Back to School Special 2: Syllabus for my Transmedia Entertainment Class

One of the challenges of teaching cutting edge subject matter is that you need to totally revamp your syllabus each time you teach a class. The following is the updated syllabus for the class on Transmedia Entertainment I am offering this term through the USC Cinema School. Our long-range hope is that a significant number of the students studying film production at USC will end up with a basic conceptual vocabulary in transmedia storytelling and will thus enter the industry already able to collaborate across media platforms in a meaningful way. Indeed, I would argue that the “movie brats” who have long been poster-children for the Cinema School, the guys whose names are on the buildings — Spielberg, Lucas, Zemeckis, were never “pure filmmakers” in the classical sense but had always worked across media platforms and indeed, paved the way for contemporary transmedia practice. So, USC is the appropriate place to be developing such a subject.

As you will see, the class relies heavily on guest speakers from across the media industry and it also relies on a simulation activity in which our students develop transmedia proposals (including Bibles) and pitch their approach to a panel of industry experts. I am not a designer and so can not teach the design and production aspects of transmedia fully, but I try to tap the full range of creative talent in the class to see how far we can push their thinking, using a model I developed at MIT where I taught an interactive design class from the late and much missed Sande Scordos from Sony Imageworks.

Transmedia Entertainment

CTSC 482

Tuesdays 10:00 am-1:50 pm

We now live in a moment where every story, image, brand, relationship plays itself out across the maximum number of media platforms, shaped top down by decisions made in corporate boardrooms and bottom up by decisions made in teenager’s bedrooms. The concentrated ownership of media conglomerates increases the desirability of properties that can exploit “synergies” between different parts of the medium system and “maximize touch-points” with different niches of consumers. The result has been the push towards franchise-building in general and transmedia entertainment in particular.

A transmedia story represents the integration of entertainment experiences across a range of different media platforms. A story like Heroes or Lost might spread from television into comics, the web, computer or alternate reality games, toys and other commodities, and so forth, picking up new consumers as it goes and allowing the most dedicated fans to drill deeper. The fans, in turn, may translate their interests in the franchise into concordances and Wikipedia entries, fan fiction, vids, fan films, cosplay, game mods, and a range of other participatory practices that further extend the story world in new directions. Both the commercial and grassroots expansion of narrative universes contribute to a new mode of storytelling, one which is based on an encyclopedic expanse of information which gets put together differently by each individual consumer as well as processed collectively by social networks and online knowledge communities.

Each class session will introduce a concept central to our understanding of transmedia entertainment that we will explore through a combination of lectures, screenings, and conversations with industry insiders who are applying these concepts through their own creative practices. The readings for this class are organized into required readings, which every student should read in order for us to have a shared basis for discussion, and recommended readings, which are intended to be resources for the group project as they dig deeper into the course concepts. My recommendation is that the members of the group divide these readings between them and make sure that the core concepts be in the shared pool of knowledge for each team.

In this course, we will be exploring the phenomenon of transmedia storytelling through:

  • Critically examining commercial and grassroots texts that contribute to larger media franchises (mobisodes and webisodes, comics, games).
  • Developing a theoretical framework for understanding how storytelling works in this new environment with a particular emphasis upon issues of world building, cultural attractors, and cultural activators.
  • Tracing the historical context from which modern transmedia practices emerged, including consideration of the contributions of such key figures as P.T. Barnum, L. Frank Baum, Feuillade, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Cordwainer Smith, Walt Disney, George Lucas, DC and Marvel Comics, and Joss Whedon.
  • Exploring what transmedia approaches contribute to such key genres as science fiction, fantasy, horror, superhero, suspense, soap opera, teen and reality television.
  • Listening to cutting-edge thinkers from the media industry talk about the challenges and opportunities that transmedia entertainment offers, walking through cases of contemporary projects that have deployed cross-platform strategies.
  • Putting these ideas into action through working with a team of fellow students to develop and pitch transmedia strategies around an existing media property.

Required Book:

Frank Rose, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and How We Tell Stories (New York: W.W. Norton, 2011)

Recommended Book:

Matt Madden, 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (New York: Chamberlain Brothers, 2005)

All additional readings will be provided through the Blackboard site for the class.

