Harry Potter has long been considered a classic novel because of its unique blend of mystery, action, and its dramatic storyline. Along with its success as a novel, Harry Potter also presents its audience with different types of media stretching across digital cinema, video games, action figures, and all sorts of merchandise making it a perfect example to the concept known as transmedia storytelling. Transmedia storytelling is “the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms using current digital technologies while also expanding on the overall understanding of the content of the story.” -Jenkins, Henry
In Henry Jenkins’ article transmedia storytelling 101 he states that, “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systemically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience.” When it came to the attention of J.K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter series that her novel series was beginning to gain popularity she began to release more than just continuations of the novel she was writing. When Harry Potter was released as a film, the already successful series gained mass worldwide popularity and created a fan base that is still alive and thriving today. However, many fans make the claim that reading the novels and watching the movies are two totally different experiences.
Some may argue that the different forms of media in the Harry Potter series does not add to the storyline in anyway because the forms of media including the movies and video games are just adaptations. But this is not the case. Since Harry Potter began as a novel, most of its in-depth content lies within the novels that J.K. Rowling wrote. If you were to read the novels before viewing other media (ie. the cinema movies or video games), you would have the notation that they contribute little to none when it comes to storytelling. Although this is true it is also important to take into account that many people choose to watch the movies and then read the novels. This is very interesting because for these viewers, the book would add a lot of new points of view, as the films do not articulate all of what the novel originally portrays in the series.
Our group plans to research and articulate how even after all these years Harry Potter is still using aspects of transmedia storytelling through the new media adaptations that JK Rowling still continues to create. Such as the new extension trilogy entitled Fantastic Beasts, her adaption of pottermore which allows fans to integrate themselves into the world of harry potter, and the fan base that still continues to grow through aspects such as social media almost daily. We plan to carry out our research by creating a mash up video highlighting all the different media aspects of harry potter ranging from reaction videos, movies, and social media interpretations.
Here is an example is what our final project might look like but with a mix of social media,pottermore videos,movie and video game clips.