“Transmedia intertextuality works to position consumers as powerful players while disavowing commercial manipulation" - Marsha KinderConversely, Henry Jenkins pushed the term a little bit further -
"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." from his blog.
And yet - while explaining a transmedia property can be hard - pitching it can be... more hard. Extra hard with layers of "Your Princess is In Another Castle" times eight.
Beyond that - getting it off the ground and then getting people to actually be involved across all of the platforms - on your twitters, facebook, youtube and more platforms - it can be daunting. Which platforms are the best? Who runs everything? How many people do you need to run all of this?
At the amazing Argfest-O-Con (and at Transmedia 101) in Toronto, Robert Pratten was on hand to discuss their transmedia platform Conducttr:
Our tools will remove the technical hurdles that prevent creative people from delivering engaging, profitable experiences across multiple platforms. We aim to provide the LEGO building blocks of choice for cross-platform storytellers, internationally.
Conducttr is exciting for a couple of reasons - along with piles of new streaming technologies developing to get beyond youtube and to develop and further the ways in which content creators can work with and interact with their audiences.
Pratten is - beyond developing technology for creators - a fan of these platforms and stories. Pratten mentioned a few of his favourite ARGs - like Vancouver-developed CodeRunner:
One thing that Pratten discussed was the idea of pirating - how one may be able to pirate a film or a TV show or even a web series - but an experience, that you can't (yet) steal.
Which is probably why the pre-buy in for Patient 0 is insane (at current count? Almost $230,000 of their original $10,000 goal)
But Patient 0 offers a narrative experience - lazer tag with "real" zombies.
Conducttr is trying to make those experiences easier for those wanting to make them. The Roswell Experience, seen below, gives a bit of a background of what they've been able to accomplish:
And while "pervasive entertainment platform" doesn't entirely roll off the tongue - it gives a huge understanding of what it can play with. And developing these new experiences - making your audience a key member of the narrative doesn't have to be intensely technological challenging or complex... But still awesome.
That's an exciting prospect. I've looked through and played a bit with conducttr, and it's a bit daunting to start with however the layout just means you need to have a set idea of how people can/will interact with the concept - but this is no more work than developing any other concept.
And you can twig things to change is based on both real world events and set events in the narrative. By how people interact with characters.
Lowlifes, as an example, is only three platforms - a novella, web series and a blog - which is to say that not everything needs to be as extensive as the Roswell Experience.
So beyond that, the question exists - is it worth while to make these projects - as opposed to, say, a feature or something more traditional? Conducttr is making it possible to make these narrative experiences (along with other factors like lowered costs of production and the increased ability/want for users to interact more with characters and narrative).