Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts by amandahalprin

As Seen on TV

As Seen on TV

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

Throughout television history, producers have experimented with bringing the big screen to the small screen. These projects have been met with varying degrees of success, from outright failure (both of the Casablanca series) to commercial and critical success (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The transition from movie to television can be difficult to maneuver, with audience expectations, limited budgets, and restrictive plots, but producers continue crafting these episodic adaptations. One of the oldest examples of these series is Casablanca, based on the movie of the same name, which aired from 1955 to 1956. The series was set after the events of the movie, focusing on Rick’s life and the bar after Ilsa leaves. The series used sets from the movie and featured actors who had minor parts in the movie, but gave them bigger roles; Dan Seymour, who played Ferrari’s bodyguard in the movie, played Ferrari on the show and Marcel Dalio, who played a crooked roulette table dealer in the movie, played Captain Renahult. The series only lasted ten episodes, due to low ratings. There are a number of reasons why the audience failed to connect with the show; the major problem, however, was that the main actors and the story viewers fell in love with were replaced with cheap imitations. Casablanca is regarded as one of the classics of American cinema (the American Film Institute named it as the second best American movie in cinematic history), so audiences were unwilling to accept alterations to the story; they felt that the movie should remain untouched. As my mother said when I told her of this series’ creation, “Why would anybody do that?” This clip is from the first episode of the 1955 series Casablanca. It was posted by YouTube user verbusen and is used in accordance with Fair Use Laws. However, producers did not learn from this initial failure, as a second Casablanca series, also titled Casablanca, aired in 1983. It stared David Soul, of Starsky & Hutch fame, as Rick Blane and lasted five episodes. Unlike it’s predecessor, this series was a prequel to the movie. Audiences refused to watch this series for the same reason they refused to watch the 1955 version: both tampered with the integrity of the original movie. This version also faced the problem...

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Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew

Nancy Drew and The Clue Crew

By on Sep 26, 2013 in Featured | 2 comments

In 1930, a 16-year-old girl discovered The Secret of the Old Clock and ignited a phenomenon. Since that first Nancy Drew novel was published, she has been featured in at least five movies, two television shows, one television movie, four Nintendo DS games, thirty-one computer games and over five-hundred books. Over time she has evolved, with her age, appearance and disposition fluctuating throughout the years. Though no two incarnations of Nancy are identical, the core of the character remains steadfast: she’s just a girl who loves to solve mysteries. That core has captivated millions of fans over multiple generations. The latest generation of Nancy Drew fans use social media as a way to connect with each other. Though the previous generations focused their attention mostly on the books, this online generation appears to focus more on the computer games. Specifically, they focus on the twenty-eight (soon to be twenty-nine) Nancy Drew adventure games produced by Her Interactive. Her Interactive published their first Nancy Drew title, Secrets Can Kill, in 1998. Taking on the role of Nancy Drew, players went undercover to figure out who murdered Jake Rodgers, a student at Paseo del Mar High School by interviewing other characters, completing puzzles and searching for clues. The game required players to switch between two disks when they traveled between different locations and is the only Nancy Drew game to feature 2-D graphics. Technical shortcomings aside, the game introduced a compelling hook. Players wanted more. Her Interactive has published at least one new game per year since 1998 and two new games per year since 2001. The company has provided numerous resources to help fans of the games connect with each other, including an official message board, a Facebook page,  a Twitter feed, a Pinterest page, a YouTube account and a Tumblr account. Tumblr is one of the most active social media platforms for fans of the Nancy Drew games, as the format of the website is well-suited to the fans’ methods of expression. Nancy Drew fans on Tumblr refer to themselves as members of “The Clue Crew.” They use the site to share information and opinions about the games, utilizing Tumblr’s multi-media sharing capabilities. Tumblr has also allowed fans to compile a...

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