Friday, 16 March 2012

Web Series Interview 2: Kristi Barnett

Twisted Showcase is now in it's third week, and getting lots of great feedback for Fear of Living. In fact we've had great feedback every week, I'm very chuffed we're finding an audience for our strange tales, which roam around the horror genre a little.

One writer who embraced the horror genre for the web recently was Kristi Barnett with her hugely innovative Twitter movie Hurst, which you can find out more details upon here

Let's see what Kristi has to say about writing for the web.

Why did you want to create content for the web?

I wanted to get one of my stories produced. I’d been writing for 3 years with at that time, not even a short made. I just bit the bullet and decided that using social media would be a cheaper and more immediate way to get an audience for a story. I wasn’t actually consciously looking at transmedia or web episodes itself but rather the idea of using Twitter as a story tool. I knew no one had tried to tell a story over twitter as a character using other media like videos, photos, weblinks etc. I love twitter and am constantly on it so it seemed natural to me that Twitter could be used in this way. And it is a writer’s medium when you think about it; every tweet is a piece of writing.

I’m guessing Hurst was the first Twitter movie, did you conceive the idea for the net or did that come later?

Yes it was. I made sure before embarking on the project that it really was a unique idea that no one had tried before with Twitter. I believe the most anyone had done was tweet out a full Shakespeare story. I came up with the concept of using twitter with a live character about middle of 2010. I finally started writing the script in Dec 2010 and finished the final draft in about March 2011; (86 pages). It was something that had been brewing in my mind, wanting to use twitter, the local woods and have this fictitious character that people would follow to experience a story with. She had to come across as real for the most part and interact and tweet the way people who use twitter do. But for marketing purposes I told everyone beforehand that she is fictitious and this was the first time it had been done. More people became very interested in the idea. They didn’t seem to mind that during the 3 week event Karen Barley was behaving as though she was real; in fact most people encouraged the character and tweeted back as though she was.

How important was having the characters be part of twitter and tweeting through the events of the film?

It was the main gist of what I wanted to do. I could’ve used facebook only or Youtube only but the idea that twitter was being used as a platform to tell a story through a character and her tweets was fascinating to a lot of people. It was a challenge to think of story plots as to why she might be doing this and posting tweets to links of her videos, but twitter is immediate (as opposed to facebook) and that’s the effect I needed. She was a character who was using her followers as some kind of comfort because they could see her tweets straight away and react to them if they wanted. What she was going through in the story would not have been as affective if people only followed it on Facebook.

How did you get the word out there for Hurst?

This was one of the hardest things I did because I really didn’t have a P.R team or anything. Publicity is the key with transmedia, because it’s not as in your face as movies and there’s so much content online; really hone in on a niche that you think your story will appeal to and start contacting blogs and online websites to tell them that you have a story in line with what they’re interested in. So I went for horror as that’s very popular and horror fans just love being scared in any capacity, (and I love horror); then I contacted horror websites etc. If there’s something really unique about what you’re doing, then contact your local newspapers and let them know; this may lead onto bigger news agencies picking up on it. And try and make a trailer of some kind using your media. This will encapsulate in a very visual and real way what you’re doing and I say real because people take you more seriously when they see you’re not just talking the talk; that you actually did make something! You can see some of the hard work that paid off with publicity here:

Does this project have a life beyond the web, and was that the initial plan?

I’d love to repackage Hurst in a way that will appeal to distributers and producers so I may look into putting a kit together with the media on it and perhaps rewrite the script as a feature for a found footage type film. There’s also a good opportunity to turn it into a mobile phone app but it would need someone who’s able to take it and develop especially for that. It’s all in my head these ideas and I’m just so glad and happy that Karen Barley and transmedia gave me my first opportunity to get one of these ideas out of my mind. But the initial plan was always to present it on Twitter as the first ever twitter movie and I’m very proud that we did just that.

Please check out all this interesting stuff and don't forget to keep checking Twisted Showcase.

No comments:

Post a Comment