Mike Monello Helps You Re-tell the Story

  
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Mike Monello visits with Adam Pierno to talk about storytelling. Stop, don't leave. Not storytelling in the cliché marketing way. Mike and his team at Campfire have an approach that is more about getting a person who hears the story to want to learn more or retell it. He's been doing this for HBO and other crazy properties - going all the way back to the launch of the original Blair Witch Project which changed the way movies are promoted and even produced (see: modern found footage category). This is a great one. [00:00:26] Adam Pierno: All right. Welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything, this is a big one. This is one I've been working on for quite a while to get scheduled. We have a lot of back and forth here making this happen but I'm really happy to welcome Mike Monello from Campfire. I still say from Campfire, Mike? [00:00:43] Mike Monello: Yes. Definitely. [00:00:46] Adam: Awesome, very good. I'm really glad to be his work. We had some scheduling fun which seems to be the new arm I guess. How are you doing? [00:00:54] Mike: I'm great, thanks for having me on. [00:00:58] Adam: Yes. My absolute pleasure. Mike and I spoke a few years ago, I swear, I just sent him a note that said, "Hey I would love to hear how you do this?". He humored me by getting on the phone with a couple of people from the agency and walking through the process, a little bit and I thought, "Let's do a deep dive." Once you learn who Mike is, I think you're going to really like this topic. Mike if you wouldn't mind, for the listeners who are not familiar with you or your work, give people a little sense of who you are and where you've been. [00:01:29] Mike: Sure. I entered this business in a probably unusual route. I started off going to film school. I was an independent film-maker. In the late '90s, I was fortunate to be one of the five guys from Florida who made The Blair Witch Project. Coming out of that, I was absolutely in love with telling stories online, particularly to an audience and in real time. That just completely changed my perception of storytelling altogether. I wanted to do more of it and in a weird way despite the success of The Blair Witch Project, Hollywood was still not interested in really funding anything online. They were still viewing the internet as a place where they advertise movies and they didn't want to think about it in advance. But the ad industry started calling. We started getting calls from ad agencies from brands wanting help to figure out, in particular the digital side of things. I think they saw Blair Witch and they went, "Those guys seem to know what they're doing", even though we didn't [unintelligible 00:02:39], [laughter] and called us up and worked on a few projects with ad agencies and over the course of that realized that it felt like there was an opportunity for a company that would specialized in the kind of storytelling that the internet seems to be better suited for. Campfire was formed out of that. We've been basically working with clients since then to look at the internet as well as physical space and create the experience of stories, that's how I describe it. It's been a blast and we've been fortunate to work with some amazing clients and to be able to play their some incredible stories. We do a lot of work with HBO, we've launched season 1 of True Blood and season 1 of Game of Thrones. We've done work on West World. We do work with Discovery channel. We did some recent work with Syfy channel that was so much fun. We've got something brewing in the next coming up for San Diego Comic-Con. All of these one run across all different platforms, whether it's digital or physical but all that's really rooted in creating the experience of the story. [00:04:00] Adam: That's awesome. Thank you for running through that. You said a couple of things but before I start grilling you with questions I wanted to-- just the idea of storytelling,