Exploring the Many Worlds of Transmedia

Posts Tagged "#engl359"

Con-Topia: A Convention For All Your Favorite Shows

Con-Topia: A Convention For All Your Favorite Shows

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

Almost everyone knows what Comic-Con is. Most people have never gone to Comic-Con, but it’s importance in launching new shows and movies by having panels full of actors and sneak peaks at new footage have given it a reputation. Comic-Con San Diego is an annual event dating back to 1970. The three focuses of the convention are comic books, films, and science fiction/fantasy literature. The con was set up to give these medias more attention, and with over 130,000 attendees in the last few years, the strategy is clearly paying off. It has been so successful in fact, that in recent years cons have been springing up all over the place, bringing fans closer to then ever to their favorite characters, actors, movies, and t.v. shows.   It began with the expansion of the San Diego Comic Convention’s Cons to include APE, WonderCon, ProCon, and Con/Fusion. These days though, cons have become show or movie specific. Recent and upcoming cons include EyeCon, (The Vampire Diaries and The Originals) BloodyNightCon, (The Vampire Diaries) Asylum 12, (Supernatural) Wolfs Bane 2, (Teen Wolf) Ravens, (Pretty Little Liars and One Tree Hill) The Final Journey, (Stargate) Days Of The Wolf (Teen Wolf) and the Official Star Trek Convention. These are just a few.   Not only are these cons creating a new revenue stream for these shows and franchises, they are also altering the way fans interact with the texts that are these shows and movies. Often at these cons actors, writers, and directors give hints to the fans about what coming up in the new season. They will talk about deleted scenes, artistic intentions and background information the the audience is not privy to just by watching the show. T.V. shows and movies are are texts with multiple authors. There are the producers who pay for them and want them to look a certain way, directors who shoot them according to their particular vision, actors who play parts based on the backgrounds and personalities they create alongside the writers, who come up with the specific story lines for every shot. With the emergence of these cons fans are able to get a behind the scenes look at the process like they never...

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A Deeper Look into The Niantic Project

By on Dec 7, 2013 in Featured |

While digging deeper into the nianticproject as a whole, I found some interesting tips and somewhat secret information.  Through studying and being assigned this project for our group project during class opened my eyes to a whole new world of Seeing how at first I didn’t know much about the project and what it’s intentions and purposes were, but through the use of other sources of media I began to see this new world of Niantic followers and what they are trying to engage their followers in. For those of you that may not even know what The nianticproject is, I will give you a break down of what you need to know: The Niantic Project was created and started by P. A. Chapeau starting in November 2012 going through October 2013. Niantic Investigations consist of  The Niantic Project who is trying to find a way to harness and control a substance called Exotic Matter, also known as XM. Exotic Matter  is a substance that allows for the travel between different dimensions. It is also a means of extreme artistic creativity, meaning people fake these time travels through different dimensions throughout the project, leading to various mysteries. There are these things called Portals, and Portals are made from concentrations of Exotic Matter. They are  normally localized around  large cities and monuments and there were four major portals throughout this project. Portals are the locations where you can travel between dimensions. There is a main character whom they call Misty Hannah and she was a magician who became a threat to the Niantic Project.  She posed as a threat to the project due to an information leak that was shared between Misty and Klue. Klue was a woman who was involved in this mysterious investigation and she visually documented her travels through the portals. She would post videos  and she would keep her followers and the Niantic community updated where she was, where she had gone and what she had experienced through her videos.  She experienced odd force field type of action and claimed to have felt certain presences of beings at or close to the portals. “2/26/13- Everything starts as an idea A video from Klue in Scotland, as...

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President Bartlet and Kevin McCallister Tweet for Transmedia

