How does a huge, monolithic and somewhat old-fashioned public broadcaster get the attention of a generation that gets its TV moments via YouTube and BitTorrent? How about a big conspiracy, completely with allegations that the broadcaster is manipulating the public and possibly cooperating with a powerful secret society? That’s exactly what unfolded in Sweden when the publicly-owned SVT network started its participatory drama The Truth About Marika in the fall of ‘07. Marika producer Christopher Sandberg stopped by the American Film Institute’s Digifest in Hollywood this week and shared some rare insights into the drama that received the International Interactive Emmy for being the best interactive TV service earlier this year.

The Truth About Marika was only one example presented at Digifest that merged new media with oldteevee through alternate reality games or similar approaches that transform viewers into participants. Heroes producer Jason Alexander talked about his experience with online storytelling, and the alternate reality game specialists from 42 Entertainment explained how Trent Reznor has used their services to promote his music. The common thread of these presentations: Letting your audience become part of the story has its dangers, but it can also be very rewarding. Continue reading on

Tags: , , , ,