Do you remember the first time you crossed through an entrance of a Disney building, and took a further look to the marvelous message forged by “Uncle Walt” engraved on the wall: “If you can dream it, you can do it”?
Each transmedia producer or storyteller in the world has faced the challenge of succeeding in his work. This is the story of a little, influential project which gained great results in rennovating the Italian way of teaching for secondary school's students, sharing Disney's historical imagery in a deep, immersive experiential learning project. How? Spreading gamification and transvergence creativitiy processes for young readers and moviegoers from 12 to 16. Inspired by Lance Weiler's “Robot Heart Stories” and by the research of my beloved friend Henry Jenkins on Transmedia Literacy, “Looking for Walter” was a multiplatform experience (web, social networks, GPS, real world, artworks and toys, urban experiences) developed, for the first time in Italy, by two groups of students during spring, 2013. Here a brief description of the project which was also stressed in the video:
“Looking for Walter” is a transmedia experiential learning project. 50 students, 10 teachers, 20 runners, 25 locations and 2 handmade dolls and 11.000 km to be run in 20 days. Why? To find the mysterious owner of the toys before it is too late, without spending a single euro and sharing creative artworks and educational contents in the real and in the digital world. Held from April 9th to April 29, 2013 in Italy, “Looking for Walter” joined two beautiful and picturesque small Italian cities in a unique, transmedia storytelling experience. The project asked students to solve tricky enigmas and explore their country managing six different disciplines (literature and fiction, maths, art history, media studies, English and sciences) to succeed. Human relationships, positive emotions, good skills and media activism were also important aspects of the quest. But time was short, the deadline tight, and an amazing guest entered the scene: Diane Disney, Walter's daughter, who joined the project with The Walt Disney Family Museum of San Francisco, where the two dolls are standing now, at the end of a great adventure partnered by US Embassy in Italy, CartoonLombardia, Cross-media.it, Istituto Europeo di Design and Regione Umbria.
Max Giovagnoli is the premier transmedia storyteller in Italy. He is artistic director of the network cross-media.it and media consultant for public broadcasters and movie productions/majors. His first book on this topic was published in 2005, and was the first text focusing on cross-media/transmedia narratives published in Europe. He leads the Cinema and New Media Department at Istituto Europeo di Design in Rome, and he’s author of several novels and TV series. He has given presentations for TEDxTransmedia, Cartoons on the bay Festival, Transmedia Storytelling Workshop. Visiting professor in several EU universities, he earned a PhD in “Literature and Imagery” in Italy, and is author of “Transmedia Storytelling” (ETC Press, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh). Info: www.maxgiovagnoli.com