Monday, April 27, 2015

"::\~~~Le Transmedia~~~/::"

Transmedia is a challenge to understand. Perhaps it's because it's best defined on what it isn't, rather than what it is. Perhaps it's because it travels across social platforms that I'm still unfamiliar with. Personally, I wasn't too hyped up on the idea the first time I ever heard of it. However, with an increasing understanding of the medium, I increasingly grew amazed at the effort and intricacy of this form of storytelling. Ultimately, it conjoins the relationship between the creator and the audience/creators.

 For example, Elegy for a Dead World involves the audience members in its game by having the audience write out the stories in the game. This shared experience makes the relationship between the creator and the audience extremely personal. 

When I first researched this game, the idea of Authorship versus Openness really stood out to me. Like mentioned in this article, to be able to let go of creative control proves extremely difficult. It's remarkable that a game would put that much responsibility onto the player. 

 Another fantastic example of transmedia world building is the Harry Potter Fan-World. Sure, J.K. Rowling made the story and the fundamentals to Harry Potter's magical universe - but who could stop individuals from making their own stories within the Harry Potter universe? Who could stop individuals from creating their own work based off of the series? Ultimately, I have found countless of examples of a Harry Potter fan-work community.
  For one, there's that Harry Potter rendition of Uptown Funk, except, it's, um, Dark Lord Funk. Clever, right? But seriously, type in on google or youtube, "Harry potter", and you will find hundreds of fan-made cartoons, websites, music videos, and so, so much more.

I also am really impressed by the ways transmedia also fully incorporates different online platforms. For example-  the renowned Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Just imagine - the time. The effort. The consist online platforms the production needed to branch out and structure. It's just, mind blowing. Unlike any other current form of storytelling, the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (based off of the well known novel, Pride and Prejudice) is a series of vlogs, tweets, etc. about a girl's life. The various profiles, people, and even towns created based off of these fictional characters and lives truly impressed me. It brought together a fictional community that bonded over a love of a story and of a world, over multiple platforms. I never thought Instagram or Twitter could unite to make fake character profiles.

Ingrid Kopp, the Tribeca Film Institute's Director of Digital Initiatives, truly helped me clear up some thoughts I had over transmedia. What is it exactly? Is the idea of an online, multi-platform community what transmedia truly is? Well, it's many things. However, the initiative, stays the same- like how the audience can have an interpersonal bond with the story, or can become the creators themselves, or how an audience can create their own fan-like community, or how User Experience Design can help channel the audience's creative role in the story. 

I'm still wondering - how will transmedia become more relative to our lives? How will transdmedia shape the entertainment, or storytelling, industry? How will it grow?

 I do not believe transmedia existed before the interest, because the interest is such a difficult platform to compare anything else into. However, I do believe people did participate in creating fanwork and clubs; therefore, they did create communities for audience-art.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dog Sees God - YES! It really is Fair Use!

   The play, “Dog Sees God” is an excellent example of transforming one person’s work into an entirely new direction. It takes out the past circumstance and characters of Charles Shultz’s classic cartoon, Peanuts, and adds another ten years to them. Ultimately, the play exemplifies Fair Use for it transforms and distorts the original cartoon’s characters, tone, and circumstance to show awareness of new kinds of ideas (i.e. intensive bullying, suicide, homosexuality, death).


I love how dynamic the new versions of Peanuts characters are. For example, Charlie Brown now plays out a closeted homosexual who finally does something out of the ordinary, and Lucie now goes into an Mental Clinic after burning a girls hair on fire and having an abortion. So fresh! Sure, the characters are based off  the old Peanuts characters, but they are now completely transformed into different individuals. These aren’t the cute, innocent, “Good Ol’ Charlie Brown!” days anymore. 

Furthermore, these individuals are so contrasting from the original Peanuts comics that they can be marked as their own, only with the same names from the Peanuts comics. This play stands as a prime example of both trans-formative art and Fair Use because it demonstrates an individual story, tone, music, character design and script. Ultimately, “Dog Sees Dog” would not be considered trans-formative art nor Fair Use if it copied straight scenes, characters, etc. from the Peanuts comics.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Twitter and Television: Blasphemy or a Gold Mine?

I am not one who tweets. Before I continue making my argument involving "Twitter", I must state that Twitter remains as foreign to me as the moon. 

But, after reading articles about the dispute between the growing relationship between "tweeters" and  television, I am stunned that 10-15% percent of our population uses Twitter. I am stunned to learn that the New York Times reports “Facebook and Twitter both see the social conversation around television as a way to increase use of their sites and win a bigger piece of advertisers’ spending.”(1)

This current-day art world is expanding in ways I never took the time to delve into. However, the increasing concern of Twitter's accountability for television viewers interests me the most. How well does the Twitter population account for the other 85-90% of viewers watching the screen? How much should Television and TV actors take in the Twitter feed response? 

Some, like ABC entertainment president Paul Lee, might go as far as to say that it is a "critical tool" for them "to understand how [their] audience is responding to [their] shows."(2) Actors and Television Producers alive have taken account to the responses of the Twitter world, where 140 character feedback helps fill in the cracks of a Pilot's response. Finding a response for Entertainment is important. Relying solely on one kind of response can be equally harmful to a show's outcome. Although Twitter is an incredibly diverse community, any show will have a niche of individuals (i.e. age, gender, maturity level, education, etc.) channeling their opinion into a single show/event.

Ultimately, Twitter is a fantastic example of the intertwining relationship with Technology and Art. It's absolutely amazing that we all have access to artists from, really, all over the world!
 For example, I befriended a fantastic filmmaker from Florida on a plane ride back to school; we talked for 2 hours about his production company and about art in general, and in the end, we were able to keep in contact with one another over facebook and one another's websites. The relationship between different artists and crafts is becoming closer and closer because of the internet and websites, such as Twitter.

 Just a few notes I think are important when engaging with current technology and art: 

1. Hovering over our phones to "Live-Tweet" every show misses massive opportunities to fully engage and witness the story. This activity should be taken with caution because it can be easily over-used and it can take away feeling organic moments of the show's story. Although I have never partaken in a "Live-Tweet" event, I understand that its use is to engage the viewer onto another level with the screen. Until I have partaken in a "Live-Tweet" event, I cannot contain a fully in-depth opinion on the matter. 

2. Using technology to sponsor your art is a wonderful thing. Actors who engage with their audiences, for example, are sponsoring their art in a very involving and intimate way. Discussing and debating one's art will always further your knowledge about yourself! 

3. Spending more time in the virtual Online World, rather than the Physical world isn't the best of options, because you will lose touch with the organic elements of your environment. Especially for artists (any kind, for that matter), I believe physically touching your art creates much more dynamic and interesting work. You can always delete and "Undo" on your laptop. But sometimes, the most magical work comes from a terrible mistake. SO, whenever you believe writing your next big novel on a computer is a brilliant idea, try writing on paper, or different kinds of paper. Touching your art.. conjures up emotions and stimulants in your body that cannot be conjured while typing on a laptop.

 If you are even more interested about Twitter and how it changed Television, I have attached below a wonderful video that further discusses the topic.

Till' Next Time!!! 

- Anna

1. Goel, Vindu, and Brian Stelter. "Social Networks in a Battle for the Second Screen." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2015. 

2. Goel, Vindu, and Brian Stelter. "Social Networks in a Battle for the Second Screen." The New York Times. The New York Times, 02 Oct. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.