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T is for….
Drafthouse Films
looks online for Director to complete the ABCs
of Death.

Being neither a hit with the girls, nor a crack hot Fly-half—The Incredibly Strange Film Festival was a dead-set highlight of my college years in Wellington. Chemistry periods were whiled away reading, then re-reading, my festival program; setting a bumper schedule of gore, violence, rubbish bin lid flying saucers and the sort of sex scenes that made sitting in a cinema with your mates, well… awkward.

Now Ant Timpson, the brainchild behind the festival, is in the midst of a new project in association with Drafthouse Films.

A macabre take on learning the alphabet, The ABCs of Death brings together 25 directors from around the globe and arms each with a letter.

The 26th letter, T, has been left open to public submission and voting, and the creations are pouring in. So far, this is the front-runner, and certainly our favourite.

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Welcome to
our new website.

It’s been a long time on the back burner, but our new site is live.

New features include great big headlines, copious amounts of white space and a 100% reduction in the number of way-too-serious photos of Joel, Aaron and I.

Have a look around and let us know what you think.

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Tourism Victoria
launch the new look

On my arrival in Melbourne, the redesign of was already well underway. Story partners Joel and Aaron and the Publicis Digital team were well immersed in an enormous information architecture and design exercise that I partially attribute to my swift employment—a spare set of hands was certainly welcomed.

Last week the site went live and, while there’s still work to be done, it’s good to see their hard work up on show.

The new site is clean and functional, with a focus on finding your way through both the site and the state, with ease.

Well done chaps.

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Humble Indie Bundles… a refreshing approach to game distribution.

With over 300,000 game bundles sold, and a grand total of $2,168,145.89 raised for charity, the third installment of the Humble Indie Bundle shows how a ‘pay what you feel’ ecommerce strategy can work.

Their approach is based on generosity, with new games thrown into the mix over time to sweeten the deal.

And the games are great! A mixture of new and old cross-platform titles that stand as testament to the imagination of indie game developers.

Any games company looking for exposure would do well to talk to these guys.

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My Hate-Free Month.

Imagine, if you will, a coffee shop conversation cut two ways:

Flat White: “I saw Glee last night and it’s actually pretty good.”
Short Black: “I hate Glee, it’s s**t.”
Flat White:

Flat White: “I saw Glee last night and, you know, it’s actually pretty good.”
Short Black: “Oh, really?”
Flat White: “Have you watched it before?”
Short Black:“Just TV promos, it’s about a bunch of singing kids right?”
Flat White: “Yeah, it’s really great. They had a Fleetwood Mac special on last night. I’ve had ‘Go Your Own Way’ stuck in my head ever since.”
Short Black: “But is there any storyline?”
Flat White: “Yeah, it’s a bit Dawson’s Creeky, but it holds together.”
Short Black: “Really, I love Dawson’s Creek. I’ll give it a watch.”
Flat White:

It seems as if every conversation I have these days cuts the first way. The details and roles change. Sometimes I’m Flat White, sometimes I’m Short Black. But the result is always the same—Flat White feels rubbish, Short Black learns nothing and awkward silence prevails.

Although originally attributed to my early onset Grumpy Old Man Syndrome or G.O.M.S, I now suspect that this propensity to cut people down and conversations short with my polarizing and often under-informed point of view is a bit of an epidemic.

It makes sense… our on-screen lives condition us to be critics for life: Like this, rate that, leave a comment, write a review, vote him off the island. We’ve become judgement-bots filling screens everywhere with our two-cents-worth. The problem is, it’s hard to stop being judgy when we put our screens away.

And that’s a big problem. As a creative who specialises in engagement, it’s really important that I understand what floats peoples boats and that means keeping an open mind.

This leads me to my hate-free month… For the next 31 days I’m removing the word ‘Hate’ from my vocabulary. I’ll chuck in ‘Dislike, ‘Don’t like’ and ‘That’s s**t’ for good measure. I’m not going to tell anyone that I don’t like anything.

When you stop hating, you learn more.

You can follow my progress on Twitter @erikthehay. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this:

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Gamifying a conference.

This morning, we spoke about gamification at the Digital Marketing and Media Summit in Sydney.

And because the best way to teach is to show, we made a game of it.

Games should always have rewards, so we harangued the iPad2 that the conference was going to give away. Now it’s the prize for the lucky player who wins Jargon Hunter.

Jargon Hunter logo

Jargon Hunter at the Digital Marketing and Media Summit. Every time you hear Jargon, tweet it to @jargonhunter and earn points.

Players have joined a tribe on the hunt for marketing jargon.

The game is played via Twitter because so many attendees are already compulsive tweeters. Armed only with their Twitter-enabled phone, tablet or laptop, players are on the lookout for a list of marketing buzz-words and phrases that could be said or presented on screen by one of today’s speakers. Every time they track down some jargon, the players simply tweet the word to @jargonhunter.

The right word tweeted at the right time scores points and the list of top jargon hunters will be periodically updated throughout the day.

If you’re at the conference today, let us know how you enjoyed the game.

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Speaking of gamification…

At Story we think that brands should be engaging consumers.

Joel and Aaron will be talking about this and, more specifically, gamification at the Digital Marketing and Media Summit in Sydney this coming Monday. They will also be showing a few examples of the engagement projects we’ve been working on recently. We hope to see you there.

We’ll post some of our notes from the talk later in the week.

Please feel free to leave comments on any of our posts.

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