The theory of Transmedia Storytelling: Jenkins, Henry
Transmedia refers to narratives that crosses over into multiple media forms and platforms (being interactive or not). It is the merging of media forms.
Transmedia storytelling has to do with how a story unfolds via multiple media platforms, with every new text contributing distinctively to it as a whole. Its important that each medium plays to its strengths on whatever platform it was exhibited on.
It is important to be spread across the platforms and mediums so that you can have access to audiences on a wider global scale. It is also important to have new content readily available because users won’t want to re-watch or re-read the same content repeatedly.
Avatar as a transmedia text:
The FILM ‘Avatar’ (2009) for cinema (being the first 3D film) or television viewing (DVD) and planning for there to be 5 films total to the franchise (the next one being in between 2018 and 2023).
- Before the film was released in 2009 we had the publication of several different BOOKS. One of them being ‘The Movie Scrap Book’ which is basically about Pandora’s biological and social history in order to give readers an insight into the film’s fictional setting and what life is like on it.’The Art of Avatar’ and ‘James Cameron’s Avatar: The Na’vi Quest’ all set within the avatar universe.
- There is also an upcoming COMIC BOOK series as well that was unveiled at comic con in 2015.
- GAMES became available on game consoles like Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, PSP, Wii, Nintendo and Mobile games and in browser online game versions. The popular games company Ubisoft Montreal created a 3rd person action video game in 2009 as well right around the same time the movie was released.
- MERCHANDISE: Action Figures of Avatars and 6 different toys of characters from the film were distributed with the McDonald’s kids meal deal, backpacks, cups, France Mailing service had limited edition Avatar stamps etc.
- Disney has also started developing an ‘Avatar’ THEME PARK that’s set to open in the summer of 2017.
While Avatar might be an example of Transmedia Storytelling gits not a particularly successful one since some of the stuff on other media platforms other than the film like the books and games weren’t that much of a success.
According to Jenkins (2007) its really ‘important that audiences have a platform where they can meet and create the fiction even further together’ and what comes to mind with this statement is Fanfiction and original Fanart. Fanfiction for avatar allows audience to write the’r pwn version of the story (film) to suit their own individual desire for alternative story-lines and is a globally popular thing among niche global audiences. Fanart allows fans who are interested in the art of Avatar to reconstruct their own visual interpretation of a scene or situation. While these are not legit platforms created by the actual producers of the Avatar franchise, they do exist and is something that would benefit the Avatar franchise since if fanfic readers become fans of the fandom via fics, they’ll search for other platforms too.