Transmedia Plants Films On Other Platforms

By Robert Marich
   Feb 15, 2011-As movie brands get planted in new media like cell phones and websites, a whole new discipline emerged in Hollywood -- transmedia -- to oversee translating film properities in places besides the silver screen.
   A Los Angeles Times article by Ben Fritz examines the transmedia process with Jeff Gomez and Mark Pensavalle, who are co-founders of Starlight Runner Entertainment. The process includes drafting a bible of 100 to 400 pages that fleshes out characters and concepts in greater detail than they are presented in the movies themselves. The bibles also facilitate creating original stories, but that are true to the film.
   On Tron: Legacy and the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, the six-person team at Starlight, based in New York, served as a bridge between the filmmakers and the people behind the theme park attractions, games and cruise line shows,” says the LA Times article.
   “The Starlight team helped flesh out storylines for spinoffs that fit the movies and came up with moments to connect the different incarnations,” the article continues. “In one such ‘transmedia tip,’ Olivia Wilde’s character in Tron: Legacy discusses how she was saved from death. Players of the video game Tron: Evolution — a prequel to the movie — would recognize the reference, since they are the ones who rescue her at the end of the game.”
   Hollywood’s Producers Guild of America actually codified the transmedia credit, reflecting its importance and making sure film credits accurately reflect who contributed. The PGA defines this as a “project or franchise of one that consists of three (or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms: Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing rollouts, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist. These narrative extensions are NOT the same as repurposing material from one platform to be cut or repurposed to different platforms.”

   Other companies in the transmedia field are 42 Entertainment and Campfire.

   For full text, click links below: this website is searchable via the search window in the center left of the home page,0,702623.story

Tron: Legacy is one of many films whose story is planted in other media besides film.