Inspiring stories for dreamers

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With two new films, iNNpulsa is rediscovering Colombia’s entrepreneurial spirit.

By Jeff Gómez*

This week, two outstanding short-films will premier in movie theaters across Colombia. The first one, “Cuesta abajo” (“Downhill”) tells the story of a boy who is determined to build a car and race against his neighbors. Later on, as an adult, his experience has led him to become a great innovator and creator of avant-garde, efficient and sustainable cars. The second film is “El cohete” (“The spaceship”), about the life of a man who dreams of building a spacecraft in his backyard and contribute towards a better future for his country.

Both films use Hollywood techniques that capture our imagination, and manage to engage the audience with the characters, even when they are doubtful or mocked by their families, friends and possible venture capitalists. Yet, on the other hand, they honor qualities that are common to all Colombians, such as a fierce determination and an intelligent “do-it-yourself” approach to business.

These short-films were designed to inspire entrepreneurs, as well as a whole nation that still feels too shy to shine. Years of conflict and political uncertainty seem to have taught younger generations that despite adversity and selfishness, ambition and determination make everything possible”.

Few people are willing to take risks and be in charge of the responsibility, the scrutiny and publicity of an executed business, even though there are promising rewards. Audiovisual producers hope that the power of stories will change these preconceptions.

Yet movies are only the starting point. iNNpulsa intends to use a new and fascinating technique called “Transmedia Narrative” to reach out to potential entrepreneurs through different multimedia platforms such as TV, radio, magazines, Internet and social networks. We hope to participate, inform and, above all, inspire Colombians to dream big and go into business by themselves.

Transmedia is a Hollywood technique used in box-office hits such as The Hunter Games, Star Wards and the Marvel superhero franchise. Each of them becomes a rich world that offers different stories and characters in multiple media, joined by a denominator of common stories and prevailing topics.

The result is an enhanced marketing and licensing, bigger success and more commitment from audiences before, during and after the premier. The franchise becomes stronger and welcomes more media that support the beginning of a dialogue.

The “Transmedia Narrative” tools are also being applied for social and educational purposes, with equally successful results. In Mexico, for instance, the multi-platform campaign “Niños incómodos” (“Uncomfortable children”) <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrXgc4493-8> warned against corruption, crime, poverty, delinquency, and child crime victims. The controversial video was supported by radio and TV debates, which forced many politicians and influential people in Mexico, for the first time ever, to directly respond to these accusations and issues.

Another interesting case happened in Beirut (Lebanon), where the “Shankaboot” transmedia campaign http://www.shankaboot.com was designed to promote a spirit of modernization and internationalism among Muslims in Lebanon and neighboring countries. This product reflects the large young population ignored by massive media and, to some extent, neglected by the economy and recent events in the Middle East.

The transmedia strategy included webisodes, social media, user-generated content and video production courses. It had an impact on hundreds of thousands of people from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, as well as in distant cities such as Dearborn, Michigan, in the United States.

The series was incorporated and adapted to promote a youth movement that is emerging in Lebanon and actively opposing to sectarianism, poverty and war, and who expresses through art in more liberal and creative ways.

Colombia has infinite possibilities to adapt and apply transmedia techniques that impact everyday aspects of Colombian media. I would like to share what I spoke about at Colombia 3.0, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riIN42xVga4>, last year in Bogotá.

As the creator of many of these transmedia tools <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMv8VXzEchY>, I am tremendously surprised and interested in working hand by hand with iNNpulse Colombia. My firm, Starlight Runner Entertainment, born out of a dream similar to that of the heroes in “El cohete” and “Cuesta abajo”, will do everything in its hands to support the rebirth of Colombia’s ambitions, convictions and business spirit.

*Jeff Gómez, CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, is a world leader and expert in the expansion of entertainment properties, top quality brands, international campaigns and successful transmedia narrative with sociopolitical topics. As a transmedia producer, he has worked in companies such as Disney (Pirates of the Caribbean), 20th Century Fox (Avatar), Sony (Men in Black, Amazing Spider-Man), Microsoft (Halo), Coca-Cola (Happiness Factory), Hasbro (Transformers) and Nickelodeon (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Follow him on Twitter: @Jeff_Gomez and Facebook: Starlight Runner Entertainment.




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