Transmedia storytelling (not to be confused with multimedia storytelling) is story telling across multiple forms of media which come together to create a single entertainment experience. Henry Jenkins identifies The Matrix as a prominent example of Transmedia storytelling however, I find Star Wars to be more apt.
The creation of the Star Wars universe began in 1977 with the first film ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, from there: 11 other films, 5 animated series’, over 100 novels, well over 100 comic books, numerous video games, a trading card game and many fan works, have been created with each expanding and adding to the story, now this is obviously not allowing for any future texts and with the release of the 7th film in two years time, there is bound to be more fan works, games, novels, books, comics and even more films. Then there is the merchandise, from clothing to figurines, everything you could imagine is available from the Star Wars shop.
Henry Jenkins blog post both explains transmedia storytelling whilst providing examples to reinforce his points, this really opened my eyes to all the popular movies and novels which use transmedia to expand on their stories. Something that makes me question the use of transmedia however, is the blurred line between expanding on a story and milking a product for all it is worth. Now, I know ‘milking a product’ isn’t measurable but there has to be some point where expansion and marketing meet, and it should be identified.
Furthermore Jenkin’s book “GLOBALISATION: Culture and Education in the New Millennium” in particular, the chapter “POP COSMOPOLITANISM: Mapping Cultural Flows in an Age of Media Convergence” gave further examples of transmedia storytelling however it was his definitions of both Corporate Convergence and Grassroots Convergence that drew my attention. Once again, it seems, there is a battle of media ownership between corporate and users. I tend to be more favourable towards the Grassroots convergence rather than Corporate simply because I believe in consumers becoming prosumers and creating new works which add on to existing worlds. I feel this ties in nicely with my previous point of ‘milking for all it is worth’ because with Corporate convergence, an argument can be made saying that all the business wants to do is make money, this cannot be said for Grassroots, but another argument for quality can be made.
I’m beginning to see a reoccurring theme in my blog posts.