Transmedia storytelling is a technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats, recognized for its use by mass media to develop media franchises. In his book Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins further describes transmedia storytelling as storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan’s understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia creates “entrypoints” through which consumers can become immersed in a story world. According to Stephen Dinehart, the aim of this immersion is decentralized authorship, or transmedial play. Transmedia Storyteller Jeff Gomez defines it as “the art of conveying messages themes or storylines to mass audiences through the artful and well planned use of multiple media platforms.” In The Producer’s Guide to Transmedia Nuno Bernardo describes that “a Transmedia production will develop storytelling across multiple forms of media in order to have different entry points into the story.”
Star Wars was one of the earliest examples of transmedia storytelling, albeit in a dispersed rather than co-ordinated way. Beginning in 1977 and continuing till date, fans have got acquainted with the characters and the story in a variety of ways: videogames, books, animated short films and of course the actual films themselves.
Other film examples of transmedia include Dark Knight, Watchmen, Harry Potter. Transmedia has also been used with television storytelling, Lost and Hereos being examples.
How is transmedia helping to redefine storytelling? What do you see as the advantages of media convergence in storytelling?