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Transmedia storytelling - Carolyn Miller

Transmedia storytelling - Carolyn Miller






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    Transmedia storytelling - Carolyn Miller Transmedia storytelling - Carolyn Miller Presentation Transcript

    • Transmedia StorytellingWhat It Is and How It Works # Carolyn Handler Miller
    • Transmedia StorytellingA Single Story Told Across Multiple Media
    • Transmedia Stories:Can Employ Virtually Any Medium n  Medium: a form of communication (or platform) that can reach many people n  Established: newspapers, books, magazines, radio, TV, movies, flyers, posters n  Digital Media: the Internet, video game consoles, mobile devices, computers, Virtual Reality, social media
    • Same Story Can Employ Traditional And Digital Media
    • Transmedia Storytelling: My Definitionn  Project exists in more than one medium (usually more than 2)n  Typically includes both digital and traditional median  Often includes live eventsn  Is at least partially interactiven  Each story component expands the core narrativen  All components are tightly integratedn  Ideally, designed from ground up to be transmedia
    • Idea Seems New, But an Ancient Concept Egypt As Example:Employed Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Hieroglyphics to Tell A Single Story
    • Today’s Transmedia Stories:Same Approach, Different Media
    • Transmedia Hugely Popular Now, But Why? n  For creators: can promote products; can extend an entertainment property with new assets; can be lucrative n  For audiences: rich, fascinating stories, can “live” in fictional world, can participate in it
    • The Critical Components of StrongTransmedia Storytelling…
    • Usually Built AroundA Solid Primary Fulcrum n  Fulcrum: the supporting element n  Can be a media property, a character, a location n  Central to the project n  Capable of supporting its various components n  Holds story pieces together n  Keeps the work in balance
    • Story Pieces Tightly Integratedn  Each media component expands the same core storyn  Each media component is consistent with core story (the canon)
    • Best When Entire Transmedia Story Built At Same Timen  Ideally,story should be built from the ground up as a work of transmedian  Pieces should NOT be glued onto existing property
    • Also, Built Around a Vibrant STORY WORLDn  Story World: the fictional universe of a narrativen  Deep and invitingn  Unfolds in the present time, as user investigates & experiences itn  Consistent across all platformsn  Some big story worlds: Ø  Avatar Ø  Toy Story Ø  Star Wars
    • Jeff Gomez:His View of the Story World n  A rich world, real or imagined n  A story with a past and future n  Must be populated with engaging characters n  Must have something about it that makes us want to participate in it
    • Strong StoryWorld Example: Toy Storyn  Rich cast of characters, all well developedn  Unique conceit: toys come to lifen  Mix of toys suggests ongoing storiesn  Mix of challenges provides opportunities for interactivity
    • Storyworlds ContainTwo Types of “Holes”
    • 1. The “Rabbit Hole”n  Rabbit hole: entrance to story… way that users find initial piece of story and initial cluesn  Borrowed from Alice in Wonderlandn  “Fall” into the story, escape not easy!n  May be more than one
    • 2. The “Cheese Hole”n  Spaces in the story that allow the audience to participate, contributen  These can be forms of social media (FB, blogs, YouTube, etc.)n  Audience participation in story: one of reasons transmedia is so popular
    • Examples of Transmedia Projects
    • Earliest Successful Example: Blair Witch Project n  Debuted in 1999 n  Just 2 components: movie and website n  Website in same documentary style as film Ø  Gave more details of “disappearance” of filmmakers Ø  Used “archival” material
    • The Matrix Sequels:Pure Transmedia Storytelling n  Elements: 2 movies, video games, website, DVD, comic books, anime shorts n  Designed from ground up to tell different parts of same story n  Most massive transmedia project to date (2003)
    • More Recent Example: The Movie, District 9A very clevertransmediamarketingcampaign, includingan Alternate RealityGame (ARG),websites, voicemessages
    • One of Most Clever Aspects: “Warnings” n  “Humans Only” notices posted on buildings, bus stops, buses n  Could “report” aliens by calling phone # n  Faux warnings helped build anticipation for film; lots of press n  Transmedia approach increasingly used as promotional strategy
    • My Own Experience: Toy Storyn  My first project with transmedia elementsn  Goal: to expand world of movie with interactive storybookn  First endeavor joining Disney and Pixarn  The fulcrum: the Toy Story movie
    • The Challenge:n  Not able to use Tom Hanks (Woody)n  Instead, Hamm (the piggybank) would tell story (John Ratzenberger cheaper)n  Challenging: telling this story from POV of a piggybank!!
    • A BIGGER Challenge:Meaningful Interactivity n  Pixar’s view: should be a series of games and activities n  Disney’s view: a unified story the child could control n  Showdown: a game of checkers (Pixar) n  Solution organic: players put toys away before humans come
    • Not Only Hollywood!Malaysia Also Creating Transmedia Stories n  Example: Saladin n  Based on true story of Islamic hero in 12th century n  Produced by Multimedia Development Corporation n  Components: TV series, comics, games, mobile app, feature film
    • Transmedia StoriesAlso Created for ProjectsWithout Traditional Media Components