Grading and Assignments:

Commercial Extension Paper 20 percent

Grassroots Extension Paper 20 percent

Final Project – Franchise Development Project 40 percent

Class Forums 20 percent

In order to fully understand how transmedia entertainment works, students will be expected to immerse themselves into at least one major media franchise for the duration of the term. You should consume as many different instantiations (official and unofficial) of this franchise as you can and try to get an understanding of what each part contributes to the series as a whole.

COMMERCIAL EXTENSION PAPER: For the first paper, you will be asked to write a 5-7 page essay examining one commercially produced media extension (comic, website, game, mobisode, amusement park attraction, etc.). You should try to address such issues as its relationship to the story world, its strategies for expanding the narrative, its deployment of the distinctive properties of its platform, its targeted audience, and its cultural attractors/activators. The paper will be evaluated on its demonstrated grasp of core concepts from the class, its original research, and its analysis of how the artifact relates to specific trends impacting the entertainment industry. Where possible, link your analysis to the course materials, including readings, lecture notes, and speaker comments. Please email a short paragraph describing your project to Prof. Jenkins and Shawna by September 27th. (Due Oct. 4) (20 Percent)

GRASSROOTS EXTENSION PAPER: For the second paper, you will be asked to write a 5-7 page essay examining a fan-made extension (fan fiction, discussion list, video, etc.) and try to understand where the audience has sought to attach themselves to the franchise, what they add to the story world, how they respond to or route around the invitational strategies of the series, and how they reshape our understanding of the characters, plot or world of the original franchise. The paper will be evaluated on its demonstrated grasp of core concepts from the class, its original research, and its analysis of how the artifact relates to specific trends impacting the entertainment industry. Where possible, link your analysis to the course materials, including readings, lecture notes, and speaker comments. Please email a short paragraph describing your project to Prof. Jenkins and Shawna by October 25th. (Due Nov. 1) (20 Percent)

FINAL PROJECT – FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Students will be organized into teams, which for the purpose of this exercise will function as transmedia companies. You should select a media property (a film, television series, comic book, novel, etc.) that you feel has the potential to become a successful transmedia franchise. In most cases, you will be looking for a property that has not yet added media extensions, though you could also look at a property that you feel has been mishandled in the past. You should have identified and agreed on a property no later than Sept. 13th. By the end of the term, your team will be “pitching” this property. The pitch should include a briefing book that describes:

1) the core defining properties of the media property

2) a description of the intended audience(s) and what we know of its potential interests

3) a discussion of the specific plans for each media platform you are going to deploy

4) an overall description for how you will seek to integrate the different media platforms to create a coherent world

5) parallel examples of other properties which have deployed the strategies being described

For a potential model for what such a book might look like, see the transmedia bible template from Screen Australia, available here: http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/filmmaking/digital_resources.aspx. Or visit: http://zenfilms.typepad.com/zen_films/2010/06/transmedia-workflow.html. If you use either as a model, include only those segments of their Bible templates which make sense for your particular property and approach.

The pitch itself will be a group presentation, followed by questions from our panel of judges, who will be drawn from across the entertainment industry. The length and format of the presentation will be announced as the term progresses to reflect the number of students actually involved in the process and thus the number of participating teams. The presentation should give us a “taste” of what the property is like as well as to lay out some of the key elements that are identified in the briefing book. Each team will need to determine what are the most salient features to cover in their pitches as well as what information they want to hold in reserve to address the judge’s questions. Each member of the team will be expected to develop expertise around a specific media platform as well as to contribute to the over-all strategies for spreading the property across media systems. The group will select its own team leader who will be responsible for contacts with the instructor and will coordinate the presentation. The team leader will be asked to provide feedback on what each team member contributed to the effort, while team members will be asked to provide an evaluation of how the team leader performed. Team Members will check in on Week Ten and Week Fourteen to review their progress on the assignment. The instructor may request short written updates throughout the term to insure that the team is moving in the right direction. (40 percent)

CLASS FORUM/PARTICIPATION: For each class session, students will be asked to contribute a substantive question or comment via the class forum on BlackBoard. Comments should reflect an understanding of the readings for that day as well as an attempt to formulate an issue that we can explore with the visiting speakers. Students will also be evaluated based on regular attendance and class participation. (20 Percent)

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23rd

Transmedia Storytelling 101

Required Readings:

● Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” Confessions of an Aca-Fan, March 22, 2007

● Henry Jenkins, “Searching for the Origami Unicorn: The Matrix and Transmedia Storytelling,” Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: New York University Press, 2006), pp. 93-130.

