As we wrapped up our first-ever New Frontier Story Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah, we took a few minutes to check-in with 10 guests as they checked-out on their way home. Our first interview is with Cullen Conly, the manager of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, which collaborated with the Documentary Film Program to present the lab itself.
1) Do you know what transmedia is, yes or no? Is this a trick question? I know it's a controversial word, but I'm going to say yes.
2) Using only one word, how would you describe it? Innovative.
3) Which is more important? Storytelling or Technology? You can only pick one. Ugh - you're really making me choose!? For me, it all starts with story.
4) What do you do? What’s your passion? I work in the Feature Film Program here at Sundance. I guess it really is synonymous with my passion, which is telling stories that have a reason for being and somehow impact a part of the outside world.
5) What transmedia website, article, project or person are you really excited about right now? Can I say all 6 projects that just came through our New Frontier Story Lab? I really am excited about all of them.
6) Why do you think it’s taken so long for transmedia to be taken seriously? Well, I think it's still being defined in a way, and I think people are scared of what they don't know. I myself am still learning what the term can actually mean.
7) Who or what first helped you understand it? When did you hear about it for the first time? Lance Weiler gave a presentation at our Screenwriters Lab (he was there in 2010 with his project H.I.M.) -- half the room lost their minds, while the other half just scratched their heads. I was somewhere in the middle.
8) Have you been to the Owl Bar on this trip, yes or no? Of course. Bob's Beer.
9) What piece of technology could you simply not give up right now? Email. Sadly.
10) What was the most exciting thing that happened to you at the first-ever New Frontier Lab? Where to begin ... hearing Laura Poitras talk about her new documentary over lunch, watching Nick Fortugno finally explain to me the basics of "Gaming," listening to six filmmakers I truly respect all share their secrets for creating a compelling story and, last but not least, seeing Aaron Koblin's presentation on Data Visualization. He showed a U.S. flight pattern visualization that was beautiful, a little scary and emotionally compelling all at once.