Transmedia Storytelling and Jeff Gomez

I went to see Jeff Gomez of Starlight Runner Entertainment speak at The New School last night. Presenting to a packed room of producers, writers, artists, filmmakers and media students, Mr. Gomez elaborated upon the growing demand for Transmedia storytellers in the commercial film and television industry and the importance of understanding how Transmedia as a platform is intrinsically designed as a marketing tool for content branding across multiple media platforms and which uses creative and original narrative as its primary feature.

As a Social Media Manager I attended this lecture to understand how media and technology will fit into the future of commercial film and television industries. As a Social Media Producer and one who is currently working on a Transmedia project I was there to figure out where we failed, where we succeeded and how to proceed in the future.

Gomez pointed out a some key points surrounding Transmedia which I will share briefly below. Please note, I am not here to re-hash his entire presentation, that would be a disservice to this talented and engaging presenter, instead I will highlight the main goals of any fully developed Transmedia project.

Optimal Results of Transmedia Storytelling
1. Customer/ consumer loyalty
2. Long-term engagement with the brand
3. Consumer desire to share his/her experience with others
4. Lifespan extension of property
5. Increased Revenue

What Makes a Great Transmedia Project?
1. A great story (see more below)
2. Little repetition across platforms with good creative & original content
3. Understanding of and willingness to use multiple platforms (TV, books, mobile, internet, toys, etc.)
4. Strong attention to the details of each platform
5. Engagement with the visionary (author, filmmaker, artist)
6. Having a brand archetype (the Rebel, the Sage, the Magician, the Ruler, etc.)
7. Convey ONE single innately positive theme across all applications
8. Portrayal of an aspirational driver (the warrior, the nurturer, overcoming fear)
9. Audience participation and encouragement of (see more below)

One of the most important things Jeff discussed was the elements of a good story, something which so many projects seem to be missing out on these days. Here are some of the key features to a great story:

Telling a Story – A Star Wars Example
1. One story world (In a galaxy far, far away…)
2. One narrative (good versus evil)
3. One global audience (with characters who have scope – scale – depth)
4. A deep, rich, fictional world (Alderaan, Tatooine, Endor)
5. Compelling story lines and arcs (“Luke, I am your father”)
6. Convincing presentation that takes the world and viewer seriously (multiple planets, species and languages)
7. Internal logic and consistency (Wookies make good friends and allies)
8. Timeless themes that are simple but artfully presented (star crossed lovers Anakin and Padme)
9. Cultivation of fan base (books, toys, multiple movies)
10. Interwoven storylines across platforms (extension of histories and futures in print and on screen)

Lastly I want to lay-out the primary goals of audience participation that all Transmedia storytellers must keep in mind when they develop a new project, after all Transmedia does not exist without an engaged audience.

What your audience SHOULD be doing

1. Posting content on internet websites about campaign/film/project
2. Forwarding and sharing content with other audience members
3. Publicly rating the project
4. Publicly commenting about the project (there are no such things as bad comments)
5. Socializing with fellow members
6. Engaging with interactive content
7. Editing/ creating new content
8. Generating authorized canonical content

In all Jeff provided great insight and specific guidelines that should be followed when developing a Transmedia project. Furthermore he acknowledged that Transmedia properties are inherently organic and will continue to change and develop along with the creation of new technologies. These properties will extend beyond the realm of entertainment and become real-world stories, agendas and campaigns that can be used for the good of society. These campaigns may include using Transmedia as an educational tool in promoting student interaction or as a globalization campaign encouraging cyber-socializing across the world. The limits to the Transmedia storytelling appear, for now, to be endless.

In closing I want to share with you a Transmedia Storytelling campaign that looks great, tells a story and engages with the audience on a personal level, all while selling beer.

Boag’s Draught


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