● Nick DeMartino, “Why Transmedia Is Catching On Now,” Future of Film Blog, Parts 1, 2, 3.

Recommended Readings:

● Geoffrey Long, Transmedia Storytelling: Business, Aesthetics and Production at the Jim Henson Company, Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007

● P. David Marshall, “The New Intertextual Commodity” in Dan Harries (ed.) The New Media Book (London: BFI, 2002), pp. 69-81.

Speaker: Jeff Gomez, Starlight Runner Entertainment

Jeff Gomez is the world’s leading producer of transmedia entertainment properties. He is an expert at incubating new entertainment franchises, strategic planning and production for cross-platform implementation. As CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment, Jeff leverages intellectual properties into global franchises that successfully navigate an array of media channels. Jeff has worked on such blockbuster universes as Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Microsoft’s Halo and James Cameron’s Avatar. He sits on the board of the Producers Guild of America East, as well as on the PGA New Media Council. A Latino, raised on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Jeff earned degrees in Film Studies and Communication Arts & Sciences at Queens College, CUNY.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30th

A Brief History of Transmedia

Required Reading:

● J.P. Telotte, Disney TV (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2004), pp. 61 – 79.

● Frank Rose, “How to Build a World That Doesn’t Fall Apart,” Art of Immersion, pp. 289- 320.

Recommended Readings:

● Neil Harris, “The Operational Aesthetic,” Humbug: The Art of P.T. Barnum (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), pp. 61-89.

● Carolyn Handler Miller, “Using a Transmedia Approach,” Digital Storytelling: A Creator’s Guide to Interactive Entertainment (Amsterdam: Focal Press, 2006), pp. 149-164.

Speaker: Alexander Seropian, Disney Interactive

Alexander Seropian is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of Core Games for Disney Interactive Media Group. He is responsible for building interactive franchises with major brands such as Mickey Mouse, Pixar and Marvel. Prior to his position at Disney, Alex founded Wideload Games, an independent game developer that utilized an external development model similar to film production. Wideload Games produced award-winning titles such as Stubbs the Zombie. In 2009, the studio was acquired by Disney Interactive Media Group. Alex began his career in videogames in 1991 as the founder of Bungie Studios. Under his guidance, Bungie created some of the most celebrated game franchises in the industry, including Marathon, Myth, Oni, and Halo. Alex also serves as the Game Designer in Residence for DePaul University’s College of Digital Media.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th

High Concept and the Franchise System

Required Reading:

● Justin Wyatt, “Critical Redefinition: The Concept of High Concept” High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994), pp. 1-22.

● Jonathan Gray, “Learning to Use the Force: Star Wars Toys and Their Films,” Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts (New York: NYU Press, 2010), pp. 177-187.

● Christy Dena, “Chapter 2: Art, Commerce, Media and Environments in Transmedia Practice,” from Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environment, pp. 26-55.

● Frank Rose, “Deeper,” The Art of Immersion, pp.47-76.

Recommended Readings:

● Derek Johnson, “Learning to Share: The Relational Logics of Media Franchising” a White Paper

● Aaron Smith, “The Era of Convergence,” from Transmedia Stories in Television 2.0

Student Team Meetings

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th

The Logic of Engagement

Required Reading:

● Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, “Chapter Four,” Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (New York: NYU Press, forthcoming)

● Frank Rose, “The Dyslexic Storyteller” and “Television: The Game,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 9-30, 169-198.

