Task 1 – The Hunger Games


Katrina Minchenko: s3392080
Carmen Chen: s3353949
Angeline Armstrong: s3331820

The Hunger Games

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“Imagine Transmedia” – Max Giovagnoli
Max Giovagnoli proposes transmedia as the most accurate representation of the functionality of human imagination. Like any other storytelling medium preceding it – cinema, books, radio – transmedia is a ‘door to imagination’. However, transmedia differs to singular platform storytelling by becoming an audience’s ‘collective imagination’. Multiplying the process of imagination by using multiple platforms subsequently creates increasing story complexity; this must be managed in such a way that ‘audience enchantment’ is maintained. Giovagnoli argues that ‘enchantment’ is achieved through mimesis of the human-imagination process; a transmedia story, like the mind, must operate in a ‘net of deductive associations and predictions’ that lead to a personal ‘reconstruction and interpretation’ of any given story. Giovagnoli nevertheless stresses the necessary adoption of the Aristolian-Three-Act-Structure in transmedia storytelling – arguably crucial to every narrative ‘system’ and ‘medium’. Giovagnoli extrapolates the Aristolian storytelling tradition to exploit the possibilities of transmedia; where audiences traditionally become more passive as a story progresses from the First Act (narrative possibilities) to Resolution (locked into narrative plot), Giovagnoli highlights that transmedia can in fact invert this process. The audience begins with passivity (comprehending a pre-established story world) and then become more active as they participate in the evolution of the storytelling journey.

Angeline Armstrong

Giovagnoli, M 2011, ‘Imagine Transmedia’, in Transmedia Storytelling: Imagery, Shapes and Techniques, Max Giovagnoli & ETC Press 2011, viewed 24 March 2014, http://www.docunator.com/bigdata/1/1366941701_7d0262c434/book-by-max-giovagnoli-transmedia-storytelling-imagery-shapes-and-techniques.pdf

“Character, Audience Agency and Trans-Media Drama” – Elizabeth Evans
“Multi-channel environments” become more common. It is already a norm when we engage with more than one media channel. These changes in media industry indicate that there is a need of more effective engagement. Elizabeth Evans in her work talks about interactivity with the users drawing on example of one of the most popular drama TV series Spooks TV (BBC, Kudos Film and Television, 2002). Whole “audio-visual drama” is now easily accessible through online and these “fictional worlds” stretch across various multi-media channels. This phenomenon is also called “trans-media”, as Henry Jenkins first called it in 2003. Other media platforms are used to compliment and spread across the main story to generate more engagement.

Evans talks about Spooks to be a great example of trans-media drama. Different media platforms were used to create great contribution from many channels to one “trans-media” drama text. Spooks have created an incredible variety of elements to be engaged outside of the show involving other media channels. This has became a very interactive project from public’s side. Evans quotes Newman’s description of interactivity “a simple, mechanical measure of inputting controls or commands in order to influence on-screen action”. Evans evaluates that different media channels have to be highly maintained and they are strictly depended on user action and participation. Engagement with media usually was thought as “passive”, but trans-media drama has managed to build it into an engaging interactive world.

Katrina Minchenko
Evans, E 2007, ‘Character Audience Agency and Trans-Media Drama’, Audience Agency and Trans-Media Drama, vol. 30, no. 1, viewed 24 March 2014

“Real or Not Real: The Hunger Games as Transmediated Religion” – Y. Ringlestein
The article “Real or Not Real: The Hunger Games as Transmediated Religion, written by Yonah Ringlestein , reveals the similarities between transmedia and religion by utilizing the blockbuster film “Hunger Games” as an example of mediated storytelling. (Though the link to religion is secondary to our topic, the author touches on some points that coincide with arguments and/or ideas we are investigating.) The concept of “unification of identity and articulation of real reality” (Ringlestein 2013, 373) is often raised by the author. She suggests that because consumers are involved with the franchise through multiple points, they constantly partake in complex world- building, which fulfils their yearning for unification of identity and articulation. In addition, she uncovers that the more points of entry a consumer engages with, the more likely the consumer is able to grasp the entire story. Furthermore, she mentions that transmedia creates a realm for those who are after meaning, order and purpose in life and thus, behaves like religion as it stimulates consumers to long for a meaningful world. Lastly, another form of behaviour of this franchise is its ability to transform a certain place into a sacred area. Ringlestein mentions that, the cinema becomes a church-like place where fans are able to display their attire to personify their favourite character and also to declare their wish to be part of the movie’s closed group, which is similar to a churches as religious worshippers commonly would not wear casual clothes into this sacred place of theirs.

Carmen Chen

Ringlestein, Y., 2013. Real or Not Real. The Hunger Games as Transmediated Religion 1, [Online]. 25/3, p. 372-387. Available at:http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1470781211?accountid=13552 [Accessed 24 March 2014].

– The extension of the transmedia storyworld into everyday real world experience, is closely related to the thematic concerns of the mothership narrative. i.e The Hunger Games has a core theme of ‘fighting injustice, inequality & manipulative control’, the potential for a strong transmedia world is heightened by the universal appeal of the theme – it directly correlates to real life user experience. In smaller scale, low-budget transmedia productions, a great way to encourage the expansion of the transmedia world into the real world of its users is to centre on a theme that has universal value. Interestingly, this is also the traditional basis of any ‘good story’.

