For the second year in a row, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show hosted a panel of transmedia luminaries to discuss the state of the industry. This year’s panel, Transmedia: Telling the Story through Narrative Content, Games and Real-World Adventures was hosted by Henry Jenkins (Professor of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California, and author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide) and included Jeff Gomez (President and CEO, Starlight Runner Entertainment), Kim Moses (Executive Producer/Director, Sander/Moses Productions and Slam Internet), Gale Anne Hurd (Executive Producer, The Walking Dead; President, Valhalla Motion Pictures), Danny Bilson (Executive Vice President of Core Games, THQ, Inc.), and Tim Kring (Transmedia Storyteller, Conspiracy for Good, Heroes).
Jenkins started the panel with a definition of transmedia from his book as a starting point for discussion amongst the panelists:
Transmedia Storytelling represents a process by which narrative information is systematically dispersed across multiple media channels for the purposes of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.
Jenkins asserted that the difference between transmedia and other methods is “that each element adds something vital to the mix as a whole” and “expand[s] the canvas on which storytellers work within the entertainment industry.”
This past week, Amsterdam played host to Cinekid, the annual international film, TV, and new media festival for young people. The festival also provides separate sessions for professionals working in these entertainment media. One of these sessions, the Junior Cross Media Market, brings together producers of transmedia content for children with international financiers and co-producers, including broadcasters, networks, and entertainment companies.
The Junior Cross Media Market was held on October 28th, and while ARGNet was unable to attend the Market in its entirety, we were able to attend and report on Jeff Gomez‘s transmedia masterclass.
Gomez has made quite a name for himself in the field of transmedia. He’s the President and CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, a company that has been developing cross- and transmedia strategies for big Hollywood companies including Disney and 20th Century Fox along with other major brands such as Coca Cola, Hasbro, and Mattel. Most recently, SRE worked on campaigns for the Tron, Transformers, and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises.
Gomez has been on the advisory board for Cinekid for a few years, and was invited to speak on the subject of transmedia with the specific goal of educating an international audience of professionals in the television and movie industries about transmedia storytelling techniques and devising a transmedia strategy for specific brands or products. Monique de Haas, one of the driving forces behind From Story to Legend, introduced Gomez, remarking that Gomez was a key player in the push to arrange accreditation for transmedia producers with the Producers Guild of America.