The present age of sophisticated technology for multiple media formats brings in a new entertainment concept called Transmedia Storytelling. Advancing technology has been able to upscale it to a new level, prompting towards a potential future form of hi-tech story-telling.
An academic term, generally accepted as coined by Prof. Henry Jenkins, the USC(University of Southern California) professor, is the concept termed Transmedia. This concept represents the integration of entertainment experiences across a range of different media platforms. At the core is the storyline or theme from where different experiences are drawn. The platforms are utilised differently to communicate different elements of the storyline (instead of just retelling the story) with the audience or community participating at different levels. Each element can be communicated using the platform with its various functions and also using interaction if possible or if apt. Thus this helps to extend the life of the story by fully exploiting all elements and creating new user experiences.
A solid transmedia strategy connected to a narrative and theme at the core is what generates different experiences. The core is picked from a story writer world to make into a transmedia novel. Where the audience will be receiving stories in the way a customer/audience wants. Fans become actively engaged in the storyline. The objective of transmedia entertainment is to flow content form platform to platform and to draw the fans or audience or players of different levels along the way. Its core is story-telling and the story told well will keep things going.
The branding process is an important factor in transmedia. Currently transmedia is a buzzword of a kind and the internet has helped it a lot. The branding is for the core theme or story-world. A single story-world is broken into parts and each piece can work on its own, delivering an experience to the end user. Branding has become acceptable part of marketing entertainment products. Licensed products and franchises have long been adopted by the entertainment industry. Novels or even comics have been made into films. Film themes have been made into computer games and merchandise to be marketed.
Publishers can too can use or exploit this new transmedia concept to great degree. It is already happening as we have seen the Star Wars theme being franchised. The Matrix, Dr.Who and Pokeman all have expanded their franchises decades ago into other media. Therefore transmedia poses now as a potential game-changer. It can change the way content is made for the TV. Technology has created the tools to allow users to interact, as in games. Users or fans have the opportunity to experience TV content across other devices too. The age of Social TV has arrived. So the need is to produce efficient affordable and participatory story-telling content that can be distributed through different channels is imminent. Alternative Reality Games prove to be a springboard to transmedia exploration.
The Producers Guild (in 2010) announced a new job title – Transmedia Producer, which points to a new area of entertainment production. In transmedia elements of a story are dispersed systematically across multiple media platforms. Each medium doing what it can do best. So now publishers can have a following of audiences and engage them across a series of platforms.
The rise of alternative reality games have now generated excitement. They have been designed for early adopters presently. The appeal could be broader than children, teens and young adults. Content has been so far been derived from blockbuster films and cult television series. But there is more potential. A right mix of production budget, an appropriate media choice for the genre of audience identified can, yield better results and wider spread with innovative marketing.
We are beginning to see how advancing technology is developing the related platforms. The E3 (Electronics Entertainment Expo) show brings out in public the latest games, gaming news and entertainment buzz. The 2012 expo showcased the latest capabilities of Microsoft’s Xbox. From a gaming machine it’s transforming into an all-in-one media centre, enabled to share a variety of media. Powered by the Xbox Smartglass app, content can be shared over a variety of devices, be it movies, games or anything else. Transmedia has now got its appropriate eco-system coming into place and more players will soon follow.
This transmedia strategy can only work with a brilliant story where there is diverse set of characters, where there is a panoramic world realised and where the elements or mythology can be extended creatively. It still is all about stories that capture the imagination of the audience, whichever may be the strategy or the environment created, on whatever mix of platforms used. Get ready for hi-tech story-telling.
Dinesh VK reviews on broadband suppliers, latest market trends, electronics, free in UK, offers and more. Also keen in observing broadband providers and their marketing strategies followed in different countries across the globe.