A Supplement for Transmedia,Multiplatform & Convergence PropertiesA companion to the Screen Australia Bible for Canadian & Australian Producers**Additions & expansions by Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn & Anthea Foyerwith grateful acknowledgement of the work done by Gary Hayes & Screen Australia
Table of contents1 about this document2 Introduction3 3 Key Definitions4 Scenario5 Personas6 User Journey7 Wireframes8 examples9 Additions to Multiplatform Forms
1A bout this documentSince the online launch of ‘How to Write a Transmedia Production Bible: A Templatefor multi-platform producers’ by Gary Hayes & Screen Australia in July 2011, mediaproduction continues to be impacted by innovations in technologies, platforms &social behaviour in the digital sphere. Our additions supplement Gary Hayes’ fantasticcontribution to a global community interested in transmedia and multiplatformproduction and we write with the knowledge that cycles of innovation and new socialphenomena will likely demand new updates at regular intervals.This document is intended as a companion to the Screen Australia Bible and it ismeant to supplement the comprehensive overview provided by Gary Hayes of thespeciﬁcations of the various components a Transmedia Production is likely to need.Our goal in writing this expansion is to provide Canadian and Australian contentcreators moving into the digital space with detailed examples of how to write and/ordesign speciﬁc components such as a ‘User Journey,’ an Experience Map, or awireframe for mobile or a website, as these are often new territory for traditional mediaproducers.
2iNTRODUCTIONAs many funding opportunities for ﬁlm and television in Canada now encourage orrequire a digital media component, understanding what, how and when to includedigital media components is crucial for Canadian and sometimes Australiancontent producers. And as the terms ‘transmedia,’ ‘multiplatform’ and ‘convergent’have been sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes to mark distinctpractices, the following deﬁnitions will clarify how these terms will be usedthroughout the TMC Resource Kit.
33 key definitionsOver the last decade ‘transmedia’ has changed as a term and practice in responseto a number of factors, ranging from the popular impact of major studio cross-platform marketing campaigns to the uptake in social media, participatorystorytelling, user generated content, fan culture, crowdsourcing, & crowdfunding. Assuch, ‘Transmedia’ continues to be an evolving term and practice, though there arecommon core design priniciples , so we begin with a brief recap of key deﬁnitionsby some of the leading practioners and theorists in the ﬁeld...
TransmediaOne DefinitionTransmedia stories are those which ‘unfold across multiple media platforms witheach new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution the whole. - HenryJenkins, Convergence Culture 2006A second definitionTransmedia storytelling, a concept identiﬁed by Henry Jenkins, is storytelling by anumber of decentralized authors who share assets and create content fordistribution across multiple forms of media. Transmedia immerses an audience in astory’s universe through a number of dispersed entry points, providing acomprehensive and coordinated experience of a complex story. - Lina Srivastava2008Another definitionEach part of the story is unique and plays to the strengths of each medium, and theaudience is often invited to participate and somehow interact with the narrative.Simply put, transmedia is the art of conveying a rich message, theme or storyline toa mass audience using multiple media platforms in concert. - Jeff Gomez 2009Example: Nurse Jackie’s Dr. Cooper tweets during the episodes and those following ‘his’account are given an inside window into the character’s in-the moment thoughts &responses. Occasionally, Dr Cooper responds to tweets from the public.
