Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Transmedia Storytelling

Peter Bagge noted for the sharp social satire in HATE comics and more recently for GET IT on the film THE MATRIX and how people are responding to it

A Transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole. In the ideal form of Transmedia storytelling, each medium does what it does best – so that a story might be introduced in film, expanded through television, novels, and comics; it world might be explored through game play or experienced as an amusement park attraction. Each franchise entry needs to be self contained so you don’t need to have seen the film to enjoy the game, and vice versa. Any given product is a point of entry into the franchise as a whole. Reading across the media sustains a depth of experience that motivates more consumption. Redundancy burns up fan interest and causes franchises to fail. Offering new levels of insight and experience refreshes the franchise and sustains consumer loyalty. The economic logic of a horizontally integrated entertainment industry – that is, one where a single company may have roots across all the different media sectors – dictates the flow of content across media. Different media attracts different market niches. Films and Television probably have the most diverse audiences; comics and games the narrowest. A good Transmedia franchise works to attract multiple constituencies by pitching the content in somewhat different constituencies – and if each work offers fresh experiences – then you count on a crossover market that will expand the potential gross.
The perfect CASE STUDY
Here’s what science fiction writer BRUCE STERLING trying to explain his fascination for THE MATRIX as a cult movie:
First and foremost, the film’s got pop appeal elements. All kinds of elements: suicidal attack by elite special forces, crashing helicopters, oodles of martial arts, a chaste yet passionate story of predestined love, bug-eyed monsters of the absolute first water, fetish clothes, captivity and torture and daring rescue, plus really weird, cool submarines…There’s Christian exegesis, a Redeemer myth, a death and rebirth, a hero in self discovery, THE ODYSSEY, Jean Baudrillard (lots of Baudrillard, the best part of the film), science fiction ontological riffs and the Philip K. Dick School, Nebuchadnezzar, the Buddha, Taoism, martial-arts mysticism, oracular prophecy, spoon-bending telekinesis, Houdini stage-show magic, Joseph Campbell, and Godelian mathematical metaphysics.
And that’s just the first film!
Few of the movies endless borrowings:
- Use of the mythological names for the characters (Morpheus, Persephone, Trinity)
- Neo pulls a copy of Baurdrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation (1981/1995) for this shelf
- The traitor Cypher, is referred to one point as “Mr. Reagan” and asks for an alternative life where he is an actor who gains political power – are clear only when you put together information from multiple sources
- License plates on the cars (such as DA203 or IS5416), which reference specific and context-appropriate Bible verses(Daniel 2:3 or Isaiah 54:15)—may require you to move through the film frame by frame on your DVD player.
- Neo’s apartment number is 101, which is the room number of the torture chamber in George Orwell’s 1984(1949). Once you have picked up this number, then you discover that 101 is also floor number for the Merovingian’s nightclub and the number of highway where the characters clash in THE MATRIX RELOADED
- The sheer abundance of allusions makes it nearly impossible for any given consumer to master the franchise totally. In this context, the Wackhoski brothers have positioned themselves as oracles – hidden from view most of the time, surfacing only to offer cryptic comment, refusing direct answers, and speaking with a single voice.
(to be continued later…)


Gargoyle said...

The matrix is pure money dude. nothing else.

the anti rational dreams of nothing

At times I wonder,
What would we do,
If evil got no ads on TV,
And magazines stopped publishing evil too.

All ill killed by good mood,
We share hunger like we share energy and food
The WHOa and the GATTa would be forgotten, I know, for good,
'I centric reasoning' was an epidemic, we'll remember,
How could mankind be so rude??

Olympic and cricket promotes 'lovopetition'
The audience would sure be bored,
The soft-war of chemical drinks would be past,
Awards for every failure would be ensured.

Someone shouts, "stop the world, there are no profits"
Some heirarchist commits suicide,
For business is rare and theres no one to woo,
And these news donot reach you.

Coz, the media stopped publishing evil too.
If such dreams happen
I wonder,
What would we do?

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