As I work through some of the questions I have about transmedia storytelling – I stumbled on a couple of articles that feature a great look at a couple of concepts regarding the format of story that is not traditional in nature.
Article 1 - mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/imr/2009/02/16/10am-carnaby-street-kate-modern-and-ephemeralisation-online-drama - 10am
Article 2 - atec4346.pbworks.com/KateModern – student wiki entry on KateModern
One of the questions I posed earlier was, how well does the transmedia (multi-platform) method of storytelling weather time?
A story told through a movie or weekly TV series can often be accessed by buying/renting the DVD/streaming it/etc.. All you need is the series and the discs. Stories/Shows told many years before are still available to me through a simple rental or purchase.
Web series, however, may not be as accessible. Simple series (meaning not transmedia in nature) are already disappearing (some still exist illegally but only as a bad quality video portion and not the supporting web page, many not at all). With transmedia, it is not just the need to preserve the main show or series, but all of the other sources. And that begs the question of how are some of these sources even archived properly? I have played a bit with the Internet WayBack machine and those4 web sites, especially ones with multimedia components, never preserve properly or completely.
Which bring up something to be considered when making or when reading/watching/participating in a transmedia story, is all of the original story still accessible… and is it accessible in a way the writer/creator imagined it would be?
Article two does a nice job of briefly comparing traditional narrative with the ways in which the show KateModern uses non-traditional narrative.
Article one defines a neat concept based on how ephemeral a story element is and article two compares traditional narrative to a "new" type. The author of the first article, Elizabeth Evans, uses the term Ephemeral Media – (from www.ephemeralmedia.co.uk – "What does ephemeral mean? In the context of the workshop it connotes short-form media (i.e. texts that are no more than a few minutes long) but also media which are fleeting in the way they circulate, or that are often overlooked within mainstream academic study."
check these for more info - filmstudiesforfree.blogspot.com/2009/10/lastingly-good-work-on-ephemeral-media.html and also here digitalconsultant.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/ephemeral-media-workshop-23-24-june/
There is an upside to this sort of media event as some of it can be captured, stored and visited later and a person can enhance their experience by becoming part of the story. Yet, there is a downside as mentioned in the final few sentences of the article - something that should be thought about.
"The drama of Kate Modern became as ephemeral as real life as its makers sought to encapsulate the real-time communicative capabilities of the internet within their video series. Despite being able to watch the series at any time, it is constantly made clear that if you weren’t watching at a particular moment, you have missed the ‘true’ experience of Kate Modern. "
This then follows – was that story narrative/transmedia experience adaptational and ephemeral in nature (meaning not necessary to the overall story) or was it extensional (meaning it was a part of the story and the full narrative of the story is lost to anyone missing that experience)?
I think it is fine for a story-teller to use both forms of transmedia storytelling. BUT the creator should consider if an element is crucial to the final story he/she wishes to tell. If it is, then a more permanent form or source needs to be established.
Maybe make as part of the story a future researcher, say like what docwho2100 is doing, creates a website that archives certain social media/networking/transmedia sources and also reviews the narrative and sets out some of the events that were missed and what they did for the story – ok just joking but hey, I work for peanuts and cocktails :P although are media people wise in letting fans set up fan wikis (like the one for the LG15 and KateModern world) and doing most of the work for them... for free???? Although who controls and archives fan wikis????
Or along with the DVD comes a disc with the complete website and social network archived and available for viewing - of course that opens up a WHOLE other can of worms - legally - can someone archive the social network and responses or again is that story played out on Twitter, facebook, bebo, etc... lost (meaning only the character's profiles and posts are allowed to be saved... and oooo who gets money rights and hey was not this what the writer' and actor's unions were striking over and Oi! I am getting a headache.......
does the creator have to migrate their entire episode everytime a network folds (HELLO all those series that had huge following on MySpace - are you converting to Facebook??? And what is next after that????)
The larger question though, is how much of the media coming out today through this medium will be available in 10 years, 20, 30????? And will it hurt the story if it is not available?
and PS - somehow I want to make a reference or link to Rocky Horror and it is the ultimate transmedia experience and is still around many years after the original broadcast and yet... not sure that works here :P