Transmedia

Transmedia

In today’s world of storytelling, being innovative and going beyond just a singular storyline will really help to build a fan base and franchise.

“Transmedia, briefly, is the telling of a story across multiple media channels where each individual narrative has the ability to stand-alone and yet, makes a worthy contribution to the grand narrative.” (Menard. D)

When it comes to transmedia one of the really successful campaigns that comes to mind is the Marvel universe. It is an example of how you can take one story and branch off into many different forms of media. These stories all started off as individual comics and through movies have become more involved and intertwined with one another.

Marvel has created a huge transmedia universe that is sure to have very particular guidelines to keep consistency throughout. These different stories and worlds can be enjoyed on their own but are also a cohesive narrative and entire universe.

Pokemon is another really good use of transmedia. They have just recently introduced a new aspect to an already hugely successful franchise. The Pokemon Go app has taken a brand that was sort of put on the back burner and not been talked about as much outside of its niche audience. Now with this app has sparked a whole new level of interest and went viral worldwide. It has revitalized the franchise and opened new possibilities.

There are hundreds of different Pokemon all with different evolutions. There is not really a singular text that tells the fans about each one but rather the fans themselves find out and discover about these different creatures through the different forms of media. Because of this each player or fan may find out different information which then encourages conversations between them. Not only do they build the story through the forms of media but also through fan interactions.

When done right the use of different media platforms to expand upon a story or world can really boost your product to the next level.

– Bec

Scolari, C.A., 2009. Transmedia storytelling: Implicit consumers, narrative worlds, and branding in contemporary media production.

Hadas, L., 2014. Authorship and Authenticity in the Transmedia Brand: The Case of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Networking Knowledge: Journal of the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network7(1).

Menard, D., 2015. Entertainment assembled: The Marvel Cinematic Universe, a case study in transmedia.

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Social Media Campaigns

Social Media Campaigns

Creating a social media campaign for a project can really help and boost it to the next level. If done right it can be a cheap and easy way to gain an audience with minimal effort. These free platforms have the ability to connect with a potential or existing audience and interact with them. If you are able to do something offline and bring it back online through fan’s interactions it will have a much further reach.

One of biggest issues with my group and our short film End Game was coming up with a fun and interesting way to present our project on a different level. There were a few movies that I found did really creative things to help boost their product and gain or grow a fan base.

The Hunger games was a huge success and was very innovative with aspects of how they promoted it online. They took the main plot of the story and created an online world where viewers could create a profile and pick which district they were from, encompassing them in the story world that was created. It took the story world that was created in the movie and allowed the viewers to be in it and choose their own path interacting in it. It also gave the fans the opportunity to interact with one another about the story.

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Another promotion that I thought was genius with the campaign for Zoolander 2, was when Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson went to Paris fashion week. The guys walked down the Valentino runway in full character causing a frenzy online. There were hashtags and pictures and tweets all about the appearance there, which directly related to the movie and was free and positive marketing for their movie Zoolander 2.

This was quick to take off and go viral through gifs, videos, and pictures. It helped some because they already had a following from the first film and so when word was out there was a second and they created instances like this the fan base ignited again. It was a really smart and innovative way to advertise offline sparking chatter online.

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We really struggled with finding an innovative way to go beyond just making posts on our social media pages to promote our project End Game. Because we have placed the film in a ‘Bluestone Room’ for an annual poker game where these assassins come together, I have decided to create a blog and twitter account called the Bluestone Record. This will be an outlet for information about the different assassins; following them, their calling cards, as well as articles about their backstories and current happenings. It will allow the audience to interact with the characters in a different way than just in the story world of the movie.

https://bluestonerecord.wordpress.com/

@RecordBluestone

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BR

– Bec

TINT Blog. (2017). Movies and Social Media: Marketing films with new media. [online] Available at: https://www.tintup.com/blog/movies-and-social-media-marketing-films-with-new-media/ [Accessed 31 May 2017].

