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MyStory

Web (Full Length Episodes) – 2007

A perspective

MyStory was a ground-breaking mobisode series exploring ‘transmedia' (a term for media distributed across broadcast television, mobile phones and the web).

The concept was developed by Gibson Group producer, Bevin Linkhorn who worked with a team of writers to create a drama for a mobile and web environment. Targeted at a youth audience, the style and aesthetic was developed in an attempt to meet the challenge of fitting dramatic stories into such a short time span. The narrative spine of the episodes was centred around the love and sex lives of a group of late-teenage friends who confront the question: "what would you do if your best friend went missing?".

Directed by Peter Salmon (Outrageous Fortune, Fog), MyStory featured Ryan O'Kane (The Insiders Guide to Love) and Chelsie Preston Crayford (Fog) amongst its young cast.

The production attracted the Family Planning Centre as sponsor. The Centre saw it as a vehicle to reach the youth audience and promote safe sex messages which were written into the storylines.

Linkhorn was invited to speak at several industry conferences across the sector  film, television and digital media — about the project as producers were curious to see how the new media platforms might be embraced. Comedy was naturally suited to the web and quickly established footholds (eg. on YouTube and hugely popular sites like Funny Or Die) but many producers were interested in how the small screens and limited attention spans that characterise web and mobile use might affect traditional dramatic story-telling.

Linkhorn's presentations discussed the nuances of developing content for mobile and web, and of the frustrations of realising some of the cross-platform concepts in a nascent environment.

Pre-publicity on social networking sites such as MySpace and Bebo helped attract interest in the series but ultimately MyStory's uptake was limited by an unformed marketplace. Vodafone provided a download option for 3G phones (the technology was relatively recent and not widespead), however Telecom was unable to support the project at the time (although this was more of a business model issue than a technology problem).

Rather than establishing a template, MyStory might be seen as a exploratory foray in the brave new world of mobile content provision (significantly, by one of the industry's most long-standing and prolific providers of broadcast content).

MyStory was launched at MIPCOM (the world's largest audiovisual content market) at Cannes, France in 2007 and has sold internationally. Linkhorn continues to develop projects for the Gibson Group's new specialty area of interactive media (Simon Eliot, another Gibson Group product, is an interactive children's quiz show with a real-time animated host).