Rome Viharo and the Future: Storytelling, Shamanism and How Social Media Replaces Government
Rome Di Giulio arrived at the Ribbit Tree Dojo on Old Topanga Road for the Topanga Film Festival's transmedia workshop in his signature Darth Vader T-shirt and Bermuda shorts. A forward thinker who places no restraints on his creative vision, Di Giulio describes the transmedia genre as "a story ... and a work business."
Luigi Ventura Rome Viharo, founder and CEO of Media Social
Known for his boundless energy and limited attention span, Di Giulio is not fixated exclusively on transmedia. He also turns his myopic lens on other interests including Pokémon, as witnessed by his bright yellow Pikachu backpack, and confesses that he is deeply interested in bugs, lizards, flowers and clouds, but is no longer drawn to snakes. Di Giulio, who recently turned 6, is accompanied by his dad, social media guru Rome Viharo, founder and CEO of Media Social.
Viharo, a self-proclaimed former "hipster douchebag," was on the innovative edge of the music scene in L.A. in the '90s with his band i-SPEAK. The KCRW darlings were a pre-Ozomatli 12-piece who pioneered the infusion of DJ, sequence samples, hip-hop, world music and soul into a live show. After transcending the music biz, Viharo emerged momentarily as an award-winning digital filmmaker before taking another large leap a step ahead of the rest -- making the obvious transition into the social media matrix.
"After my music and filmmaking careers bellied up, I gave myself an extraordinary education on what we're now calling transmedia," Viharo says. "Returning to film or music would be a big step backwards. It's really no longer relevant anymore. Technology and the audience is more relevant than the media that they're watching. My fascination is how to tell a story and how does this affect distribution and marketing through social media affects the story itself. I think very few people understand where it's all going. A lot of artists are confused. They're not relevant like they used to be."
Viharo, along with Media Social partner Maf Lewis, recently dove into the void making the correlation between Amazonian shamanism and Google search in a recent TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) Talk titled "Google Consciousness" in Cardiff, Wales. Needless to say, Viharo went viral.
Handsome and self-assured, Viharo speaks with authority in a digital dialect as he connects the dots between memes and the sacred "plant spirits" of the Peruvian Amazon.