Sweeping change in the media ecosystem and the appropriation of new technologies from the latest revolutions compel us to rethink content in order to offer new experiences which take into account new audience habits and trends. Creating a transmedia experience therefore involves mobilising multiple skills as of project genesis, and all throughout its design.
New occupations are emerging:
- Story Architect / Transmedia Producer:
This is the project maestro responsible for the overall consistency of the storyworld, who forms a central channel for discussions between the different project contributors. Jeff Gomez, attached to the notion of a transmedia franchise, introduced the notion of Transmedia Producer to the Producer’s guild of America in Hollywood, with Lance Weiler coining the term Story Architect, which he associates more with writing skills.
- Lead Author:
The Lead Author’s role is to check consistency between the original storyworld narrative and its extensions. He or she works in close collaboration with the authors of the different extensible threads of the story (film, TV, video games etc.). Contrary to more traditional productions, the author of a transmedia project is involved from the writing phase until the experience is released and all throughout its different developments, which means he or she has to form an integral part of the operational team. His or her main tool is the story bible which is supposed to include all the themes which form part of the storyworld, and to set out its confines.
- Experience designer:
This person is responsible for the experience continuum, i.e. the quality of the experience created for the public and its consistency with the storyworld as a whole, at different stages of production. He or she must plan and tie in potential interactions between the story and the audience in an aim to offer interactivity, optimise engagement and organise viewers’ exploration and journey between all the developments within the same transmedia storyworld: blogs, websites, social networks, emails / text messaging, competitions, web series, applications etc.
- Transmedia planner:
Person in charge of developing the media architecture in time and space. Following the timeline devised for the storyworld and/or the story and taking inspiration from new applications observed, he or she plans activation of each of the media platforms used.
- Transmedia Storyteller:
Interaction with fans and communities is a central element of transmedia experience. To enable this, the transmedia storyteller is in charge of bringing the storyworld to life on social networks, blogs etc., specifically through protagonists or narrative features following on from the storyworld bible, and orchestrating the conversation on canvass. He or she relies on community managers who are in charge of implementing the storyteller’s animation and moderation strategy.
Depending on what developments have been sketched out for the transmedia experience, the dedicated team will have an aggregate combination of skill sets from very different backgrounds (video games, digital, technology, event planning, design etc.). The success of the project is particularly dependent on the different contributors’ ability to communicate and create in partnership with one another.