Transmedia, me, and Braden King

I became interested in Transmedia as a way to deepen both the narrative experience and the relationship between the experience and the participant.  It frustrates me how feature films often feel disposable and not truly resonant for most viewers; I know we – as both creators and viewers -- don’t have to settle for this.  This situation is partially derived from both the creators’ and the industry’s reliance on a single product as representative of the movie experience; we don’t have much other than repackaging to show for our engagement, and that engagement is too often 100% passive. We have reductive in our expression of narrative.  I generally define the Six Pillars of Narrative as: Discovery, Process, Production, Participation, Promotion, & Presentation.  Creators limit themselves when they draw the line between art and commerce, thinking marketing techniques don’t warrant their creative hand.  We shouldn’t ignore aspects of narrative that deepen the dialogue with those who become the very community we want.

As a film producer, I have a specific (and rather limited) way of thinking about process. As much as I have tried to build serendipity, collaboration, and spontaneity into my productions, there is no denying that there is a much stronger emphasis on the manufacturing, on getting it done.  We have budgets and schedules and responsibilities; it’s hard sometimes to see the art in the process itself.  Luckily, there are individuals out there to help me keep my eyes open to all realities.

I encountered Braden King through his 1998 film DUTCH HARBOR.  I loved how firmly it positioned itself in the world of “Art” and dug how he didn’t allow it to be pigeonholed, touring it with The Boxhead Ensemble, re-creating a live event in the process.  I have been even more impressed by how his new excursions into transmedia have informed his process.  Braden brings us into a more intimate relationship with the subject of his film – all before showing us the finished work.  Industry-ites often remark that transmedia is the sole domain of genre work but Braden shows that is far from the case.

I was asked recently to help curate Transmedia Now! week on  the Media Commons / In Media Res website.  Braden immediately was the artist I reached out to.  Check it out as Braden explains how his exploration into extensions has informed the process and the process itself has changed as a result.

"Transmedia Now" Week On In Media Res

Today's guest post is from Elizabeth Strickler, informing us of what is going over at InMediaRes this week (and a wee bit of cross promotional activity). In Media Res is dedicated to experimenting with collaborative, multi-modal forms of online scholarship. Each weekday, a different participant curates a short (less than 3-minute) video clip accompanied by a 300-350-word impressionistic response. We use the title "curator" because, like a curator in a museum, the participant repurposes a media object that already exists and provides context through their commentary. Theme weeks are designed to generate a networked conversation between curators and the public around a particular topic.

For the week of July 26-30th, the theme is “Transmedia Now”. The curators are: Christy Dena, Marc Ruppel, Robert Pratten, Brian Newman, and Ted Hope.

They will be discussing what is happening right now in the much-debated term, Transmedia. The subjects covered range from Canadian superheroes to the links between storytelling and mapping. Stay tuned and jump in when it starts. If you don’t like what is happening in the independent entertainment industry, this will be your chance to speak up. (You do have to login to comment.)

Thanks again for your participation.

Elizabeth Strickler is the Associate Director of the Digital Arts Entertainment Lab at Georgia State University.