President Bartlet and Kevin McCallister Tweet for Transmedia

By on Dec 5, 2013 in Featured |

Much of transmedia campaigns rely on the willingness of the audience to participate, which is generally influenced by the level of immersion in the campaign.  In alternate reality games (ARGs), the level of immersion is high because if there are no interested players, the game will not be very successful.  In transmedia campaigns like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, although audience participation is not necessary for the story, viewers are encouraged to ask the characters questions and interact with them through various social media means in order to add a level of realness and to more fully immerse the viewers.  For many, interactivity does not end with the end of an ARG or the end of an Internet show.  There can be groups of fans who decide that whatever text they were engaged in has more to offer.  This is where Twitter shines.  From December 10-15, 2010, the Geek Squad did a live-tweet session of the movie Home Alone.  The television show, The West Wing, ended in 2006.  There are over 30 Twitter accounts for different characters from the show that tweet and interact with each other.  Although the West Wing accounts are a better example of a completely immersive transmedia, the Home Alone accounts have their own strength and are still an excellent example of how levels of immersion can vary in transmedia, and thus influence the success of the campaign. The television show, The West Wing, followed President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet and his staff through his years in the White House.  Although there are over 30 Twitter accounts for various characters from various periods on the show, the most prolific Tweeters are Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff (@joshualyman); his wife and former secretary, Donna Moss (@donatella_moss); and President Bartlet (@pres_bartlet).  These accounts are run by anonymous people.  This is one of the main strengths of The West Wing accounts: they maintain the reality of the characters.  The writers of these accounts do not publicize their own names or identities.  In an interview with the magazine Entertainment Weekly, “Josh Lyman,” discussed his inspiration for creating the account and commitment to the character of Josh.  The account writer told Entertainment Weekly, “I am strict about breaking character and...

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Inside Jokes, Spreading the Media?

Inside Jokes, Spreading the Media?

By on Dec 1, 2013 in Featured | 2 comments

  As I casually clicked through Imgur during some down time I came across this; a collection of reworked modern movie posters depicting older, classic actors and art by artist Peter Stults. The idea was to show what the modern day films would have looked like had they been released years ago, noting the styles and visuals, film quality, and actors. It was amusing to see these modern day marvels of CG turned into a laughably stylized exhibit of the absurd, as it suggested Christopher Walken to play the T-1000 in Terminator 2, Mick Jagger as James Bond, Clint Eastwood as General Zod in Superman, and Frank Zappa as The Dude in The Big Lebowski. You could tell that all of these were done with the endearing recognition that actors in the past were cast for what they were to the public eye over how well they could act. (Not to say Walken or Eastwood couldn’t act, but can you imagine them in those roles?) This was no more prevalent than in the poster for Avatar, in which the lead role went to none other than William Shatner himself. My first assumption was that this was due to the fact that he was from Star Trek and was used to working with alien species on distant planets. The whole sci-fi kinda thing already fit him and his fan base. But then I noticed the bottom left of the image. Shatner, as his Avatar, making out with the native played by Natalie Wood. Shatner, as a blue person, kissing a blue alien. Now if this wasn’t an inside joke / jab at Shatner’s character on Star Trek I don’t know what is. The captain always trying to get busy with the alien species. This very idea was even stressed in the first film of the reboot of the series with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk making out with some green chick. Now of course, an entire paper could be written on this regarding actors and the dangers of typecasting. But I’m using it to note the prevalence of transmedia. Not only do these posters show the very idea of transferring film from the current media, with all it’s bells and...

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Halo’s transmedia strategy: The Matrix vs. Star Wars

Halo’s transmedia strategy: The Matrix vs. Star Wars

By on Dec 1, 2013 in Featured | 1 comment

In 2001, Halo: Combat Evolved was released as a launch title and the killer app for the Xbox. It was praised heavily for its graphics and gameplay, as well as its environments. It won high accolades (currently boasting a 97 on Metacritic) and several Game of the Year awards and was the second best-selling game for the console over the course of its life (behind its sequel Halo 2). At the time, its plot was commended, though as the initial luster of the series has faded, the story of the games is one of the first things to come under criticism. However, that story, as bare as it can be at times, is not the full story. The first release in the Halo series was technically The Fall of Reach, a prequel book released two weeks before the game. This was the first step of the series in moving beyond yet another 3D console shooter, such as Rare’s acclaimed Perfect Dark, and instead moving toward a transmedia experience more similar to Star Wars or The Matrix. But Star Wars and The Matrix, both spanning films, games, cartoons and literature, take two very different approaches to transmedia storytelling, and I’m interested in finding where Halo, arguably alone among video game universes in the breadth of its transmedia presence, compares to these two empires. I suppose it would be relevant for me to state that I am going to be treating Star Wars and The Matrix as two largely opposite forms of transmedia. While simply expressing the story of a universe through various media is enough to constitute a transmedia experience, the quality of that experience varies heavily, maybe enough to largely devalue the point of a transmedia empire. While providing some very good standalone stories in its broader arsenal of media, I would argue that the Star Wars franchise’s presence is largely unsuccessful at providing a true transmedia experience. The Matrix, on the other hand, was argued by Henry Jenkins to be more than the sum of its parts. Narratively speaking, the films were merely important, rather than vital. They did not overwrite or ignore the comics, games or stories, even though the attention on the franchise commercially and popularly...

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