Gramarye Media was fortunate to be one of the companies selected to participate in Georgia Tech’s exclusive Flashpoint business incubator/accelerator. The object of Flashpoint’s rigorous process is to save years of wasted time and millions of wasted dollars by avoiding the mistakes that cause most startups to fail. The result is something they call reliable innovation.

Cross-media event story franchises, like Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and The Hunger Games, are innovated. Stories, too, can be innovated reliably.

With literally hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, reliable story innovation is critical.

Last year, when you count all channels from books, games, and movies to toys, merchandise, and even theme park attractions, the business of story added up to more than a trillion dollars. But….

With production budgets skyrocketing, and competition for screen real estate getting fiercer, studios are turning more and more to sequels and remakes. Sequels and remakes have built-in brand awareness, making them appear safer.

The problem is, that approach doesn’t seem to be working anymore.

The other alternative is to look to adaptations of successful books, comics, and even games or toys, since they come with brand awareness and an audience.

That approach is problematic, too.

We talked to the Chief Analytics Officer at one of the major Hollywood studios, who told us that his company routinely spends at least $250,000 and as much as $5 million on analytics for a single film … but they aren’t getting reliable predictive information. Present survey methods are biased and flawed.

More, sales figures for books and comics aren’t based on what consumers buy … they’re based on what retailers buy. It’s theoretically possible for a book to reach number one on the bestseller lists … without selling a single copy to readers. Since books can be returned to the publisher after weeks, months, or even years on the shelves, accurate sales data is almost impossible to calculate.

Finally, book publishers make no effort to “own” the thriving fan communities that spring up spontaneously on the Internet and social media — so they miss a key opportunity to learn why audiences are passionate, so adaptations miss the mark and don’t resonate with the core audience.

Finally, there is no plan to maximize a story’s potential across media channels. Bloomsbury took a chance on an unknown writer named J. K. Rowling, and took the risk to develop and promote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While they certainly aren’t complaining about the sales of the book, they haven’t make a dime on the films, toys, t-shirts, games, and theme park attractions.

It’s time for a new approach.

Gramarye Media discovers unpublished manuscripts with blockbuster DNA and works with the storytellers to craft their intellectual properties into viable businesses. In short, we “farm” event cross-media story franchises. The incubation process itself generates revenue. The breakthrough hits can be worth billions.

The Gramarye Media Event Story Franchise Incubator

Next: Here’s how it works.

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