Taylor, M. (2017). 17 Tips For Marketing Films & TV Shows Online | Venture Harbour. [online] Venture Harbour. Available at: https://www.ventureharbour.com/ultimate-guide-marketing-films-tv-shows-online/ [Accessed 31 May 2017].

HuffPost. (2017). The Role Of Social Media In Film Marketing. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/the-role-of-social-media-_b_10571026.html [Accessed 31 May 2017].

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Mobile Applications

Mobile Applications

Mobile phone usage is such a regular thing in this day and age. I can remember when applications (apps) were first becoming more and more prevalent we always used the phrase “there’s an app for that”. But now there really are thousands of apps that can do just about anything now. Back in 2015 it was estimated that 80% of people would be using their mobile phones to access the internet, and that number has continued to grow since (Hsu, Y.C.).

Types of apps

There are 3 main types of app based on how they interact with your phone. The first type is Native. A native app interacts with what is already on your phone such as the camera, GPS, fingerprint, etc. This type allows you to interact with the app without having to have an Internet connection because it is downloaded to your device. They are great for user friendly interactions but can be difficult to adapt to other platforms as it is designed specifically for your phone.

The second type of app in a web based app. This requires your phone to have the ability to connect to the Internet. An example of this would be Google maps, the app connects to the Internet and pulls the information from that supplying it to you you via the app interface. This type of app requires less maintenance as it is connected to the information on the web, so as that changes so does the app. The downside is the requirement to be connected to the internet and users may not always have access causing the app to now work.

Lastly is a hybrid app. This app uses the interface and wire framing of a native app but also uses functions to connect to the Internet. Hybrids use both technologies making it easy to change platforms and adapt to the device’s functions. This type is probably the easiest to design due to its adaptability and functionality across both web and device based design.

Each type of app can be successful when used correctly. It is important to know how you want to present your product to your audience. All of the types have both pros and cons so it is important if you are designing the app or working with a client that you define how you want it to look and function before starting the design. (Xue, Z.)

Designing your app

Similarly to when you are designing a website you need to have a clean and user-friendly interface. You will likely have at least 2 different people designing your app. One designer for the front end (what the user sees), and the other for the back end (the code and how the app will function with the technology). This is a collaborative effort as the front end will give the back end everything they need to know about the design including the colors, layouts, photos, copy, links, etc. The back end will then take that information and look at how it will function in code giving feedback to the front end if anything is not going to work. This process continues back and forth until an app is created.

Having a graphic design background I understand the collaboration that comes between a front-end designer and a back end coder. It is important to be flexible yet also detailed with your design in each stage and to always keep the functionality from a consumer’s perspective as a main focus.

-Bec

Hsu, Y.C., Rice, K. and Dawley, L., 2012. Empowering educators with Google’s Android App Inventor: An online workshop in mobile app design. British Journal of Educational Technology43(1), pp.E1-E5.

Joorabchi, M.E., Mesbah, A. and Kruchten, P., 2013, October. Real challenges in mobile app development. In Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, 2013 ACM/IEEE International Symposium on (pp. 15-24). IEEE.

Xue, Z., 2016. Mobile App Development.

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Initiative – Foley

Initiative – Foley

There are a lot of different types of sound that go into a film to help enhance the audience experience. One type of sound that is created for a film is foley. This is something that creates a more well rounded environment for your audience giving it depth. For instance say you have a scene on a boat you may add in the sounds of the water hitting the boat or the wind through the sails in post rather than trying to capture them on the day.

The art of foley sound is something that I have recently become more interested in, adding to a scene giving it the richness and feeling of you as an audience actually being there. I have recently watched some videos on YouTube illustrating the art of sound through Foley artists. These artists will take objects to replicate sounds that were not picked up on the day of the shoot. In one scene there was a plane that flew overhead so they muted the clip and recreated the sounds that would have been in the scene.

One example they show is the use of a thick leathery sheet and a small pool of water. They project the scene on the wall and as the scene is shown they physically create and record these sounds to add that element of narrative sound to the scene. It is really fascinating to me to see how they can use these every day objects to recreate and imitate the sounds of animals, cars, trees, rain, anything really.

