Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. – Henry Jenkins
This blog post has taken me a while to write because there was a lot of grey area with what I thought about the topic, so I had to try and find a good understanding of what is and what is not in the grey area. A main point in my confusion with what Transmedia storytelling is, is the intention of creating a multichannel production to begin with and if the production is an on-going series over multiple channels/platforms then can you count it as Transmedia?
My example is the Pokémon franchise. Since it was first created in 1996 in Japan, the intention of Pokémon became to create a television show to sell the games. While the intent of story is told mainly through the television show, there are individual aspects that are separated for each channel Pokémon has been established on.
The games give a unique perspective of what is around the towns that the anime brings up, also the hands-on involvement of being a Pokémon Trainer and setting out for your own quest. The manga involves stories that occur in the Pokémon World that do not act as one consecutive story – just small parts. The Pokémon Trading Card Game uses the intent of creating physical objects (cards) that were meant to be played along with the video game series. Over the past 15 years Pokémon has been transformed over multiple channels, games, T.V series, manga and movies – each being relevant to another.
Considering the 10 different points outlined by Henry Jenkins (hyperlink above) on what makes something Transmedia, I would guess it would seem that a production would need to tick a point explained. Pokémon being around for 15 years, having an impact on a majority of channels/mediums – so to target a majority of people, has successfully utilized the idea of transmedia production.
Transmedia projects have become an impressive and interesting way to utilize multiple markets and therefore a larger audience. The intent to carefully play a movie off a game, off a book, off cards, to create one main story has become a powerful tool reflecting on what technology has become, and also reflecting on the intent for a wider consumer range over multiple channels, cashing in on the different interests of people.