Media, education and culture, a programme of the EU

Developing Interactive Narrative Content Seminar 2002: Consultants

Frank Alsema | Sebastian Belcher | Susanne Berkenheger | Daniel Dumont | David S. Freeman | Bob Hopkins | Christopher Kassulke | Stefan Lieberum | Mark Stephen Meadows | Erik Oleson | Bettina Platz | Greg Roach | Stefan Schemat | Frank Veit | Richard White | Christian Ziegler

Frank Alsema (1958)

Creative director/executive producer/CCO IJsfontein Interactive Media

Study: Dutch Film and TV Academy (1976 – 1980)

As director, producer and writer worked for 20 years for VPRO TV, on many TV programmes in different forms and techniques, in entertaining TV areas like music, opera, dance, art, drama, humour, education, children.

Specialised in virtual reality, digital effects and interactive television.

Joined in september 2000, as partner and as creative director/executive producer/CCO, IJsfontein Interactive Media. Producing games, educational software, installations, mixed media, formats for iTV and internet.

Several of these projects were award winning.

Frank Alsema gives trainings in integrating TV with games, special effects, Virtual Studio, interactive writing, AI, motion capture, interaction design, etc. He is speaker at national and international congresses on new media.

Is advisor of the festival MECON in NRW (Germany) and for the Dutch Filmschool and The Cultural Funding Committee, specialised on new media.

Sebastian Belcher

Sebastian is a senior associate at Harbottle & Lewis, London. Much of his work involves computer games, internet and new media matters.

He handles a variety of commercial and corporate work concentrated on these industries but also more generally within the media, entertainment and leisure industries including the development, distribution, licensing and other content-based deals. He is also involved in the setting up of corporate and contractual joint ventures, start up and financing and mergers and acquisition work within these fields.

Recent work includes advising TakeTwo Interactive Inc., the NASDAQ quoted computer games publisher on its sale of Pixel Broadband Studios, an Israeli broadband technology company to Gameplay, together with an online distribution arrangement providing Gameplay with online rights to Take Two products.

Susanne Berkenheger

Susanne was born in 1963 and lives in Munich. She studied literature and linguistic philosophy in Erlangen, Rome and Munich. For her hypertext “Zeit für die Bombe” she received the first prize at the internet literature competition of the ZEIT journal in 1997. Since then she has been searching for further fleeting digital territories. In 1999 she published “Hilfe! - Ein Hypertext aus vier Kehlen” which was honored by the Ettlingen internet literature award. In 2000 she was co-author at the “Kampf der Autoren” event, a play on the stage an in the internet performed at the Stuttgarter Filmwinter. For her hypertext “Die Schwimmmeisterin” she received a grant from the Deutscher Literaturfonds in 2001. In 2002 this work has been shown in the Haus der Kunst in Munich as part of the group exhibition “Stories - Erzählstrukturen in der zeitgenössischen Kunst”.

Daniel Dumont

Project Manager

Curriculum Vitae

1996: Diploma in Physics at the University of Konstanz

1996 - 1998: Manager of the Department for Games Localization and Service at Ubi Soft Entertainment in Paris and Düsseldorf

1998 until today: Project Manager and Concept Author at Ascaron Entertainment in Gütersloh, Germany

Most important projects since 1998

Patrizier II/Patrizier II Add On: Trading simulation in the Hanseatic area of the late Middle Age.

Port Royale: Pirates and trading simulation in the Caribbean sea during the age of colonializiation.

David S. Freeman

Screenwriter/producer David S. Freeman teaches “Beyond Structure,” the most popular screenwriting workshop in America. It’s been taken the writers, directors, producers, and executives behind The Fugitive, Good Will Hunting, Runaway Bride, Sling Blade, E.R., Law & Order, Everybody Loves Raymond, The X-Files, Buffy, and many other major films and series.

David himself has written or developed scripts and ideas bought or optioned by Columbia Pictures, Paramount, MGM, Castle Rock, Allied Stars (based at Sony), Buena Vista Television, Atlas Entertainment, and many other companies.

