New Transmedia Blog: “The Extratextuals”

Ivan Askwith, Jonathan Gray, and Derek Johnson have started a group blog called The Extratextuals, which they explain in their birth post as:

This is a blog about the media. However, with other blogs on television, film, and the media in general, we wanted to carve out a specific niche. So our blog will focus primarily on the extratextuals that surround the media. By this, we mean everything but the show itself: previews, merchandising, industry buzz, branding, interviews, posters, spatial context, temporal context, related websites, ARGs, spinoffs, spoilers, schedules, bonus materials, transmedia extras, games, YouTube clips, etc. But we’re interested in these things not to be arcane or eccentric; rather, we believe that the extratextuals often make the show what it is. Hence this blog is about the mediation of media.

I want to note Ivan Askwith (with no slight intended to Johnathan or Derek!) is a recent graduate of the Comparative Media Studies programme at MIT, mostly known to readers of this blog through the Convergence Culture Consortium. As I posted before, his thesis online, but he is now lead strategist (coolness) at Big Spaceship (double coolness). Big Spaceship is behind great projects such as The Ultimate Search for Bourne with Google, diegetic websites such as Oceanic-Air for Lost and immersive websites such as those for the films Stranger Than Fiction, Silent Hill, 30 Days of Nights  (that is in the ilk I cover in my article on Filmmakers that Think Outside the Film) and games such as the 30 Days of Night Multiplayer Game.

Askwith posted about a great panel he participated in for the Producers Guild of America:

CREATING BLOCKBUSTER WORLDS: TRANSMEDIA DEVELOPMENT & PRODUCTION

Wednesday, September 26 (6:30PM – 9PM)

As exemplified by TV series such as Lost and Heroes , video games such as Halo and the work of creators such as JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, Zach Snyder and Kevin Smith, storytelling has made a quantum leap in the 21st century. Development and production of a single rich narrative across multiple media platforms is the next exciting challenge being faced by producers in the digital age. Right now, major studios, advertising agencies, video game publishers and dozens of Fortune 500 companies are incubating concepts and developing intellectual properties capable of both enthralling and interacting with audiences who will enjoy them on their TV sets, computer screens, game consoles, as well as in the form of theatrical films, graphic novels and toys. There are only a handful of producers with extensive experience in the lucrative field of trans-media storytelling and production, and the PGA will be bringing them to you in this exciting seminar.

Producers who attend this seminar will become familiar with the following:

  • The definition, history and near-future of trans-media storytelling, development and production
  • Success stories and notorious trans-media failures
  • Creative and technical elements that form successful trans-media franchises
  • What (and who) you need to know to understand the ambition and scope of trans-media production
  • The conceptual building blocks for successful trans-media development and implementation
  • Facing the challenges of working with large conglomerates
  • Rollout strategies
  • The role of product placement, sponsors and promotions
  • What goes into developing a trans-media deal
  • Examples, illustrations and models

Check out: The ExtraTextuals