The current and straightest-forwardest (not a word) definition of transmedia is when you take a single story or storyworld and break it apart like hard toffee so that each of its pieces can live across multiple formats. Transmedia is, admittedly, kind of a buzz-word. And it’s not entirely new, though the Internet helped this flower bloom.
For me Chuck Wendig a novelist, screenwriter and game designer explained transmedia storytelling perfectly. “Stories are generally a single tree, sometimes grown by a single practitioner. But for me, the transmedia storyworld is far more fertile and compelling when seen as an entire forest growing up together at the same time. The forest for me is the perfect metaphor for transmedia — I live in the woods and I see how all these trees grow together, how some find light and others fail, how it’s all one big organic collision of life that thrives on organised chaos”.
Yes Star Wars blah blah blah. I love Star Wars and in transmedia you won’t be able to easily get away from it. The Star Wars Universe is generally transmedia-flavoured. Lucas and his phalanx of creators built together a strongly-connected and well-defended universe that crossed a metric load of media properties. Star wars is transmedia, it is the same story distributed to multiple media platforms, the story just keeps going.
Here is a video of me highlighting how much I love Star Wars and it’s relation to transmedia storytelling:
I saw today a donut that had Elsa from the animation film “Frozen” on it and a quote that said “Donut “let it go” or Elsa!”. An audience must be part of the feedback loop — and in this increasing age of interactivity, the audience wants their donut. There is an endless desire for more knowledge about the franchise. Fans want to talk and share thoughts about the TV shows, and social media allows them to do that. Fans more than ever are participating and going out of their way to find out more about the shows they are watching. “Transmedia relies on strong transitional elements — how do you move the audience across the many spaces? How do you remove obstacles? How do you get them to want to overcome the obstacles you’re incapable of removing? Story bridges and rabbit holes — places they can cross knowingly or spots they can fall into the narrative unexpectedly — are necessary components to the infrastructure” – Chuck Wendig.
I’m going to splash in the transmedia pool now. You should too.
- Athinklab.com,. ‘What Is Transmedia Storytelling?’. N.p., 2011. Web. 23 April 2015.
- Transmedia Storytelling: What Is Transmedia? What Is Cross-Media? What Is Convergence?. beActive TV, 2014. video.
- Wendig, Chuck. ’25 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING’. Terribleminds 2012. Web.