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Transmedia: New Words for Old Methods

Transmedia. Thankfully the buzz around the buzz-word has subsided, and people are getting serious about rethinking the content they capture and create around a project or universe. Even with several examples out there on what Transmedia really is, it’s still hard to pin down exactly what Transmedia means. It certainly can’t be boiled down to a video, or a one-size fits all definition. Suffice it to say you already know what Transmedia is.

The use of transmedia in storytelling seems different for every project, and the definition of Transmedia goes far beyond the PGA definition created a few years ago, which was certainly a necessary starting point. Naturally the definition must evolve from what we understand it is. I’m excited to see what comes in 2016 that can fit under the realm of Transmedia, though I don’t care if it is called that. And though the question, “What does Transmedia mean?” is impossible to answer with any certainty, I put forth this video we created to continue the conversation. It serves as more than suitable albeit temporary “Definition of Transmedia” from the perspective of Story Architect Lance Weiler.

The Sabi Company produced and edited this video and several others in Park City during the Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals (in conjunction with New Breed and the Workbook Project). This particular video was subsequently released just prior to the staging of Lance Weiler’s “Pandemic 1.0” Transmedia experience (which was invited to exhibit as part of the New Frontier) the following year.

Pandemic 1.0 was a story-world disseminated through a variety of devices and platforms, and it combines real world gaming, an interactive map, a website portal, an army of fictional twitter characters disseminating videos created within the universe, NFC technology, a scavenger hunt led with mobile phones, several teams of creatives collaborating to make it happen — and much more.

The Sabi Company served as a Transmedia Unit on the project, creating original videos to complement the story of a mysterious “sleep-virus” that broke out over the course of Sundance. The videos can be found on the Sabi Creative site.

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