Transmedia Strategies: Engaging the gamer, film buff and comic book reader

Transmedia storytelling is something which is being implemented by users of current digital technologies, who tell a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats. Each medium makes its own contribution to the unfolding story as each text adds a new piece of information which forces the viewer to re-examine their understanding of the text as a whole, this is known as ‘additive comprehension’ (Jenkins, 2007, p.2).

Usually these stories are not based on individual characters or specific plots but “rather a complex fictional world which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Jenkins, 2007, p.1). Behance members are actively involved in both the consumption and creation of these transmedia texts, however its creative members efforts towards the creation of either promotional merchandising (Fig 1) or trailers is the primary transmedia experience on the platform . These trailers create a new point of entry for users and aim to attract mass media consumers; which as Vaynerchuk states should become companies’ main focus as these forms of engagement produce a sort of “gateway drug to awareness, a form of hyper speed consumption, where attention is the only asset and should be the main commodity”.

Untitled FIG 1

Behance member Paul McDonnell’s title design for the ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ show is one example, the work winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design but also being a hit with loyal fans which suggest the clip when closely examined reveals crucial clues about the show.

The teaser for Cyberpunk 2077 (developed by CD Projekt RED) which is based on Cyberpunk 2020, an RPG system created by Mike Pondsmith back in the 90’s relied on a “high degree of coordination across the different media sectors” (Jenkins, 2007, p. 2) as the ideas introduced into the movie influenced game development, while the latter simultaneously modified the teaser. The director of the teaser , Tomek Bagiński stated that this “made the film a logistical and organizational challenge but it also imbued it with much more spontaneity and creativity” (PLatige Image, 2014) and thus a more transmedia text.

One trap that companies often fall into is what I can only describe as ‘information regurgitation’ which is simply when companies use the same image, video or text and merely upload it to all embraced platforms. This lack of engagement with each platform detaches the text from using each platforms capabilities to their advantage and decreases the engagement that each platforms users can have with the text, for example uploading a video to YouTube whose users engage in online video while engaging twitter users in a conversation about the text rather than just reposting the video. Vaynerchuk expresses this idea as he concludes by urging companies to tell their story “differently in each platform, you need to tell it differently and change the content according to the context and psychology of said platform”.

References

Fig 1: screenshot of : Namouric, G 2012. ‘Starwars identities’, Behance, accessed 27/04/2014, https://www.behance.net/gallery/STAR-WARS-Identities/3742471

Jenkins, H 2004, ‘Pop cosmopolitanism: Mapping cultural flows in an age of media convergence’, In M. Suarez-Orozco & D. Qin-Hilliard, Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millennium , University of California Press, New York, pp. 114-140

Jenkins, H 2007, ‘Transmedi Storytelling 101’, accessed 27/04/2014, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

PLatige Image, 2014, Cyberpunk 2077, Behance, accessed 28/04/2014, https://www.behance.net/gallery/Cyberpunk-2077/6573211

Salonee, 2013, ‘Behance member wins an Emmy’, Behance: Team Blog, accessed 28/04/2014, http://blog.behance.net/teamblog/behance-member-wins-an-emmy
Vaynerchuk, G 2014, ‘Stop Storytelling Like It’s 2007’, 99u, accessed 27/04/2014, http://99u.com/videos/22081/gary-vaynerchuk-how-to-tell-stories-in-an-a-d-d-world

Vaynerchuk, G 2014, ‘Stop Storytelling Like It’s 2007’, 99u, accessed 27/04/2014, http://99u.com/videos/22081/gary-vaynerchuk-how-to-tell-stories-in-an-a-d-d-world

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