What the Transmedia..?

A few thoughts to come out of the first Production Project 1 lecture.

For starters, glad to have Emma Beddows on board – her take on Transmedia in Hollywood, in particular a reference to Batman across the ages, Pirates of The Caribbean and Tolkien made for some properly interesting and relevant trains of thought with regard to contemporary uses of Transmedia storytelling. Plus this kind of stuff is exciting – fandom, obsessive users, expanded story worlds.. Safe to say they allow for the geek inside to rage through all sorts of tangents.

Listening to Emma led me to wonder whether acceptance of bizarreness is generational. Whereby, we have become more accepting of bizarre and non linear story worlds, where we don’t care too much if something is missing, we just make up for it.

This thought came about when Emma suggested The Matrix wasn’t supposed to be understood from just viewing the movie. Rather, you had to watch the movie, go online, seek out the cartoon and a whole plethora of other things to kind of ‘get’ what The Matrix was about. Yet when Emma asked us if we were confused I think one hand went up.

Perhaps that’s just cos we’re media kids, and we like to think that regardless of the complexity of the narrative we get it (or perhaps more pertinently won’t admit if we don’t). But I’d also like to think that somewhere along the line we began to not care if a piece of the story was missing, and in our own heads were expanding the story world and doing our own kind of internal creation of Transmedia artefacts to fill the gaps and make sense of it.

But then, if it’s in our head, I don’t think this really counts as Transmedia. While it might expand the story world for us, it doesn’t allow others the same opportunity.

So, I’m left thinking that Transmedia can be kind of cool, but it’s a bloody hard thing to get right. For one, it seems that The Matrix didn’t exactly make its intentions clear.

That being said, I came at that film many years after it released, so perhaps my problem and lack of integration with the Transmedia around it is purely temporal.

So when Emma suggested that if one were to watch Game of Thrones and then read the books, the books could be seen as a kind of Transmedia, I wondered, if they were released first, do Transmedia artefacts have a chronology to be classed as such?

Here’s hoping I’ll have the answer for that in my next post.

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