Storyteller. Media maven. Producer. Speaker. Teacher. Actor. At the intersection of digital media and the human experience, Ramona Pringle is charting a new course.
If the next expert you see on TV explaining a digital mediatrend looks more like a movie star and less like your typical talking head, it’s probably Ramona Pringle.
The former film actor (Shoot ‘Em Up, Model Behavior) – who still works in TV as an actor and host – is gaining prominence as a digital media producer and expert/futurist in the shiny new world of transmedia storytelling and how digital media affects the human experience.
With her screen-friendly persona and intellectual prowess – she holds a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from New York University, a BFA in Film and Video from York University and is an assistant professor at Ryerson – Pringle is custom-tailored for today’s multi-faceted media environment.
This combo has earned her punditry gigs on TV – as Playback caught up with her in August, she was fresh off the air with CTV’s Canada AM – and speaking engagements at Idea City, NXNE Interactive and TEDx events in Toronto and the World Future Society’s Conference in Chicago.
However, her primary focus this year is Avatar Secrets, an interactive iPad-based app she’s producing that will be distributed by TVO. Set for a 2014 release, the combination memoir, documentary and graphic e-novel examines how the virtual worlds of gaming influence the “real world.”
Even grander in scale is her Rdigitallife multi-platform project, an online hub examining “what it means to be human in today’s wired world.” In 2012 she transformed the project into an interactive installation for Toronto art event Nuit Blanche and is this year expanding the project to print with a partnership with Metro newspapers and a six-part series with The Walrus magazine.
“I’m fascinated by human experience and always have been,” she says of her eclectic, busy career. “So many of the conversations we have about technology are about gadgets and apps. We talk about Facebook or the iPhone 5, as opposed to speaking about people and our changing relationships, not only with those gadgets but with each other and the world around us.
“And that’s what’s really fascinating to me and I think there’s a tremendous conversation to be had,” she continues. “That’s how I end up being in media production and speaking to people and teaching – because it’s something that I’m so invested in: the human side of life in the digital age.”