    • Example:The Due Return n  Focal medium: life sized ship with 3 decks n  Storyworld: revolves around intergalactic space ship, has traveled through space & time, docked in strange land n  Crew: scientists, explorers n  Created in Santa Fe by an artists’ collective
    • Interactivity and the Due Returnn  Experiments and other artifacts you could examinen  Ship’s interactive control roomn  Other media: ship’s archives (on Web); mobile app to interact with ship; live events
    • Roswell Project:Another Unusual Approach n  Being produced in little town: Roswell, New Mexico n  Low in budget n  High in creativity
    • Roswell A Special Placen  Famous For Landing of Space Ship (a UFO… “Unidentified Flying Object”) and alien passengern  Space ship supposed crashed there in 1947n  Alien “captured,” examined by doctors
    • Goal of This Transmedia Project:n  To promote Roswell Film Festivaln  To promote the town of Roswell
    • Roswell the TownAs a Strong Fulcrum n  UFO story is famous, and large number of believers n  Community businesses support alien story and project
    • Roswell Project:Full of Unique Components n  Crop circle (signal to outer space) n  Mysterious cult members n  A novel (backstory) n  Both a story and game n  Clues in real locations n  Internet: Webisodes n  Magic amulet n  Phone app (Layar) with augmented reality n  Culminating event: space ship flying overhead
    • Transmedia Storytelling Can Be Used For Non-Fiction Works, Too…
    • Documentary Approach n  Woodrow Wilson biography (PSS) n  Components: TV show, DVD, Website (with game, other interactive elements) n  All with same graphic style n  Designed from ground up to give viewers different facets of Wilson’s life (the StoryWorld) and to let viewers participate
    • Non-Profit Organizations: To Tell Their Story, Involve the Public (And Raise Funds)n  Online journal (documentary): ecology of Mississippin  Contests: submit own photosn  Live events: team in NY marathonn  Facebook page: users post about favorite wild places in US
    • Toy Companies Also Use Transmedia: Marketing Technique n  Example: Monster High n  Conceit: dolls are offspring of famous monsters; attend same HS n  Also: Facebook page (“freaky fab style”) n  Human-sized clothing line n  Robust website
    • On Website:n  Can “enroll” in Monster Highn  Decorate your lockern  Send a screamn  Watch webisodesn  Play gamesn  Interact with favorite monsters
    • Now, a Closer Look at One of the Most Robust And Purest Forms Of Transmedia Storytelling The ARG(Alternate Reality Game)…
    • ARGs: What They Are: n  Experiences that contain well-developed storyline and gaming elements n  Story broken into tiny fragments over multiple media n  Users have to piece fragments together to understand it n  Played out in real time n  Often incorporate live events n  Story unfolds as players solve puzzles
    • “This is Not a Game!”n  Fans’ motto for these gamesn  Say that because goal is that they should feel like real lifen  Never announced or promoted (viral marketing)n  Other term: unfiction
    • Great definition:(from Transmedia Conference at USC) “It’s like digging through sand to find shards of pottery…
    • Definition, continued….… and if you find enough shards, you can reconstruct the entire pot.”
    • The First: The Beast n  To promote movie AI (Artificial Intelligence) n  Sci-fi story based loosely on film – murder; sentient robots n  Debuted in 2001 as stealth marketing endeavor – created at Microsoft n  Still a model for the genre n  Rich story, rich puzzle solving
    • Important Convention: Both Story And Gamen  But not pure form of eithern  Not pure narrative because story broken into tiny fragmentsn  Story also dependent on solving puzzles (like chemistry puzzle here)n  But not pure game, either: no victory conditions, no rules, no prizes
    • Story Told in PartVia Hundreds of Faux Websites n  Here: website from company that makes android companions n  Each website in “voice” of creator – individuals, corporations, scientists – in French, Latin, etc.
    • The Rabbit Hole: In the trailer for the film, in the credits, a mysterious credit for “Jeanine Salla, the film’s “sentient machine therapist” (a shrink who treats robots)
    • If Google “Jeanine Salla,” will find the family’s home page (“Made” by teen girl, her granddaughter) Dive into story from there
    • Other Characteristics of ARGs…
    • ARGsCan Spill Out Into Real Life n  Clues delivered on pay phones (I Love Bees) n  Staged fist fights at conferences n  Car stolen from auto showroom n  Staged rallies n  “Poker Games” in graveyards
    • Clues Can Be Anywhere! n  Inside jars of honey n  Inside library books n  Onbanners pulled by airplanes
    • Transmedia Storytelling: Summing Up….
    • Single Story Told Over Multiple Forms of Media
    • RequireA Rich Story World n  Well developed characters with complex relationships n  Multi-layered setting n  A deep backstory n  Much to explore
    • Work BestWhen Users Have Agency n  Goes beyond interactivity for interactivity’s sake n  Meaningful involvement n  Can contribute to story or how it turns out
    • Also, Work Best When Contain Strong Fulcrumn  Fulcrum informs overall projectn  Fulcrum provides focusn  Fulcrum suggests logical components
    • Work BestWhen Approach Is Organic n  Components grow out of fulcrum naturally n  Not forced
    • And Finally… Transmedia Projects Need A Clear Unified Visionn  Creators need to agree on what they want to achieven  Creators must work together to create components and make sure they are consistent
    • QUESTIONS??? Ask now…. Email Me:Carolyn@CarolynMiller.com or refer to my book: