Today we’re talking to transmedia pioneer David Varela about one of his biggest and coolest success stories – his groundbreaking work with the hit show Sherlock. During our conversation, David also takes us behind the scenes at his other multimedia projects, and reveals how anyone can leverage this incredible art form to create emotionally powerful experiences for audiences.

Topics include:

  • Myths and misconceptions surrounding transmedia
  • Harnessing the strengths of every platform
  • How to measure success in transmedia
  • The interesting parallels between multimedia projects and real life

Having started as a writer in traditional media – radio, theatre, film, advertising – David Varela has increasingly specialized in transmedia projects, both as a writer and producer. He’s a specialist in telling stories that embrace old media and new media. He was the writer and narrative designer of an interactive adventure for the TV show Sherlock, working with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue to bring their characters to iOS. He has also been heavily involved in three of the world’s biggest Alternate Reality Games (ARGs): Perplex CityXi, and Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life.

David also speaks about transmedia storytelling at events such as The Media Festival, Power to the Pixel, Develop, StoryWorld and the Immersive Writing Lab. He speaks regularly in the UK, US, Australia, Switzerland and Singapore, and lectures at a number of universities and film schools.


Learn more about David Varela:


itunes-icon David Varela: The Power of Transmedia Storytelling

Ken Doctor created Newsonomics as a way to help industry players understand and predict the future of media. In today’s episode, we explore strategies for dealing with media disruption. Ken weighs in on everything from content and convergence to Facebook’s fake news epidemic and the intimidation tactics of “big data.”

Topics include:

  • Why “small data” is empowering for every industry
  • What’s important vs. what’s popular
  • Why Facebook and Google are the new mass media (and why they should take responsibility for it)
  • Net neutrality
  • How to make traditional television as easy as digital

Ken Doctor’s work centers on the transformation of consumer media in the digital age, from the New York Times and Netflix to Comcast and Condé Nast. He draws connections among the news, information and entertainment we all get and the fast-changing business of media.

As a speaker and consultant, he has worked on six continents, advising on new sustainable business models of contemporary journalism. Among the many topics covered – and tailored – are major trends driving business change, All-Access and digital circulation models, newer revenue streams including marketing services and branded content, and smart use of emerging technologies. Increasingly, he focuses on the central importance of analytics and use of “Little Data” in driving media companies forward. Ken is also the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get.

Learn more about Ken Doctor:


itunes-icon Ken Doctor: Newsonomics And The Transformation of Media

Colonel J. Carlos Vega is the Chief of Staff and Director of Outreach for the Army Cyber Institute at West Point – the influential organization that works on cyber security and cyber defense research. In today’s episode, we explore the parallels between the armed forces and the entertainment industry. During our conversation, Colonel Vega also reveals the secrets to building the perfect team, talks about the real ways to measure success, and shows us how anyone can use army leadership principles to adapt to disruptive and high-stakes environments.

Topics include:

  • Why every organization should identify their champion
  • The importance of having a clear objective or “commander’s intent”
  • Shaping the environment to prepare for the future
  • Why things spread on social media
  • The strength of weak ties concept (and what it means for networking)

Colonel J. Carlos Vega is a Senior Army Aviator and the Chief of Staff for the Army Cyber Institute. He teaches in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. A 1993 graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Colonel Vega spent the early part of his career as an aviation officer. His initial assignments, based in Fort Campbell Kentucky, included a support and flight platoon leader, flight operations officer, and aviation planner. As a captain, he served as a logistics and budget officer at Fort Rucker, Alabama where he commanded a company of instructor pilots and trained aviators from Latin America in their native Spanish language.

As a Major, he served as the chief information officer (logistics automation) for U.S. Army Forces in South Korea. While in South Korea he integrated information systems to support operations on the peninsula. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he served as the chief of cyber operations for the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg. The duties and responsibilities included chief of information assurance, network defense, network engineering and services, as well as the integration officer. In this capacity, he was the chief communications planner for the pre-deployment site survey team for the Corps final mission in Iraq 2010.

Learn more about Colonel J. Carlos Vega:


itunes-icon Colonel J. Carlos Vega: What Leadership Really Looks Like When The Stakes Are High

Park Howell is a business story strategist, keynote speaker, widely popular podcaster and the founder of the award-winning brand and creative consultancy Park&CoAccording to Park, everyone from entertainment giants to small businesses will have to capture and harness a powerful brand story if they want to make it in the digital economyIn today’s episode, he breaks down the DNA of a compelling story, talks about his prominent podcast the Business of Story, and debates whether or not network loyalty is a thing of the past.

Topics include:

  • What you make vs. what you make happen
  • His Story Cycle method (and why it works for every industry)
  • What marketers can learn from Hollywood
  • Why any brand can tell a compelling story (and how to do it)
  • Lessons on story structure from Donald Trump

Park Howell is a 30-year advertising veteran who helps leaders craft and tell compelling stories to achieve epic growth for their enterprise and their people. Park was named Advertising Person of the Year in 2010 by the American Advertising Federation of Metro Phoenix. The following year, his agency was recognized among the Top 10 Impact Companies in Arizona by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. 
Park also created the communications curriculum for the Executive Masters of Sustainability Leadership program in the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at Arizona State University. He turns sustainability executives into Chief Storytelling Officers to advance their social initiatives further, faster. Park is also the host of the weekly Business of Story podcast, which features authors, screenwriters, makers, content marketers and brand raconteurs who share their storytelling tips and techniques to help business leaders and communicators engage their audiences and move them to action.

Learn more about Park Howell:


itunes-icon Park Howell: Story–The Ultimate Survival Tool

In today’s episode, Jamie Stenziano (the Vice President of Media & Entertainment at Clarion Researchuncovers everything that media companies – and consumers – need to know about advertising space. During our conversation, Jamie explores the evolving dynamics between television networks and their digital counterparts, reveals why authenticity and brand loyalty play important roles in advertising time, talks about the challenges facing media companies today, and much more. 

Topics include:

  • Why overlaying brand on top of content will lead to consumer loyalty
  • Why everything comes down to capturing attention
  • The importance of differentiation
  • Appealing to buyers in ways that transcend personal consumption habits
  • How sports consumption has changed in the new media landscape

As Vice President, Media & Entertainment Research, Jamie Stenziano oversees custom primary research and insights for Clarion’s Media & Entertainment Division. Clarion’s Media & Entertainment Division provides custom consumer & B2B insights to brands, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, and ad tech firms across media platforms and revenue structures.

In his current role, Jamie leads qualitative, quantitative, and integrated studies – personally moderating qual sessions and overseeing quant activations to provide clients with seamless and actionable insights. He is a Burke Institute-trained moderator, having personally conducted nearly 1,000 in-person, phone, and virtual sessions. Jamie is a member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, and has served on its Brand Communications Committee. In 2011, he worked on Clarion’s Ogilvy Award winning qual research for FCB’s US Census campaign. Quantitatively, he has managed several of Clarion’s most complex studies, including the multi-year Barclays Center Attendee Transportation Management project.

Jamie is a frequent contributor to media, entertainment, and research events and publications, as well as on social media including Twitter and LinkedIn. He began his career at Clarion as a summer intern in 2006. Jamie graduated with honors from Rutgers University with a BA in Communications, where he was a member of the Communications Honors Society.

Learn more about Jamie Stenziano:


itunes-icon Jamie Stenziano: The Universal Guide to Advertising Space