– The success of a transmedia work is dependent on coherency and unity. In order to sustain interest and a sense of ‘story’, all the pieces must form parts of the whole. There must be consistent reference to a certain character, key narrative or central theme. This can, and must, be achieved in both large and small scale transmedia works.

– Transmedia has the potential to implicitly evoke or strengthen certain views and values in it’s audience through the process of audience engagement in building a storyworld; it enables consumers to perform their desire for unity.

– Unlike any other medium, the audience can be given the creative control over the growth of the storyworld. The growth and level of engagement of an audience, determines the rate and depth of growth of the storyworld. On a small-scale transmedia work, we have a limited capacity to create a world that may expand exponentially – unless we can secure a solid active audience.

– When an audience becomes fully immersed in the transmedia world, they become inextricably linked with the transformation of the world from fiction to reality. Even low budget transmedia works must allow for audiences to play a significant role in the evolution of the stoyworld – whether this be user generated content, contributions, feedback or audience choices.

– The construction of a ‘character’ in a film/transmedia storyworld by an actor, can actually begin to complicate audience perspectives of that person in real life. Jennifer Lawrence has a whole celebrity character constructed around the values and traits of her most famous fictional role. It can be an interesting element to explore even in small-scale transmedia works, playing with the blurred lines between performer and character.

– The emotional impact and personal connection of an audience with a story, is amplified when the audience becomes implicit in the narrative themselves. Transmedia has the ability the draw an audience into the ‘world’ rather than a singular narrative, thereby

– A clever way to promote audience engagement within a transmedia work, is to base the work itself on a theme or concept that is self-reflexive; the Hunger Games transmedia world references itself by displaying the implications and nuances of the key narrative theme: mass media consumption and propaganda can become a means of solidifying injustice, inequality and manipulation. The transmedia world mirrors this narrative concern and thereby the audience feels tangibly involved in the ‘fight’ or ‘revolution’. In a small-scale transmedia project, this would be achieved by fully utilizing appropriate mediums – e-magazines, fictional advertisements, video content – to play out the real world equivalents of the storyworld ficionalities.

– Transmedia works take on a whole new level of audience appeal when they appropriately mimic the functional process of the human mind. A great transmedia work – regardless of scale or budget – successfully takes hold of the natural process of imaginative storytelling cognition; a process of links, associations, assumptions and preditions.

– A storyworld can be made more familiar – and therefore ‘appealing’ – to the user, by linking to mediums and platforms they already connect with on a day-to-day basis in the real world. The depth and breadth of user experience is exemplified by links to facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, gmail, sharing options. This results in further blurring the line between reality and fiction, and is a very powerful tool for small scale transmedia producers – social media is free to use and vast, it is already inhabited by most online users and audiences.

“Hunger Games is the franchise on fire.” UWIRE Text 3 Dec. 2013: 1. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Jamil Moledina. 2012. The Hunger Games Transmedia Smorgasbord. [ONLINE] Available at:http://somofos.com/the-hunger-games-transmedia-smorgasbord/. [Accessed 24 March 14].

Lamb, A., 2011. Reading Redefined for a Transmedia Universe. Learning & Leading with Technology, [Online]. -, p. 13-17. Available at:http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ954320.pdf [Accessed 24 March 2014].

McNary, Dave. “‘Games’ people play: will franchise starter vault Lionsgate into a bigger biz arena?” Daily Variety 20 Mar. 2012: 1+. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Mcdonald, Parker, R.M, J.P, 2013. When a story is more than paper. Young Adult Library Services, [Online]. p. 27-31. Available at:http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/ps/retrieve.do?retrieveFormat=PDF_FROM_CALLISTO&accesslevel=FULLTEXT&inPS=true&prodId=AONE&userGroupName=rmit&tabID=&workId=PI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-26.JPG%7CPI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-27.JPG%7CPI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-28.JPG%7CPI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-29.JPG%7CPI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-30.JPG%7CPI-5QWE-2013-SUM00-IDSI-31.JPG&docId=GALE%7CA337071003&callistoContentSet=PER&isAcrobatAvailable=false [Accessed 24 March 2014].

Pardee, Thomas. “AMERICA’S HOTTEST BRANDS; THE HUNGER GAMES.” Advertising Age 15 Nov. 2010: 0024. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

“Roaring Success.” Newsweek 9 Apr. 2012: 11. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Siobhan O’Flynn. 2012. Transmedia engagement participatory culture to activism. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/sioflynn/transmedia-engagement-participatory-culture-to-activism. [Accessed 24 March 14].

Siobhan O’Flynn. 2013. The Harry Potter Alliance Launches New Fan Site: Odds In Our Favor ‘Taking back the narrative’ of Catching Fire. [ONLINE] Available at: http://transmediacamp101.com/tag/the-hunger-games/. [Accessed 24 March 14].

Smith, Krista. “Let The Games Begin!” Vanity Fair Dec. 2011: 234. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.


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