A recent anthology from Nordicom to which I’m a contributor – Making Change. Nordic Examples of Working Toward Gender Equality In The Media – was reviewed positively in Göteborgs-Posten today. The review is in Swedish, but the book is in English and available as a free pdf download here. My text introduces the section on digital games and is titled ‘Start Telling The Story Of Female Gamers And Developers’.
You can read about the presentations at the book’s release seminar in Vilnius in December here.
I’ve been woefully crap at updating my stuff, partly because I’ve been working, partly because I’ve been paralyzed with exhaustion from working. But I couldn’t keep this from you – Neil Gaiman in conversation at Kulturhuset in Stockholm yesterday. This is just the raw feed, I’m sure they’ll release a cleaned up file in time, but it should do for now.
The content starts at about 1:19 with a reading. In the middle we talk about the plight of the Syrian refugees for a long time. If you love Neil’s work, or have felt a need to help the millions in need in this crisis, why not donate to the UN refugee agency via the Neil and Georgina page right here?
The conversation itself came out great, which means I didn’t accidentally ruin it – obviously, Neil could just walk out there and talk for 90 minutes, so there was a risk I’d just detract from the experience. But the format of the Authors’ Stage requires a certain back-and-forth (although, for long stretches of time, this time I could just lean back and listen). To be honest, it’s hard work interviewing people who get interviewed every day, and often the best you can wish for is a kind of performed conversation. This time, however, I really felt for big chunks of the conversation that we were actually talking to each other.
The love in the room, too! Wow. It wasn’t intended for me, of course, but it kind of splashed a little on me, and I understood then why touring is worth it for someone like Neil Gaiman who doesn’t actually have to. He goes out to say thank you for that love. It was a quiet, beautiful thing happening at the heart of a very big, noisy thing, and I’m very happy to have witnessed it.
Popped over to Gothenburg for MEG 2014, where I moderated a panel discussion about digital audience strategies featuring Cecilia Beck-Friis of TV4, Marit Kapla from the Gothenburg Film Festival and Mina Dennert, who workes with the new PARSE platform at Gothenburg university. I also had the pleasure of introducing two speakers, Stina Honkamaa Bergfors of United Screen on digital viewing behaviours and Julian Treasure on sound. Stina’s very informative session was filmed, I think; I’ll post a link when I find one. Julian’s I suspect was not, but it was very thought-provoking as usual; I heard him give a similar talk at NMD in Bergen last year and that is available online – I blogged about that here.
Some other MEG sessions in Swedish are available to view here and here and here.
I visited the Kjell och klortanten sustainability podcast to talk about games and game design – and was treated to a wonderful surprise: a test run of the Oculus Rift! You can listen to the podcast here (in Swedish). Last year, on the Alibis blog, I wrote about horror game design for the Oculus Rift (in English).
Episodes 16 and 17 aired on Thursday and turned out nice – two interesting, pleasant conversations (in English) about the future of transportation and about aging in a new age. Watch the shows here!
Last year I wrote a column for the rural development programme at Jordbruksverket, a governing body that deals with, I guess, farming? Which is funny since I’m about as urban as they get. I wrote about the arrogance with which I, as a kid in Helsinki, viewed non-urban areas.
Anyway, they asked me back to be on their podcast. The episode is here. No pressure to hear it for me, but I’m guesting with Arvid Andersson Ellis, singer of the band Glesbygd’n. They’re great, and he is very, very wise.
I am truly the WORST at updating this work blog. My excuse to myself is that it’s because I’m working all the time, but of course what happens then is that I look up every three months with no earthly idea of what I’ve done in the meantime. I’ve promised this before but clearly it’s time to give my ingenious assistant Anna editorial powers – she’s the only person, including me, who tends to know what city I’m in at any given moment.
Right now though I’m returning home from Gothenburg, where we kicked off the Nostradamus project today. Initiated and run by the festival’s Head of Industry Cia Edström, Nostradamus will try to aggregate existing research in the changes currently affecting the film and TV industries. We will do interviews with people across the industry – they are our Nostradamuses (…Nostradami?) – follow debates, and analyze the talk on the town. We are not going to do any original research, we don’t have that kind of resources, although if we score big money of course we could hypothetically commission something we’ve identified as missing. The idea is instead to be a kind of curated gateway to the existing work, both on our website (which will be here) and in our seminars, like the one we had today. Also, every once in a while we may be able to release a sort of digest trying to point out the top issues likely to cross everyone’s desks in the next few years.
