2012 Merging Media conference aims to illuminate cross-media production

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On October 25 and 26, the third annual Merging Media conference, a forum dedicated to tracking and talking about media convergence, will take place at Simon Fraser University’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. Christine Lim-Labossiere, founder and executive director of the yearly event, told the Straight that consumers have become sophisticated in their tastes and are demanding content that crosses platforms.

“The industry is more aware of the need for convergence,” she said by phone, “especially from the content-creation side.”

Talks and panels on Thursday will deal with the creative issues and challenges around developing and producing transmedia properties. Speakers include Starlight Runner’s Jeff Gomez and StoryWorld Conference chair Alison Norrington. The Canadian Film Centre’s Ana Serrano will lead a panel discussion on the three-year-old convergence funding stream offered by the Canadian Media Fund. And Electric Playground and Reviews on the Run host Victor Lucas will spotlight some local success stories in the digital-content space.

On Friday, the focus at Merging Media shifts to how technology is changing the convergent landscape. Highlights include Facebook Canada’s Alfredo Tan, Machinima’s Allen DeBevoise, and a panel moderated by CBC’s Jonathan Carrigan about how social media and second screens are changing the way television is watched and produced.

Lim-Labossiere said that technological change is driving much of media convergence. “At the same time,” she added, “the technology has allowed creators to be more collaborative and work in cooperation to create new and exciting models, both on the business and creative sides.”

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