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How to Analyze Transmedia Narratives?

Conference “New Media: Changing Media Landscapes” - St. Petersburg, Russia

Renira Gambarato

on 9 May 2013

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Transcript of How to Analyze Transmedia Narratives?

How to Analyze Transmedia Narratives? relatively new subject still an open question Dr. Renira Rampazzo Gambarato Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School, Estonia Conference “New Media: Changing Media Landscapes” St. Petersburg, Russia
September 2012 no specific methodology of analysis complexity methodologically separate analyses
[from semiotics, narratology, sociology, ethnography to economy, marketing, branding and so forth] We consider that Transmedia Storytelling, at least, refers to inter-related and integrated media experiences that occur amongst a variety of media. A transmedia narrative tells multiple stories over multiple platforms that together tell one big pervasive story, attracting audience engagement. It is not about offering the same content in different media platforms, but it is the worldbuilding experience, unfolding content and generating the possibilities for the story to evolve with new and pertinent content. wide view of transmedia projects Goal: outline an analytical model search for pertinent information Jay Lemke suggests that “larger transmedia complexes have already grown beyond the capacity of individual scholars to cogently analyze them” (2011: 589) a model can facilitate range of questions and prepositions Main References Elizabeth Strickler Henri Jenkins Geoffrey Long Georgia State University Janet Murray 1 What is the project about?
What is the project’s core?
Is it a fictional, a non-fiction or a mixed project?
What is its fundamental purpose?
Is it to entertain, to teach or to inform?
Is it to market a product? Premise and Purpose 2 What is the target audience of the project?
What kind of viewers does the project attract?
What kind of entertainment does the target audience enjoy?
What kind of technology/devices do people in this group is involved with?
Why does this project appeal to them?
Do other projects like this exist? Do they succeed in achieving their purpose?
What is the project’s business model?
Revenue-wise, was the project successful? Why? Audience and Market 3 What kind of media platforms are involved in the project?
Which devices are required by the project?
How each platform is participating and contributing to the whole project?
What are the distinctive characteristics of each media platform?
Identify problems that are specific of each medium.
Is each medium really relevant to the project? Are some of them unnecessary?
Which genres are present in the project? Media Platforms and Genres 4 What are the narrative elements of the project?
What would be the summary of its storyline?
What are the major events or challenges that the VUP deals with while following the narrative?
Does the project utilize gaming elements?
Does the project involve winning or losing?
What are the strategies for expanding the narrative?
Are negative capability and migratory cues included?
Is it possible to identify external references and intertextual texts in the story? Narrative 5 Which is the central world where the project is set?
Is it a fictional world, the real world or a mixture of both?
How is it presented geographically? How it looks like?
What challenges, dangers, or delights are inherent to this world?
Is the storyworld big enough to support expansions? Worldbuilding 6 How many extensions does the project have?
If the project is composed of too many extensions, select the most relevant ones and apply the following questions to them.
Are the extensions adaptations or expansions of the narrative?
Is each extension canonical ? Does it enrich the story?
Does each extension maintain the original characteristics of the world?
Does each extension answer questions left previously unanswered?
Does each extension raise new questions?
Does it open up new possibilities for additional expansion?
Do the extensions have the ability to spread the content and also to provide the possibility to explore the narrative in-depth? Extensions 7 Who are the primary and secondary characters of the story?
Does the project have any spin-offs ?
If so, who are the characters chosen to be the spin-offs’ protagonists?
Can the storyworld be considered a primary character of its own?
Are there non-player characters (NPCs) in this project?
If so, who are them and what kind of role do they have ? Characters 8 When the transmediation began?
Is it a pro-active or retro-active TS project?
Is it possible to identify any consequences for the project caused by the fact that this is either a pro-active or a retro-active transmedia story?
Is this project closer to a transmedia franchise, a portmanteau transmedia story, or a complex transmedia experience?
Can each extension work as an independent entry point for the story?
What are/were possible endpoints of the project?
How is the project structured?
What are the major units of organization? Structure 9 Through what point of view does the VUP experience this world?
What role does the VUP play in this project?
How the project keeps the VUP engaged?
What are the mechanisms of interaction in this project?
Is there also participation involved in the project?
If so, how the VUP can participate in the open system?
Does the project work as cultural attractor/activator ?
How does the VUP affect the outcome?
Are there UGC related to the story?
Does the project offer the possibility of immersion into the storyworld?
Does the project offer the possibility to take away elements
of the story and incorporate them into the everyday life?
Is there an important goal that the VUP is trying to accomplish in the project?
What will make the VUP want to spend time accomplishing this goal?
What adds tension to the experience?
Is there a system of rewards and penalties? User Experience 10 What kinds of visuals are being used in the project?
Is the overall look realistic or a fantasy environment?
Is it possible to identify specific design styles in the project?
How does audio work in this project?
Is there ambient sound, sound effects, music, and so forth? Aesthetics THANKS! renira@tlu.ee talkingobjects.org We present a possible way to build an objective analysis of transmedia narratives, but it is not restrictive. The analysis may include, but is not limited to the questions and prepositions presented. Other questions and layers of understanding can be considered and added as well. Qualitative and quantitative methods can be used accordingly to the nature of the question and the availability of data. We are probably far from an ultimate definition of Transmedia Storytelling and, therefore, far from an ideal analytical model to approach transmedia stories in order to better understand its intrinsic dynamics.
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