Tuesday, 19 October 2010


Is your favourite TV entertainment character on your computer screen and your phone as well?  Those focused on Transmedia Storytelling won’t be surprised. 

What’s transmedia storytelling?  In Transmedia storytelling, content becomes invasive and fully permeates the audience's lifestyle.  A transmedia project develops storytelling across multiple forms of media in order to have different "entry points" in the story; entry-points with a unique and independent lifespan but with a definite role in the big narrative scheme. Each distinct element makes distinctive contributions to a fan's understanding of the story world; "entrypoints" through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.

Research has shown that when consumers meet their characters in different media contexts their bonds are strengthened. It’s like bumping into your CEO at an amusement park. The context changes the relationship and strengthens it.

How does Transmedia storytelling differ from just telling a story in different mediums?  Under the traditional model, when a big movie comes out, for example, we are offered the novelization, the adaptation in comics, and the videogame version for our Xboxes. It’s the same story over and over again, so the property is essentially milked until it’s dead. The transmedia approach to this kind of narrative would give us different pieces of the narrative on different media platforms, so that we can see the movie and then explore different aspects of the characters and the world in other media. Taken as a whole, it’s a richer, deeper experience that gives us more of what we really want.

One distinctive element of Transmedia is that it, by definition, has a number of “invitational” components where audience members are welcomed to participate by commenting on the narrative, by playing established or original characters, or even by contributing creatively to the world and the storyline.

The easiest way to create a Transmedia story is by first immersing ourselves in the original vision. We ask ourselves, what are the building blocks of this narrative? What makes the characters and the world unique? What is this story trying to tell the world?  Once we understand this, we can set about creating a guidebook to the narrative. There are often so many people, divisions, creative teams, licensors involved in generating content around these large franchises that we work on, this roadmap/Mythology addresses all of their concerns by teaching them the essence of the characters and stories and making recommendations for how to best weave the story across multiple media platforms.

Today’s web facilitates the meeting between creator, creation and audience, and by its nature (when properly used) the web turns audience members into participants.  When you are invited into an aspirational world and given a voice, a connection is made, memories are formed, and an experience is created that can last forever.