TRANSMEDIA: MOVIE EXPERIENCE IS NOT DYING. IT’S EVOLVING
Cinema has always been many things. It can be projected in many spaces, can bring many experiences to the audience, and can establish many different connections between film and other media platforms.
If we think about the origin of stories we realize that its importance lies in their power to explain. We want to know WHY.
Ideas conveyed in story form especially visual stories imprint themselves into the brain faster than a concept explained. Stories align and motivate by portraying the world in terms that build emotional connections between people and create a sense of shared purpose.
What we’re seeing in the digital era is that the public has begun to take media in its own hands. They tell and retell stories building and preserving a group sense of community, innovating, experimenting and responding to those images in new ways.
Today we know these actions as Transmedia. Transmedia is telling a story or live an experience across multiple platforms not in a way that’s redundant but rather in a way that’s complementary.
The key of Transmedia is to bring something new to the story or experience, where each platform contributes what it does best by giving us a new insight into this bigger world.
A perfect example is The Matrix. As you must already know, The Matrix is not only a movie trilogy is also a comic book, an animated short series, and several video games. The same thing happens with Star Wars.
If we look the patron of a franchise you have a main event (first film), then a sequel and then a prequel. With Transmedia you have the same but also you can add an ARG (alternate reality game), a TV show, games, comic books, web series, and so on.
You don’t have to be part of a franchise or a movie trilogy to develop a Transmedia project. Your indie film can make it too if you’re willing to create new content for the variety of platforms that will be part of the experience.
In the marketing strategy, Transmedia creates two major opportunities.
The first one is that brings multiple points of entry into the story world. For example, you have your movie but also you made a web series on YouTube, and a blog that tell the background story of a secondary character. This way you are not only capturing the film fans but also the other markets: the web series and blog fans.
The second opportunity is that Transmedia creates multiple payoff possibilities for marketing dollars through the individual sales of the Transmedia components. This way you don’t only depend on the box office sales.
Even though this two components only refers from a marketing point of view, you don’t have to displace the actual meaning of Transmedia: a driver of experiences where the audience can participate and help to create.
If we look the fan communities, we can realize that the concept has been around us for a long way. It’s very known how fans have write a variety of parallel stories about some movies because they love telling stories and share it with the world.
As the audience develop the ability to tell stories we’re not just in front of another marketing strategy to promote our film but we’re seeing different perspectives emerging. We’re seeing THEIR stories.
And I will continue to repeat this again and again. You must realize that the movie experience is not just what take place on the movie theatre but is all the process that involves the film. The journey that you have shared with the audience, the relationship that you have built with them, the acceptance that the new audience wants to co-create with you.
That’s the future of cinema. Embrace it!