PSFK Salon LA Speaker Interview: Gunther Sonnenfeld

PSFK Salon LA Speaker Interview: Gunther Sonnenfeld

In anticipation of this week's PSFK SALON Los Angeles, SVP, Director of Experience and Applied Technology for RAPP speaks about transmedia.

Stephanie Pottinger

Gunther Sonnenfeld will be one of the speakers at our upcoming PSFK SALON Los Angeles. Gunther is a global strategist, social technologist and storymaker. He currently serves as the SVP, Director of Experience and Applied Technology for RAPP, whose clients include Skype, Adobe, HP, Toyota, Bank of America and Unilever. He is co-founder of ThinkState, a non-profit group that provides unique online tools for collaborative storytelling, and an adjunct professor at the Miami Ad School. Currently, he is also a writer, producer, and developer on Algren, a multi-platform narrative on the life and times of Nelson Algren, featuring unique perspectives from the writers, directors and artists he influenced, including Lou Reed, Russell Banks, David Mamet, Philip Kaufman, Michael Mann, Johnny Depp, Wayne Kramer and Art Shay. In anticipation of the salon, we bring you a few thoughts from Gunther:

There are different ways to interpret the phrase ‘Transmedia Storytelling.’ What’s your favorite definition?

A multi-platform narrative in which each channel or platform plays a unique, coordinated role in that narrative arc and contributes to the evolution of that story as a whole.

On the morning of April 28 at Soho House West Hollywood, you’ll be giving a short talk. What will the subject be?

Transmedia or multi-platform storytelling provides context for why and how we interact with stories and respective content, and inspires us to take meaningful action. In other words, context is king. I will provide three examples of different approaches to this storytelling paradigm: projectTRUST, a RAPP Labs initiative that explores the various dimensions of trust across industry verticals through the lens of online media, contextualizing them and blowing them out into new stories across select media; Algren, a documentary-style project leveraging unique perspectives of various artists that were influenced by Nelson Algren, and told through coordinated media (events, games, apps, etc.); and UBIQUID.US, a dynamic storytelling platform that coordinates conversations into fractals so that users can remix media and tell their own unique stories.

For anyone who wants to read up more on the subject, where would you suggest they start?

Check out the perspectives of pioneers like Jeff Gomez, Henry Jenkins, Stephen Dinehart, Lance Weiler, Christy Dena, Alison Norrington, Mike Monello and Maureen McHugh, who have come at this from different angles within the entertainment and publishing worlds. On the agency and brand side, folks like Faris Yakob and Ivan Askwith have done some really interesting things and have advanced transmedia thinking as part of the creative process. Also be sure to check out folks like Lina Srivastava, Laura Fleming and Sasha Chock who have successfully applied this way of thinking to social, philanthropic, educational and activist constructs. Additionally the following links are great resources:

Thanks, Gunther!