Deepening Engagement & Audience Experience 

Our scientific research found that the construction of suspense is a key narrative device in television episodic drama that increases attention and deepens engagement during episodes and also entices viewers to see what happens next in the following episode. We have developed a unique data-driven creative storytelling process based on our EDA model of audience experience™ and offer two television episodic storytelling consultancy services. 

1 Construction of Suspense in Television Episodic Storytelling 

We work with television production teams and apply our scientific model of the construction of suspense to reduce disruptive viewing on tablet/smartphone micro-screens and identify and resolve filmmakers’ narrative blind spots to deepen engagement and audience experience, without compromising filmmakers’ creativity. We do this in two stages, the screenplay (narrative) and storyboard (cinematic style). 

We analyse the construction of suspense via different layers of narrative information (e.g. structure, characterisation, pace) to identify causal effects that relate to story structure, key plot points, micro-narrative structures, narrative features, characters and scenes. Once we have completed our analysis we create scientific-creative suggestions that resolve narrative causal relationships to deepen engagement.

We analyse the construction of suspense through different cinematic stylist layers that bring the narrative to life, which include: cinematography (camera shot, angle, duration, movement, composition, lighting), stage props (production design) and pacing. Additionally, we analyse proposed sounds (non-diegetic and non-diegetic) by their desired effect and relationship with characters, stage props, setting and audience. 

The outcomes of the analysis will identify moments that disrupt viewing and create filmmakers' narrative blind spots that reduce story comprehension, attention and engagement.  Once we have completed our analysis we create scientific-creative suggestions that resolve problematic narrative stylistic elements concerning causal relationships that otherwise would disrupt viewing or produce filmmakers' narrative blind spots.

 Television Episodic Drama Innovation

2 Television Episodic Storytelling Innovation 

Our expertise in the science of audience experience and construction of suspense adds significant value to the development of innovative television drama episodic storytelling experiences that deepen engagement and grow audiences on tablet and smartphone micro-screens. For example, we have developed a conceptual story structure for innovative television drama episodic storytelling experiences for tablet and smartphone micro-screens. This concept involves developing linear and non-linear interactive episodic storytelling that deepens engagement by working with the disruptive elements of mobile devices such as the tablet and smartphone micro-screen.

We also aware of emerging technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence machine learning that are dramatically influencing storytelling to deepen engagement and create authentic personalised audience experiences using the Rhythm of Data Driven Storytelling. Therefore, we see artificial intelligence as an integral component to understanding story context and audience experience which will drive new types of episodic story experiences. This might include interactive elements based on viewer responses to the story, like our awarding winning (Cisco i-prize global innovation, 2010) biofeedback interactive film concept where the viewer controls the narrative direction of a film via their involuntary responses (cognitions, emotions and physiological states). This authentic personalised non-linear story format deepens engagement and audience experience consistently.

With our expertise in the science of episodic storytelling, audience experience and innovation, we work with television companies on their episodic drama series and storytelling innovation projects. With the digital landscape constantly shifting it is essential storytelling R&D/innovation teams are interdisciplinary. Depending on the type of project teams can include the following expertise: screenwriters, filmmakers, data scientists with AI machine learning expertise, data artists, neuroscientist/physiologists, consumer insights specialists and human computer interface designers. The research and development outcomes lead to producing novel television episodic storytelling experiences across digital devices that deepen engagement and growing audiences.

Dr Keith Bound

Innovation Awards

EDA Model of Audience Experience

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