Transmedia – the story of the story

I find it exhilarating and exciting to follow the current flow of interesting discussions and even more interesting projects and examples of transmedia bouncing around the Internet these past few weeks. Suddenly it seems like everyone is talking transmedia, from a great number of angles.

So, having read some tweets and comments on current transmedia projects today, I found myself sitting staring vacantly into space, my mind trying to grasp some thought that just did not want to be grasped. Irritating in the extreme, as I’m sure you all agree.

The glimpses I could see of the thought implied that it had something to do with the core and underlying premises of transmedia. I finally gave up and decided to start writing instead, hoping it’d show up.

After a while, it did. And with it, and in the sentences before this one that gave the setting and the background of it’s arrival, it brought the meaning of transmedia. It’s not the story you’re telling. It’s the story about the story, that gives your story meaning – that’s transmedia.

In that sense, we actually don’t need media. So, in the most simplified sense, there’s nothing for the transmedia to trans- around from and to.

OK, so we have no trans- and we have no –media. What’s up with that? I found myself thinking. Wasn’t it namely transmedia that I’ve been happily embracing for the past year or so?

Actually, I don’t think it’s transmedia I’ve been embracing. I have not, for instance, been embracing the production of storylines on three different media, stemming from the same storyworld but adding to each other rather than copying or duplicating each other. Or rather, I have, but that has rather been a by-product.

What I’ve been embracing is the thought process and the development process of creating more than you need, just in case (and there is always the case). The process of not saying ”this is enough, we don’t need more than this” but rather ”hey hang on, let’s elaborate on that for a bit”. The process of building the story, and at the same time the story of the story, to enable new stories and explain and expand on old ones.

It’s like you’re planting a sapling and nurse it to be a massive tree, trunk and all – even if audiences just pick the fruit, i.e. your stories, the stories would not be there to be enjoyed without the work before.

At this point, the elusive thought let out a sigh and went away, mission fulfilled. I will continue to grow the tree tomorrow, and at lot of other trees as well. See, the telling of the story, that tells of the story, that’s work that’s never done.

Until later.

PS. A couple of good blog posts from the last week or so – Simon Pulmans post reviewing and commenting on Brent Weinsteins presentation at the PGA Transmedia Masterclass some weeks back was a very good read, and a reminder of things to remember while developing. The post about hoaxing in transmedia, by @poburke was also a mighty interesting one, good comments and all.

2 thoughts on “Transmedia – the story of the story

  1. Agreed. If you come at a project from a tech perspective things fall apart very quickly. Story and narrative can **lead** to undiscovered narrative structures and journeys for the audience. You probably could have a go at doing it the other way around but you will surely come back to story / narrative in the end. There is something about story and experience which are subtly different though. Need to think on that a bit!To extend your analogy: I really like that you can grow different and super tasty fruit on the well crafted branches of one transmedia tree;) Thanks for the generous mention too.

  2. Paul,we're in the gardening business, it seems. :)THe Transmedia Spring is fast approaching; what're you going to plant, and where?

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