Great news that Ivy4evr, the interactive SMS drama for young people that I wrote with Blast Theory for Channel Four, which piloted at the end of 2010, is nominated for a BIMA award tonight, from the British Interactive Media Association.
Stop and think about this for a second. How would you tell a story by SMS? How would you engage in one-to-one dialogue at scale?
[Ivy4evr] was an exploration: a project that genuinely sought to use new technology for an entirely new storytelling experience.
While the program was surely a creative success, its limited pilot nature meant that it only reached 5,000 kids. But that’s beside the point. So often, our tendency is to use new technology to do the same old thing in a slightly different format. We use electronic “folders” instead of manila ones, read ebooks that look identical to the ones on paper, and watch television on-demand that is indistinguishable from broadcast. The folks at Blast Theory and Channel 4 deserve a round of applause for being brave enough to truly push the boundaries of digital storytelling, to ask themselves how new media creates an opportunity for interaction that simply didn’t exist before. [Read the whole review here]
It’s all a good excuse to post Ju Row-Farr of Blast Theory’s brilliant drawing of Ivy (right).
Matt and Nick from Blast Theory are currently in Taipei doing a Mandarin translation of A Machine to See With, their Sundance commission from this year, but a bunch of us will be going along to the BIMAs tonight.
In the context of various future-publishing-type conversations that I have been involved in recently (including my conversations with Matt Locke for the Arts Council and with Kate Pullinger for this blog, and last year’s event with Stewart Home for Westminster Libraries, etc) it will be interesting to dodge the canapes and try to get a flavour of some of the other work being showcased, especially as most of the projects on the various BIMA shortlists are unfamiliar and not from the worlds of literature and publishing that I’m most in touch with. I’m hoping there will be some gems amongst the bigger-budget corporate stuff, and as ever I’ll be keeping a particular eye out for good writing.