|Image source: transmedia-storytelling-berlin.de|
First off, let’s address the crazy vocabulary word in the room: what the heck is transmedia storytelling?? Well, transmedia is an actively emerging (mostly) digital genre, so let’s try to cobble together a definition that makes sense.
- Pemberley Digital, a major transmedia player and arguably founder of the genre, proposes that transmedia “tell[s] an enriched and immersive story that transcends across multiple formats,” like “Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, LOOKBOOK…”
- Dr. Pamela Rutledge explains the concept in greater detail: “Transmedia storytelling uses multiple media platforms tell a narrative across time. Each media piece—whether it’s a comic, novels, video games, mobile apps, or a film—functions as a standalone story experience—complete and satisfying. Like a giant puzzle, each piece also contributes to a larger narrative. The process is cumulative and each piece adds richness and detail to the story world, such as character backstories and secondary plotlines… Transmedia storytelling is fully participatory.”
- And finally, Dr. Elaine Raybourn, in her TEDx Talk, refers to transmedia as “our next generation learning ecosystems.”
|Image source: alfabetovisual.com|
Many transmedia stories that have come out in the past few years have been adaptations of classic works of literature, reimagined in a modern age and retold using digital technology.* Generally the central character(s) rely on vlogs, or video blogs, to move the narrative along, but characters in-world can also have fully fleshed-out dialogues on other social media platforms like Twitter.
Transmedia takes place in real time — the story unfolds over the course of weeks or even years, and the series itself may be segmented into seasons.
Audience engagement is central to the transmedia experience — vlogs are typically posted once or twice a week, with subscribers eagerly awaiting the next update and commenting voraciously with each other, the series’ characters, and the showrunners in between. Often transmedia stories are funded via crowdsourcing, relying on a passionate audience to defray production costs.
|An engaged transmedia audience. Image source: provideocoalition.com|
*One notable exception to the rule of adaptation is KalamaTea’s webseries All’s Fair Play, inspired by Shakespearean drama but not a direct interpretation of any one play.
Fonte: A Classroom With a View