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Skip to 0 minutes and 0 secondsWeek 5, Lecture 3 We have already talked about transmedia storytelling focusing on film, and today we will look at examples of literary work. The Harry Potter series is frequently brought up as an example of this. Technically, Harry Potter is more akin to OSMU than transmedia storytelling. This is mainly because the books had a sense of completion as a series, even though they were adapted into films and expanded into other areas. Let’s go back to the classics and look at Peter Pan. The character of Peter Pan was first introduced in J.M. Barrie’s 1902 novel The Little White Bird.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 secondsThe novel is over 100 years old, and became a huge hit for its fantastical yet fairy tale?like features that were attractive to children. Twenty-two years after its release it was made into a movie. It was produced as an animated feature in the '50s and in the 2000’s the story was revisited again in another animated feature titled Tinker Bell (2008) by Disney. What is worth noting is that the release of Tinker Bell made room for new forms of content that were suitable for transmedia storytelling, which deviates from the traditional storytelling method.

Skip to 1 minute and 49 secondsThough Tinker Bell played an important role in the original novel, the character did not drive the story, a detail that did not stop the production of content revolving around the character. Put simply, 100 years after its original publication, a character from Barrie’s original Peter Pan universe became a Disney movie as a completely different story. This marked the beginning of fairy-focused animation films, games, online novels, and webtoons as the worldview and characters were applied in diverse forms. A story can open up setting, characters, and plots, all of which can be expanded upon to a greater extent. When the story is sound, the possibilities become infinite.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 secondsThis is especially applicable to fantastical tales, such as those surrounding Peter Pan, Harry Potter, and even Jurassic Park. There is infinite potential to adapt such content for new mediums, allowing these stories to be transferred again at any time. What you’re seeing now is the cover of a South Korean novel titled “Madame Freedom” that was first published in 1954. The year 1954 is a special time for South Korea due to events that took place. During this period, and this novel became a bestseller because it follows the story of a wife who deviates from the norm, shocking the audience. This story was originally published in a newspaper by Jung Bi-seok, by which time it was already a huge hit.

Skip to 4 minutes and 14 secondsIt was made into a film two years later under the same title as the novel, again becoming highly popular. The story has been made into four films over the years, and as seen from this scene, it was produced as a play in 2012. In this particular excerpt, the story reveals itself with choreography, music, songs, and background images, a multi-genre performance with different kinds of media involved, or transmedia content. Various convergences occur in this work, but when considering it from a wider perspective, the pursuit of female liberty is an ongoing issue and allows the story to still be relevant today. Let us examine this particular scene more closely. This is a black-and-white film made in 1956.

Skip to 6 minutes and 11 secondsWhat you are watching now is a remake of the scene in the present, using modern dance, music, and film work. This is not simply vintage or forced upon us. The content stands on its own and the story consists of independent values that are still valid today. The title hints at what the story is about and what kind of characters will appear, providing the audience with foresight. In many cases, it is important to place emphasis on the characteristics of the worldview, which is the key of transmedia content like OSMU. When considering the proliferation of OSMU, marketing can be said to play a significant role.

Skip to 7 minutes and 20 secondsRaising brand awareness is a costly process, but many bestsellers have already secured a certain level of audience. In addition to the brand of “Madame Freedom” being familiar to many, its basic plot structure fits in with others addressing

Skip to 7 minutes and 49 secondsthe freedom of women amid societal constraints: Madame Bovary, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and Anna Karenina, to name a few. Fortunately, this plot structure allows the story to be accessible to those outside the Korean cultural sphere without too much difficulty. Instead of simply adapting the same story, as is done with OSMU, the classical plot is expanded to a new world, a highly advantageos strategy rooted in the heart of transmedia. So whether it is Peter Pan or Madame Freedom, bestselling classics show great potential to be used as the core idea for transmedia storytelling.

Transmedia from literature

We have already talked about transmedia storytelling focusing on film, and now we will look at examples of literary work.

The Harry Potter series is frequently brought up as an example of this. Technically, Harry Potter is more akin to OSMU than transmedia storytelling. This is mainly because the books had a sense of completion as a series, even though they were adapted into films and expanded into other areas. Let’s go back to the classics and look at Peter Pan.

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This video is from the free online course:

Transmedia Storytelling

Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU)