Emmanuel Quartey

Curious about cities, patterns, media, and marginalia.

Can’t stop thinking about these two media stories

1) For the first time, a movie is being premiered not in cinemas, not on YouTube, but on Xbox Live

In tough economic times, raising the money and getting a movie made without any major stars in it can be more than a little challenging for independent film makers. Getting it distributed is even harder.

So instead of trying to get their movie into cinemas, releasing it straight to DVD, or even putting it out on YouTube, the makers of Pulp are distributing their low-budget British comedy via an alternative method — Xbox Live.

2) The Syfy channel’s big new project, Defiance, is a transmedia  product: part dystopian-future TV show, part massive multiplayer PC game

While they occur in the same universe, the TV show will take place in dystopian St. Loius, while the game is set in what used to be San Francisco.

The game also keeps pace with the events of the show, referring to series plot developments as it goes on. The show returns the favor; as your character fights mutants and aliens on another front, your army’s major victories will make an appearance on the show.

The thing that fascinates me is the push and pull that happens within the two creative teams in order to create a story that works as both a television show and a game.

"We [the game people] wanted flying vehicles, and Mark and his crew [the TV show people] were like, ‘Screw flying, it’ll blow up our CG budget,’" grumbles Beliaeff. "So we ended up creating this whole mythology where the Ark ships blew up and that created this low-flying asteroid field that made flying in the world impossible.


1) Ultimately, who stands to gain the most from these new distribution methods? Who is going to get hurt badly?

2) Are the different facets of a transmedia products meant to engage the same audience (i.e. do the publishers assume that the same people who watch the show are going to play the game?), or do the makers foresee different audiences gravitating towards different storytelling types?

3) Which stories are better told via transmedia? Is there a limit to the number of facets you could have in a transmedia product? What kind of media product/story could sustain a TV show, a massive multiplayer online game, a live sporting event, a physical/online magazine, AND a touring musical group?

4) Why do I find all of this so interesting? Can any of this better the world in some way? Does any of this matter?

Well, that turned dark pretty quickly. Womp.

comments powered by Disqus


  1. shadhavar1126 reblogged this from analog2desti
  2. analog2desti reblogged this from quartey
  3. markstricker said: Interesting. My friend is giving a talk this week at SCMS on “Affect in the Age of Transmedia Storytelling” — I’ll have to hit her up for the details.
  4. quartey posted this