I watched The Newsroom last night and I liked it!
What I find most interesting isn’t the show itself but the conversations around it. Those in the industry looking for moments - either to trash it, or to find a gem of truth in it. Funny enough - the veterans of the job, Mansbridge & Rather, are more open minded to find some amusement and entertainment in it all.
Yes, there will be themes about juggling the news. The challenges in the decisions and weight of it all. Yes there will be long winded speeches about how to change the world ( it’s Sorkin after all ). But that’s not what caught my eye.
What I saw was the active targeting of the lazy and those who assume and regurgitate.
The shows opener takes the easy blow of targeting students; those that are still in the midst of learning and making up their minds; those that can be impressionable by their mentors and teachers. The question, “why is america a great country,” is a little presumptuous isn’t it? That’s like asking “Is you mother a whore?”
In the midst of the show they go into the systemic issue of defining what’s news. The shots of the computer program that seems to be making the decisions. The script that somehow vilifies the people who blindly follow it.
I’m feeling there’s going to be some pot shots at the newbies entering the media industries
But somehow I’m thinking these questions have been asked before, and they will always be asked. The ultimate point, is the act of questioning, in itself, is the first step
With media and technology’s rate of advancement and experimentation it’s only natural that I responded a “Yes”. To me, it’s like the mathematical probability of life on other planets.
But then the dreaded follow up tweet “@ethernick what forms do you think will emerge? #transmedia”
Honestly, it’s a “you don’t know what you don’t know” experience.
So without the 140 character limit, tMedia, I’ll try to blog it out. Here we go.
Say It - Make It
The lines are blurring between fact and fiction. If a story mentions a book, website, twitter account, etc… People will start hunting for it in real life. I know I do.
The moment a story makes any reference to fictional material on the web or otherwise - buy it, make it, register it, use it!
I was watching Girls and saw reference to a twitter account “HannahHorvath”. Did it work: no. Why did I look? Because in the scene I clearly saw tweets I wanted to read, namely something about eating wet bread? Instead I found a fan account without the tweets I was looking for.
Part of the trend of Social ( which has been the dominant focus from media ) is Real Time. The hashtag is probably the biggest “in your face”, at least from TV. That little faded word in the bottom corner.
The show New Girl doesn’t just show the classic “#NewGirl” they’ll also start highlighting catch phrases that they want like “#schmidtbaby” or “#McMouse” - the idea is to see what other viewers are saying about it right now!
Additionally the Conan App looks to be pretty cool ( although sadly to say as a Canadian I can’t see it in action for myself ). From what I gather it can show time delayed tweets, comments and conversation when playing back older episodes while you watch. See what people are saying at the exact same moment in the show.
I don’t really have a good solution to this one - but I do know that with apps like hootsuite it’s not hard to hire a writer for a day to time delay a few tweets on behalf of a character
The media of real life
This I think is the mother of all.
Taking a look at successful brands, successful personalities, successful stories, they all at one point in time, jump off the page to shake hands and be with real people.
Brands have on the street promotions like that RedBull car always driving around town.
Personalities go to conventions, answer questions, and get filmed by TMZ at bars late at night.
Stories? Take a look at Comic-Con’s, Cosplay, LARP, even Quidditch. These take the stories way beyond anything the original storyteller could imagine for. Participants become the story; they make the story; they evolve the story.
Now is this transmedia? By definition, not directly. But does it have exponential positive influence on the story itself? To allow the story to branch out beyond itself? To give it the material it needs to up the ante in the next instalment? Absolutely!
I was given the task of making a manifeto for class. There was one that fell under the guidlines, and one that didn’t. One that I wanted, and one that I didn’t. This is the one that I didn’t hand in, but the one I’ll use, just for me.