He has also worked extensively in new media, and contributed to the script for the big budget videogame for The Matrix sequel. He’s currently working as a designer/writer for videogames being made by Activision, Midway, and soon Infogrames. He’s writing a book on creating emotion in videogames for Pearson Publishing.

Bob Hopkins

Bob Hopkins graduated in 1971 from the London School of Economics and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloittes & Co. (then one of the 'big 6' now subsumed into PriceWaterhouseCoopers). After several years of auditing and managing audit teams in a variety of privately owned and publicly listed companies, Bob chose to move into industry to broaden his horizons and to gain practical experience of financial management. Ten years with Lucas Industries were then followed by 15 years of management consultancy.

Currently Bob Hopkins is Commercial Director with Wise Monkey Limited, specialised in film style financing and consulting of computer game development.

Christopher Kassulke

CEO and Co-Founder of Handy Games GmbH, Germany (

Christopher Kassulke, born 1979, achieved his highschool graduation (specializing in economics, management, and administration of justice). Working freelance in product management and level design for well-known publishers since 1997 Christopher started in 1999 together with his brother Markus Kassulke developing the idea to port games to mobile phones.

Since the inception of HandyGames he developed more than 70 titles (among them blockbusters like Stack Attack, Crazy Hospital, and Girlfriend ) on all wireless platforms.

Stefan Lieberum

Stefan (b. 1961) has been working as a legal consultant in several positions within the film and media business for ten years. From 1992 until 1994 he was official in charge at the senate of cultural affairs in Berlin: he was responsible for the administration of the "Berlin Film Support Program" and all legal aspects of the film and media branch (especially establishing the new regional "Filmfund of the Bundeslaender Berlin and Brandenburg"). From 1994 until 1995 Stefan Lieberum took the position of head of legal, business and finance at the Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH (the film fund of the Bundeslaender Berlin and Brandenburg). In 1996 he established his own law office, which focuses on legal consultancy of several film and media companies, especially production companies, on all national and/or international aspects of development, financing, production and distribution of feature films and documentaries. He also advises authors, directors and actors on legal questions. Stefan Lieberum is legal consultant to the MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbh (the regional Filmfund of Baden-Württemberg) and the MDM Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung GmbH (the regional film fund of Thüringen, Sachsen and Sachsen-Anhalt).

Mark Stephen Meadows

Mark Stephen Meadows is an artist and writer, currently living in Paris. He was most recently Creative Director for a venture of Stanford Research Institute and prior to that held the post of Artist-In-Residence at Xerox-PARC where he conducted research in reading and interactivity. He has been a professional designer in the realm of Interactive Media since 1993, creating works that defy traditional distinctions of "technology", "narrative" and "visual art."

His 3D animation and interactive design has touched companies from Lucasfilm to Microsoft, and he has been exhibiting his mixed media artwork since 1987 in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe. Meadows' work has received awards from Ars Electronica, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the National Information Infrastructure (NII) highest honors, among others.

His first book, Pause & Effect, examines interactive narrative while his second, Simulus & Response, focuses on artificial intelligence and the roles that characters play in emerging narrative forms. He has recently learned to play the concertina, sew curtains, and mix tempera paints (but not at the same time).

Learn more at:

Erik Oleson

Erik Oleson, a produced, professional screenwriter, is a member of both the Writers’ Guild of America West (WGAw) and the Writers’ Guild of Canada (WGC). He is also an occasional consultant, lecturer and script coach with The Freeman Group, the Los Angeles-based company founded by top screenwriting guru and creator of “Beyond Structure”, David S. Freeman.

Erik’s early experience in the movie business landed him crew jobs on more than a dozen major feature films, from JFK to Days of Thunder. While attending New York University’s prestigious film school, Erik began working professionally as the director of several award-winning television commercials. His first TV script, Choices, was developed at Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, but never produced.

