Montpellier III University : Transmedia strategies, encoding and creativity

25 September 2015. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Reading time: 3 min  

5 day course : technical basis, strategy and creativity for new media.

The students of the “Licence Pro audiovisual designer director” (University Paul Valéry - Montpellier 3 - France) have a multidisciplinary profile, both artistic and technical. There are students in initial training and continuing education students, who come to build new lines in their skills.

This course of five days early in the year is aimed to give good basis on digital technologies and strategies, so that all concepts, and sometimes complex views rapidly during the year, are resting on a solid foundation.


  • The first half of the course was devoted to transmedia strategy and development of the creativity with digital tools.
  • The second half of the course was devoted to a comprehensive overview of the technical basics of digital video and its operations.


I drew the outlines of the economic and strategic fields of the audiovisual sector today, which I believe starts by the profound changes in 2005, which consists of the start of the community video sites, among other reasons. These new technologies that enable new uses have led anyone to become not only a spectator but a producer and broadcaster of images. Therefore, a flourishing economy was born, by the advertisements that accompany the dissemination of videos. A new economic paradigm has emerged, in which professionals have less and less power, and in which viewers are increasingly volatile amid their multiple screens. We must rethink models, scripts, strategies, and position of each one.


Collective film

The first afternoon, I proposed the realization of a collective film in clip “exquisite corpse” to experiment actually a creation of collaborative action. Realize that the most important is what one has to say, to transmit, never forget that it’s essential. Everything else, all the technology, organization, are at the service of this project of a “gift” to the others, through audiovisual and interactive objects.

Intimate movies by the window

Then, for the next day, I “ordered” to each one to film in sequence shot, through a window of his house and tell, voice-over recorded live, an important memory. And the explicit aim is to bring something to the viewer. Do the film for the others, not for himself. The next morning was devoted to watching these films, highlight for everyone. Moment also very collective. Discovering that we can well speak of what we know, that the value of what one has to transmit is within us, whatever the field.

Fiction movies

We made up of 4 or 5 people teams, and the afternoon was devoted to the realization, in autonomy, of two films per team, always in sequence shot.

The first was to be a fiction film, for which I had indicated two constraints :

  • All team members were to appear in the image (so the camera was passed from hand to hand, or be fixed), and do not speak,
  • but the image of the face of each, had to had in voice-over the thought of this character (voice-over being made during filming).

Students are fully invested in this exercise, delivering highly entertaining films.


Then they also had to make a documentary film. The framework of constraints was :

  • That the films should teach us something,
  • And the soundtrack was to be a music, performed “live” during filming.

I have not been clear enough about the fact that there was to be no words, so many movies have borrowed the style of the television report, which was not the direction I wanted. It is learned that the television codes are extremely powerful, and we must arm themselves with great clarity to fight them !

(a selection of these films is visible at the bottom of the article)

Technical basis

After viewing the next morning of the fiction films and documentaries, also an important moment, I started the work on technical basis. Collective because it is from a “mini-brainstorming” I build during the exchanges, documents As of the day, documents that will remain the memory of the technical concepts addressed. These documents are mnemonic, so I guess useful in the future, because they are fed the movements of the collective thinking of the group.

I addressed :

  • The technical basis of cinema and television.
  • The technical basis of sound.
  • The differences between analog and digital.
  • The forms and the digital media.
  • Binary.
  • The ASCII code.
  • The full documentation of all parameters which are the features of a digital video file (format, frame rate, resolution, codec, container, etc.).
  • The working methods, for building good business practices and workflows between filming, post-production and broadcast.
  • The formatting of the hard drives and backups.
  • Technical principles applied for the posting of videos.
  • The operation of the encoding software MPEG4 handbrake.

(the documents are downloadable below - they are in french, except one tutorial for encoding with handbrake and posting a video on his own web server)

Fiction : “Feuille morte”
Fiction : “Regards croisés”
Fiction : “Schizophrenia”
Documentaire : “On vous raconte pas de salades”
Fenêtre : “L’impasse”
Fenêtre : “La claque”
Fenêtre : “La senecefe”
Fenêtre : “Mafieu sans mémoire”
Fenêtre : “Souvenir”
Fenêtre : “Tombée du ciel”
Montpellier III University : Transmedia strategies, encoding and creativity - 1. © Benoît Labourdette.
I am one of the stakeholders of the “Licence Pro audiovisual designer director” (Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier 3 - France), founded and directed by Claire Chatelet (opened in 2011), which I helped design. I propose a course in the form of training, entitled “Digital and its potential: strategies, technologies, creativity”.