Interview — Humenhoid’s Phenotype
Brief presentation of origins, capabilities, and vision.
1) What did you do to be here today? What is your background?
A crucial step in my professional path was my graduation in visual arts, since I had the chance to work on a thesis on the transmedia campaign of Prometheus (R. Scott, 2012) reconstructing the entire information management process of the marketing initiative and its links with Alien’s narrative (R. Scott, 1979), and examining the rise of immersive intellectual properties.
As a reader/spectator/gamer, this work represented a first approach for me towards transmedia research, and made me realize that I wanted to focus my future career on entertainment culture. Experts like Henry Jenkins, Frank Rose, Jeff Gomez, Andrea Phillips, Christy Dena, first inspired me about transmedia storytelling and immersive communication.
After university, I decided to further deepen all the theory that I acquired during the past years of study through writing, so I started to draft informative and comparative articles in which I analyzed films, video games, marketing campaigns with immersive features. All of this began for personal purposes, and then became professionally relevant to me.
2) What has been important in your educational path?
After 5 years of study, I learned that three main ingredients are the key to my work: research, experimentation, and a multidisciplinary approach.
- Research taught me to master in depth the theoretical aspect of my field, finding sources, argumenting subjects, defining phenomena.
- Experimentation guided me to discover my best skills, trying different methods to improve my performances.
- Multidisciplinary approach influenced me to find connections between different subjects, establishing relations, similarities, and discovering new combinations of meaning.
These three main components guide me and define my profile.
3) When did you start thinking about becoming a professional? How did you train yourself?
After my first article related to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, I wrote a comprehensive analysis about the narrative structure of The Road (John Hillcoat, 2009), reflecting on how to expand its world from the original Cormac McCarthy novel to a transmedia franchise. I dedicated 11 months to complete this work, which represents my most complex project so far, and I am willing to share it with interested professionals.
During the same year, 2017, while I was working with Foundation UIBI in Lucca, I was part of a research group focused on applying immersive entertainment strategies and game mechanics to educational and training initiatives. As a transmedia researcher, my role included studying sectoral trends, collecting design references, conceiving ideas, and creating narratives based on scientific and historical sources. I realized that what I was previously doing on my own was becoming my job.
After this experience, in 2018 I worked as a consultant in a 3D/VR studio where I was responsible for carrying out sectoral research and presentation proposals for companies, supporting pre-production management and finding ideas for the development of projects. It has been a useful experience to explore Humenhoid’s collateral skills, including copywriting and conception.
4) Why are you investing on storytelling? Why is it relevant to you?
It is obvious that today there is an emergent and constant need for immersive entertainment in every media area. People want to be inside complex stories, they want to enter the narrative world, feel like they are part of it, feel engaged and able to interact directly, looking for long-term entertainment experiences from books (see “S.” by J. J. Abrams and Doug Dorst), cinema, videogames, comics, tv series. Creating multi-platform entertainment means designing functional analog and digital products in order to deliver engaging and valuable experiences based on high potential storytelling.
Humenhoid’s embryo was born from this impulse to create narratives that allow to live potentially endless entertainment experiences.
5) How does Humenhoid work? How can it be a useful resource?
Humenhoid can contribute to support projects where research, conception, writing, and immersion are essential components to create, manage, and promote content for entertainment experiences.
- In cinema and television, Humenhoid can help shaping stories based on world-building narratives, analyzing scripts and structuring dense content suitable for serial development.
- In gaming, it can work in narrative design, collecting references, writing stories, dialogues, conceiving information ecosystems suitable for intellectual property expansion.
- It could also be useful for branded entertainment, where narrative and marketing blend in through immersive initiatives promoting products through fictional scenarios.
If you are looking for a resource with conceptual, writing and transmedia capabilities, Humenhoid may be able to enhance your creative project.
What often moves forward ordinary entertainment products is a mix of already known elements arranged in a way that creates something more relevant. It’s not original, but its particular combination is.
Information is precious; but selected, organized and comprehensive information is pure gold, because it has the potential to create.
