May 15, 2008
C3 Spring Retreat Discussion on Transmedia

Friday's session at the C3 Spring Retreat featured a series of panels and breakout discussions amongst our consulting researchers, invited guests, and representatives from our partner companies. We mentioned back at MIT Futures of Entertainment 2 that we wanted to design that event to be a public place for industry and academic minds to come together and collaborate and brainstorm together. On a smaller scale, with those officially involved in the Consortium, we see our retreat as a chance to foster the same type of innovation and conversation among our partner companies, the academics we work with, and our core team here at the Program in Comparative Media Studies.

This got started on Friday morning with a conversation featuring C3 Consulting Researcher Jonathan Gray moderating a panel on transmedia, an issue C3 has been interested in since our launch at the beginning of 2006. Joining Jon was two more of our newest consulting researchers, Abigail Derecho and Derek Johnson, drawing on their respective work on fans and franchises to look at the phenomenon of transmedia. From the industry end, we invited two guests who are doing innovative work as transmedia practitioners: Keith Clarkson from Xenophile Media and Matt Wolf from Double Twenty Productions.

Below are their bios:

Keith Clarkson is Production Executive at Xenophile Media and an Emmy Award winning producer of online entertainment, television and feature films. He has worked with Disney, BBC, MSN, CBC and NFB. Previously, he managed Telefilm Canada's New Media Fund investment portfolio and served as Business Director of their Atlantic Region Office. As Executive Producer with ExtendMedia, he was responsible for the interactive entertainment division. Here, he pioneered some of the earliest cross-platform work produced in Canada. Keith has a Master of Business Administration degree and Diploma in Arts and Media Administration from York University.

Matt Wolf, founder of Double Twenty Productions, is an Emmy Award-winning creator and producer. Spanning a fifteen-year run in gaming, Wolf has been involved in the creative development of many award winning video and computer games, as well as board games and alternate reality entertainment. Wolf began his career at Electronic Arts in 1992. Over the next six years, he played key roles in production, design and marketing for several award-winning titles, across multiple genres and platforms. In 1998, Wolf left Electronic Arts to take on the role of executive producer in charge of development for Sega Entertainment. He oversaw product development and was pivotal in helping Sega create over $50mm in revenue during his three year tenure. In late 2000, Wolf founded D20 and has worked on several unique and award winning projects since, in a variety of industry first roles, winning not only a 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy for the Fallen ARG for ABC Family but also prestigious awards at South by Southwest and the Banff World Television Festival.

We enjoyed the collaborative model of having creators and academics present to an audience of academics and media industry professionals, and we hope those who were in attendance agree that the resulting conversation was illuminating and thought-provoking.

In the meantime, be sure to check out Double Twenty and Xenophile if you haven't heard of them before. And come back later this afternoon for some notes on our panel on audiences and community and a wrap-up about this year's C3 Spring Retreat.

Feel free to contact me with any thoughts or questions at