Monday, April 16, 2012
Transmedia and fiction in television
I read an interesting article on the success story of Game of Thrones a couple of days ago, over at Lost Remote. GoT has been one of the transmedia marketing success stories I’ve pointed to in talks and articles over the past year, what with their ”Smells of Westeros” and ”Food of Westeros” campaigns. I was very happy to see that HBO were rewarded with an audience for the first episode of the second season that was 73% up on the first episode of the first season.
Now, the social media buzz around GoT is indeed remarkable. HBO are evidently doing all they can to maintain and grow this buzz, and it would seem it is paying off handsomely.
In the article I read, no one was speaking about ”transmedia” per say. Still, the principles of transmedia storytelling are what made all the social buzz possible. George R.R. Martin has created an enormously rich story world, he already has a great number of story archs up in the air and the mythology and the narrative superstructure are both firmly in place.
This is what I would recommend anyone thinking of transmedia and television, in a drama/fiction setting, to take note of and even replicate. Making a mythology as rich as that of GoT might seem excessive, but look at the possibilities it generates for entry points, character interaction, fan art and fan fiction and so on!
If you’re working on a fantasy story, build it all as eloquently as GoT, or at least strive to. If your fiction is more of the contemporary kind, make your own jigsaw puzzle out of facts from the world around you, glueing the pieces together with just the right amount of fiction from yourself and your creative brain.
Above all, plan for the audience to join in. The HBO example in the article above is getting there. I do believe there are new routes to explore and new ways to implement, to tie the audience even tighter to your content.