● Christy Dena, Selection from “Chapter 4: Narrative, Game and Interactivity in Transmedia Projects” from Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments, pp. 223- 259

Recommended Reading:

● Ivan Askwith, “The Expanded Television Text”, “Five Logics of Engagement,” “Lost at Televisions’ Crossroads,” Television 2.0: Reconceptualizing TV as an Engagement Medium, Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007, pp. 51-150.

● Kim Moses and Ian Sander, selections from Ghost Whisperer: The Spirit Guide (New York: Titan Books, 2008).

Speaker: Kim Moses, Sandermoses Production

A principal in Sander/Moses Productions, she has both developed and served as an executive producer on over 500 hours of prime-time television programming. Kim has co-created (with Ian Sander) the “Total Engagement Experience”, a new business and creative model for television, which uses the television show as a component of a broader multi-platform entertainment experience that includes the internet, publishing, music, mobile, DVD’s, video games and more, establishing an infinity loop driving ratings and increasing revenue streams. Moses was Executive Producer and Director of the hit CBS drama Ghost Whisperer, and she has co-authored the show’s companion book, Ghost Whisperer: Spirit Guide. She has also co-created and written the award winning Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side webseries.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th

Media Mix and Multimodality

Required Reading:

● Frank Rose, “Fear of Fiction,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 31-46.

● Christy Dena, Chapter Two, Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments, pp. 55-95.

Recommended Reading:

● Anne Allison, “Pokemon: Getting Monsters and Communicating Capitalism,” Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006), pp. 192-233.

● Mizuko Ito, “Gender Dynamics of the Japanese Media Mix,” Beyond Barbie and Mortal Kombat: New Perspectives on Gender and Gaming (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008), pp. 97-110.

Speaker: Brian Clarke, GMD Studios

Brian is an award-winning New York City-based experience designer, the a founder and former publisher of independent film news daily indieWIRE.com, and the CEO of the 16-year-old media innovation lab GMD Studios (www.gmdstudios.com). His integrated experience clients have included advertisers (including Audi, SEGA, Microsoft, Ford), broadcasters (IFC, Fox Television, PBS, Showtime), publishers (New York Times, Scholastic) and film studios.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th

Continuity and Multiplicity

Reading:

● William Uricchio and Roberta E. Pearson, “I’m Not Fooled by That Cheap Disguise,” in Roberta E. Pearson (ed.), The Many Lives of the Batman: Critical Approaches to A Superhero and His Media (New York: Routledge, 1991), pp. 182-213.

● Sam Ford and Henry Jenkins, “Managing Multiplicity in Superhero Comics,” in Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin (eds.), Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009), pp. 303-313.

● Christy Dena, “The Who of Transmedia Practice” and “Continuity Documentation,” Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments, pp.124-147.

Recommended Reading:

● Alec Austin, “Hybrid Expectations,” Expectations Across Entertainment Media, Master’s thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007, pp. 97-127

● Jason Bainbridge, “Worlds within Worlds: The Role of Superheroes in the Marvel and DC Universe,” in Angela Ndalianis (ed.), The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero (New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 64-85.

● Matt Madden, 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (New York: Chamberlain Brothers, 2005)

Speaker: Dan Didio, DC Comics

Dan DiDio was named Co-Publisher of DC Comics alongside Jim Lee in February 2010. Previously to being named Co-Publisher, DiDio served as Senior Vice President and Executive Editor, overseeing the editorial department for the DC Universe line of comic book titles, and charting the ongoing adventures of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, The Flash and scores of heroes and villains; he also worked to develop new titles with the industry’s premier writers and artists. Before joining DC in January 2002, DiDio was with the computer animation company Mainframe Entertainment where he served as freelance story editor and scriptwriter for the television series Reboot and War Planets. Later he became its Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs, overseeing the development, distribution, marketing, and promotion as well as merchandising and licensing of all Mainframe’s television properties. Among the television projects he developed were Weird-Ohs, Beast Machines, Black Bull’s Gatecrasher and Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother. He began his television career in 1981 at CBS, where he worked at a variety of positions before moving to Capital Cities/ABC in 1985. At ABC, DiDio served as Public Relations Manager for the three New York-based daytime dramas, then moved to Los Angeles to become Executive Director of Children’s Programming. In this post, he was responsible for Saturday morning programs and After School Specials and served as Program Executive on such series as Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Hypernauts, Madeline, Dumb and Dumber, and Reboot.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4th

Immersion and Extractability

Paper One: Commercial Extension Due

Reading:

● Jeff Gomez, “Creating Blockbuster Worlds” (unpublished).

