I’m really quite intrigued by Frankenstein MD, and unsure of how I feel about it - because that’s not the transmedia vlog model anymore.

The camera cuts to coverage a lot (and is this an in-world camera? The one for their show? Who cuts? Did they themselves embed the background music as characters? Is it diegetic? Non diegetic? WHAT IS IT.) It comes off as a more conventionally shot series that doesn’t have the luxury of getting out of the room. 

I’ve seen it explained better before, but there’s something about either going *fully* vlog (and keeping the videos transmedia themselves) or fully in the other direction: shooting it conventionally. It’d odd to sit somewhere in the middle. Much prefer Lizzie’s camera setup, as the audience is closer to her. 

What I also enjoy with LBD (as opposed to EA and FMD) is the separation of official series feeds and character feeds. That’s what we did for Carmilla as well. So confusing when TPTB and the character are speaking from the same channel… 

Also: for anyone who hasn’t seen Nothing Much To Do, the vlog adaptation of Shakespeare told through Bea and Bennedict’s opposing YoUTube channels, GO FORTH! It’s so goddamn cute and made by a bunch of kids in New Zealand. It’s a great example of seamless transmedia: both characters went to the same party and shot different viewpoints of the same event. 

Pemberley Digital’s fanbase is breaking donation records to help their favorite fictional characters support 27 Million, a real-life charity fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

An online fundraiser built into the interactive world of “Emma Approved” achieved its initial $1000 goal just over 24 hours after it was launched on June 9 – and the total is still growing.

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Sharing a blog post I wrote on my professional site. If you follow the link, you can read a very interesting comment that someone left in response:

Transmedia—telling stories across multiple platforms and formats like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media—is very trendy right now. You’ve got the success of shows like The Lizzie Bennett Diaries and East Los High, in which fans got to interact with characters in “real time,” making them not only consumers of the content but story tellers as well.

As a relative newbie to transmedia, I’ve been feeling psyched about the possibilities, particularly when it comes to storytelling for non-profits. Think of the possibilities for engaging donors and volunteers, bringing organizations’ missions to life in a visceral way.

But when a friend of mine shared my obsession with her 17-year-old daughter, this was her response:

“Transmedia is a word for old people.”

What?? Aside from making me feel about 100 years old, what did my friend’s daughter mean by that?

My friend’s daughter explained that young people don’t need a word to describe transmedia because this is how they live every day. The narrative of their own lives unfolds across different social media platforms and they consciously create identities for themselves depending on where, what, how and with whom they share information.

So a younger person may have one persona on Tumblr, another for Facebook (where their parents and grandparents hang out), yet another for Instagram, and so forth. And they take in information in the same way: watching a series on Hulu while IM’ing a friend or scrolling through animated gifs on Tumblr or watching reaction videos on YouTube. The idea that there is just one way to consume content is just flat-out incomprehensible to them.

So that’s why transmedia is a word for old people—if you’re older than age 30 or so, you grew up in a broadcast world where you watched whatever the networks or cable channels chose to beam at you with no easy way to beam back at them or communicate with like-minded folks consuming the same content (though some folks tried their best—I’m looking at you, old-school Star Trek fans).

Of course, nowadays nearly everyone consumes content the way younger people do. For example, the NY Times recently redesigned their news pagers so that comments appear to the right of the original article, giving both equal visual weight on the page. But while older consumers are “doing” transmedia, they don’t live it the way younger folks do.

You can see this playing out in organizations because the primary decision makers—senior executives and CEOs—generally Don’t Get It. They still think of marketing and communications as a one way street. They treat social media channels as PR tickers. Most importantly, they still think of people as audiences rather than as co-collaborators in creating a shared experience—which is how younger folks see themselves.

In order for companies and non-profits to succeed, they need to reevaluate where and how they tell their organizational stories. It’s not just from a narrative perspective. For example, something that drives me crazy is how brands promote themselves on Tumblr. Some companies like General Electric and IBM are producing cool gifs and graphics, but they never share anyone else’s content. The whole ethos of Tumblr revolves around endless sharing, so why aren’t companies participating in that? It isn’t just about what you put out there, it’s about what you pass along.

As content creators, we need to make the case for true multichannel, multidirectional storytelling that is collaborative and gives folks a chance to share their own stories in turn. This isn’t a nice-to-have opportunity, it’s an absolute must-be-done to survive. Remember my friend’s daughter. She’s not waiting around for us to “get it.”

Currently active literature-related vlogs and transmedia projects. Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Recently Ended: Jules and Monty, Notes by Christine, The Emma Project
On Hiatus: Emma Approved
Reduced to Saturdays: Autobiography of Jane Eyre

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Are you a fan of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? How about Peter Pan? If you answered yes to either of those — or if you’re simply a fan of great stories — you should definitely be checking out The New Adventures of Peter + Wendy. The YouTube series follows a modern take on the Wendy Darling and Peter Pan story for a digital age. We’re obsessed.

The New, Old Way to Tell Stories: With Input from the Audience

Watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries—a YouTube show that uses a video diary to retell a contemporary version of Pride and Prejudice—is like opening a bag of potato chips: You can’t stop at just one. The series purports to be the “real” video diary of Lizzie Bennet, a 24-year-old grad student studying mass communication (naturally), living at home with her parents and sisters, and completely caught up in the social media world. At just three to five minutes long, each vlog teases you into the next, and the next, and the next. Then, once you’ve scarfed down half the episodes and discover all the other delights that accompany the show—the Twitter feeds, the Facebook pages, the fan art, the Instagrams and Tumblrs—it’s a full-blown binge.

Read more. [Image: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries]

Kissing in the Rain, Inverse Fanfiction, and an Experiment in Transmedia


When we first announced Shipwrecked’s upcoming project, Kissing in the Rain, I said that the project was, at its heart, a kind of inverse fanfiction.

The structure of the series pulls a lot from the fanfic concept of “missing moments”, and as a result each episode is intended to be a small slice of a bigger narrative we aren’t necessarily seeing on screen. One of my favorite things about the world of fanfiction was the feeling that I was coloring in a part of the story that had been left for me by the creators. We’re leaving you guys the larger areas to color in between each episode.

There was a practical reason for this too - at this point, every Shipwrecked project is funded out of pocket by us, the creators. We do it with the hope that if enough of you enjoy and engage with our content, this won’t always be the case. Because of this reality, we were limited in how many episodes we could produce while maintaining the overall quality of the production. We filmed 12 total episodes for Kissing in the Rain - seven episodes for Lily & James, five episodes for Audrey & Henry.

If I’ve done my job as a director, every episode will leave you wanting much, much more than it was in our power to give this time around. Hence the idea of inverse fanfiction - there is a larger infinity of missing moments for this series than most others. We announced the series with an open-invitation for fanmade content to fill out the story. Today, it occurred to me that we can do one better.

During filming, the actors asked me if I had any kind of headcanon for their existing relationships. I had some answers but not all of them. Together, we created our own headcanon that worked within our larger story arc. Which brings me to the point of this post - I think we can continue this collaboratively written headcanon over the course of the series, integrating fanfiction and fan-created content in a way that hasn’t quite been done before. 

My one superpower as showrunner is declaring what’s canon, and this is what I’ve decided to do with that power. For every episode of Lily & James of Kissing in the Rain, I’m going to write a short character drabble that fits within the canon of the series. The series can be appreciated without reading them, but I somewhat selfishly want more time to play with these characters and a reason to excercise my non-screenwriting writing muscle. These drabbles will be reblogged to the main Shipwrecked Tumblr and linked with each released episode on YouTube.

Here’s where you come in:

1. We’ll continue to read posts under our tracked Tumblr tags for this series, “kitr” and “shipsters ftw”.

2. If we reblog your post to the main Shipwrecked Tumblr, it becomes canonical. That means fanfiction, fanmixes, one-line headcanon, whatever else you can think of.

The goal is to use Tumblr to create one long, curated, community-written, canonical fanfiction companion piece to Kissing in the RainI have a theory that the audience for this series is just crazy, talented, and engaged enough to make this experiment in transmedia work - particularly for two characters named Lily and James. But whether this experiment sails or fails, the content we upload to YouTube will remain unaffected and can be enjoyed without following the companion fic.

So yeah. Thanks for reading this, and thanks to prettyfaroutman for making the first fan-created post under the “kitr” tag and indirectly inspiring this Tumblr transmedia experiment. If you have any thoughts/ideas on transmedia and your experiences in other webseries/fandoms - reblog this post and add them. Or feel free to message me directly with your thoughts, my ask box is open. I would honestly love to read them all.

And just a quick status update on the Kissing in the Rain trailer - we’re very near picture lock, it should be out towards the tail end of this week!

Much love,

Yulin Kuang
creator, Kissing in the Rain Comedy

But to return to our theme: I find poetic links, the logic of poetry in cinema, extraordinarily pleasing. They seem to me perfectly appropriate to the potential of cinema as the most truthful and poetic of art forms. Certainly I am more at home with them than with traditional theatrical writing which links images through the linear, rigidly logical development of the plot. That sort of fussily correct way of linking events usually involves arbitrarily forcing them into sequence in obedience to some abstract notion of order. And even when this is not so, even when the plot is governed by the characters, one finds that the links which hold it together rest on a facile interpretation of life’s complexities.

In my view poetic reasoning is closer to the laws by which thought develops, and thus to life itself, than is the logic of traditional drama. […] Through poetic connections feeling is heightened and the spectator is made more active. He becomes a participant in the process of discovering life, unsupported by ready-made deductions from the plot or ineluctable pointers by the author. […] When less than everything has been said about a subject, you can still think on further. The alternative is for the audience to be presented with the final deduction, for no effort on their part, and that is not what they need. What can it mean to them when they have not shared with the author the misery and joy of bringing an image into being?

Poetry is an awareness of the world, a particular way of relating to reality.
—  Andrei Tarkovksy on three act structure, character-driven films, and poetry in cinema.

Currently active literature-related vlogs and transmedia projects. Let me know if I’m missing anything.

Recently Ended: New Adventures of Peter and Wendy (Season 1)

Kissing in the Rain: Lighting Changes

It happens during a lighting change, between the fourth and fifth shots of the scene.

They’ve been sitting in silence against the set dressing for the past ten minutes, and she can’t get him to make eye contact with her. It’s cold – they’ve been colder, but she’s still shivering under her towel, and he’s still resolutely staring off in another direction. Like making a little small talk would kill him.

“Five minutes till we go again,” she hears the AD call out.

Lily drops her head onto his shoulder.

She can feel him stiffen instantly – like she’s a complete stranger who’s suddenly decided to take a nap on him, like they haven’t been aggressively making out for the past two hours, like they haven’t had six different lifetimes’ worth of falling in love with each other.

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Frequently Asked Questions

"Who is that Assassin on the right?"

"Who’s the Assassin with the gun?"

"Is that Edward’s mentor?" (yes, i really got asked this one)

"Who is the guy with the moustache?"

"Nikolai? Who da hell?"

Here you go…Who is Nikolai Orelov?