After graduating from NYU, Erik moved to Los Angeles and worked first as a Development Assistant, then Creative Executive with Carol Baum Productions at Columbia Pictures. After leaving that executive position to write, Erik freelanced as a script reader and analyst for: Dreamworks SKG, The Kennedy-Marshall Company, 1492, The Ladd Company and several other filmmakers.

Erik’s first feature screenplay, the dramatic thriller The Fall of Troy, was optioned by actor Ice Cube and New Line Cinema. That led to a host of rewrite and script-doctor assignments, including The Plutonium Project, which Erik rewrote for producer-director Irwin Winkler at Columbia Pictures. He also penned several TV episodes and sold his pilot Revolution to 20th Century Fox Television.

Erik is currently developing several new projects and hopes to make his feature directorial debut in 2003 with The Marquis, which he wrote and will produce with Djimon Hounsou, star of Amistad, Gladiator and Four Feathers.

Bettina Platz

Bettina Platz (32) has extensive development experience having worked as a story editor for KirchMedia in Germany and the DeAngelis Film Production company in Rome. She has been practicing the craft of story development, story editing and script analysis, collaborating on film and television projects, in media ranging from animation (head writer for the animated Momo series; story editing for the animated series Pippi Longstocking) to live action films (Head of Development for international TV mini series such as Magnificent Ambersons, Julius Caesar). In addition to story development she has written for the German kid's show Tiwi's Club and she was the co-writer of the award-winning short film gone underground.

Bettina Platz is currently working as an independent scriptwriter on various TV projects.

Greg Roach

Greg Roach, M.F.A., is the CEO and Artistic Director of HyperBole Studios, which he founded in 1990.

For over ten years Roach has been recognized as a worldwide leader in the field of interactive film, video and storytelling. His company, HyperBole Studios, explores interactive multimedia as a new artistic and cinematic form.

In 1990, Roach´s first effort was the creation of an online, interactive digizine - years ahead of the internet explosion. During the two years he published HyperBole magazine, he designed, wrote and produced the world's first interactive, multimedia novel. The Madness of Roland, one of the first non-reference CD-ROM's, which was published to great acclaim. The New York Times called the effort "stunningly beautiful." While finishing work on Roland, Greg also wrote, produced and directed a short interactive film called The Wrong Side of Town, a work that the American Film Institute considers to be the "first interactive narrative film."

With these two milestones under his belt, Greg began work on Quantum Gate, the industry's first full-length interactive movie, and the first product to use his newly conceived VirtualCinema technology. Quantum Gate solidified Roach's reputation as both a talented writer/director and a visionary technologist and designer.

His first six years in business culminated when Fox approached him and asked him to helm the much sought after X-Files game. After receiving a ten-page story outline from Fox, Greg created the design (1000+ pages), wrote the shooting script (250 pages), directed a 2-month location shoot and oversaw the entire editing and post process. Upon its release The X-Files Game exceeded all expectations, premiering at number one in nearly every territory where it was released, and going on to sell over a million copies worldwide.

Greg Roach is now focused on the potential of the VirtualCinema technology he invented, with a particular focus on DVD. He has established a program with the USC School of Cinema and Television to teach classes in VirtualCinema. In addition, he is completing a feature film script, and has just been made a research associate at Cambridge University.

He teaches regularly within the frame of the training initiative sagas Writing Interactive Fiction, at USC and at workshops in Seattle, London, Cambridge and LA.

Stefan Schemat

Stefan was born in 1960. He studied cognitive psychology and developed a narrative biofeedback system at the psychological Institute of the University Goettingen. Since 1991 he has been doing research on the cognitive psychology of new media and narrative hypermedia. In 1997 he founded the media G. media lab in Hamburg. He is a media pioneer, writer, programmer and inventor of the breathing book and augmented reality fiction (roaming novel). His work has appeared in various exhibitions and augmented reality fiction environments (e.g. Berlin, Goettingen, Hamburg, Linz, Lueneburg, New York, Siegen, Tokyo).

