Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Post #3 - Transmedia Storytelling

        The main difference between transmedia and multimedia is how the different platforms of media are used. Multimedia is simply the use of different platforms of media. However while transmedia does invole multimedia it also utilizes it. Transmedia is esssentially a way of stroytelling that revolves around the different forms of media which all tie into the original narrative which thus creates a sort of community or interaction between the content and consumer. Transmedia is not only simply about making a profit over the idea, but also being able to share the stories and messages that go along with it.
DC Comics Logo (Source)
        One example of this would be the Batman franchise that initially started as a comic book from the company DC Comics. Created by artist Bob Kane, Batman is one of the most widely known super heroes in the world despite not having a super ability. With its newly found popularity in the 1940s the Batman franchise today has been able to accumulate hundreds of comic books, a wide array of television series, dozens of films, both animated and theatrical, several books, plenty of various video games and has been applied to various toys, games, theme parks and more. Batman's story of a vigilante who catches the bad guys has been told over many forms of media. His story has become so expansive within his universe, building up dozens of devious villains, helpful sidekicks and alliances with other DC comic heroes.
        The franchise itself is a clear example of multimedia. Batman is portrayed in various media platforms, but the franchise was also able to extend and expand the story of the dark knight. One form of media that has gained plenty of attention in the Batman franchise is the recent Christopher Nolan Batman film trilogy (2005-2012). However Nolan does not simple take the story of Batman and write it into a blockbuster film. He takes a different approach towards Batman and bring the hero into a more modernized and realistic form. As opposed to Tim Burton's take on the hero in his films, which is more fantasy-like and comparable to the comics, Nolan adapts the comics into a whole new story, one of his own. 
"Bane" Poster for The Dark Knight Rises (Source)
           Promotion for the latest film The Dark Knight Rises (2012) had a particular effect on the fans looking forward to the film. Many of the promotions only gave hints as to what the newest film will be able. After Nolan's second film, The Dark Knight (2008), the defeat of Batman's arch enemy, the Joker, was revealed. Many fans could only speculate what the new film could possibly be about that will end Nolan's trilogy. Slowly and surely it was revealed that the new antagonist would be Bane, a physically, yet intellectually, formidable foe. Fans ran miles with speculations. And soon with the slow reveal of new information on the new film, fans grew even more excited. Many of these new pieces were revealed via trailers, posters, and viral images. Images of secret documents that pertained to the film's back story, posters exposing a key element to the film, and trailers that revealed new cast members all add to how the idea of the comic book hero, Batman, transcends through the media.

"Wanted Batman" Viral campaign (Source)

"Bane's 'stike zones'" Viral campaign (Source)

          In the end transmedia allows for a single icon to go beyond the limits of its origination. There are new stories that are ongoing with each new step into a new form of media. Batman has done this is many ways and more recently with the release of The Dark Knight Rises. Each piece of the viral campaign helped add to the story the film would have needed in order to fully immerse oneself into the completed story. Fans gathered on blogs and message boards to speculate and it had created a whole community of those who anticipated the film. This is what transmedia does. It does not distribute a product from platform to platform for the sake of profit. Transmedia helps create stories and not just one. By utilizing media in order to go above and beyond, a whole new and broader world is experienced.

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