RTP Dialogues #2: Transmedia Storytelling

[NOTE: The Roundtable is still on Indefinite Hiatus. Content – like these Dialogues – will be released into the feed as time and circumstances allow. Thanks for your patience and understanding]

Robert Pratten, Andrea Phillips, Amanda Havard, and J. C. Hutchins
Robert Pratten, Andrea Phillips, Amanda Havard, and J. C. Hutchins

The world of storytelling is changing. There are new ideas, new technologies, new ways to tell your story and get it into the hands of your readers. For anyone with a passion for storytelling, it’s time to look beyond convention and start exploring the opportunities these innovations provide.

One of the most intriguing formats that has permeated nearly every corner of our awareness is Transmedia Storytelling. By implementing diverse content threads across multiple media platforms, storytellers are able to transcend the limitations of printed word and provide their audiences with a richer, more engaging story experience.

Joining me for this transformative dialog is a cast of Transmedia luminaries, each with years of diverse experience in developing these unique storytelling experiences: Amanda Havard, Andrea Phillips, J. C. Hutchins, and Robert Pratten. I was also most fortunate to have Matthew Wayne Selznick agree to join me as co-host and bring his experience and insight to the table.

My gratitude for these remarkable individuals making the time for this discussion is exceeded only by my delight and the discussion they generated. When you gather this many articulate innovators on to one Skype line, you KNOW it’s going to be a perception-altering experience.

So sit back, buckle up, and hit that “Play” button!

The Roundtable Dialogues #2: Transmedia Storytelling

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

Matthew Wayne Selznick
Matthew Wayne Selznick

Co-Host Matthew Wayne Selznick on the web


Robert Pratten
Robert Pratten


Robert Pratten on the Web:




Andrea Phillips
Andrea Phillips


Andrea Phillips on the Web:


J.C. Hutchins
J.C. Hutchins


J. C. Hutchins on the web:



Amanda Havard
Amanda Havard


Amanda Havard on the Web:


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Comments (3)

It was a pleasure to co-host a discussion with so many passionate voices in the transmedia space. I’ve subscribed to this comment thread, so I’ll keep an eye on it and be sure to respond to anyone who comments with a question or comment for me. Let’s get the conversation going!

Interesting podcast – learned a lot, as always.
Transmedia is really an exciting topic, and I still wonder if it’s working better for big-budget projects with mass followings instead of indie authors.

Well, I think Andrea’s “Daring Adventures of Lucy Smokeheart” qualifies as an indie author project and it seems to be fulfilling her objectives of both sustaining her current audience and being remarkable and engaging enough to warrant some vigorous word-of-mouth activity.

And, as Robert pointed out, transmedia content gives you something OTHER than the tent pole content to provide to potential audience members. It’s likely not as big as the primary content, and it’s often free so it serves as a free nickle bag that’s more than just a book trailer. It actually enhances and enriches the audience experience of the primary piece.

Would the outcome be grander with a bigger budget and multiple content/media streams and a staff of thousands managing it? Maybe (though Andrea offered a cautionary tale of burn-out along those lines), but setting realistic objectives is as important as the transmedia strategy in the first place.

Podcast authors are not technically offering “transmedia” content because its just an audio transcription of their work, but nevertheless they realize an expanded reach and audience by offering their content through a medium that engages a different (and more vocal and socially active) demographic.

Personally, I think the idea of offering a found-footage video shot with my iPhone, produced with some inexpensive basic video editing software, and released on YouTube would be a huge opportunity to expand the story world. A series of such videos could create a whole new tent pole franchise.

I mean, look at the basic writing cycle. First draft, reviose-revise-revise and then either submit for publication or e-pub. Either way, there are gaps and stretches of time when you’re not going to working on that primary piece. So why not draft a tumblr journal from a secondary character’s perspective. or get together with some friends and shoot a video or record a series of audio pieces.

I’m not saying its not work… but the work pays off in dividends that most marketing strategies don’t: actual content that exists and has value AFTER the ad campaign is finished.

What do you think?

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