● Henry Jenkins, “He-Man and Masters of Transmedia, “ Confessions of an Aca-Fan, May 21, 2010

● Christy Dena, Selection from “Chapter 5 Dramatic Unity, Versimilitude, and the Actual World in Transmedia Practice, “ Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments, pp. 277-316

Speaker: Geoffrey Long, Microsoft

Geoffrey Long is a media analyst, scholar, and author exploring transmedia experiences and emerging entertainment platforms as a Transmedia Producer and Program Manager in the Narrative Design Team at Microsoft Studios. He is an alumni researcher with the Convergence Culture Consortium at MIT, a co-editor of the Playful Thinking book series from the MIT Press, and an executive board member of the Interstitial Arts Foundation. His personal site can be found at geoffreylong.com.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11th

World Building

Reading:

● Derek Johnson, “Intelligent Design or Godless Universe? The Creative Challenges of World Building and Franchise Development,” Franchising Media Worlds: Content Networks and The Collaborative Production of Culture, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2009. pp. 170-279.

● Frank Rose, “Open Worlds,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 121-144.

Recommended Reading:

● Walter Jon Williams, “In What Universe?” in Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin (eds.), Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009), pp. 25-32.

● Henry Jenkins, “The Pleasure of Pirates And What It Tells Us About World Building in Branded Entertainment”, Confessions of an Aca-Fan, June 13, 2007

● Christy Dena, “Chapter Five Dramatic Unity, Verisimitude, and the Actual World in Transmedia Practice”, Transmedia Practice: Theorising the Practice of Expressing a Fictional World across Distinct Media and Environments, pp. 260 -277.

Speaker: Alex McDowell

McDowell trained as a painter in London in the Seventies, and opened a graphic design firm where he built his reputation designing album covers for seminal groups in the London punk scene. Since moving to Los Angeles from London in 1986, he has designed film productions for directors as diverse as Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, David Fincher, Zack Snyder and Steven Spielberg. It was on Minority Report that McDowell built the first fully digital art department, and developed a prototyping process that has evolved into a new narrative design methodology. Currently McDowell is working on a new Warner Brothers franchise project with director Zack Snyder, and he has recently completed design of a dystopian future for In Time, directed by Andrew Niccol. He continues to work as visual development consultant for projects, both live action and virtual. With many awards for his film design, McDowell was named Royal Designer for Industry by the UK’s most prestigious design society, the Royal Society of Arts, in 2006. McDowell serves on several Advisory Boards for design and technology groups and institutions. He currently serves on the AMPAS Science and Technology Council. He is adjunct professor at the School of Cinematic Arts, USC and is a Visiting Artist at MIT’s Media Lab, where he has worked for several years with Tod Machover’s Opera of the Future Lab. McDowell is co-founder and creative director of the immersive design conference 5D | The Future of Immersive Design, a global series of distributed events and a knowledgebase for an expanding community of thought leaders across all narrative media.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18th

Seriality

Reading:

● Jason Mittell, “All in the Game: The Wire, Serial Storytelling, and Procedural Logic,” in Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin (eds.), Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009), pp. 429-438.

● Neil Perryman, “Doctor Who and the Convergence of Media: A Case Study in Transmedia Storytelling,” Convergence, February 2008, pp. 21-40.

● Frank Rose, “Forking Paths,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 103-120.

Recommended Reading:

● Jennifer Haywood, “Mutual Friends: The Development of the Mass Serial” Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 1997), pp. 21-51.

Speaker: TBD, Campfire

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25th

Subjectivity

Paper Two: Fan Extension Due

Reading:

● The 9th Wonders, Chapters 1-9

● Henry Jenkins, “‘We Had So Many Stories to Tell’: The Heroes Comics as Transmedia Storytelling,” Confessions of an Aca-Fan, Dec. 3, 2007.

