Today I present you another French Transmedia project: L@-KOLOK.com that will start in November 2012.
Its goal: to teach young people global issues (ecology, sustainable development, food waisting, etc.)
How: by using comedy, interaction and gaming
With participation of : the French Ministry of Education, the French Ministry of Agriculture, ADEME (Agency for Clean Energy), Region Ile de France, Paris City Hall and GEMA Prévention.
Interview with Alexandre Pierrin, co-founder of "Le Vent Tourne"
1. Could you quickly tell us what L@-KOLOK.com is?
L@-Kolok.com is a web series and transmedia program that raises awareness about global issues like ecology, food wasting, etc. with three originalities: comedy, interaction, and experts’ opinions.
The idea is to target young people and to create special programs that enable them to understand these topics using media that they are already familiar with and that they like to use such as web series, board games, twitter and Facebook. The concept of the interactive webserie was originally imagined by Lucie Poirot in 2008 and I joined the project in 2009. We quickly turned it into a transmedia program without even knowing the word “transmedia”!
2. What differentiates L@-KOLOK.com from other web series?
There are a lot of differences.
Firstly, we want to entertain youth in an intelligent way by giving a special message on specific issues such as ecology, sustainable development, food wasting and saving energy.
Secondly, it's an interactive web series. There is a pause in the movie where you can choose what option to take next. For instance, we can choose to listen to the character we prefer, a sentence we like or choose the next move of a given character. Sometimes for fun, sometimes for information or just to check if we are really following what has been said. So interaction is the second originality.
Thirdly, we will add pedagogical content to the entertaining; in such a way to have a funny aspect about these subjects. But at the same time we show videos of experts talking seriously about these subjects.
La-Kolok is a program for young people but also a tool for teachers or other people who want to work with them on these kinds of subjects. You can find these expert opinions at the end of each video under the name "Parole d'Expert".
If we look at the program globally, we use the game as a tool on all platforms. In the first season every episode has a goal that one must achieve. For example one character (boy) must meet a girl and you have to help them. So the game is something that we integrated into the web series but also by creating a board game called "Popote Minute".
We have an ARG game that is scheduled to come out in April 2013 and different events or contests linked to their Facebook profiles. So the idea is to always use games to convey information on ecological and sustainable subjects.
Humor and gaming are the two elements that we use in order to be more appealing.
3. What platforms do you use?
We use Internet, ARG, Facebook, Twitter and iPad. We also plan to edit DVDs with pedagogical frameworks dedicated to teachers, so that they can use L@-KOLOK.com in classrooms by the end of 2013. We have a coproduction with the Ministry of National Education (Ministre d'Education National) on the expertise side. Thanks to it we hope to reach a wide audience of teachers and professionals in France.
4. How does the storytelling change according to the platform?
The main platform we use for storytelling is the web series because that is where we can see all of the characters who interact together in their flat.
Every episode is independent because each is financed separately.
In this way each episode can be seen and understood without having to watch previous episodes.
Moreover, if you want to have more one-to-one content on a character, you can go on it’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. There, you will see short videos that will give a more humoristic or intimate insight.
5. What is your business model?
Our business model has been quite complicated so far because we have different ways of financing our programs.
Our project is based on two structures: on one hand we have a production company "Le Vent Tourne" working all the transmedia subjects and the web. The second partner is the association "Le Temps Presse" that develops the pedagogical tools and part of the webserie.
So we have two partners working on the same project. Each of these partners is in a position to look for different funding. For instance, the association is able to obtain public funding from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture, ADEME (Agency for Clean Energy), Region Ile de France and Paris City Hall. The production company enables us to contact the Ministry of Education and insurance companies through GEMA Prévention.
In doing so, we will be able to offer our audience 6 to 8 months of content, free of charge.
The second way is that we want to sell the different tools outside the web series, such as a board game, ARG. The ARG will be launched during the Sustainable Development Week in April 2013. The organizers needed an animation for this event, so we proposed our ARG. In the future, we would like to sell more tools like these.
Finally, as I previously mentioned, by the end of 2013 we want to sell educational DVDs.
6. How many episodes have you produced so far?
There are already 2 pilot episodes on the web today and we are going to produce 4 or 5 episodes for the first season. We don't know if they will become a part of the first season yet or not because we want to have much more interaction off the screen. And, as mentioned before, each episode will be independent of the previous one.
The format is 15 to 20 minutes long, knowing that if you do only one track you can finish it in10 minutes.
7. It's too early to ask you for statistics...
We don’t have statistics because we haven't communicated so far, but we have already 10,000 viewers. These pilot episodes have been on Internet for one year. We presented them in different festivals. For example two years ago and last year we were selected for a festival in La Rochelle, so many people viewed them. We also have been selected for the Transmedia Immersive University's event “I love Transmedia”
8. How will you communicate about L@-KOLOK.com?
We have different plans about our communication. Our strength is that we have a lot of partners and each of these partners has different platforms, different media, Facebook pages, etc. At each episode we will be able to launch a new communication based on the media that our partners have.
Moreover, we can use events that our partners organize and their social networks by inserting teasers and videos before the episode starts in order to already establish a "base of fans".
9. What is the next challenge for you?
The next challenge for us is to launch this project, to finish the episodes and to maintain the activity for at least 6 months because the program will start from November 2012 to April 2013 starting with the web series and ending with ARG.