Five transmedia projects – spring 2014

Spring is fast approaching, unless we see some more disheartening cases of ”takatalvi” (Finnish for ”winter-that-creeps-up-from-behind”, a lovely word but a pretty irritating phenomena).

With this in mind, and as the evolution of media and multiplatform storytelling apparently never slows down, here’s a continuation of my mini-series of looking at interesting projects in the transmedia / multiplatform / cross media vein. Below are five projects taht IMHO are worth looking into for the spring of 2014. As always, whatever I’ve missed (and it’s bound to be plenty!), please let me know in the comments!

1. Choose Your Own Documentary

This is a project that originated last year and is one of five projects picked up by Tribeca for their Storyscapes program. I include it because I think it’s a novel take on the ”choose your own adventure” and ”let the audience decide how the story evolves”-genres. The creation of a five-man-team with Nathan Penlington as the talent, it tells the story of the discovery of a diary and the quest to solve its riddles.

2. The Southern Reach

This again is a project that builds on the first novel of a series, or rather looks to be created to lead into that storyworld through videos, assignments and ”training missions”. This is always a tricky thing to do – how much is enough, and how much is too little, when it comes to development, production and end product? There has been some critizism regarding the non-stand-aloneness of the online part of the project, but I feel it’s a project well worth taking a look at, to see how one can build on and enhance a storyworld within a reasonable budget.

 

3. 19 Reinos

This is a transmedia campaign for the upcoming fourth season of Game of Thrones. Now, GoT is famed for its innovative campaigns to promote the sprawling fantasy TV series. This is a bit different though, as it is Canal+ in Spain that has teamed up with the Transmedia Storyteller team to use the latest installation of their tool Conducttr to ”transform Spain into a huge storytelling canvas with one the world’s most ambitious transmedia entertainment experiences.”. As someone who is very interested in all tools available to tell stories over multiple media in engaging ways – and there are a lot of new tools cropping up left and right – this is a no-brainer to keep tabs on.

 

4. The Secret Identity Show
This a project that is just now crowdfunding on Kickstarter. It promises to be ”an original 22 episode first season of a scripted comedic transmedia web series that caters to what we love: Vegas + geek culture”.

The premise is interesting – ” What if Batman, Superman, and Spider-man shared an apartment in Las Vegas, NV?  But what if they weren’t ACTUALLY the superheroes?  What if they were simply street performers who had the characteristics of these iconic characters and they were, in a way, a parody?”

The creators say they are inspired by Lizzie Bennett Diaries (who isn’t!) and follow-up ”Emma Approved”, and will ”tell our story across platforms and create an interactive web series experience around what we enjoy.”

As with everything, the proof is in the pudding, and this’ll only be as good as the quality of what they turn out. Still, I feel it is a project well worth looking at – they tick a lot of the right boxes and they seem to be a pretty determined bunch. Let’s hope the Kickstarter comes through.

 

5. The Yelp Love Story

Is this ”transmedia”? Well, no, not yet at least. Is this ”multiplatform”? Hmm, not really. Is this the first of its kind? I think so.

It’s the story of a relationship, from beginning to end, spanning over the course of less than a year, but being told by the person in question – a restaurant manager by the name of Chase Compton – as a novel spread out as restaurant and club reviews on Yelp.

It’s a good read as well – the guy knows how write, and the story does not become boring. If anything, the almost fiction-like quality of the story combined with the very real connection to actual venues in New York is a very enticing thing, blurring lines and time frames. Interesting stuff.

 

Simon Staffans is a content and format developer and media strategist, employed by MediaCity Finland. He works with multiplatform storytelling, transmedia methods, content development and great stories. Contact him at simon.staffans(at)gmail.com or follow him on @simon.staffans.

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