Frank Veit

With a background in business computer studies (Barcelona, Munich) and animation (HFF Berlin Babelsberg) he started his professional career 1990 as assistant executive producer at Telefilm, Munich, joined 1995 H2O Digital Media as licensing director, and became 1996 new business manager at Cutup Vision, Cologne.

In 1998, Frank joined Discreet Monsters, Munich . He was responsible for development, production and cross-media exploitation for a computer game based on Michael Ende’s “The Neverending Story”.

Currently Frank is producing the iTV show “Hektor & Viktor”, the 2D animation TV series “Adventures of Bro’Sis” and is responsible for cross-media exploitation for No Angels & Bro’Sis” at Tresor TV Production, Munich.

Richard White

Richard White is co-author and currently mentor of School of Art & Media – Convergence & Interactivity –, a new arts and media faculty at Gotland University College, which explores interactive and convergent media with a special emphasis on authorship and accountability. He is Editorial Director of Initial Cut, the interactive media, project development incubator. Richard is also an author, producer, director and development executive in theatre, film, television and interactive media. He was one of the founding lecturers on the Arista Story Editor Workshops and was responsible for the strategizing and implementation of the previous mechanism used for funding interactive media development through the Media Programme of the EU.

Christian Ziegler

* 1963

Edu: architecture and media art, acting background

Since 1993 freelance media artist working for ZKM Karlsruhe, Ballett Frankfurt, Goethe Institute and the National Gallery of Canada (CD-ROM/DVD production/installation design and programming) • 2000-2001 artist residencies at ZKM Karlsruhe (scanned/66movingimages) • 2000 - 2001 telematic performance production residencies/workshops at ASU (Arizona State Univ.) Phoenix, USA • 1999 - 2000 CD-ROM/Media Art workshops for Goethe Institute Germany in Ukraine, Singapore • 1997-98/2001 visiting professor at UMBC (Univ. of Maryland Baltimore County) Baltimore, USA/IMG (Institut für Medien Gestaltung) FH Mainz, Germany


- 2000-2001 “scanned I-V” performances/installatiosn • “BelleEtage” Kunstforum München, International Media Art Festival, Kiew Ukraine, “Crossfair2000” Choreografisches Zentrum NRW, DEAF Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Rotterdam, INTERMEDIALE Mainz, SPIELART FESTIVAL München
- 1998-2001 “66movingimages” interactive film/installation • Theater Neumarkt Zürich, transmediale Berlin
- 1999 “delay_01” performance/internet video environment • NT (Neues Theater) München
- 1999 “amarillo”, video installation • “Trailer” Kunstforum München
- 1997-1999 CD-ROM series “Media Art Action/Media Art Interaction”, Goethe Institut Germany , ZKM
- 1995-1999 CD-ROM “Bill Forsythe: Improvisation Technologies - A Tool For The Analytical Dance Eye” • “Revue Virtuelle 12” Centre Pompidou Paris, ISEA Montreal, ARTEC Nagoya, DEAF Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Rotterdam, “Multimediale 5” ZKM Karlsruhe, IMAF Interactive Media Festival, Los Angeles, Tanzarchiv/SK Stiftung Kultur K–ln
- 1993 “digital designspaces” VR installation • “Multimediale 3” ZKM Karlsruhe
- 1991 video “the electronic nomad” • film+arc Architektur-Film Festival Graz


- 2001 silver award I.D. Interactive Media Design Review • I.D. Magazine, New York
- 2001 nomienee Europrix01 Multimedia Art • Best of Multimedia in Europe
- 2000 bronze award I.D. Interactive Media Design • I.D. Magazine, New York
- 1999 nomienee Europrix99 Multimedia Art • Best of Multimedia in Europe
- 1999 special price Prix Moebius Germany, EU - MEDIA II program
- 1996 multimedia award “New Voices, New Visions” New York, WIRED magazine/Interval Research/Voyager