Since we started the project there is one question that keeps coming up when we try and explain what we are doing. What is transmedia everybody asks? So here is an attempt to try and explain what it is and how we are using it for Cursed City – Dark Tide.
“Transmedia storytelling is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies.” WikipediaWikipedia
What Wikipedia is saying is that transmedia can tell stories across many different platforms (such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook) in many different formats (in other words it could be a comic, a game, a video or any other medium). Importantly though, all of these different platforms, channels and mediums work together to tell a single story from one story world.
Using this kind of approach it is possible to tell a story in which the audience is not only immersed but is also a participant or character in the story. For example, Cursed City – Dark Tide includes a downloadable book of fan fiction, a street artist pasting up messages across the city in real life, a facebook group where the audience can interact with characters from the story, plus immersive theatre encounters where the audience can meet story world characters in real life.
There are also puzzles that need solving and challenges for the audience to undertake as they assist the story world characters to save the city from… well that would be telling.
When people ask us, what is transmedia, you know that this is a question that we have already asked ourselves many times. As a consequence of the Arts Council England funding the project team had the opportunity to mentored through the development process by an expert in transmedia Alison Norrington. You can watch a TEDx talk by her which may help with understanding quite what transmedia is. Her advice and support as been so important to the team since none of us had ever done anything like this before. Thanks to Alison and all of the other mentors involved with the project, I think we can at least try and answer the question now.
So here is our definition of transmedia:
Be part of the story…..
- Like the page
- Get the invite
- Join the group
- Solve the puzzle
Save the city from a crazed and vengeful spirit!
Check out the Facebook page for more information and updates when Cursed City – Dark Tide launches this October.
Cursed City – Dark Tide is funded by Arts Council England to produce a transmedia story experience that will be delivered this autumn as part of Darkfest 2019.