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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The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Read full article

The Powers That Be have spoken, and they’re saying Guillermo del Toro will not be making a third Hellboy installment.

Fans across the globe are shedding tears as we learn that director/writer del Toro will not be helming another Hellboy movie. It’s time to punch something, smoke a cigar, and then find a kitten before you settle in for the bad news.

In mid-January, del Toro asked fans to vote in a 24-hour poll to show support for making Hellboy III. He promised that if it got 100,000 votes within the time frame, he’d take it to the studio and have a talk with them about making the film.

Unfortunately, del Toro did not get the answer we were hoping for.

However, there is hope for fans of the comics, as artist and creator Mike Mignola reminded us that just because del Toro isn’t going to be involved anymore, it doesn’t mean there won’t be future Hellboy movies. There’s always hope.

This is good news for those who perhaps didn’t like del Toro’s take on the character. It hints at a possible reboot of the franchise, but if that were to happen, don’t expect Ron Perlman to reprise his role.

For those who fell in love with Perlman’s interpretation of the titular character, this is certainly a blow. However, del Toro does wish the franchise luck, and it’s not like he’s hurting for work (he’s got Netflix’s Trollhunters, Pacific Rim 2, and The Shape of Water, to just name a few).

This tweet is certainly interesting, as it hints that he wanted to take Hellboy in a new direction, but his vision did not match the vision of the studio. Does this mean they’ve got another idea in mind already, and if so, will it be Hellboy III, or a Hellboy for a new generation?

With Ron Perlman out of the picture, it’s likely the studio may try to do a reboot, rather than replace the actor for a potential sequel. If there is a reboot, there could be resistance from fans, but with updated technology and someone else’s vision, we could be looking at an interesting new set of superhero movies that will still feel different from the blockbusters currently taking over cinemas.

Are you interested in a new ‘Hellboy’ franchise?

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

Read full article

The movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is progressing nicely as Jennifer Garner is in talks to join the cast.

Back in December we relayed news that Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) was cast as the titular character in Simon, which would be directed by Arrow-verse helmer Greg Berlanti.

According to Deadline, Jennifer Garner is currently negotiating a deal with the film to star as Simon’s mother. She’ll be joining Robinson, Katherine Langford (Leah Burke), Alexandra Shipp (Abby Suso), and Logan Miller (Martin Addison).

The synopsis for Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda reads, “Simon Spier is sixteen and in love. Sure, he has never met the mysterious ‘Blue’ in person, but he’s falling hard and fast for their email love letters. There’s only one problem: Blue is a boy, Simon is gay, and he hasn’t told anyone else.”

The novel made the world (and Hypable) fall in love with the story, and the current cast and creative team have fans excited for this adaptation. With Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment (The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers) behind the scenes, it’s bound to be a big production.

How excited are you for ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’?

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Read full article

Iwan Rheon has been cast as Maximus in Marvel’s upcoming ABC series, Inhumans.

Iwan Rheon will star as Maximus, an integral member of the Inhuman royal family. As the brother of the Inhuman king Black Bolt, Maximus holds considerable power in the alien city of Attilan. Charming and clever, he is exceptionally loyal to his people.

But unsurprisingly to those familiar with Rheon’s body of work, Maximus also hides darker ambitions — including taking the throne from Black Bolt.

Iwan Rheon is best known for his terrifying turn as Ramsay Bolton in HBO’s Game of Thrones. He has starred in the British series Misfits and Vicious, and may never play a hero again in his life.

Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb, who also serves as an executive producer on Inhumans, suggests that those villainous skills will be well-deployed in the role of Maximus.

“Iwan’s ability to be charming, roguish, and still completely unexpectedly dangerous were all the different sides we needed to bring the character to life,” Loeb says. “We’re thrilled to have him on board.”

Showrunner Scott Buck agrees.

“Maximus is a complex character. Likable, charming, tragic and villainous all in the same moment,” he says, “And I’m very excited to have someone of Iwan’s considerable talent.”

Marvel’s Inhumans will be produced in partnership with IMAX. The first two episodes will screen in IMAX theaters before the show’s network debut in mid September. Spanning the course of eight episodes, the series will tell the story of the Inhuman royal family, with the associated drama that just happens when you’re a family of aliens with magical powers trying to rule a secret city.

A leaked cast list for Inhumans hinted at a complex lineup of characters, including Black Bolt’s wife Medusa and her sister Crystal. Karnak, as well as the three-legged horse Gorgon and amphibious Triton round out the eclectic cast. And with Iwan Rheon in place as Maximus, it seems like just a matter of time before the rest of the family falls into line.

What do you think of Iwan Rheon as Maximus in Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’?

Tags: inhumans, Marvel