Transmedia. It’s about storytelling
“All media start with the author saying. “Please take this seriously.” (…) And what we’re doing is the same thing. It’s the first in a long series of steps in the birth of a new medium. It’s not movies on the Web. It’s not interactive TV. It’s the way th Internet wants to tell stories. (…) No one has a clear definition of what that is. But the internet is trying very, very hard to tell us. And the only way to figure it out is to try”
Elan Lee in The Art of Inmerssion by Frank Rose.
Though transmedia can be said that was born with the birth of history and its first manifestations may be associated with the launch of the works of Homer, the arrival of the Internet is giving this concept a quantum leap that is becoming in the birth of a new form of storytelling, a new art form that is in the process of definition as at the time the novel or film needed decades or centuries to be defined.
As Elan Lee says in the quote that heads this page transmedia is a new form of storytelling that has the network as the main distribution channel and therefore the media that is on the internet to reach its audience.
On this page we will give the definition of transmedia from the point of view of three professionals from various fields: a journalist, editor and writer (Frank Rose), a transmedia producer itself (Jeff Gomez) and an university professor (Henry Jenkins).
Robert Pratten picture, whole is more than the sum of parts.
Frank Rose, The Art of Inmerssion
What we’re witnessing is the emergence of a new form of narrative that’s native to the Internet. Told through many media at once in a nonlinear fashion, these new narratives encourage us not merely to watch but to participate, often engaging us in the same way that games do. This is “deep media”: stories that are not just entertaining but immersive, that take you deeper than an hour-long TV drama or a two-hour movie or a 30-second spot will permit.
Jeff Gómez, Starlight Runner
Transmedia narrative is the technique of conveying messages, concepts and themes to a mass audience through systemic and concerted use of multiple media platforms. The implementation is designed to engage audience members individually, validating their involvement and positively reinforcing personal participation in the narrative. The result is intense loyalty, long-term engagement and a desire to share the experience.
Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture
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 it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.
Nowadays transmedia techniques are used in fields such as television, film, advertising, education, activism, editorials, … and the platforms they use are as many as there are media: television, radio, internet, events in real life , apps, args among others.
As Nick de Martino tell us in his maravellous article Why transmedia is catching on:
Transmedia is becoming the Next Big Thing in both Hollywood and on Madison Avenue.