What do you want me to tell you… if every other person you speak to will tell you something more interesting. How can I get your attention if there are other people more knowledgeable than me. Don’t ask me to open your eyes to a new world if you’ve seen it all before… You may ask yourself, why am I even bothering to write? Why are you bothering to read this? It’s simple, because everything I’ve said before is a lie. Stories don’t run out, we always have something interesting to say and discover.
It’s clear that technological overexposure is leading to content saturation. This saturation is increasing the number of stories available and devaluing their quality. This causes the audience to lose interest in learning more and following the content. We creators have the feeling that technology is continually surpassing us. YouTube, blogs and microblogs, streaming, Periscope, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, 360, VR, AR, AVR… the list is endless.
As a way of making sense of all this liquid content, many professionals have seen a window of opportunity in transmedia narratives. A priori, it seems an unbeatable find. A universe of stories in constant expansion and adaptation would give rise to a very complete type of storytelling, and inexhaustible windows of commercial exploitation. But reality is often more complex than our plans, and that is exactly what this new way of telling stories has shown. Let’s break it down by parts:
-Writing transmedia is very different from writing a single, closed story. From the scriptwriter’s point of view, one must approach the preparation of the text as a type of construction. Known as a transmedia architect, the scriptwriter must plan open and closed endings, multiply the number of characters or deepen the characterization of those necessary. The work of the scriptwriter as a community manager and interactor/co-author of content in real time is fundamental and novel.
-There is no such thing as a transmedia blockbuster. Named by Brian Clark as one of the five points of the transmedia lie, the fact that a transmedia origin product has never been successful suggests that the interest of the audience is relative. We can cite Matrix, XX or The Ministry of Time as examples of successful transmedia. But they are expansions of main content, marketing and dissemination strategies rather than purely narrative.
-Technology can’t do it all. The infamous phrase “we’ll fix this in tomorrow” is often heard on any shoot. We know that editing can make things better, but it can’t do miracles. The same thing happens with transmedia, for example, people think that by putting content on social networks it will automatically become viral by osmosis. Remember, content was, is and will be the king.
-Production costs multiply exponentially. This is a basic production concept: more time = more money. If we multiply the productions and extend their distribution and management, we will need more financing.
-Now more than ever, no one knows anything. You have to have the mentality of a good casino player, you can lose everything you have put on the table and it should not ruin you. The success of content is still a serendipity as big as what it was before.
In conclusion, less is more. Explore technology, but create something scaled to your content, audience and budget. I’m sure you’ve been told this a thousand times already. I’ve heard it a million times. But why do we keep making the same mistakes?