Task 1 – Star Wars

Star Wars

Stevey-Lee Ginger (s3435382)
Sin Yu Jing (s3470063)
Stephen Holland (s3331243)

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LEARNING DOT POINTS:

Defining “transmedia” is a difficult and somewhat contentious thing to do with a lot of debate surrounding its characteristics.
West Coast versus East Coast transmedia. In other words; large-scale or “franchise” transmedia content (stories split into large chunks across limited platforms, such as a Hollywood film, novel and game) versus usually interactive, web-centric transmedia content with smaller narrative pieces delivered across many platforms (and thus requiring more user interaction).
Transmedia is not to be confused with multimedia or crossmedia. Utilising numerous delivery methods or replicating a single story across multiple platforms isn’t enough, it’s also not a simple combination of multiple types of media (eg; text, sound and image).
Spreadability vs. Drillability – the degree to which content can be shared and why that content might be shared versus the ability for a transmedia audience to explore sections of a story’s narrative in-depth.
Continuity vs. Multiplicity – ensuring consistent narrative details and allowing fans to invest in familiar characters and events versus alternate versions or new character developments or perspectives.
Immersion vs. Extractability – the audience enters the world of the story (eg; virtual reality, scavenger hunt) versus the fan taking aspects of the story away with them as resources.
Worldbuilding – transmedia extensions that give depth to the setting/world within which the transmedia story takes place. These relate to time, space and mood and expanding narrative potential.
Seriality – the degree to which a story’s narrative pieces are dispersed across multiple mediums/media, as opposed to perhaps breaking up a single original narrative into discrete pieces and delivering (perhaps in installments) via a single medium.
Subjectivity – relating to perspective; exploring setting or narrative through additional characters, gaining new insights or different sides of events.
Performance – the ability of the transmedia content to extend to fan productions that can become part of the narrative (whether those extensions are welcome or unwelcome). Fans will often seek out avenues to share and discuss such activities (eg; online communities/discussion forums).
STORY is the most important thing in transmedia – without it, you won’t be able to fully engage your audience and send them searching deeper for more information about your world.
MUST. HAVE. CONFLICT.
Make sure you base your conflict on universal human themes. From this you can extract a core need to be further developed and then populated with characters that are in sympathy or conflict with that core need.
Try to base major plot points on events in world history – it adds richness, depth and complexity to your story (and also makes it much easier to keep things interesting for the audience!)
It’s all in the details – it’s the little things that can really engage your viewer; a letter, a map, a language…
Continuity is also crucial – once you have created your world, it’s elements need to be consistent across all the platforms you use so that it is plausible and coherent. This allows the audience to easily become immersed in the world.
The different types of transmedia really influences the design process of your project and each requires different skill sets.
From Dowd, a key pillar to always keep in mind is “One world. Many Stories”. We need to try to create worlds that are spacious and detailed, rich and fertile enough to allow for growth over time with the ability to be slightly different in each medium.
Make sure you choose the right medium for the right story, and vice versa – there are some forms of stories or story elements that work best as a particular medium/on a particular platform.
STORY STORY STORY – make sure that each element/part of the transmedia project is a whole, contained story that can stand alone as a text.
Good story is important, it doesn’t matter how the story is told. Don’t use transmedia to help market your story.
Characters should have a good back-story to support their motivation. Different back-stories can be told through different platforms, in whichever platforms that work best.
Different mediums/platforms helps one single fictional story to reach out to more audiences (comic books target children, novels target young adults, etc)
The audience is their own makers. Transmedia has changed audience behaviours, allowing the audience to make their own content. It lets the audience act as collaborators.
Transmedia requires a lot of collaboration between different companies that are in the different industries – book publishing, film making, website etc.
Producing stories through transmedia storytelling can be cheap. With easy access to the different tools (phone, internet, camera, etc) it can even be free. But it doesn’t have to be cheap.
Not every story requires to be told through transmedia storytelling – it is not a one size fit all thing. Some stories are told better just through a single platform, some stories require different mediums.
Relies on participation from audience.
Different experience for different people – harder for companies to control how people consume their materials. Some might read the novel first, then watch the movie, then play the game; some might have a different sequence when consuming the story.
Marketing strategy for some companies to earn more money. It is not encouraged as it strays away from storytelling.
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VIDEO / EMBED CODE (paste link into WordPress for auto embed): https://vimeo.com/90296181

