Here I discuss the storytelling possibilities of Transmedia and my meeting with Mike Johnston 12/10/2012.
I wanted to discuss my Creative Enterprise Project proposals with Mike Johnston because, being the tutor who assessed me for Planning and Making a Film, I knew he would
provide some good advice. Boy, did he! I sat there talking with him for
an hour (he did most of the talking).
I started off telling
him what I had said to Mimi, in regards, to what I wanted to do after
Uni – that I just want to tell stories through filmmaking and that I
want to make a short film for my CE project. I also told him about my concern
over being marked for making a short film again and how this could clash
with Planning and Making a Film, but he said not to worry too much.
The key point he made - he has no doubt that I am capable of making an engaging short film (which was immensely reassuring to me). However,
if I wanted to tell stories there are other ways in which I could do it
and in areas that would allow me to branch out and explore the
industry, which is what the CEP module criteria encourages.
introduced me to a phrase I had never heard before: Transmedia
Storytelling, which, if you want an example, is what the modern series
of Doctor Who is doing. Doctor Who is transmedia storytelling
because it tells its stories not just through the television episodes,
but through novels, webisodes, comics, etc. You also have vast amounts
of content detailing the behind the scenes information, toys,
merchandise, conventions, fan fiction, podcasts, blogs, websites and the
Doctor Who Experience. Transmedia storytelling is your basic
exploitation of a franchise by its overseers and by its fans to tell
stories across multiple platforms. I mean, I’m doing it now! If I do
make a short film it would link to what I’m writing now, because I’m
writing the story of how it came about, right now. Blimey, that makes my
The reason why Mike flagged it up to me is because
this is still a new, emerging area that is crying out for people to
produce content. If I could somehow plug my CE project into this area it would
bring in the marks and act as a good springboard for employment.
However, he voiced the same anxiety I have strolling around the
back of my head – is making a short film going to push my skills enough
to get a good mark for the module, get me the employment I want after
Uni or act as a good application for postgraduate study?
a short film would be an incredibly inward way of approaching the
module because, on it’s own, it doesn’t really allow me to explore
outside the module in to the wider arena of the Creative Media Industry.
Mike, quite rightly, said that no one has made a career out of just
making short films. They’ll make one or two short films as their
stylistic calling cards and then go on to other things, such as feature
filmmaking, documentary making or television production, etc. These are
not bad outcomes but the way in which stories are told is changing and
the short film format on it’s own is becoming old fashioned. The way
stories are told will change even more once television and the internet
are the same thing (it’s going to happen), let’s not even move onto
what’s going to happen to cinema (hopefully, IMAX will still be around
once the multiplexes have vanished).
Mike argued, by doing a
CE project that is concerned with transmedia storytelling, such as producing a
pilot webisode for a short web series and promoting it on line, I would
be demonstrating real forward-thinking and would be employing all the
skills he has already seen me demonstrate. Mike has also supplied me
with some links and resources, which I’m going to have a look at.
At the moment Eyes is still only a proto-idea, it is not a
full-fledge plot for either a fiction short film or a mockumentary short
film. Therefore, there is no reason why it can’t be developed for another format; even if it is across multiple formats.
fact of the matter is, I’m betting everything I have on this final year
and going all in! This year will probably break me but it also needs to
make me and the CEP is my opportunity to really demonstrate what I can
do. The question is do I do something that may not push me far enough,
such as making a short film?
Mike even said it’s possible for
me to use the Uni’s resources after (if) I graduate. I have already
considered using the May/June period to make a short film, so that is
also possibility. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a short
film, but actually the options I have available to me are vast and
varied. All I know is I have to make something for this module – it’s
inside me and it’s crying out to be made!
However, I am not
saying that I have abandoned the short film; I may even be able to
combine aspects of the transmedia option with it. As I said to Mike: “I
need ideas to make new ideas”. Therefore, I’m going to keep developing
the story of Eyes and keep acquiring new suggestions for other roads I
could take my CE project down. The initial proposal isn’t due until just
before Christmas and even then it can be altered. For the time being,
I’m just going to keep feeding my brain new ideas and options and see
what wonderful new combinations it can make from them.