Thinking about the success of J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter or Disney’s Frozen or Marvel’s Avengers, I always thought that the endless amounts of success and ‘obsession’ came from appearances, advertising and various forms of merchandising. Until I was made aware of the term ‘transmedia’.
Transmedia is the act of telling multiple stories over a range of different mediums. Henry Jenkins describes transmedia as being “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”. Despite the initial story being told, each medium adjusts and adds their own play on the original story in a sense relating back to last weeks post on ‘remixing’. By having such a widespread of platforms that showcase stories it allows the focus on one particular area or reveals unknown facts about the subject, for example ‘Pottermore‘; the interactive Harry Potter website allows you to play online as a witch or wizard. As the user works their way through the book, each chapter reveals a hidden secret or fact that was not made clear in the coinciding film.
Isn’t this like multimedia but?
NO. Multimedia tells a single story over multiple mediums whereas transmedia showcases multiple stories over multiple forms of media. Transmedia flexibility enhances a sense of realism to the fiction. Game designer Neil young devised the term “additive comprehension” which is the way in which new texts are able to add new pieces of information which broaden our knowledge of the fiction.
Disney is one of the world’s biggest companies, and within this company there are endless amounts of franchises such as Frozen, Toy Story and Mickey Mouse. Disney is an example of its work with transmedia, Mickey Mouse is one of Disney’s first and oldest characters. Over the years we have seen multiple movies based around the character as well as emerging television shows that appear on ‘Disney Junior’ and multiple video games and comics. Through the various types of mediums different fact and takes on Mickey Mouse have emerged which reflects it timeless success and ability to appeal to all new and old ages.
To check out more of Disney in Transmedia check out – http://www.scoop.it/t/transmedia-storytelling-for-the-digital-age/?tag=Disney
It seems as if transmedia has become the pinnacle of many franchises, giving the liberty and ability of expansion that widens the contents audience.