Yesterday, I wrote about how my time with Anita Ondine at the Merging + Media 2011 Seminar and Lab enriched my understanding about the relationship between Internet search marketing and transmedia. Today I take off my marketing hat for a minute or two. As I was synthesizing all the information I received there were two ideas that will definitely affect my own project moving forward: the concept of the “jewel” at the heart of every successful transmedia experience, and how this new way of thinking about narrative impacts the art of modern storytelling.
The Jewel in the Crown
One of the most important pieces I took away from Anita’s teachings was the concept of “the jewel.” This is basically the heart of your story. It is a very brief idea that acts as a touchstone as you develop all the pieces of your transmedia experience. Like the log lines I learned about in my filmmaking past, the jewel gives a rapid sense of the story and makes us want more. But unlike a film and television log line, it carries through multiple pieces of media and should convey a sense of the user experience, as audience participation is a key component. After Merging + Media I have begun to more concretely work out exactly what the jewel of my project is and will then take an “Anita” pass at my master document to make sure I am consistently referencing the heart of its jewel throughout.
Transmedia: the New “Talkies”
Besides the “jewel,” one of my biggest revelations over the two days of Merging + Media, was that transmedia is going to revolutionize the way we tell stories. I kept remembering how the movie “Singin’ in the Rain” so brilliantly shows how the coming of sound affected filmmaking. Not only the technology and how they were made, but also how storytelling in movies was fundamentally changed forever. It no longer required excessive pantomime and title cards to communicate a story; it became much more immersive, natural and engaging. I can’t think of another moment in recent storytelling history that was as big a change as this… until now.
What I have learned about transmedia, both in my self-education over the past year and during the Merging Media Lab, is that this is another paradigm shift in modern storytelling. With transmedia, the story never has to end. The audience can participate and take it in new directions and even offer new and fresh POV’s unimagined by the original creators (who have to learn to let go and allow this to happen). Not all of the audience will want to engage to this degree, but this is a fundamental part of a successful transmedia experience, and one we will no doubt increasingly see as more creators figure out this space. And like the silent film stars in “Singin’ in the Rain,” those film and television content creators who fail to adapt, will likely need to find a new career. No wonder this makes some of them really angry.
My Second Transmedia Gift for You
Yesterday I announced I would be putting together a search marketing research report on the transmedia space. Today, I am beginning to build out a small directory of transmedia resources, including websites, books, articles, forums and examples of transmedia experiences (both past, present and future).
If you are interested in either the research paper or contributing to the directory, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Tweet me, email me, bug me on LinkedIn or Facebook and if you send me your email I will let you know when I have any transmedia updates to the Veria site.
Next Week: Search, Social & Screen Media: Top Tips
Or Revisit my Last Post: After Merging + Media 2011: My Post Transmedia Syndrome (Part 1)
Or Revisit Last Week: Before Merging + Media 2011: Transmedia and Me