Task 1

Gianna Mazzeo (3381398), Andy McAllum (3376628), Adam Ricco (3379627)
Slideshow Presentation: https://present.me/embed/922/400/160920-transmedia

Text Summaries:

(1)
Scolari, CA 2013, Lostology: Transmedia storytelling and expansion/compression strategies, Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, Vol. 195, pp45 (Academic One File)
Using the television series Lost and it’s supporting transmedia artefacts, Scolari attempts to propose a taxonomy of transmedia expressions and decipher the role and benefits of transmedia narrative in modern storytelling practice. Citing Lost as the best example of transmedia narrative in the digital age, while Scolari’s research uses Lost as a case study, his findings are used to better understand the effects of transmedia at an academic level. Scolari believes UGC is perhaps the most significant form of transmedia expansion, as its unrestricted nature and DIY aesthetic involves consumers on a deeper level and can be responsible for creating a fresh perspective or deeper understanding of a master text. Examining officially authored content, Scolari identifies two main transmedia approaches: expansion and compression. Expansion entails the creation of texts that enrichen the story world by introducing new situations or characters and exploring alternate special or time-based possibilities of the main text. On the other hand compression recapitulate the narrative in order to create new entry points for consumers or re-interpretation for invested consumers of the text. Scolari deduces that the lines between mediums and storytelling strategies are blurring in the digital age and that denying a narrative its transmedia’s potential is to deny the reader of that text a deeper, richer and more meaningful connection.
(2)
Graves, M, 2011. Lost in a Transmedia Storytelling Franchise: Rethinking Transmedia Engagement. 1. Kansas: University of Kansas.
Chapter two of Michael Graves’ dissertation, ‘Lost in a Transmedia Storytelling Franchise: Rethinking Transmedia Engagement’ explores transmedia promotional campaigns and the blurred line between marketing and storytelling. This discussion is framed in terms of the ‘The Lost Experience’ , which is ABC’s transmedia campaign for television series ‘Lost’.
Leading up to the release of the pilot episode in 2004, paratexts were created in order to promote the series such as bottles placed on US beaches with informational flyers within; an Oceanic Airlines website; a Hanso Foundation website; hotlines that could be dialed in order to receive secret access to the websites; codes and secrets embedded within the websites of Lost sponsors (i.e. Jeep, Dodge, Sprite etc.).
Graves studies this last element of the campaign to investigate the extent to which the example of ‘The Lost Experience’ exemplifies marketing motives. Many fans were left unimpressed by being led to a sponsor website in order to find clues for other websites associated with the story world. This form of blatant product placement was apparently jarring and removed fans from The Lost Experience for potential marketing gain.
Furthermore, those viewers who don’t have the time to maintain frequent engagement with the storyworld raise the question of whether this will affect their experience and understanding of the television series.
The dissertation brings to the fore many valid arguments that arise from the integration of advertising and storytelling.
(3)
Pont, S, 2013. Digital State: How the Internet is Changing Everything . 1st ed. United Kingdom: Kogan Page Publishers. In Simon Pont’s Digital State, he discusses in details the profound ways in which the Internet has changed the way we view information. In particular, he explores what effect this has on transmedia and it’s ability to immerse its audience in any number of stories. The chapter entitled ‘When Fiction Bleeds’ (p. 139) uses the Ridley Scott’s Prometheus (2012) as an example of how different platforms can be utilised to create a more captivating and three-dimensional story. Prometheus used everything from mock advertisements for androids that exist within the story, to a detailed back story on one of the key figures in the film, Peter Weyland. Pont notes that the latter was essential in making the campaign a success, stating that it ‘overlaps fiction and reality, bleeding story into the real world’. The mastermind behind the campaign, Damon Lindelof, makes several comparisons between Prometheus and space exploration. He notes that ‘in the future, space exploration will not be merely about going out to find planets and build new colonies. The further we go out, the more we will learn about ourselves’. (Lindelof 2011) Pont continues with this idea, whereby the further you can take a story and push the boundaries of it, the more you will learn about your role as an audience member.
Synthesis:
– – Blurring the distinction between fiction and reality is ideal, however, morality and privacy need to be maintained in doing so.

– – Transmedia storytelling can be associated closely with marketing campaigns.

– – There needs to be sustained viewer engagement through the evasion of creating finite media elements.

– – When making a retroactive transmedia story, one must take care to add value to the text with each platform that is created.

References:
Curtis, D 2012, Exploiting Reality, viewed 20 March 2014. http://dcurt.is/exploiting-reality
Graves, M, 2011. Lost in a Transmedia Storytelling Franchise: Rethinking Transmedia Engagement. 1. Kansas: University of Kansas.
Jenkins, H 2009, Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: The Remaining Four Principles of Transmedia Storytelling, viewed 20 March 2014. http://henryjenkins.org/2009/12/revenge_of_the_origami_unicorn.html
Jenkins, H 2009, The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling (Well, Two Actually. Five More on Friday), viewed 20 March 2014. http://henryjenkins.org/2009/12/the_revenge_of_the_origami_uni.html
Phillips, A, 2012. A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences Across Multiple Platforms. 1st ed. Australia & New Zealand: McGraw-Hill.
Pont, S, 2013. Digital State: How the Internet is Changing Everything . 1st ed. United Kingdom: Kogan Page Publishers.
Scolari, CA 2013. Lostology: Transmedia Storytelling and expansion/compression strategies, Semiotica: Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies.Vol. 195, pp45 (Academic One File)

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