More on Transmedia

The video above documents the presentation that Stephen Dinehart gave on September 30th, 2010 at TEDXTransmedia. In his short talk, Mr. Dinehart touches on the relationship between transmedia and traditional storytelling before moving to some larger points about the philosophical implications of transmedia storytelling. While Dinehart makes some safe (if somewhat obvious) points about the classical roots of most transmedia narrative - I find his hyperbole a bit creepy. He's a gaming expert. OK. What does that have to do with building "supermen" for the "battle for our own future soul?"

Other experts who've recently written on transmedia storytelling, like Jon Reiss and Simon Pulman, have similarly focused on the revolutionary newness of the transmedia model - as if a "new reality" was a few mouse clicks away.

It takes one to know one, but I think Dinehart, Reiss and Pulman might be guilty of solipsism (extreme preoccupation with one's own feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption, the belief that what you are doing is at the center of the universe.) For example, Jon Reiss's claim (in his intro to Mr. Pulman's guest post on Jon's blog) that "transmedia is the future for independent film – and perhaps all film" is tough to support based on current evidence.

Transmedia (also known as cross-platform) storytelling is not yet at the center of even the small microbudget filmmaking universe - and it may never get there. And finding the seeds of a Nietzschean shift in human relations based on a few experiments that combine graphic novels, online entertainment and traditional filmmaking seems, even to someone like myself - who can be grandiose and is busily at work on his own transmedia project - like a stretch.

But it is true (as Mr. Pulman writes) that many of today's most interesting microbudget filmmakers are "creating a cross-platform narrative instead – thinking not only outside the box office, but outside of the 90 minute feature film format altogether." And it's also true that all filmmakers who are using the new technologies (e.g., online distribution, DSLR cameras, etc.) should at least consider the new modes of expression and consumption these technologies allow.

If you're working in film (in or outside the studio system) and you aren't considering the implications of transmedia storytelling, then you risk being left behind.

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