Week 8: Storytelling & Transmedia

Digital Media is one of my favourite lectures to go to. It’s always engaging, fun and the subjects we cover truly interest me. This week was no exception. We had a guest speaker come a present during Tuesday’s lecture. Ryerson professor by day and transmedia storyteller by night, Ramona Pringle spoke on her successful transmedia product, Avatar Secrets. Avatar Secrets is an interactive documentary for the iPad and iPhone. Ramona took us through the process of the production from the inception of the idea to funding and to even her experiences at festivals like SXSW!

Towards the end of the presentation, she left us with six key points to think about as RTA students.

  1. TRUST THE STORY: One thing that she stressed was that the story is just as important as the platform that it’s being told on. Ramona explained how if you solely rely on the platform to do the work, your project will fall flat!
  2. EMBRACE IT: And by ‘it’ I mean the design affordances of new technology. An example of this would be, books being on Kindles.
  3. MAKE IT INVISIBLE: Ramona expressed how one should never be told how to use a product. It should be self-explanatory and the instructions should be ‘invisible’ to the consumer.
  4. BALANCE IT: While creating a story, you want to find the right balance of agency (the ability to make our own decisions) within the narrative.
  5. CONSIDER YOUR TRANSMEDIA APPROACH: The approach would include things like marketing and distribution. Ramona considered going to conferences and panels like SXSW as a combination of the two. Because by talking about her transmedia product she is also opening doors for distribution opportunities. The more people that know about it, the more likely the are going to see it!
  6. PLAY: Point #6 is a reminder to keep your work playful and fun and to make the story enticing. Playing also involves taking chances and trying something new! There is a reason why the saying “think outside of the box” exists. If we stopped taking risks, nothing new or innovative would be made.

Check out the trailer for Avatar Secrets below!

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