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Making Dreams Come True Through Transmedia - Grrl Still Kickin'
Blatherings from Bonnie Burton
Making Dreams Come True Through Transmedia

I've been obsessed lately with the evolution of Transmedia storytelling -- storytelling across multiple forms of media like Web sites, blogs, zines, video games, comics, TV, film, and so on. Great examples of this include "Lost," "Alias," "Heroes," and Cloverfield. Shouldn't be a shocker that J.J. Abrams is big on this kind of storytelling. And of course, so is Lucasfilm. Expanded Universe is exactly what transmedia is -- we have Star Wars movies, comics, video games, novels, toys, role-playing games, fan films, and soon TV. And it will be exciting to see what we do next online as well.

Recently TV producer, writer, and all-around cool creative guy Jesse Alexander came to our work for a lecture on Transmedia and how to have fun with it to further the story. His talk not only inspired our group to brainstorm some exciting new ideas for online, but it jumpstarted a few old ideas I had bouncing around about projects outside of Lucasfilm I'd like to get started on -- a comic for one, and another screenplay for another. So I'm excited to get started on it. Jesse also reminded me that anything really is possible if you just go for it and stop second guessing your chances.

Case in point, he recently wrote in his blog -- The Global Couch -- about a friend of his -- Javier Grillo-Marxuach -- who had a great idea for a movie. It had secret agents, robots, aliens and talking monkeys. Sounds rad, right? Well, he had a tough time convincing his agents that it was worth pitching as a film or TV show, so he shelved it and went back to work writing for "Lost."

But then he couldn't help but tinker with it more and more and more and decided to go for it anyway. So he made it into a comic called The Middle Man and got a publisher interested. And ya know what? It got a good following and great reviews. He hired a girl to dress up as his main character and walk around Comic-Con to promote the comic. He created buzz on his blog. He put up art and kept his fans interested. And eventually, he had a property that his agents couldn't argue with. And he just sold the comic idea for a TV show on ABC Family. So yeah, he did it.

And now I'm thinking, what the hell am I waiting for? I need to get my act together and get my comic book idea out of my head and on to paper. I need to convince one of my artist pals to join forces with me and make it rock. I need to just freaking do it already. And so I am.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
gingerbourbon From: gingerbourbon Date: February 1st, 2008 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh! I just got home from talking at a seminar on this very topic! (as it relates to independent film specifically, though...) I talk a lot about comics and creating a 'universe' and as usual, people are both skeptical and intrigued by involvement with lucasfilm...

It was an org for film investors but they also had students and emerging filmmakers, and yeah! It's awesome how exciting this is such a 'new' thing -- folks 'discovering' transmedia is cool.

Good for you for putting your comic idea down. Way to go! I'm inspired. If you ever need to know how to write out an SMA or develop promo video for the web or anything, even though you probably already know all that stuff, let me know. I'm a big B-Grrl supporter.

The example of Middle Man is a great story -- it's exactly how I advocate working merch/comics as an alternative means toward an end result. Distribution reps and exhibition execs don't love my point of view needless to say, as I tend to subtly refer to those methods as dinosaurs on oxygen tanks, but you're right: this is new. A Love Boat ride, exciting and new. It's an interesting time right now, those old historic 'success' models are dying off and people are finally starting to be more embracing of alternative methodology.
chaodai From: chaodai Date: February 1st, 2008 09:52 am (UTC) (Link)

thank you!

for name checking me and "the middleman" on your blog - i truly appreciate the positive vibes, and yes, absolutely, the tools are out there for the taking and the media is democratized...go for it!
bonniegrrl From: bonniegrrl Date: February 1st, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: thank you!

Sure thing! And congrats!
I also blogged it here.
3 comments or Leave a comment