Speaker: Mark Warshaw, The Alchemists

Mark is a transmedia storytelling writer/producer/director. Before co-founding The Alchemists Transmedia Storytelling Co., Warshaw developed and produced the transmedia experience for the TV series Heroes. During his tenure, Heroes 360 became a financial and critical success. Forester Research has estimated the value of the initiative at $50,000,000 and it won an Emmy for Excellence in Interactive Programming. Before joining Heroes, Warshaw spent six seasons on the TV series Smallville where he produced all the show’s transmedia content and integrated advertiser initiatives. The Smallville websites and projects won various awards, helped build a large fan community, and became a major source of revenue for the property. Warshaw has created and produced on projects with Volkswagen, Ford, Sprint, Toyota, Verizon Wireless, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, TRESemmé, Coca-Cola, Nokia and Nissan. He has written for television and comic books and produced and directed webisode series for Warner Bros, The CW, NBC, Elle Magazine and the NFL. He was born and bred in Los Angeles, California with a stopover at the University of Georgia for a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st

Drillability and Spreadability

Readings:

● Bob Rehak, “That Which Survives: Star Trek‘s Design Network in Fandom and Franchise,” (unpublished), pp. 2-79.

● Suzanne Scott, “Who’s Steering the Mothership?: The Role of the Fanboy Auteur in Transmedia Storytelling” (forthcoming).

● Frank Rose, “The Hive Mind and the Mystery Box,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 145-168.

Recommended Reading:

● Kristin Thompson, “Not Your Father’s Tolkien,” The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2007), pp. 53-74.

● C.S. Lewis, “On Stories,” Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (New York: Harvest, 2002), pp. 3-21.

● Aaron Smith, Chapter 4-5 in Transmedia Stories in Television 2.0

Speaker: Tim Kring

76 million Heroes fans around the world know the name Tim Kring, and tuned in weekly across broadcast TV, cable, online and mobile to follow plotlines about ordinary people who discovered they possessed extraordinary abilities. As part of the most watched television program in the history of television, Heroes Evolutions set the bar high for multiplatform storytelling when it won the Primetime Emmy® for Interactive Television in 2008. In April, 2010, Kring received the Pioneer Prize at the International Digital Emmy® Awards in Cannes in recognition of his industry-leading creativity in multi-screen storytelling. During the summer of 2010, Kring teamed with Nokia to launch the Conspiracy For Good, a global movement that allows the audience to become part of the story to create positive real world change. The pilot engaged an audience online, through Alternative Reality Gaming elements, Nokia mobile apps, and on the streets of London while incorporating charitable and social benefits with Room to Read and the Pearson Foundation. Through this unique blend of entertainment and philanthropy, Conspiracy For Good delivered funding to build five school libraries in Zambia, more than 10,000 books to stock the library shelves, and created 50 new scholarships for deserving schoolgirls. Kring’s Conspiracy For Good is nominated for an International Digital Emmy® Award this April in Cannes. Later this year, Kring begins production on his latest TV pilot Touch for FBC and 20th Century Fox studios, with Kiefer Sutherland attached to star.

Tuesday, November 8th

Performance

Readings:

● Francesca Coppa, “Women, Star Trek, and the Early Development of Fannish Vidding,” Transformative Works and Cultures 1, 2008, .

● Frank Rose, “Control,” The Art of Immersion, pp. 77-102.

Recommended Readings

● Robert Kozinets, “Inno-Tribes: Star Trek as Wikimedia,” in Bernard Cova, Robert Kozinets, and Avi Shankar (eds.), Consumer Tribes (London: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007), pp. 194-209.

Student Team Meetings

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15th

Independent Approaches

Reading:

● Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, Chapter Seven, Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (New York: NYU Press, forthcoming).

Student Team Meetings

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd

No Class

Work on Student Presentations

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29th

Student Presentations

Comments

  1. Inga von Staden says:

    What a fantastic guide to building a curriculum! It's time for a Transemedia Academic Summit as we had for Games at GDC in 2002.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this article! As someone with a passion to learn about transmedia, I will work my way through all the links and track down those books. Is there a chance you might consider doing a web -based course?

  3. Great stuff! I for one will be interested in a web course when you start one!

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