The girl who hears voices – A transmedia project

Just to forewarn you, I’m not the girl who hears voices.  Unless someone is talking to me.  And then only sometimes do I hear them.  The girl in question is Crystal, the main character of ME2, a beautifully-drawn MTV Geek comic book.  Crystal Carter has spent years in a mental hospital and will be coming to terms with multiple personalities — and multiple super powers.  I am writing her online journals here.  Check it out!

In case you’re not happy reading a blog post without a buzzword in it, these journals are a transmedia extension of the ME2 brand.  I’ve been working across platforms for years (does STARGATE WORLDS count?), but this is the first true transmedia project to see the light of day.  There’s more to come.  I’m working on one more, but can’t talk about yet, and I also recently spoke on transmedia at a panel at Loscon.

What’s your take on transmedia? A buzzword, or the wave of the future? Or perhaps there’s a door number three…


Filed under Announcements, Comics, Transmedia

7 responses to “The girl who hears voices – A transmedia project

  1. Jay Sabicer

    I know media companies don’t want to call it multimedia, since that term has been relegated to the staunchy old Powerpoint presentations of the past 2 decades (coincidentally, that is how long I’ve been involved with a multimedia user non-profit). New media also doesn’t seems to makes sense either, since the type of project you’re working on incorporates print and other bits of media that have been around for many years. Transmedia sounds too much like transgender, which says to me, at least that it was one media, now it’s another, like a movie adaptation of a book.
    Metamedia goes into mystical territory where there is no basis in reality.

    I first heard ‘transmedia’ earlier this year at a seminar on how to pitch your movie idea as a graphic novel (which I will be, at some point in the future). The guy who talking about it to the lecturer and the rest of the attendees and he just reeked of snake oil — He didn’t have a story to sell, he was looking for properties to exploit. I wanted to take him down a peg, and show to the crowd what a ignorant schmuck he was, but time was short and I wanted the speaker to complete his seminar. This is why the word transmedia leaves such a bad taste in my mouth.

    If I were to choose a word that best describes what MTV and other major corporations were trying to accomplish, it would be Megalomedia — it tells me what it is abnormally large and people should fear it. As much as I would like to see you and other writers get steady paychecks, I feel it shouldn’t be at the expense of having an entire universe shoved down my gullet in one big media tentacle.

  2. writingiswriting

    I seriously love that term — Megalomedia.
    Transmedia differs from licensing — which is what you’re talking about in your first paragraph about movie adaptations.
    I don’t see a lot of major studios doing transmedia, more licensing, brand extensions, and merchandising. I think it’s because it’s rare for a TV show also to make, for example, great webisodes, or also make great games.

    • Jay Sabicer

      Precisely. A story is the singular vision (or should be) of the person who creates it. Since writing the initial story is a mammoth effort, in and of itself; to ask for multiple levels of nuance in different mediums by a staff of people who may or may not have all of the background information of that story seems ridiculous, especially with brand-new characters that haven’t been vetted by the audience.

      • writingiswriting

        I disagree with the sort of auteur theory. Sure, short stories and most novels are written by one person, but TV, which many say is in a golden age, is a collaborative effort, as are games. Even novels are often co-written. Transmedia is about getting the creative staff of all the properties in on the same page, working together, rather than licensing it off where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. It’s better than licensing.

  3. G. "The Pink Phantom" Hindman

    I think the idea of transmedia is very close to fruition. The advent of a variety ‘set-top’ boxes which connects TVs to internet content is a step towards intermingled content. But even more than that the ‘revolution’ towards transmedia was really pushed forward by the development of QR codes, smart phones, and ever more capable and portable tablets. The linkages between traditional content and the Web is getting ever stronger.

    By the way, the stigma on multimedia isn’t Powerpoint. It’s the 90’s attempted to exploit CD technology with poorly acted full motion video and ‘photorealistic’ computer games. *shudder*

  4. Anne, thank you! Transmedia may be a buzzword (it’s new to me), but it’s very applicable to the transformation my company is making. Shaping (community) narratives across platforms for diverse audiences and with collaborative creation are two major shifts that I believe are required for our local media company to thrive in the digital age. To me, that’s much more important than simply putting digital first, as is the common theme among news bloggers. It’s about getting people engaged, connected, and informed. So, thank you for being a source of major inspiration for me this week!

  5. Hmm. The Crystal blog doesn’t feel very bloggy, in a weird way? But maybe it’ll be stronger for that. Good luck with the project — I’ve always found transmedia very interesting.

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