The advancement of digital technology in post cinema era led to the emergence of new consumers and cross-media narratives described as transmedia storytelling. A transmedia franchise effectively functions “by pitching the content somewhat differently in the different media” (Jenkins, 2006, p96). But due to individual components of transmedia narrative i.e. text, images, audio and video, it is difficult to understand how the content of a respective medium would be constructed. Varied technical skills and expertise is needed to incorporate different media into an interconnected central narrative.
As transmedia narrative uses several media platforms the consumer/user may get confused with the flow of multiple narratives. For example, Harry potter the movie, video game, comic book and the stage play may not be experienced as a whole as they have dissimilar narrative. They are not part of a central narrative. A person familiar with the novel may not be familiar with the video game or the movie and thereby unable to engage with them in its entirety. Therefore it is challenging to understand how to keep the audience engaged in a narrative spread across multiple media.
Transmedia storytelling may be considered primarily a business strategy adopted by corporate film studios, as through the participatory nature of these multiple media platforms, various entry points are provided to heighten the sense of anticipation for the film and attract the audience to the cinema halls. But is it helpful in translating users into cinema audience? Entry points may even discourage prospective audience to participate if created incompetently.
If one views it as a business decision it still remains unpredictable to comprehend which medium is best suited for which kind of content. This leads to the necessity of critically evaluating how effective transmedia storytelling should be structured.
By Sagar Chhatwani
Jenkins, H. (2006). Searching for the Origami Unicorn: The Matrix and Transmedia Storytelling in: Convergence Culture: Where Old Media and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press, 93-130.
Spitters, R. (2014). Harry Potter [image]. Available from http://www.curiousmedia.nl/de-kracht-van-transmedia-storytelling-deel-1/ [Accessed 12 February 2017].