Transmedia, or transmedia storytelling, is a technique for telling a story or creating a shared universe across multiple platforms and mediums. It involves the systematic dispersal of integral elements of a fiction across various delivery channels, such as films, television shows, video games, comic books, theater, and websites. Each medium is able to make its own unique contribution to the story, allowing the audience to experience the narrative from different perspectives and to gain a deeper understanding of the fictional world.
Transmedia storytelling is a technique used to tell a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using digital technologies. This type of storytelling involves creating content that engages an audience using various techniques to permeate their daily lives. To achieve this engagement, a transmedia production will develop stories across multiple forms of media in order to deliver unique pieces of content in each channel. These pieces of content are not only linked together, but are in narrative synchronization with each other.
One of the key characteristics of transmedia storytelling is its ability to create a coordinated and immersive entertainment experience for the audience. The goal is not simply to adapt a story for a different medium, but rather to use the strengths of each medium to enhance the overall narrative. For example, a film may provide a broad overview of a fictional world, while a video game may allow the player to explore that world in greater depth and interact with its characters.
Transmedia storytelling is often used as a marketing strategy by media companies looking to expand their franchises across multiple platforms. By releasing additional content in the form of comic books, video games, or websites, media companies are able to build a larger and more dedicated fan base for their properties. This can help to increase the potential market for a franchise and to generate additional revenue streams.
The Black Women Playwrights’ Group and Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) have been utilizing transmedia storytelling in their theater productions since 2012. One of these productions, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, received special funding from the Mellon Foundation and featured an accompanying website, meetverastark.com, created by the BWPG and ETC. Playwright Lynn Nottage was also involved in this collaboration and received support from the Mellon Foundation for her work on the production. Kristoffer Diaz, another successful playwright, was recognized with the New York Times’ 2011 Outstanding Playwright Award for his play The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. This play was produced at various theaters and a custom video game called Powerbomb was created in collaboration with the BWPG and CMU to expand the reach of the play and engage with audiences in a new way. These examples show how transmedia storytelling can be used in the theater to create a more immersive and expansive entertainment experience.
In summary, transmedia storytelling is a way of telling a story or creating a shared universe across multiple platforms and mediums. It utilizes the strengths of each medium to create a coordinated and immersive entertainment experience for the audience and can be used as a marketing strategy to expand a franchise across multiple platforms. The Calling Up Justice practice believes in the freedom and accessibility that transmedia provides.
Read more about Transmedia here: http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html