Interview by Melanie Picard
Transmedia entered swissnex San Francisco’s life through a happy collaboration with Transmedia SF. Together, we looked at how to win the story wars, we followed the path from the medium to the message, and discussed the future of games and entertainment.
Maya Zuckerman, transmedia producer, strategist, and co-founder of Transmedia SF, is part of our international jury. She shares some insights:
STORY2023: What is your vision of the year 2023?
MZ: As a futurist and perpetual optimist, I would like to think that we will evolve towards progress for all. I hope to see more electric cars ruling the roads, more alternative transportation such as bullet trains, more green roofs along with solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources. Ideally, people will act as if we are all part of a global village, accountable to each other.
Amazing lightweight technologies will make our lives easier—sleek, smart, and adaptive. And storytelling will break the fourth wall. Stories will be beautifully immersive and, hopefully, positive.
STORY2023: How did transmedia enter your life?
MZ: For a long time I thought transmedia came into my life with the Matrix, a great transmedia storyworld that was constructed as such from the get go. But then, I remembered my favorite storyworld of all times: The land of Fantasia, the land of human fantasy depicted in Michael Ende’s Neverending Story. Back then, as a child, I wished I could enter the storyworld in different ways and participate. I wanted to finish all the unfinished stories that the book presented. Every episode ended with telling the beginning of the story of one of the characters and then finishing with the inviting sentence: “But that is another story and shall be told in another time…”
STORY2023: Your advice to the participants?
MZ: Keep it simple, keep it focused! You could use endless platforms to tell your story but the challenge is to make it simple for your audience to engage with. Always think about us—the audience—as we are the most important part of your storyworld.
More about Maya
Maya Zuckerman is the co-Founder of Transmedia SF, a network of SF Bay Area media and startup creatives who come together to develop projects and to promote and educate the world about transmedia storytelling. The goal: make San Francisco a center for transmedia production and education. She has years of experience in media of all forms. She started her career in film and animation working with MTV and Yahoo! on cross-platform brand expansion of games and music. She also worked on feature films—both Hollywood and Indies, before transitioning to the gaming world. She worked for such titles as “Prince of Persia”, “GhostBusters – game” and “Star-Trek online.” In her career she also worked in product development for software and interactive products for expert brands such as the Chopra center. Her most recent work in development is on the transmedia strategy for the Fifth Sacred Thing storyworld and for The Salt Water movie.