Comikaze 2014: Developing Projects for Transmedia with guests from Classic Alice and New Peter and Wendy Panel

Participants:

  • Eric (host): works as production assn. for Classic Alice
  • Kate Packet: writer, creator and star of Classic Alice
  • Dana Shaw: transmedia producer for Classic Alice
  • Lex Edelman: exec producer Classic Alice
  • Jenny: the producer of New Adven. Peter and Wendy
  • Emmett Furey: transmedia producer New Adven peter and wendy
  • writer and co creator of new peter and wendy

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How you create for Transmedia:

  • what are benefits/drawbacks of expanding the project past vlog/blog format?
    • you need to take advantage of all tools that bloggers use- to be realistic, their characters must do this as well. Challenges: because youre interacting with your audience, you don’t know how they will react or attempt to derail your story.
    • They learned that different people want to be involved to certain extents and not to interact with those who are at other levels  (ie. casual watchers, some interactions, major interactions that allow them to become part of the story). They had to make it an experience that was equally engaging.
  • how the team decided to so heavily involve in the transmedia process
    • Bushman wanted to experiment a few changes since it would not run as full show
    • he wanted to take opp to see what would work- how far can he bend fan interaction until it broke
      • it broke at a few points: at one point they did break twitter: Twitter thought that all the new accounts were fake and blocked them. The team had to contact Twitter personally to reassure them that these were real people.

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Review: To be honest, this panel wasn’t really what I thought it would be. I’d never previously heard about the Peter Pan Webseries, The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, nor Classic Alice. When I first heard about the panel, I actually assumed we’d be talking a bit about what they are- not just jumping into how they’ve adapted and changed in media. So, strike one: not particularly inviting.

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The panel itself was a bit of a bore with at most twenty people (including panelists) in the room. Luckily, it did cover an interesting topic: transmedia. Transmedia is a new way of telling stories using multiple platforms (Wikipedia). In other words, transmedia allows a show to reach audiences in multiple ways. Transmedia is, therefore, a great way to increase your fanbase.

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Unfortunately, as is obvious by the brief summary above, Transmedia doesn’t have a gathering outside the realm of its stories. These people work remarkably hard to cater to a fan base that doesn’t seem to appreciate the behind the scenes action. Transmedia is highly influenced by its fans: both as the characters role play and the lives of the actors themselves. The panelists mentioned that they speak to their fans as both their roleplay characters and themselves. Depending on the show, there are even voicemails set up for fans to call in with suggestions or comments. To have only about twenty people show up for their hard work is disrespectful. Strike two: fans just aren’t interested.

 

Strike Three: the conversation derailed. Primarily, when introducing the panel, Eric said it would be about how they’ve created projects using transmedia. About three questions in, the panel regressed into memories only fans and actors would understand. While this isn’t a major offense, it is certainly a waste of time if you’re on the outside looking in.

 

I was sorely disappointed the whole panel. Transmedia is a wonderful way of promoting shows. Particularly if you group messaging comments into major shows part of transmedia. Additionally, I didn’t hear any news about how transmedia would create a larger fanbase or how they would use transmedia to further promote themselves. It felt stagnant, finite as if they were done with their work rather than in a process of expanding who they are/were.


Overall, I think Transmedia has the potential to be amazing as a process. However, its potential was not utilized, particularly in this panel.

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