“Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.” (Jenkins, 2011).
Due to advancement of technology, audiences today have access to many in different platforms.The Matrix (1999) is an example of transmedia storytelling.
“The Matrix is also two games-Enter the Matrix, Produced by David Perry’ s Shiny Entertainment, and a massively multiplayer game set in the world of the Matrix, scripted in part by Paul Chadwick” (Jenkins, 2006:96)
After that, many film companies also introduce this. For example, Sin City (2005) is a successful film adaptation and it is a series comedy by American comic book writer Frank Miller. This film consists of three stories and these three stories happen in a fictive city. The video game of this film also is produced.
These business strategies of transmedia storytelling effectively attracted more audiences, but there are some challenges and this does not mean that all films can adopt these strategies. This is because of some virtual scenes in comic books or novels. It is hard to represent these scenes in a film for filmmakers. Some fans of comic books and novels may be disappointed in the film.
In addition, Stackelberg and Jones said “without an effective story, a transmedia experience will usually be ineffective or counterproductive and too dispersed, creating confusion to the user and causing them to disengage. One challenge for foresight professionals wanting to use storytelling techniques in their projects is that traditional approaches don’t precisely fit the needs of the futures field and may in fact directly contradict the primary concept of narrating the future” (2014:65). Finally, if a player is familiar with the plot of the film or TV series and one episode deals with a particular enemy type, the player will immediately know how to defeat that enemy type. Some players will lose interest in the video game after some time.
Achieving a successful transmedia storytelling is not just copy the need, but also integrating the story into the media, which can overcome the challenge to attract more viewers.
Written by Dandan Li
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, 90-130.
Jenkins, H. (2011). Transmedia 202: Further Reflections. Confessions of an Aca-Fan, 1 August. Available from http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/defining_transmedia_further_re.html[Accessed 20 February 2017]
Stackelberg, P.V. and Jones, R.E.(2014). Tales of Our Tomorrows: Transmedia Storytelling and Communicating About the Future. Journal of Futures Studies,18(3): 57-76. Available from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.567.483&rep=rep1&type=pdf [Accessed 20 February 2017]