Posted by: Noni | October 11, 2010

I completely overestimated the technological understanding of the film community at VIFF

Regroup, Rethink, Relaunch…

I had come up with an idea to promote myself and my various projects during the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival through an interactive Transmedia experience.

Huh?  Transmedia?  What’s that?

Well, besides being the buzz word in the industry these past months its representative of a new wave in interactive story-telling.  I was actually prepared for that question and included a discovery process in my game that gives a brief overview of Transmedia and QR code.  For some of you this may be the first time you’ve ever heard of either.

QR Code?  Back up a step…

Right… this is exactly the response I got when I started distributing the initial play piece for my game.   (An over-sized double-sided card folded into a shape resembling a match book cover. ) The outside had a QR code on the front, “GO Noni” printed on the spine and a logo and web address on the back.  When you flip the book open it reveals my name, contact phone, email address and a QR code that leads to this blog.

When I realized that I had lost my audience…

I immediately added the QR image to my website and attached a link to my blog from there.  That way players didn’t need to have a smart phone with code reader capabilities, they only needed to click the link to get to the next stage of play.  I also added a reciprocating link from my blog back to a stage of play on the Noni site.

Yeah, but what is QR code?

QR stands for quick response.  What happens when you capture an image on your camera phone; it instantly detects the embedded information (up to 4,000  alpha or numeric characters) and calls up a response like dialing a cell phone, displaying a message, directing your mobile browser to a designated webpage or downloading a video, music,  more…

I still think that the best way to understand what this is and how it works is to follow the example that I laid out.   Now when I hand someone a matchbook clue, I direct them to the website URL where they can find instructions on how to play.

Here’s that link…

Alison Richards VIFF


Click on the 2D or QR code at left and then read the info along the right hand side of the webpage that includes links on downloading software and creating your own code.

This campaign was designed strictly for the purpose of driving traffic to my blog and website and providing a bit of personal insight into me as a character.  Noni has a lot going on so be sure click on all the pages and tabs or you might miss something important.

As usual, feel free to comment below and let me know what your ideas are for using this new technology.


  1. I’ve been there.

    I would like to see more transmedia in films, but I would like to hear your thoughts on … if having interactivity during a movie takes away from what is otherwise an passive or temporal experience. Should people be interacting with movies?

    curious about exploring. Way to go with the QR. I like it.

    Patrick. QrArts


    • I’m actually investigating the uses of QR in educational material. In many 3rd world countries there is limited access to TV or internet but everyone has a mobile device. We’re designing interactive programming that will engage youth and inspire learning. As far as I can estimate, the potential is HUGE! Simple, cost effective and flexible… why aren’t people getting that???


  2. QR and 2D is in flux in North America. The early adopter phase is almost over. But, it will require some major mainstream use/campaign to expand awareness.

    Everyone from Martha Stewart to surfshops have done the early-adopter work. But, until a QR code goes viral, like the first YouTube video, it will simply simmer.

    If you put a real, valuable (and entertaining) value proposition at the end of the rainbow (the QR resolve), you will get people to play.

    Just like a film or television show, you only need a respectable market share to make it worthwhile.


    • Dale, I agree. Having spent quite a bit of time in Europe, Asia and Middle East during the past 3 years I can see that North America is lagging far behind the rest of the world. The potential with 2D and QR is immense and limitless.

      Once people are introduced to it, they instantly see its value but as you say… it needs to hit big for the masses to get excited.


  3. […] and want to play along.   For those of you unfamiliar with this disappointing breakdown, here’s the blog that details my tactful change in strategy.  Seizing what I considered to be an opportunity to […]


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