* Words of wisdom from Henry Jenkins on the ﬂexibility of transmedia as a practice:‘There is no transmedia formula. Transmedia refers to a set of choicesmade about the best approach to tell a particular story to a particularaudience in a particular context depending on the particular resourcesavailable to particular producers. The more we expand the deﬁnition,the richer the range of options available to us can be.’ source here
Multiplatformdefinition When used in contrast to transmedia, it commonly refers to the same contentbeing distributed through multiple channels (ie. a broadcast TV show on your mobile); ORbrand properties that use multiple channels for distributing content without extending the storyor story world across channels or distribution platforms. Example: A TV show with a webpagewith character bios, episode summaries, chat rooms, does not extend or contribute to thestory/story world.Convergentdefinition Speciﬁc deﬁnition within the Canadian context deﬁned by the CMFfunding guidelines: projects designed to be “available across a minimum of twodistribution platforms, including television.” The digital component can be a VODplatform or “additional, value-added digital content on non-TV platforms” Projectsmay have multiple ‘rich and substantial’ digital media components (website, app,game, etc)Henry Jenkins on Convergence: ‘convergence...in Convergence Culture, I describeas a paradigm for thinking about the current moment of media change, one whichis deﬁned through the layering, diversiﬁcation, and interconnectivity of media.’source here
S cenariosUser Scenario,User Experience 4A scenario has a very speciﬁc use in interactive & user-centric design, which is to understandhow individuals will encounter, engage and interact with your property in concretely imagined,visualized and detailed scenarios. The purpose of a scenario is to test the the producer’sassumptions as to how a transmedia or multiplatform or convergent experience will play outby imagining it from user’s perspective.This is important because when designing distributed content, particularly with tent-poleproperties or native transmedia properties, there might be multiple points of entry ie. the initialcontact or encounter whereby you ﬁrst hear or see or engage with a project. This might be aposter, a commercial, a YouTube video, a Tweet, a ﬂash-mob, the possibilities are endless.Key questions to be asked are:! How will your fans know your project exists? And if a tent-pole project, how will theyknow that other content elements exists?! How will they ﬁnd it?! How will you motivate your fans to interact with distributed content and/or sharecontent?! Will you create direct or indirect prompts or calls to action?! What value will fans gain from engaging with distributed content?The most effective way to test this is either to do user-testing, which is often not possible atan early phase of development, or to create a scenario. Note, user scenarios are written in thepresent tense in order to be able to best visualize what the experience is. The samplescenarios below are very detailed User Experience Scenarios in order to provide an exampleof the kinds of details to think through.useful resource here
Sample Scenario #1Sana, a 23 year old Canadian, is studying goldsmithing at George Brown College & workingpart time in a west-end Toronto restaurant. Walking home from work, she sees a newposter campaign with a single image and url. The image and the url‘doyouhaveanexitplan.com are intriguing as she’s a big fan of sciﬁ and on a whim shesearches the url on her smart phone. A webpage loads with a counter marking down 17days, 6 hours etc, & a text calling for recruits for a colonizing trip to Mars, in the event thatthe message picked up from Arkab Posterior does indeed signal an alien invasion.Underneath the recruitment call is a ‘register’ tab which she clicks. She inputs therequested information: name, age, sex, allergies, email, phone number, musical taste, partyentertainment skill/talent, and relationship preferences (monogamy to polyamory) andnumber of envisioned children. Once submitted, a further page opens with the invitation toplay a skills testing game. She realizes she can’t play this effectively on her smart phone asshe walks, so she closes the page & continues home.Once home, she opens the site on her computer & looks for a sign in tab and she doesn’tsee one. Frustrated, she decides to do other things & opens her email. There she ﬁnds awelcome email from the website’s recruitment & she clicks on the conﬁrm registration linkand is taken back to the game. She plays through a couple of the skills tests & then has tobreak off....
Sample Scenario #2Kwungwon, a 34 year old computer programmer with a passion for political activism,cycling, and Tarantino ﬁlms, decides to watch the Season Premiere of a new broadcast TVseries, Sleuths! while chatting online with friends via multiple social platforms: a number ofrunning chats on Facebook, texts exchanged via phone.During the show, a suspicious character drops a paper & the camera zooms in to the rippedcorner of an envelope with a company logo & acronym, the camera holds for a split secondthen the paper fragment is blown off screen down an alley. Because he can, Kwungwonrewinds, pauses on the logo & then googles the acronym to see what will list. A number oflinks, including a company website and a twitter account come up & Kwungwon clicks onthe Twitter link.When the Twitter page opens he sees that one of the main characters is running a liveTwitter account in-tandem with the show account & is seeking info on an employee of thecompany & has created a hashtag for the company. Clicking on the hashtag, Kwongwondiscovers that other fans also watching in real time are exchanging details and links as theydiscover online content related to the named company. Intrigued by the conspiracyelements Kwongwon joins in and proposes someone create a wiki to track the links and infoas it is discovered.
