Task 1: A Song of Ice and Fire

Jasmine Tamara Subrata (s3338549)
Alexandron Zemtsov (s3381585)

 

A Song of Ice and Fire as Transmedia from Alex Zemtsov on Vimeo.

Independent Literature Summary 

#1. Alex Zemtsov

Dowd, Tom. Michael Fry, Michael Niederman, Josef Steiff (2013). Storytelling Across Worlds: Transmedia for Creatives and Producers. New York: Focal Press (p.3-32)

An exploration of Transmedia from the perspective of producers and creators rather than the typically dry theoretical approach taken by many other papers.

Starting by defining Transmedia, drawing upon regulatory definitions from the Producer’s Guild of America, as well as the writings of Henry Jenkins, to come to the conclusion that, amongst other things, “each expression has to tell a complete piece of a larger story”, the text then moves on to describe the process of creation, from finding an idea to commencing production. A large part of the paper is then dedicated to discussing audiences, presentation and platforms; the significance of, say, making a Transmedia element a motion picture, or a book.

Next, the more creative side of Transmedia production is explored; how will the story work? Here, the notion of “one world, many stories” is emphasized, wherein the world and its inhabitants are what ties a Transmedia project together. As such, it must be strongly fleshed out in order to remain coherent and believable. Next, ways in which elements can be formulated are outlined, including, most notably, the three terms of Adaptation (retelling in a different medium), Extension (alternative retelling with new narrative elements) and Expansion (a parallel work that broadens the story). Finally, the notion of a “cornerstone property” is introduced – the initial work that introduces central narrative elements – and different factors on the medium in which this should be presented are explored, as well as how audiences may interact with this and subsequent releases.

#2. Jasmine Subrata

Klastrup, L & Tosca, S 2004, ‘Transmedial Worlds – Rethinking Cyberworld Design’, Proceedings of the 2004 International Conference on Cyberworlds, p. 409-416

 

Transmedial worlds can be described as abstract content systems where the designers and consumers share the same understanding of the fictional characters and the universe in which they reside in. The specific world can originate from one media but can be elaborated and changed over time through different platforms. This is called adaptation, and it has two approaches; semiotic, which concerns the aesthetics between media forms, and story, which discusses which aspects of the story should be adopted or adjusted to fit the sign system.

All of the products and incarnations all share a basic foundational story with only a single acceptable version of a mythos, topos and ethos—these are the core elements of a transmedial world. Mythos is the establishing conflicts, stories, and lore items unique to the universe that one needs to understand in order to interact with world. Topos is the specific historical period and detailed geography. And ethos is the moral codex of behavior that the characters are supposed to follow.

Synthesis 

  • Storytelling elements particular to a certain medium can be transposed to other media and retain their essence
  • With retroactive transmedia projects, certain works are more suited for the creation of a transmedia franchise based on the depth of their fictional world
  • Outwardly superfluous transmedia elements can have the effect of adding to the story and world as seen in the example of the Game of Thrones title sequence
  • The overwhelming popularity of a single transmedia element can have the effect of redefining the whole franchise
  • This redefinition is reminiscent of a shift in the cornerstone work where transmedia elements stem from something that is not the original
  • Video games have the unique potential to allow the player to explore the fictional world from a first person perspective
  • Additionally, they have the potential to give the player a unique agency that cannot be achieved in other media platforms where alongside exploring the world, can also change it
  • The repeated production of adaptations can be successful even if the story is not sufficiently altered if they leverage the unique capacities of their particular media

 

References

Abraham, D 2011-present, A Game of Thrones, comic book series, Dynamite Entertainment, United States

Dena, C 2014, “Chapter 1” Transmedia Primer by RMIT PP1.14

Dowd, T, Fry, M, Niederman, M, Steiff, J 2013, Storytelling Across Worlds: Transmedia for Creatives and Producers, Focal Press, Waltham, Massachusetts, p. 3-32

Fiorelli, G 2013, ‘Transmedia Storytelling: Building Worlds For and With Fans’, The Moz Blog, weblog post, April 23, viewed 14 March 2014, < http://moz.com/blog/transmedia-storytelling-building-worlds-for-and-with-fans>

Game of Thrones 2011-present, television program, HBO, United States

Jenkins, H 2008, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, NYU Press, New York

Jenkins, H 2007, ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, weblog post, March 22, viewed March 16 2014, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>

Jenkins, H 2009, ‘The Revenge of the Origami Unicorn: Seven Principles of Transmedia Storytelling’, Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins, weblog post, December 12, viewed March 16 2014, <http://henryjenkins.org/2009/12/the_revenge_of_the_origami_uni.html>

Klastrup, L & Tosca, S 2004, ‘Transmedial Worlds – Rethinking Cyberworld Design’, Proceedings of the 2004 International Conference on Cyberworlds, p. 409-416

Martin, G 1996-2011, A Song of Ice and Fire, book series, Bantam Books, New York

Schedeen, J 2011, IGN, September 21, viewed 14 March 2014, < http://au.ign.com/articles/2011/09/21/a-game-of-thrones-1-review>

Shaw-Williams, H 2013, Game Rant, 23 December, viewed 14 March 2014, <http://gamerant.com/telltale-games-game-of-thrones-tales-from-the-borderlands/>

The Walking Dead. 2012. PC [Game]. Telltale Games: California

The Wolf Among Us. 2013. PC [Game]. Telltale Games: California

A Song of Ice and Fire as Transmedia from Alex Zemtsov on Vimeo.

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