Jeff Gomez, whose Starlight Runner Entertainment stands as a leading creator and producer of highly successful transmedia franchises, was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer a few questions for us. Here's a brief look at his company's activities as well as his views on transmedia and the upcoming TransVergence Summit, taking place August 7-8 at the W Hollywood.
Transmedia Coalition: You've been involved in some of the biggest cross platform projects around. What goes into making a successful transmedia franchise?
Gomez: There has to be a good story to tell, one that feels authentic and personal, but has a degree of scope to it. We need to be engaged with the characters and the world of the story, because transmedia offers audiences the chance to delve deeper and look at the events of the narrative through different perspectives. Then the story has to be well executed across a number of different media. It needs to leverage the strengths of each medium in the telling.
TMC: What's the most unusual project you've been involved in?
Gomez: We've seen a lot of strange! But also a lot of wonderful. Because what we're doing and the way we're doing it is so new, every day brings something unusual. The most incredible stuff we've worked on are the geo-social issues.
This is where transmedia practice is used to convey ideas to populations of people and encourage their feedback in the form of their stories and artistic expression. We haven't spoken about this much, as a lot of it is ongoing and sensitive, but the results are tangible and the work is deeply satisfying.
TMC: What is the Action Drive System™?
Gomez: The Action Drive System™ is what we call our proprietary process of analyzing, deconstructing and realigning stories, brand narratives and corporate narratives. It's a technology of sorts that speeds our work, produces the deliverables our clients need, and allows for us to remain a valuable asset long after the initial job is done.
While I've taught elements of Action Drive to students and colleagues all over the world, there are some deep story analytics and certain processes that are only held by the Starlight Runner team.
TMC: What project or product experienced the biggest success with your guidance? How did it happen?
Gomez: Lately, my partner Mark Pensavalle is fond of saying that its no coincidence that movie franchises we've worked with are reaching the fourth film in the series and beyond. Hard statistics of our direct impact on projects are scarce, because so much of the information is scattered and proprietary with our clients. Tangible evidence can be found in case studies around Coca-Cola's “Happiness Factory” and Mattel's “Hot Wheels: World Race” campaigns, however.
TMC: What can attendees expect to glean from attending the TransVergence Summit?
Gomez: The TransVergence Summit is one of the few events in the United States this year devoted to discussions and case studies on commercial transmedia engagements. This isn't rarified academics and theory — it is approachable, practical and pragmatic.
Adam Besserman of Yahoo!, James Waugh of Blizzard Entertainment, the great game designer Will Wright — these are all masters and proponents of transmedia; they're speakers I would pay to see!