Every once in awhile a new buzzword pops up that becomes the next big thing. Reaganomics, Truthiness, Yolo. Well if it is in fact true that you only live once then pay attention heathen, because you need the skinny on the latest buzzword in entertainment, Transmedia.
Don’t be like 20th Century Ted. Be like 21st Century Steven.
So let’s define Transmedia. In short it is storytelling across multiple platforms. HOWEVER, each platform tells a different part of the story allowing for different sets of users to interact with only certain parts or get a broader vision of a storyworld by interacting with multiple parts of the same story universe.
Each platform can be passive, e.g. watching a movie, or interactive, e.g. playing an iPad game that unveils parts of the story as you play along. There can be live events that interact with television shows, apps, blogs, vlogs, etc.; any media or storytelling medium is fair game so long as it conforms to the above definition.
Why should I care Rivers? Because passive compliance is COMMUNIST!!!!
Why is Transmedia important?
POINT 1. 77% of people now use some form of computer while watching tv. Up 16% from last year. PROOF HERE.
POINT 2. Well does anybody remember newspapers? No. Well they used to be a way for people to tell stories about what was going on in the world. Then a little thing called the internet was invented that made them COMPLETELY OBSOLETE. This was a newer, faster, better way to consume and share content and it’s been embraced by anyone under 80 years old.
I’m not saying that movies, television shows, blogs, vlogs and apps are obsolete. I’m saying that people are interacting with content in new ways and if you don’t get with the program NOW then you’re going to get left behind when the next round of cool s$%t comes out and you find out a week later in a hard copy of Variety. NOBODY likes being LATE.
So who’s rocking the world of transmedia right now? Syfy has a new tv show and video game called Defiance. The happenings in the show effect what will happen in the game and what the gamers do online effects what happens on the tv show. Neat huh? Check out more on Defiance here: Defiance.
Teen girls everywhere got their first taste of transmedia through a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. The LBD included 100 youtube videos (that had NO VIEWER DROPOFF, this means as many people watched the first one as the last one,) blog entries and twitter accounts of the characters interacting with each other. It was a big fat success and now the producers are cooking up something new for all you One Direction fans out there. See more about The Lizzie Bennet Diaries here: LBD.
Have I piqued your interest? If so I’ve got some homework for you.
- Read Robert Pratten’s Book “Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling.”
- Join your local Transmedia chapter Meetup. (LA, SF, NYC, Chicago) www.meetup.com
- Read Andrea Phillips Book “A Creators Guide to Transmedia.”
- Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more links if you’re still interested, or if you still want to donate some truth dollars so I can buy the coat below.
Transmedia IS the way of the future. Some people want to watch passively but more and more people are wanting to engage with content the way THEY want to engage, not just the way it’s put out via TV, Film etc. Because of this, cross-platform storytelling WILL become the new rule rather than the exception as a way of capturing eyeballs in a world that has increasingly more content battling for consumers attention.
Exactly HOW certain am I that Transmedia is the Way of the Future? Well I asked my good friend Leonardo DiCaprio to tell me on a scale of 1-10 how certain HE is. So don’t just take my word for it. Leonardo DiCaprio briefly shares his feelings on Transmedia. I’d say that’s a 10.