Geek Speak: Christine Lim-Labossiere, CEO of Merging Media Productions

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Christine Lim-Labossiere’s mission is to help transmedia and cross-media producers develop their creative and business skills and strategies. She’s the founder and CEO of Vancouver-based Merging Media Productions.

Today (March 23), Merging Media holds its MM: Access 360 Monetization Workshops at SFU Woodward’s. The third annual Merging Media Conference is set to take place in Vancouver in October. Last year, the event management and production company put on four events in Vancouver and Toronto.

Born in Singapore, Lim-Labossiere moved to Vancouver in 2001. She worked at Telefilm Canada and New Media B.C. (now DigiBC), before starting up Merging Media.

The Georgia Straight reached Lim-Labossiere at her Port Moody home office.

Why did you found Merging Media Productions?

When I left DigiBC, or New Media B.C., I realized that there were many new opportunities for both digital media and traditional media developers and producers, and there were not that many events or initiatives that were helping them understand or upgrade their skills in this area. So what happened in 2010 that was quite critical in making me launch Merging Media was that the Canadian Media Fund had launched a new convergent fund, which introduced new funding for convergent projects. Web, television producers could only access funding if they had a digital media component attached to the television product. So it meant a lot of television and film producers were faced with the new challenge of actually developing new content or an extension of their old content—of their IP—on to a digital platform.

What’s an important trend that you see in the transmedia space?

An important trend would be crowdfunding. There’s a lot more collaboration now in terms of accessing new distribution and funding sources, and people are going online to do that. It’s not the traditional model of going to a broadcaster and asking them for a licence fee.

Can you provide a great example of cross-media production in Vancouver?

There have been a couple. One that springs to mind is a project that was done by Switch United. They partnered with Omni Film Productions, which is a television company, to do Ice Pilots. They actually created an online platform plus some gamification elements for Ice Pilots, in order for people who watch the series to go online and get an extension of where these ice pilots were going and follow a map and identify areas the ice pilots visited. So it was both a television experience as well as an online experience that was quite exciting.

What will people learn at the Access 360 workshops?

There’s a lot of talk about transmedia and how creative it is and how exciting it is for our audiences to access a story world from various platforms. But the big question always is what is the return on investment. When we had our annual conference in October last year, we did an online survey asking attendees what were the key factors that they wanted to learn about in upcoming events that we are producing, and they did say ROI and monetization. So people who attend this event will learn how to include social media monetization techniques as well as gamification tools in their online strategies.

Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? You can tell Stephen Hui on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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