar and brand-new footage from Galavant’s stars.

#MoreGalavant "Can't Stop The Feeling" from #MoreGalavant on Vimeo.

Karen David (Princess Isabella), who has also been vocal on social media about the #MoreGalavant campaign, leads the charge — and has printed out everyone’s contributions so far. But don’t worry, she planted a tree to make up for all the paper that was used. Also shaking their tush is Genevieve Allenbury, who played the Queen of Valencia throughout Galavant’s two season run.

Other familiar faces from the cast include Robert Lindsay, Ben Presley, Mallory Jansen, Vinnie Jones, and Muzz Khan. Not to mention the titular hero, Joshua Sasse.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Galavant without some cameos — and this thank you video is no exception to that. Making their debut are Billy Boyd (of Lord of the Rings fame), holding a sign that proclaims, “You can’t eat this Hobbit!” and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, with his own “Galavanterrific” sign.

And, what better way to close out the video than with an appearance from Weird Al. “Well, that should definitely do it,” he proclaims. “I can’t imagine any network not picking up this show now that it’s a hashtag campaign. Feel the power of the hashtag!”

So, Galavant fans, get signing and start dancing. And here’s hoping Tad Cooper breathes fire again — be it on the stage, or screen.

This week’s twist on Game of Thrones was one for the show’s history books, and now the fans and creators are acting on their emotions.

Sunday’s Game of Thrones found Hodor dying (dammit Bran) as he held back the army of wights by holding the door. A significant death like this one naturally became a big topic of conversation online, with fans coming up with adorable yet depressing tributes to Hodor.

For example, viewers have been creating Hodor doorstoppers:

http://dingoutback.tumblr.com/post/144816075382/in-loving-memory

http://blamethejunglr.tumblr.com/post/144886498478/i-got-a-new-doorstop-i-use-humor-to-hide-how

http://goldbloodedbabe.tumblr.com/post/144872654401

http://2ndperiod.tumblr.com/post/144838798471/brb-crying

Interestingly, we couldn’t find any Hodor doorstoppers for sale on Etsy. Get on that, people!

Others have added Hodor to the ‘hold door’ button in their local elevator

http://elvenanomaly.tumblr.com/post/144878433573/too-soon-man-too-soon

http://evilregal1203.tumblr.com/post/144864651270/this-just-happened-on-the-elevator-at-work-no

http://bbcmuggle.tumblr.com/post/144871947631/someone-put-this-on-the-elevator-at-work-today

https://deadpools-girlfriend.tumblr.com/post/144865560259

On last night’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live,’ showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff ‘apologized’ for killing Hodor — but not for the reason you think:

Related: After Hodor, who will die next on ‘Thrones’?

Starz has decided that their original programming can compete with the other hot shows airing on Sunday nights.

Network CEO Chris Albrecht has told THR that they are planning on moving all of their original shows including Outlander, Ash Vs Evil Dead, and Black Sails — which currently air on Saturdays — to Sundays. The move will begin July 17 with the Starz series Power. Outlander will likely not move to Sundays until next season.

“Sundays are a prestige night and we feel our shows are definitely going to be very competitive, not just in viewership but in the attention-getting business on Sundays,” Albrecht said to THR, “So it made sense to move.”

Outlander and Starz’s other original series will be going up against tough competition, including AMC’s The Walking Dead and HBO’s Game of Thrones. Albrecht says part of the reason he wanted to move the shows was to make sure they were part of the watercooler talk on Monday mornings.

THR notes that Showtime’s original series typically get DVR’d, “growing 214 percent [in viewership] during the course of a week.” This would suggest that a lot of people aren’t sitting in front of a TV on Saturdays and want to watch the shows on a different day of the week. So, moving their programming to Sundays may not impact overall viewership numbers much.

Starz recently overtook Showtime as the second-most subscribed to cable channel. HBO still sits at number one, though all three are facing tough competition from Netflix.