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ARTICLE SUMMARIES:

Name: Stevey-Lee Ginger
Article: Seven Myths About Transmedia Storytelling Debunked
Link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/to3uguzye5ggqg3/Seven%20Myths%20About%20Transmedia%20Storytelling%20Debunked.pdf

This article helps to clarify what transmedia is by explaining what it isn’t. Through debunking seven myths about transmedia storytelling, Jenkins tries to explain what people in the production industry (and those interested in it) are getting wrong in regards to defining what exactly constitutes transmedia.

He begins with advising us that transmedia is different elements of story spread across multiple platforms, not just one story re-told on a different platform. Whilst transmedia can be utilised as a promotional strategy and it can include games amongst its constituent elements, the best transmedia is driven by creative elements and games are just one part of the possible transmedia models.

The other key points Jenkins lists include is that transmedia has potential to appeal to a broad audience, it does not necessarily require a large budget, not all stories are cut out for transmedia and should remain single entities and that some transmedia projects have failed, not because audiences have lost interest in transmedia but because the stories being told were not interesting enough to keep an audience engaged.
He finishes by explaining that transmedia is all about giving your fans the chance to dig deeper into the world of the stories they love.

Name: Sin Yu Jing
Article: Transmedia Storytelling 101
Link: http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

This article gives an insight about what transmedia storytelling is and why stories are told in this manner. Jenkins explains that transmedia storytelling is a process where different parts of a fiction are distributed throughout different platforms and each platform will have its unique contribution for the storytelling.
Most of the time, transmedia stories are based on complex fictional worlds, not just individual characters or specific plots. This fictional world is buildable, and encourages both readers and writers to dig deeper into content. Extensions in transmedia storytelling have a variety of different functions. It can give audience an insight into the characters and their motivation, provide more information about the fictional world or fill out gaps in between.
Transmedia storytelling can also help a single fictional story reach out to more audiences through the different platforms. Usually, each individual episode can be a standalone piece where audiences can just consume that certain piece of media without having to read or watch the others. However, each piece of media has a unique contribution to the narrative.
A transmedia text does not just give audience information either; it provides the audience with roles and goals. This encourages them to construct their own stories which results in fan-fiction, where fans introduce possible and potential plots.

Name: Stephen Holland
Article: Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment: An annotated syllabus.

Jenkins, H 2010, ‘Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment: An annotated syllabus’, Continuum: Journal Of Media & Cultural Studies, 24, 6, pp. 943-958, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 March 2014.

Within his article in the Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, Henry Jenkins outlines in teaching transmedia storytelling, including its overall significance and particularly poignant case studies and examples. This article would of particular interest for those wondering what to explore to gain a greater understanding of transmedia.
Jenkins describes his introduction of his concept of transmedia storytelling and the comparison made between himself and other academic, teachers or industry professionals such as Christy Dena.
Jenkins provides an initial definition on page 944: ‘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 its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story’. He then explains where this definition and focus on narrative leaves certain elements; giving the example of action figures as an extension of Star Wars.
Jenkins explains that often, when dealing with the sheer scale of some of these texts, it can be extraordinarily difficult and daunting. A better approach would be to analyse sections, rather than the whole.
Jenkins states that many people cling to the idea that transmedia stories depend on strict continuity, whilst his work on artefacts such as superhero comics has shown a different pattern, where simply character continuity is enough to satisfy the audience or reader.
Jenkins also reinforces at a number of points that whilst transmedia is very much here, it’s still developing as a practice, with potential for further refinement, analysis and new ideas.

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

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