Transmedia: A Merger of Story, Technology and Marketing

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Transmedia has become a big buzzword in the industry over the last few years. Some people prefer to describe transmedia as cross-platform or multi-platform storytelling, interactive or participatory media. Other terms associated with transmedia are convergence, deep or immersive media, experience design, story franchises, world building, integrated media and 360. In some circles the term transmedia is a real hot button so while the verdict is still out, transmedia is here to stay. As an arts, me- dia and/or entertainment professional dedicated to success and staying ahead of the game, it’s important for you to know what these emerging strategies mean and how to apply them to your own creative process.

In April 2010, the Producers Guild of America created the new cat- egory of producer called a “Transmedia Producer” recognizing those who manage and adapt entertainment properties that span multiple plat- forms. The PGA defines a project or franchise as being “transmedia” if it consists of three or more fictional storylines that exist simultaneously on film, TV, broadband, print, disc, etc. A transmedia producer credit will be given to the person responsible for a significant portion of a project’s long-term planning, development, production and/or maintenance of nar- rative continuity across multiple platforms.

At the heart of this emerging system is the idea that storytellers can now create additional experiences that deepen the audiences’ experience when a story and the story world is extended and unfolded through a variety of media and digital media platforms, venues and/or experiences. This creates a richer experience for consumers and fans to participate more meaningfully in that world.

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Kate McCallum

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