Robert Pratten: Transmedia Storytelling 09/30/12

FRI: Gotchas

If we look at video content strategy for Transmedia projects versus traditional projects, there are a few things to keep in mind.

There may need to be several different versions of a video that differ by both form and function. I’m seeing this trend happen with music videos in particular. There is an interactive version and a standalone version.

A good example of this is the two versions of Arcade Fire’s Sprawl II directed by interactive filmmaker Vincent Morisset. There is a traditional version and a “dance activated” version.

Because of this story being told across different platforms, the content producer may leave in certain “hooks.” These hooks could refer to a piece of video content or a piece of media on another platform. This could be a game or even a comic book.

When the editor is editing, they may want to cut out a particular shot or character that doesn’t work in a clip. But then you’ve got the director or writer saying, “Well, if you cut that guy out, that will spoil platform 2. I really need that in there.”

It’s an area of potential conflict.

Another aspect of this is the mood of a piece. Sometimes after sifting through footage in the editing suite you realize the film you wanted to make can’t be made anymore because you don’t have the shots.

Maybe it was supposed to be a serious drama, but now it will have to be a comedy. Maybe if you don’t tell anybody you’ll get away with it. But if you’ve got all this other media out there saying that this is a serious piece of work, then you’re left with a problem.

Even if you don’t go quite as extreme as drama to comedy, just the style of cutting – is it comic book style? long? short? – needs to be a conscious decision. This editing style and mise-en-scène needs to be consistent across platforms.


Table of Contents

Week 1: Introduction to Transmedia Storytelling

Week 2: Top 5 Best Practices

Week 3: Production and Distribution

Week 4: Key Components and Organization


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