I should go deeper into the ideas in this post, but Im tired and Ill let the medium be the medium and rely on “comments” and “replies” to expand my thoughts if anyone wants to get into it. I am expanding some thoughts based on some back and forth in a horribly placed facebook thread on transmedia storytelling etc, that i got into. Ill link it later…–updated:
So overview of thoughts. Writers….write. they write stories with words. They are being enamored with “gold in those darn hills” this year by the same things that got them to leave NY for CA in 1950s. Plays and Novels were dead paying mediums, TV and Films were making them a living or rich out west… so they went. Eventually a new type of professional was born, screen writer. But as we saw, only a few became masters at it. it was new, it required different thinking and bias.
Transmedia by definition “i thought” was -“trans -media” –multiple across many mediums- and “story” so it seems to me is the core from writing- narrative linear communication. So Storytelling (idea transfer)–StorySelling( + economics) goes beyond writing and can of course be expressed in images, audio, and interactions. Its this pallette that allows for transmedia actions to occur and be experienced by a viewser/s.
Writers keep telling us that GOOD Transmedia is Story driven. I disagree. I see most successful Transmedia Ips today becoming less an less story-written required. IM NOT saying this is a GOOD thing, but the outcome of decades of electric/ now networked digital media. But that gets us into a whole other conversation, let’s just yack about some of the most basic “transmedia memes” that have been flowing past me on the web for the last year or so..OK?
Let’s hope one day I can run a panel or get a discussion going truthfully about this. A great mechanism would be that panel that has the creators of these 3 often used examples of “transmedia” online taking part and discussing the real beginning of the IPs of STAR WARS, TRON and the Matrix.
All used FILM as their Core Media Sell- Experience and the idea of STORY quality can be examined with the 3 to find any truth to the STORY as Key for successfull transmedia ip meme.
My rough thoughts on the 3 IPs :
Star Wars ( and i speak of first 77 movie alone, all star wars universe we know came later-really;0) Was the most successfull in terms of impact and dollars, fans etc… had the most simple mythic story, kinda badly written for both audience of adults and actors to say;) but was visually “new and stunning” to mass audience, as well as it had ” good toy -play potential” as an IP..
TRON; which IMO was the most fully transmedia Ip thinking of the 3– had the most intergrated “play potential”- all those grid games – but suffered becuase of not the derivative star wars wrting-story.. but becuase its visuals( core film medium) were too “outhere” for the mainstream non geek cmp science audience on 1980… they needed dirty spaceships… not geometric expressionism:) ( bravo syd mead for doing both) So Tron failed to make superstar transmedia IP levels.. not because of bad storytelling, but bad visual connect with mass audience… the Video games BTW- pure gold..pure to their medium— the trans worked for that media;)- they the games -played-, were the reason that 30 years later the IP is revived from history.
The Matrix- in all ways it had the most complex writing and story offered. So much that each sequel lost its main mediated mass of gen y geeks more and more upon there release…The world presented-written didn’t make for as good as games as Tron (though both used similar vr themes) and the real success of the movie to a mass was its visual style of bullet cams and anime fu choreagraphy. The toys/character visuals weren’t as diverse via “iconography” as star wars or even tron..so its transmedia play wouldn’t reach as deep as those IPS with younger generations.. it was also written for an older IQ…. more fail for them I guess but again more writing work for writers in more written media around VR culture…literates rejoice.
So that’s a rough blog post making some thoughts that really need a 2 hr panel discussion… so lets do it in SF, invite me, pay for my hotel and flight. And lets get Lucas, Brothers Wachowski, and Lisberger on panel and lets rip apart the “story” thing…
But then we can bring on JK Rowling to show that written story- CAN be core media for a transmedia major success, but that it’s really tough and that masters of words into story that can create transmedia ips are very rare indeed. A good question though to ask her and the audience would be their thoughts on what do they think the CORE memory of Harry Potter will be in 50-100 years, the Novels or the Movies. Which would be the fodder for the Transmedia projects of 2060?. Crazy? well what Frankenstein do you think of today? Mary’s or Boris’s — and which would you INVEST in today, Mr/Ms. StorySeller;) ?
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