In the era of convergence, television producers are developing transmedia narratives to cater to consumers who are willing to follow their favorite shows across multiple media channels. At the same time, there still remains a need to preserve an internally coherent television show for more traditional viewers. This thesis offers a model for how transmedia storytelling can coexist with and enhance a television narrative, using Lost as a case study. By building a world to be discovered, creating a hierarchy of strategic gaps, focusing on the unique capabilities of each extension, and using the “validation effect” to reward fans for their cross-media traversals, television/transmedia producers can provide a satisfying experience for hard-core and casual fans alike.
Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0 by Aaron Smith, 2009
Abrams told Braun that there wasnt quite enough there for a series, but suggested that “The island has to be a character in the show, and somethings wrong with the island.” Braun agreed, so long as Abrams promised to keep things in the realm of “scientific fact” and have an explanation for everything.
via Alan Sepinwall on the origins of Lost.
Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.
Christy Wampole – How to Live Without Irony – NYTimes.com.
Eventually, as the number of epic hacks increased, we started to lean on a curious psychological crutch: the notion of the “strong” password. It’s the compromise that growing web companies came up with to keep people signing up and entrusting data to their sites. It’s the Band-Aid that’s now being washed away in a river of blood.
via Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore | Wired.com.
- Lists give the illusion of progress
- Lists give the illusion of accomplishment
- Lists make you feel guilty for not achieving these things
- Lists make you feel guilty for continually delaying certain items
- Lists make you feel guilty for not doing things you don’t want to be doing anyway
- Lists make you prioritise the wrong things
- Lists are inefficient (think of what you could do with all the time you spend maintaining your lists?)
- Lists suck the enjoyment out of activities, making most things feel like an obligation
- Lists don’t actually make you more organised long term
- Lists can close you off to spontaneity and exploration of things you didn’t plan for (let’s face it, it’s impossible to REALLY plan some things in life)
Is Your To-Do List Killing You? – Encouragement from a Stranger.
Perhaps we need a different metaphor to describe viewer engagement with narrative complexity. We might think of such programs as drillable rather than spreadable. They encourage a mode of forensic fandom that encourages viewers to dig deeper, probing beneath the surface to understand the complexity of a story and its telling. Such programs create magnets for engagement, drawing viewers into the storyworlds and urging them to drill down to discover more. [...] The opposition between spreadable and drillable shouldn’t be thought of as a hierarchy, but rather as opposing vectors of cultural engagement. Spreadable media encourages horizontal ripples, accumulating eyeballs without necessarily encouraging more long-term engagement. Drillable media typically engage far fewer people, but occupy more of their time and energies in a vertical descent into a text’s complexities.
via To Spread or To Drill? « Jason Mittell @ Just TV.
Drafting the technical manual and ship blueprints was, then, largely a matter of reconciling the “imaginary” object of the Enterprise miniature with the “real” object of sets such as the bridge, sickbay, and engineering, explaining in graphic form how exterior and interior aspects of the Enterprise fit together into a coherent whole. In this sense, Joseph’s work might be described as operationalizing the Kuleshov effect, tying down and standardizing relationships created through editing. The technical materials upon which design-oriented fandom thrives – blueprints, models, hand-crafted props –thus serve an essentially conservative function, knitting together loose seams of an imperfectly-manufactured diegetic reality, as opposed to the exploding/perverting of officially preferred meanings that occurs in fan fiction (particularly slash).
The stratification begins with the badges. Every participant wears a badge on a lanyard. Every encounter begins with an unabashed glance or two down at the other’s badge. It is Davos Man’s defining gesture. So frequently did gazes slip to reëxamine my badge that I came to know what it must be like to have cleavage. The color of the badge denotes a role, and a degree of access. W.E.F. staff wear blue badges—dark blue for full time and light for temps. “Reporting Press” wear orange and can’t get in a lot of places. Entourages get mint green. The coveted pass is the white one, granting delegates free rein. There are variations: A Strategic Partner gets a blue dot and access to an exclusive lounge. A special hologram used to signal membership in an élite faction called the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders, or IGWEL, but now “serves boring logistical purposes,” according to Monck. I was given a white badge, which meant I’d been knighted a Media Leader. Media Leaders may trump Reporting Press (ha!), but they bow before the Media Governors (curses!), who get invited to the off-the-record sit-downs with Geithner and Merkel.
What happens at the World Economic Forum in Davos? : The New Yorker
The cultural task I have in mind is meaning-making. I think this is the same task that babies undertake and early humans must have undertaken in clapping hands in imitation of one another, in pointing to something to direct attention to it, in intentionally clapping hands in synchrony with another person. These are the the radical cultural primitives, and language, drawing, writing, print, photography, and now computation are all ways of expanding our ability to clap, to point, to think together and synchronize our minds and our behaviors.
via Inventing the Digital Medium: An Interview with Janet Murray (Part One).
I propose that worldbuilding is the primary distinguishing characteristic of SF and fantasy (at least at a superficial level). Get the worldbuilding wrong, and your readers won’t be able to get a grip on the story line or the motivation of your characters. Or worse — they’ll get a grip, and realize that your story is, at best, a western or an age-of-sail yarn with the serial numbers filed off: that the trappings of the fantastic are only there to add a spurious sense of exoticism to an everyday tale.
Charlie Stross via World building 101 – Charlie’s Diary.