On Saturday, April 14th, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel entitled “Enhancing the Narrative Through Transmedia” at the Hollywood 3.0 Forum, USC Annenberg’s first student-run conference on the future of media entertainment. Along with other transmedia practitioners with a broad variety of experiences, including Jesse Albert, Benham Karbassi, Tara Tiger Brown, and Stuart Volkow, and moderated by Aaron D. Settipane.
It was a great discussion to kick off a day of panels, widely attended by USC grad students, professors, and recent alumni, with conversations that spanned the subject of what transmedia is (and is not), the many ways to implement a transmedia campaign, and the overall ins and outs of the professional practice of transmedia production. With only an hour, we managed to cram in the possible uses of transmedia on big-budget Hollywood media properties, advertising campaigns, and grassroots projects like Transmedia LA’s own Miracle Mile Paradox ARG (which currently received kickstarter funding, and will be running both online and live around the Miracle Mile this summer).
We touched on issues like technology, budgeting issues, story world development, and drove home the fact that a transmedia campaign must be a cohesive whole made up of many parts, each part contributing to the larger story world, but also autonomous and valuable as a single point of entry for the user. In the end though, the story needs to be good, or else transmedia or not, a media campaign will fail to satisfy the audience.
The final question of the panel was “what advice would you give to someone graduating and looking to get into transmedia production,” and while our answers all had a bit of humor to them, some practical advice about seeking jobs at large media companies, my response was simply, don’t be afraid to be an entrepreneur. If you see something missing out there, and you want to see it made, then don’t be afraid to follow your vision and make it yourself.