Pratten, R. (2011) Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling: A Practical Guide for Beginners. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Available from: http://www.tstoryteller.com/getting-started-in-transmedia-storytelling [Accessed 10th February 2015]
Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling is the essential guide to creating a successful, captivating transmedia experience. It guides you through every process of production, teaching you vital lessons about story, platforms, audience etc. It was chapter 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 which I found the most valuable as it was something I was least confident and had the least experience with, ‘Audiences – Identifying and Understanding Them.’ Due to the advance in 2.0 web, audiences have changed the way they interact with media, the traditional hypodermic needle model for media consumption is redundant now as people chose what information they digest. People watch, listen to, and play what and when they want to – if we as creators, transmedia storytellers, can’t immediately grab the attention of our audience, then no excitement will be generated by our product. We need to think, in a world where everyone has access to hundreds of thousands of games at their fingertips, why would they chose to play our game?
Pratten’s advice about identifying and understanding your audience went into depths I didn’t even realise were relevant. His two key steps to delivering a relatable and compelling story are 1. Identify your audience 2. Understand what turns them on. He then goes into explaining what you should consider when identifying your audience, e.g. age, occupation, social goals, when, where and how they watch films and listen to music. After reading this section, I set about incorporating examples from his list to write a few audience profiles of people who I think would be likely to be involved in our transmedia project, ‘Sweet Hostage.’ Although you can’t exactly describe the people that would play this, you need to have a rough idea of what makes people tick, so that when it comes to showing your product to a focus group they aren’t merely going to respond with ‘I just don’t like it’ etc.
The advice that Pratten gives about audience relates directly to the topic of platforms. Without understanding the people we want to market our product to, we will be unable to use platforms appropriately to get our content across to the target audience. He says that first and foremost, you need to ‘consider the audience’s lifestyle’ and gives a good example, “If you’ve got a story appealing to single parent families, is it likely that they will attend live events?” I took on these ideas and found that our audience are far more likely to be accessing games and other interactive content while on the go via mobile devices, therefore all the platforms we are using (YouTube, Tumblr, game app, twitter) are available on tablets and smartphones to suit the demands of the audience. Our aim is for the transmedia experience to be easily integrated into people’s lives and fit with their lifestyle whether they’re tweeting Little Red’s Rebellion on the bus or tuning into the witch’s political statement on their break.