5P ERSONASAnother key element useful in developing User Experience Scenarios is the process of‘Building Personas’ in order to be able to ‘test-run’ User Centred Design. The distinctionhere is that you create imagined proﬁles of speciﬁc individuals rather thandemographics. Usually, a number of personas are developed (3-5) in order to runimagined User Experience Scenarios. This process often leads to unexpected oroverlooked factors and discoveries that can help reﬁne the overall design process. Forexample, designing a digital component with QR codes on subway posters might seemlike an exciting marketing & promotional opportunity to connect with a potentialaudience until one realized that QR codes are not not accessible underground becausewiﬁ signals are usually unavailable.See UX Magazine’s article, ‘Personas: The Foundation of a Great User Experience’See KissMetrics ‘How User Personas can Improve your SEO Strategy’
6u ser journeyMost importantly, there is no one-size-ﬁts-all user journey that will work forevery transmedia, multiplatform & convergent project.In fact, there can be multiple user journeys for each project as audiencemembers will be able to encounter these projects in a variety of ways. Inaddition to the user journey from the Transmedia Bible we have added in moreexamples in order to get a feel for how to create user journeys for your ownprojects.
7w ireframesWireframes are mock-ups of the layout design for websites, mobile interfaces andother interactive digital platforms. Usually these begin as paper/pencil sketches thathelp to visualize what the interface design will be on the various ‘pages,’ home orlanding page to all other subsidiary pages.As the design process evolves, wireframes become more polished and demoeverything from font to colour choices
examplesWeb and Mobile Wireframe Sketches 8These excellent examples can be found here
a dditional multiplatform formsApps - non-game apps that expand, supplement or interact with a given project, could be 9 related to historical content, archives, communities, etc anything outside of games that interconnect with a property’s content or focus - see Choco-locate appmachinima: machinima is a cinematic art form that uses existing game engines to create animated movies. The form began in .. when a company called Rooster Teethgraphic novels/comics: as noted by many, graphic novels and comics are a great low-cost medium that can be used to deliver storylines and world-building that would be cost- prohibitive in live-action or animation. And they can exist on the web or in hard-copy. Numerous online self-publishing sites such as Lulu.com can be used as publishing platforms without having to invest in print runs.participatory websites/platforms: sites and/or platforms used to host invited and sometimes curate UGC - see - Wattpad as a great participatory story sharing platformContent Sharing Pinterest, Flickr, Wattpad, & many others are highly populated platforms for content sharingtheatre & live performance: in an era of global and immediate access to digital content, there is real value in scarcity and location-speciﬁc performances. Live events & theatrical performances are exclusive experiences that can create excitement and immersion in a given project, which attendees might then share with their communities via social media via the ‘world of mouth’. Think of this as analogue promotion in a crowded digital space. ARGs often incorporate live performances that are are scripted to a degree though designed to be open to audience participation. See Zed.TO coming soon * please see Section 2. Functional Speciﬁcation in Gary Hayes Transmedia Bible for complete list
Get in Touch contactus TMC Resource Kit firstname.lastname@example.org tmcresourcekit.comTMC Bible Supplement was prepared by: anthea foyer & Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn antheafoyer.com @antheafoyer siobhanoﬂynn.com @Sioﬂynn
TMC Bible Supplement is released under a NonCommercialShareAlike Creative Commons license to be shared,remixed and expanded non-‐commercially, as long as youcredit the TMC Resource Kit, the creator of the TMC BibleSupplement, Anthea Foyer & Dr. Siobhan O’Flynn, andlicense your new creations under the identical terms.
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