The back story: My work calls for different ways of telling stories and building across communities and subject matter. Last Spring, I participated in a convening of theatre practitioners and technologists to explore the possibilities of Global Cyber-Narratives in Theatre making. I found a lot of overlap in how Transmedia as a storytelling technique can be used in my work - from community based organizations designing campaign strategies to theatre companies attracting wider local/global audiences. I presented my learnings at the Allied Media Conference as part of the Shawty Got Skillz skillshare. Take what you can use. 

  1. Transmedia Storytelling is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.

  2. Elements of a story are dispersed (not regurgitated) across platforms, each making their own unique contribution to the whole.

  3. It is a great place to break out the individual components of storytelling — idea, motif, theme, mood, plot, character — and highlight them in different ways across different platforms.

  4. Let each media platform do what it does best--comics might provide back-story, games might allow you to explore the world, and the television/web series offer unfolding episodes.

  5.  Good storytelling is still good storytelling. Doesn’t matter how the story is being told.

  6. The audience needs to control a piece of the action. This can be overt, where the audience is literally allowed control over the narrative, and their input changes the entire experience. This can be covert, where audience investment helps to shape the output if not directly change it.

  7.  The audience must be part of the feedback loop. (See #6)

  8. Transmedia Storytelling is informed by gaming. Games are active, not passive. Games demand something from the audience. Games are fun, exploratory, experiential. Most traditional narratives do not offer these things: reading a book is passive. Watching a movie demands nothing of the viewer. (See #7)

  9. Transmedia relies on transitions — how do you move the audience across the many spaces? How do you remove obstacles? How do you get them to want to overcome the obstacles?

  10. Transmedia Storytellers are building story bridges and digging rabbit holes — places viewers they can cross knowingly or spots they can fall into the narrative unexpectedly — these are necessary components to the infrastructure.

  11. Some stories just don’t demand Transmedia. They’re better off as single-serving entities — book, film, show, comic.

  12.  We need more radical Transmedia Storytellers.

    #AiP Tip: Do you have a project that is ripe for Transmedia?  Here are 34 Great Transmedia Resources