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Designing transmedia contents

Transmedia storytelling becomes possible when the work produced meets professional production standards and is connected across fields in a meaningful way.

The creative process of transmedia storytelling is achieved through collective creation and enjoyed through collective intelligence. Given that transmedia storytelling involves expressing an imaginary world through multiple media platforms, cooperation among various professionals across mediums is vital. Cooperative co-creation has emerged as a more important strategy than ever before, with each medium using its own techniques to tell a story that ultimately belongs to a greater whole.

The Wachowski Brothers, creators of The Matrix, saw the co-creative process as having the potential to spread globally and enliven multiple strains of mainstream culture across the world, a process that would proliferate itself and attract new creators. Producers of transmedia content are not seeking out employees who will simply take a successful work and reformat it for other mediums; they are looking for a team that can develop a new world within the framework of the original narrative—a partner, of sorts. Creators and artists collaborate to create a single collective universe, and consumers share and exchange it in a collective fashion. Furthermore, the consumers of today are more active in their engagement with media; using social media or other digital channels, they share opinions and information with one other that in turn affect their responses offline. This style of collective consumption and the changes it has enacted on media strategy are closely related to the collective mind-set referred to by Pierre Levy (French philosopher, cultural theorist and media scholar who specializes in the concept of the cognitive implications of digital technologies and the phenomenon of human collective intelligence.).

According to Levy, a collective intelligence can spread and become valuable anywhere, a wide-reaching consciousness that can be constructed and mobilized in real time. Given that it comprises the collective aggregate of information contributed by various individuals, questions about any particulate are easily answered. Such a collective community is formed by consumers who gather in cyberspace, a fluid environment where interactions occur between the members of a deterritorialized community and the information they share. In other words, artists offer transmedia content that can be accessed worldwide through various platforms, and consumers access the content with the anticipation of intertextual references that produces a rich variety of interpretations—this is what makes transmedia storytelling unique.

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This article is from the free online course:

Transmedia Storytelling

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)

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