Keynote Speakers

Jay Bushman

“Transmedia Storytelling: No, Really, What Is It?”
The joke goes like this: “Put two transmedia creators in a room together, and pretty quickly you’ll have three definitions of transmedia.” Everybody who uses the terms means something a little different. With stories from the trenches of making transmedia projects over the last ten years, this talk delves into what people mean when they say “transmedia” and why nobody can agree.

An award-winning producer and writer of transmedia and platform- independent entertainment. He was the Transmedia Producer and a writer for “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” A groundbreaking video and social media modernization of “Pride & Prejudice,” the show won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program and compiled over 70 million views on YouTube. He was the co-creator and co-showrunner of the sequel interactive series, “Welcome To Sanditon.” As a writer and producer at Fourth Wall Studios, Jay helped to create the Emmy-winning series “Dirty Work,” and wrote and created the show “Airship Dracula.” Jay has worked on interactive campaigns for properties including “Game of Thrones,” “Silicon Valley,” “Terminator: Genisys,” and “Arrival.” He has also worked as a writer and consultant for major studios and networks, including Google, HBO, Disney, Paramount, Bad Robot, and Lucasfilm. An innovator and leader in the transmedia community, he pushes the boundaries of next-generation entertainment. Jay was one of the original founders of the professional organization Transmedia Los Angeles (now StoryforwardLA), and one publication even named him “The Epic Poet of Twitter.”



Pia Tikka

“Systemic second order authorship for creating complex narratives – a neurophenomenological approach”
In the beginning of the 21st century, the theoreticians of interactive narrative celebrated the birth of the creative audience at the corpse of the author, echoing Roland Barthes’s words in La mort de l’auteur (1967). But this may have been premature. The notion of second-order authorship allows reformulating creative authorship in a manner inspired by the neurophenomenology and systemic enactive mind theory by Francisco Varela and colleagues (1991). This will be exemplified by describing the authorship of enactive co-presence between a virtual screen character and the viewer.

Dr. Pia Tikka, is Adjunct Professor of New Narrative Media and a professional filmmaker. She is the principal investigator of NeuroCine research project (2010 – ongoing) and has held position as Director in Crucible Studio, Department of Media, Aalto University (2014-2017). In the field of naturalistic neurosciences, she has acted as a core member of the directory group of neuroscience research project aivoAALTO at the Aalto University (2010-2014). Her research in neurocinematics is focusing on studying the neural basis of storytelling and creative imagination. She has contributed to the neuroeconomics as a member of the advisory board in NeuroService research project at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, funded by Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (2014–2015). She is a Fellow of Life in the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. Currently, her research team NeuroCine applies neuroimaging methods to study the neural basis of narrative cognition.



Suzanne Scott

“Choose Your Own Adventure: Fandom and the Future of Interactive Storytelling”
Fan culture has, from its inception, treated media objects as inherently interactive, playing in the textual gaps and margins and, in some cases, radically reimagining a storyworld’s fictive limits. Tracing both the history of transformative fan texts (e.g. fanfiction, fan vids) from analog to digital participatory cultures, as well as the politics of these industrially unauthorized interactions, this keynote will suggest that the barriers to embracing a more expansive conception of “interactive digital storytelling” lie in lingering anxieties surrounding authorial and commercial control. Just as scholarly work on interactive storytelling must acknowledge programmatic or structural limitations on user agency, even as we celebrate the participatory and collaborative capacity of the form, this talk will explore how media industries, creators, and technologies alternately curtail and foster fan culture’s interactive impulses.

Suzanne Scott is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Transformative Works and Cultures, Cinema Journal, and New Media & Society, as well as numerous anthologies, including How to Watch Television and The Participatory Cultures Handbook. Together with Melissa Click, she has co-edited The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom (forthcoming, 2018), and her current book project considers the gendered tensions underpinning the media industry’s embrace of fans within convergence culture.



Full program to be announced.