Humenhoid starts from analyzing what is already there, and aims at generating uncommonly powerful outcomes.
6) Why did you choose this particular name?
The word Humenhoid (written as alternative simulated phonetic transcription of “humanoid”) literally defines an organism, creature, entity, or apparatus who imitates human aspect, biology or behavior. It also hints at the story of our species, as Homo Sapiens, who was able to evolve, among the rest, through the power of imagination and technology.
I extrapolated the “enh” element from the verb “to enhance”, a polyvalent verb expressing the impulse of being better, improved, enriched, perfected, with really close links to the science fictional interpretation of human biotechnological augmentations.
The final suffix “-oid” means “similar to”, and in this case it refers to the original robotics imagery, where prosthesis and artificial intelligence create androids similar to human beings, but with capabilities expanded beyond organic limitations.
I liked the concept of a hybrid, imagining an “anthropomorphic biorobotic entity” metaphorically created combining primal storytelling and technological evolution. This is my personal interpretation of the meaning lying behind the word.
7) Who are your idols? Where do you search for growth and inspiration?
I always look where I think innovation is more relevant, where I find new aesthetics, new ways of visual representation and promotion. I really need to mention Blur Studio, ILM, Digital Domain, Digic Pictures, Watson DG, Ignition, 3AM: these are the best minds, I’ve always looked at them since high school with admiration, as extremely talented designers committed to changing the industry, entertainment and culture. They have created visionary projects that anticipated crossed narratives between media, sustaining and expanding the most influential intellectual properties that have revolutionized the audience’s engagement and advertising. I keep studying my idols. I aspire to get as close as possible to their way of working.
8) What future vision drives Humenhoid? How do you want to evolve?
I am now looking for new people, new projects, new perspectives to structure my career. In this period, I am working on the preliminary concepts of two original intellectual properties. The first is a dramatic adventure war story set on a fictional nordic island, where a marooned man finds himself struggling for survival in an extremely hostile environment. The second concept is about a realistic detective crime story with biotechnological elements, where an officer tests his moral limits investigating a series of mysterious murders. These IPs have been conceived with world building hybrid structures between film and video games, and I would like to present these projects to other interested professionals. Thinking about the future, one of my aspirations is to build a studio dedicated to the creation of high level immersive stories, hybridizing cinema, television, video games, and interactive storytelling.
I know that all of this will take some time to be achieved, but…
“Big things have small beginnings”.
That’s one of the reasons why I wake up every morning.
So if you think Humenhoid could be helpful, contact me: as a neophyte professional, I’m looking for clients, collaborators, mentors, investors and potential partners, in Italy or abroad. It would be a pleasure to meet, talk, listen, learn and create together.
Humenhoid is a creative research unit specialized in immersive entertainment and transmedia storytelling, with focus on cinema, tv series, and videogames.
Humenhoid’s projects include:
Tom Clancy’s: The Division + VICE — Infected
Prevention, crisis, survival: an investigation on the actual risk of pandemics in Canada and the game’s infected world.
Watch Dogs 2 + VICE — User profiled
Big data, privacy, and state surveillance: an investigation on the actual scenario and the game’s dystopian world.
Revolution / Monarchy: April 20, 1792
The declaration of war against Austria and Prussia — An editorial immersive activity of historical research
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Brief analysis of the videogame world and narrative structure
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare + VICE — Superpower For Hire
Promotion and contamination between real military scenarios and the game’s futuristic world.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III — The ethical question
A promotional bioethics and sociopolitical questionnaire between scientific reality and the fictional world.
Transmedia Storytelling — Be Unsocial interview
Five questions about research, entertainment, and human experience.
- The Road (J. Hillcoat, 2009)
Narrative structure, information elements, fictional world.
(120 pp; available upon request)
- Project Prometheus
A comprehensive case study on information management and narrative design in the Alien (R. Scott, 1979) and Prometheus (R. Scott, 2012) interconnected franchises.
(120 pp; available upon request)
For information, communications or proposals for collaboration write to
Enrico Granzotto | firstname.lastname@example.org | Humenhoid.com
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