Make sure it fits!

Note: this might be too basic for some, but as I noted above, I’m keeping this blog as a notebook for myself as well; most of the musings here have come as a direct consequence of pondering on the development of ideas I’m working on, and I know there is a considerable chance that I’ll forget them if I don’t jot them down. This is a typical one 🙂

It may be a bit early to start talking about complacency with regards to transmedia. It’s a form of storytelling that didn’t have a proper name until some five years ago, and only during the past few months has managed to penetrate the minds of the industry and the audience to any greater degree.

Still, and I will willingly point the finger at myself as well in this case, any transmedia project (as with any other project) runs the risk of falling into the pit named ”We’re doing it as it should be done”.

Now, do read me right – there are a number of talks and presentations and discussions on the Net on how to create and produce transmedia, and these talks, presentations and discussions are for the most part spot on and simply required hearing/reading/watching. What I’m saying is that you always have to mirror the advice, the blueprints and the examples against what YOUR transmedia property is about.

As an example – in connection to one project I’m working on at the moment, I was quite convinced that producing something tangible in the form of a graphic novel, a photo book or a hard-covered short story would help the project along; grounding the mythology, the canon, in something tangible, while at the same time adding perceived value to pitches and discussions. Now, while this may be true for many transmedia projects, I have since come to the conclusion that such an approach will not suit this particular project. Yes, there will quite probably be printed material in the future. Yes, it will build on the same narrative supertstructure. Furthermore, it will have it’s own business model. But it will not be the first contact anyone will have with the particular project, simply because it it not in the nature of the project.

To conclude: evaluate each and every option and make sure that they themselves stay true to the core of your story. It is not merely about the content (although the content of course needs to be consistent, logical, engaging etc), it is as much about the way it is delivered, the way it is received, the feel of the communication… everything needs to fit. If you feel it does not fit, don’t do it – or at least don’t do it in the way that does not fit.

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