Transmedia is the telling of stories, multiple times over and over multiple mediums, fitting together to make one elaborate tale. This means stories are expanding in the way they are experienced and shared. Harry Potter, for example, started out as a book series by J.K. Rowling…and has progressed into films, games, the interactive site Pottermore and more!
These multiple platforms of storytelling (as shown with Harry Potter) provide the audience with an opportunity to seek and help create extensions from the original fiction. And in turn, these multiple platforms provide multiple markets, which generates additional revenue to the original content. Hollywood productions no longer have to rely on box office hits to make the big bucks, as they now have film, comics, the web, albums, television, games, ARG (Alternative Reality Games) and so on to market from. This production has been termed “synergy“; the economics of media consolidation. For example, a set of comic books were released for ‘Batman Begins’ before the film was aired. This publicized and generated a market for Batman before the film came out.
But transmedia doesn’t just involve the industry. A ‘collective intelligence’ of consumers around the world are able to make unique contributions to a text, changing the understanding of the fiction as a whole. This is called ‘additive comprehension‘. Consumers are involved in creating extended information from the original fiction by building worlds, insight into characters, and building a bridge between storylines. This collective intelligence isn’t streamed into one medium though. Different parts of information about the fiction are dispersed through each separate medium; consumers become hunters and gatherers, piecing together a consistent picture through the dispersed information.
The Matrix made a total of $463 million worldwide, later became the first DVD to sell more than three million copies in the US and was the winner of 4 Academy awards. And it lives on 13 years through Animatrix, which was created through transmedia. Feel free to see the trailer below and visit the site at http://www.intothematrix.com/
Transmedia reshapes the way of storytelling into one that’s interactive, filled with endless stories and is an exciting way to submerge yourself into a fictional world.
“Discover how deep the rabbit hole really goes…”