With Foley sound it may not be something that you would hear normally in the situation but by adding the dimension to the film it deepens the environment for the viewer. Another example in the video is from a documentary where there is a man with a hat walking through the woods in the rain. They use drops of water hitting a rain boot to simulate the sound of the rain hitting the man’s hat. When you watch the scene you would not know that sound was added in post because it has a real authenticity enhancing the imagery you see.

Along with foley sounds the use of effects, music, silence, even the voice itself that go into making a successful soundscape in a film. Sound is added to compliment the image and the image to compliment the sound setting the tone of how an audience will perceive the scene. Sound is a powerful element in creating a film and can make or break the success of it.

-Bec

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Sound Design

Sound Design

There are three main aspects of sound in a film: speech, sound effects, and music. Although this doesn’t seem like a very impressive list, there are so many possibilities within each category.

Speech

The words spoken are important as that is the message the audience receives, but more so it is how the words are spoken that tells the audience how to perceive it. The aspect of speech falls on the director and actor to interpret and convey but it is good as a sound designer to understand it as well so that when adding the sound effects and music it will not contradict what is being said.

Sound Effects

The sound effects added to a scene can really help to boost the environment for an audience. If on the day of shooting you are not able to pick up aspects of a scene, you can then add them in after through the use of sound effects. This can also be to add information to a scene that cannot be seen.

For instance if you have a shot in the rainforest and during the shoot you focused on the dialogue and actors sound which is most important, you can then go back in and build that environment using sound effects. If I were to add to that scene I may add soft distant sounds of rustling leaves from the wind, a variety of bird chirps both distant and close sounding, and lastly the sound of water hitting the leaves from the rain. All of these you may hear while there but not be able to record so in post you recreate and enhance that environment for the audience so they can feel as if they are part of the scene. Sounds effects are not only used to create atmosphere. They can be used to add suspense, action, relief, symbolism and more.

Music

Music works similar to that of the speech and sound effects adding to the tone and atmosphere of the scene. It can also be used to create a counterpart or allude to something that may be coming later in the film. Below is a recut trailer for the movie Dumb and Dumber as a Horror. What was very much a comedy you can now see by the use of speech, pace, and sound effects, you achieve an entirely different feeling to a well known film.

The use of sound in a film is essential and there are so many different possibilities you can do by layering these three aspects.

-Bec

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3 Shot Expertise

3 Shot Expertise

During the 3 shot expertise exercise I really tried to keep in mind the 180-degree rule trying not to cross it. In small groups we practiced shooting a couple short scenes. I was able to direct for one of the sequences and was the camera operator in the other. The exercise was to plan the shots with the post production stage in mind. By picking a couple different easy scenarios, we were able to really focus of the framing of each shot to make it interesting. When I was directing, it helped to picture what the scene would look like once edited rather than what I saw in front of me.

It is important to think about post production when you are shooting and even in the planning stages. I noticed in one of the edits that I did that the actor started in the frame of one shot making it more difficult to cut. By not adding a little space before and after the shot it caused a jump in the scene. Rather than having the actor walk into the frame and open a door, the actor’s shoulder was already in frame and hand on the door when action was called. That makes it difficult because if in the wide shot the actor does not hit the same mark as in the close up it makes it confusing to the eye causing a jump in time. In the end I was able to cut it to look as if it is a heavier door and is a bit harder to open rather than a jump in what you see.

I find that it is good to run through the a scene from the actor entering frame to when they leave giving you enough footage to then experiment with in post production. Now if it is a long scene, running the entire thing with 5-6 camera angles and multiple takes will take up to much time. In that case, starting a line or two before the action you want extra coverage on and ending a little after will make it so much easier on you in the editing phase. If you limit yourself to shooting from right where you want to start/end there may be jumps or cuts that don’t look right and dictate where you make your cuts.

-Bec

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