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Triona Campbell

TV needs to become interactive: Interview with Triona Campbell, BeActive International

FAQ, September 24. 2013

We spoke with Triona Campbell, Director, Producer and founder of BeActive International, Ireland, about successful TV production and the TV landscape in general. Triona Campbell will be a speaker at StoryDrive on October 11.

What do you expect from the “StoryDrive” conference?

I think StoryDrive is a gathering of minds each of which is pushing an evolution in storytelling using new technology. I am expecting to meet and hear from others who are pushing the creative language of storytelling using new technology, platforms and devices and for the benefit of the audience who are now front and centre in the storytelling process and the evolution of story.

Story behind the story: In three key phrases, what do you think are the important factors of a successful TV production?

Story world development – it’s crucial, the story world needs to be fully fleshed out, have heart and be sticky for it to attract an audience. It also needs a clever release calendar inbuilt marketing, and, as a producer it’s vital you understand the core / heart of the story – the reason why it’s an important story to tell and for people to hear (if you can’t find that element in the story don’t waste your time on it – walk away). This stage is building the DNA as to why your story will succeed and grow.

Market testing / growing the fan base – it should happen in the background of all phases – as an example we release elements of our story world in a planned development calendar directly to the audience as part of the development process. Whether it is the back story of key characters as e-books or a digital comic series, or an element of the story world as a prequel web series or android game – we test the story world we are creating directly with the audience and we listen to their reactions and interact with the fan base (even in some cases allowing them to help with the final casting decisions or in the case of COLLIDER including the names of super fans in the end credits of the feature film). This is about building a community around your story – the days of delivering a tape to a broadcaster and walking away knowing that if they broadcast it in a prime time slot you have a hit is long gone.

Pre-production, production, post-production, marketing / release: The 4 key elements for a TV production once you have crossed over the hurdle of the first two elements (story world development & market testing to define and shape the story world). Each is vital and in particular we seek to have full control over the last two elements (post production and marketing) which is where the story that an audience will view it is really defined.

You have been nominated for businesswoman of the year: Does the whole TV landscape need to become more female?

Recession in Europe is changing everything in our society right now – inclusive of what we as a society put value on and how we teach our kids the science of economics. Do I think the TV landscape should be more female? No – I think our society should become more balanced for both men and women, ethnic groups and minorities in all areas not just TV. Key to doing that – men and women should be paid equally for doing the same job, men and women would both have access to affordable child care, parental leave should be equal for both sexes. I loathe the idea of gender quotes as I think it should be about the best person for the job not their gender or race, but, I can see a need for this in all public sector bodies as, if nothing else, the recession has really shown as a society we need to change.

It is your concern to change the audience from being rather passive into participants who can actively join in the program. Would you consider this being the ideal solution in order to save the conventional TV program?

TV needs to become interactive – Gannet in the US is researching heavily into this – we ourselves now have an R&D department which is launching new products for broadcasters in this area – the big question is however: Will TV as we know it still be around in 5 years time? I don’t think it will.

Please complete the following sentence: „TV in five years time. That means…”

The live broadcasting of sports, talent shows (The X Factor) and news coverage – these are things that an audience needs to experience live and they will become more connected and interactive in their broadcast – everything else will be on demand and on multiple platforms. TV in 5 years time will not be the TV we grew up with or currently have.

Meet Triona Campbell at StoryDrive Frankfurt on 29 May in Beijing.

Triona Campbell is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and a founder and director of BeActive International based in Dublin (with sister offices in London, Lisbon and Sao Paulo in Brazil). The company is a leading transmedia story teller – creating and monetizing content for multiple platforms with over a decade of experience in the market having created the first drama series to cross from on-line to Televisions in 2003 (Sofia’s Diary) which has since been reversioned in over 10 countries including China.

(Source: Click Here)