Many entertainment brands have begun experimenting with transmedia, an academic term for extended storytelling across diverse social and traditional media forms. Since I am publishing a novel this year, I decided to experiment a little with transmedia. From the extended… Read More »Experimenting with Extended Storytelling
Stories told across multi-platform media environments — or transmedia stories as they are commonly called on the edge — require more complex writing. A story unfolds across diverse media with readers/viewers opting in to each layer.
At the same time, as writers we want to build an experience that satisfies casual consumers on the first level without requiring them to dig deeper into the media experience.
Writing for transmedia environments invokes a parallel to the classic journalistic pyramid style where details expand as a news story continues. Print journalists are trained to write so that areas can leave the story at any point fulfilled.
However, transmedia requires three dimensional thinking.
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“Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story” (Henry Jenkins, 2006)
Who doesn’t like a great entertaining story? Now imagine a story told throughout your daily experience across diverse media types.
While not a new phenomena, transmedia storytelling challenges conventional siloed storytelling by transcending singular form to engage users. Die hard Star Wars or Star Trek fans can testify the many extensions of their narrative story in multiple media forms extend their stories beyond film. The Star Wars experience transcends so many media types and producers that Lucasfilm employs a story cop to make sure elements don’t contradict each other.
Of course, the greatest modern transmedia hit to date was Lost. Both Hollywood and Madison Avenue alike look at transmedia as an undeveloped source of entertainment and marketing engagement.