Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transmedia Storytelling and Documentary Filmmaking

There's an interesting article over on PBS's MediaShift on 'How Transmedia Storytelling Could Revolutionize Documentary Filmmaking'. It points out that Transmedia "can allow documentary filmmakers to not only reach new audiences, but also to create unique educational components to enhance their film's message and provide ways to partner with companies and brands, which can mean welcome financial relief to lighten the burden of the high cost of filmmaking."

And another good point:

"Kaplan believes the word "Transmedia" is a buzz term that while currently all the rage may soon go out of fashion. But the essence of Transmedia storytelling -- the integration of digital technologies and creating cross-platform experiences to enhance content, perhaps in a documentary's case its message -- is here to stay."

Friday, August 31, 2012

Chuck Wendig's 25 Transmedia Ejaculations

There is a great post on Terrible Minds which Chuck Wendig tells us 25 things we should know about transmedia storytelling, and I've got to say I agree with pretty much all of them. Still, even though I agree with him, and feel like I'm coming from the same place, I'm still going to also take issue with some of what he has said, because that's the sort of annoying thing I do. So let's go through them one by one:

  1. The Current Definition - I like this toffee analogie, and it does lack nuance, but at least it gives us all a starting point of reference, so yes I agree. 
  2. The B-word - I thought the B-word was 'bullshit', but maybe that's just me. Yes, it's a buzzword, but I like it because it brings all us nerds together on the same page.
  3. Reality Coalesces... - I agree, let's not get locked down in definitions. I've talked before about my initial nomenclature for the topic, 'disembodied narrative', before I knew what transmedia was. 
  4. Still gotta give good story - Yes, yes, YES. For further emphasis, let me also say, YES!
  5. To my woe, strongly marketing centric - Yes, marketers have picked it up fastest, and we should be wary that something isn't lost it the potential of transmedia because of that. 
  6. True Heart, False Face - Absolutely agree. 
  7. Tree Versus the Forrest - Lovely. Yes. Squirrels. 
  8. The Crass Retrofit - I also agree. This really irks me. Transmedia ought to be about universe creation from the outset, not building a universe around something because you think it will sell. That said, I don't think that the Marvel universe actually does that, in fact I think it is a pretty good transmedia example. If it has flaws, it's not the purity of the universe (which was started before people thought to try to make things consistent and create bibles), but rather that it doesn't always pick the best medium for right parts of the story - medium choice seems to be more about commercial possibilities than narrative necessity. Yes, Marvel could also do a better job of tying character arcs across mediums too, but it's still early days for transmedia in general, and they do at least overlap in mediums, so I think they should at least get a pass, if not a gold star. 
Ok, that's all I'll rant about for now, maybe one day I will come back to the other points in another post. 

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