A transmedia story

Technology continues to develop and so does the way we engage with our chosen entertainment. This as a result has allowed for the growth of transmedia storytelling. Transmedia storytelling is based on the idea that a single narrative can be bred into a collective. These versions being made onto multiple media platforms. Dr. Pamela Rutledge alludes to the idea of each being a puzzle piece contributing to the storyline as a whole. Daniel Clowes‘ Ghost World is a great example of a piece of transmedia storytelling as it began as a graphic novel and was then adapted into a film.

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Although, the storyline remains, there can be obvious differences from changing the medium (the medium is the message after all). The graphic novel’s colour scheme alone is different from the film. The graphic novel is limited to 3 colours; blue, black and white (see below).

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By translating it to film, realism is achieved and the story becomes more apparent via the perspective of the director, Terry Zwigoff. The film also introduces a new character into the plot line. The character of Seymour personifies common elements seen in the graphic novel. Seymour is fundamental to Enid’s characterisation and ongoing development as the protagonist. Henry Jenkins says an ‘ideal‘ transmedia story allows for “each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.” The character of Seymour is the “unique contribution” the film needs for the storyline to thrive on screen.

This additional medium enhances how the audience engages with the text, one can choose whether they want to read or watch Ghost World. Despite the original form being the graphic novel, the film allows the story to mature further. A story is no longer restricted to the one medium but many through the act of transmedia storytelling.

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