Happy Friday! Welcome to Issue 13 of Rerun, your weekly digest of digital storytelling, interactive media and the future of TV curated by Axonista.
Lots of fantastic reading this week! We take another look at TV interfaces, this time with connected devices. We also feature an amazing 40-year celebration of ILM, Mary Meeker's 2015 Internet Trends Report, behind the curtain of Netflix's redesign, Google I/O, storytelling in the digital age, and much more! Let's get straight to it!
The state of TV interfaces: Part 2
Last week we looked at Smart TV interfaces and saw a drastic improvement in quality. But of course TVs don't exist in isolation, they're connected to things like media players, game consoles and streaming devices. So while you may use your new improved Smart TV to more easily manage all these, the connected devices usually have interfaces of their own.
In this post we showcase some of the most popular connected devices on the market. We give an overview of their interfaces and explain what role they play in a modern connected setup.
The untold story of ILM, a titan that forever changed film
“I’m going to figure this out one month at a time.”
In 1975, George Lucas wanted to make the movie we know and love today as Star Wars. But first he had to create the technology that would make that movie possible. This very special collection of interviews with the people at ILM celebrates 40 years of creating the impossible. In the words of Steven Spielberg, "I always thought that if ILM had run the space agency we’d have colonized Mars by now." Warning: 20 min read, but totally worth it.
Future of TV
[PDF] Mary Meeker's Internet Report
Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker unveiled her always eagerly anticipated annual Internet trends report for 2015 this week. Meeker's slide deck calls out the arrival of portrait video viewing for both content and advertising and the explosion of user generated content creation, indicating the rise of mobile as the dominant driver of the evolution of TV in 2015. TV must adapt to incorporate the immediacy, availability and interactivity that is native to mobile in order to remain relevant. Quartz have summarised the main takeaways of the report for readers of a TL;DR persuasion.
The science behind Netflix’s first major redesign in four years
If you think you knew about how Netflix use viewing data, think again. In their mission to surface the right content to the right people — people who will watch the entire thing — they leave no stone unturned and no assumption untested.
For example, there was public praise for a secret infinite list 'god mode' feature earlier this year. However, Netflix had tested it years ago and it was actually a total failure; people watched much less content.
"It's the difference between what people say they want, and what they actually want." — Todd Yellin, Netflix's VP of product innovation
Google I/O 2015
Google's big annual conference started yesterday, so here's some of the most interesting news from it so far.
- HBO Now is coming to Android, and it will support Chromecast
- Google's VR kit is now on iOS
- Android TV can display video streaming apps in the same program guide as traditional TV channels
- Philips will be including Android on 80% of their TVs
- Improvements to Google Cast mean second screen games and apps are coming
- Teachers can now take their class on virtual field trips
- Mobile ad campaigns in Analytics, Admob and Adwords have a host of improvements
The state of storytelling in the internet age
"Storytellers today have the best tools, the best distribution channels, and the largest audience in history."
The nature of the business of news is one that is constantly in flux, as is the manner in which readers consume stories. It is the human condition to keep telling these stories. Austin Smith speculates on whether the quality, and level of truth in news storytelling, will improve or deteriorate in the future.
How AlJazeera plans its interactive storytelling projects
“I like to think that interactivity is like the gas and brake pedal”
Providing rare insight into how stories are now being designed, captured and delivered at one of the world’s most innovative broadcasters, Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Senior Interactive Designer at Al Jazeera, talks to Storybench about recognising that interactivity can both enhance and detract from immersive storytelling experiences
“Quartz is an API”: The path ahead for the business site that’s reshaping digital news
“So when we say Quartz is an API, we don’t mean publish once and send it everywhere. We mean Quartz can go anywhere our readers are, in whatever form is appropriate.” — Zach Seward, VP of product and executive editor at Quartz
Quartz are a shining example of how to build a truly digital media organisation. Not only are they ready to adapt to change, they embrace it!
A Twin Peaks fan lived out Laura Palmer's life
Life imitates art in the documentary 'Northwest Passage'. The story of Travis Blue, from Twin Peaks Washington, who prefers the surreal world, created in the David Lynch series, to the realities of life in his hometown.