I’ve done the analysis, interviews and written the report as a Rundfunk Media consultant and we look likely to continue this relationship with the festival in the years to come. Which should count as one of best jobs ever, since it involves meeting and picking the brains of some of the brightest people in the industry. Speakers today included heavyweight analysts like Bengt Toll (senior adviser to the Festival), Jonathan Olsberg of Olsberg SPI and Michael Gubbins of Sampomedia. Jonathan Marlow of the wonderful SVOD service Fandor was a great panelist (and we film fans really need them on the European market!). Just as valuable were of course Jérôme Paillard of the Marché du Film at Cannes, Åsa Sjöberg of TV4, the audience researcher Jakob Bjuhr from Gothenburg University and Rikke Ennis of sales agency TrustNordisk. It was quite interesting to hear her talk about the way the conflicting forces in the market (as described by Lothar Mikos of the Erich Pommer Institute in an astute audience comment) affect a company like hers. They would like to experiment more, because they see the future of the distribtion windows will be different – but unfortunately trying that themselves completely undermines their current business.
Anyway, with a little luck the whole seminar was videoed and will pop up on the Nostradamus website; until then, do download our “year zero report” free of charge here. That’s also where in the weeks and months to come you can find extended versions of the report’s interviews, links to resources and news about the developments of the project.
At SIME Stockholm today I’ll speak at and moderate two workshops.
At 1PM I’ll discuss TV Beyond the Living Room with Annie Wegelius (until very recently the programme director of SVT), Cecilia Beck-Friis (she has the Swedish title “Vice VD” – approximately COO – at TV4-gruppen) and Jeroen Elfferich, founder and CEO of legendary Second screen production house Ex Machina. At this talk, I’ll have the pleasure of revealing a new project I’m working on with the Industry market at the Gothenburg International Film Festival.
At 3.30 I’m talking on the topic Connected Storytelling – Learn How To Tell Epic Stories with oscar nominated film maker Mike Lerner (Roast Beef TV) and the Emmy-winning transmedia producer Christopher Sandberg (The Company P). This talk will also include a brief case study of TV-cirkeln.
I wrote a short story. A kind of ghost story, I guess, about unconceived children. It’s published by Novellix as a short story single on September 17th. On that same day, you’re welcome to join us at Kulturhuset Stockholm for Release Me – a lovely evening of readings, conversations, drinks and new writing. My friend Björn af Kleen is celebrating his new book, which you should buy. Bernt Hermele, Jessica Johansson and Boel Bermann are also releasing new books that I know less about (and that’s the awesomeness of a night like Release Me – being exposed to writing one does not yet know).
This week, Bonnier are re-releasing, again, the classic 1976 Kerstin Thorvall novel Det mest förbjudna (which has been translated to many languages but not, I think, English). I had the pleasure of writing the introduction.
The title roughly translates to The Most Forbidden Thing and book was scandalous in its time, and it’ll still throw ya! But as I discuss in the introduction what is “most forbidden” in the novel is open for debate. The sexual content? Demanding a life for yourself even when you are a mother? Older women sleeping with younger men? You should read it and make up your own mind.
The review date is August 27th and I don’t expect any attention since so many new books are coming out in the season leading up to the Book Fair, but do check it out, Thorvall is a great read. Earlier this year the novel was even selected by literature programme Babel for a hypothetical, tiny five-book Swedish literary canon.
PS. Three other feminist classics are re-released at the same time. The beautiful covers are by Finnish designer Maija Louekari, whom I completely coincidentally once interviewed for the architecture and design magazine Forum AID, now called FORM. It’s the kind of bread-and-butter profile that I almost never get to write these days and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the meetings and the craft of trying to catch something of the person in a very short text. Since it’s in Swedish, I’ve thrown it up on my old blog.