Transmedia storytelling “represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” (Jenkins, Transmedia). There is no one source where you can get all of your information on a media property, as the sources can expand into books, video games, movies, comics, etc. Two elements of transmedia story telling that I have chosen are the multiform story, and negative capability. The multiform story, describes “a written or dramatic narrative that presents a single situation or plotline in multiple versions or perspectives.” (Murray Page 30) Negative capability can mean “the reference to characters, events, or places that exist outside of the story, and rely on the imaginations of the audience to fill in the gaps until the author can return to those ‘seeds’ for later extensions” (Jenkins, Gender). Both of these are important because the multiform story helps us see situations from new points of view, that may offer information we were unaware of before, and the negative capability can bring back the audience with more questions, hoping that they’ll get answers either within the show, webisodes, comics or games.
The media property that I have chosen is The Walking Dead. The first episode of the AMC TV series which showcased back on October 31st of 2010 , begins with Rick waking up after an unknown period of time, and coming across a locked door that has “DON’T OPEN, DEAD INSIDE.”, which is showcased in this first clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDcVj5NmNT4 How that sign appeared, is revealed in the webisode trilogy titled “The Oath.”, which was made on October 1st of 2013. The webisode uses the multiform story, and shows the perspective of two other survivors at the hospital, taking place at an unknown point before Rick wakes up. If it had not been for the webisode, then it would have remained unknown as to who spray painted “DON’T OPEN, DEAD INSIDE” which helped warn Rick after he woke up. This is why the multiform story is important because it helped the audience understand who put up the warning for Rick to begin with.
The second element used that connects the webisode, “The Oath”, to the first episode is negative capability. When Rick first came across the sign that said “DON’T OPEN, DEAD INSIDE.”, it provoked many questions such as “How did that sign get there? Why the door is chained shut? Who put up that warning?” If the warning had not been placed, than it would not have provoked negative capability and gotten audiences wondering. It’s revealed through the perspective of Paul, one of the main characters of “The Oath”, that he was the one who chained the door shut, and put up that warning as shown in this clip, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vZREEK6V0U. Without the Oath, the answers to the negative capability of the first episode would not have been answered.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: The Free Press, 1997. PDF.
Jenkins, Henry. “Gender and Fan Studies (Round Five, Part One):Geoffrey Long and Catherine Tosenberger.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 28 June 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.