To Transmedia or Not To Transmedia

Let’s define this: transmedia is when a property (think The Wizard of Oz) can be expanded upon in different platforms (Wicked). So you can have a book, and on another media platform the story can be expanded upon.

So I am getting close to the end of the stack of new books I just bought and in the pile to be read is Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton. Not sure how much everyone knows about this book so check out this article and this one.

This book trilogy was intended to be consumed (I know people hate that word in connection to books, but it is the best verb in this situation) alongside the other media platforms.

My question: do I just read the book or do I do the whole she-bang? This story is intended to go on outside of the pages of the book, yet, I don’t want to put that much time and energy into this.

I am all for transmedia. For diehard fans, things like Pottermore and Wicked are great for expanding upon the original property, but those were created AFTER the fact. I can get on board those. The story is complete and if I choose not to participate, the story does not suffer for it.

What do you do when the full story is scattered over multiple mediums? The Matrix trilogy did this. To truly understand the last movie, you really were meant to play the video game between movie two and three. So if you weren’t playing the game, you just thought the third movie was the worst thing you ever saw.

So this book involves all these other elements, not to mention there is a real prize of gold for following all of it, but…time and energy.

My legit reaction just thinking about it. Source: mrchristianbale.tumblr.com

So transmedia or not to transmedia? That is the question

My Thoughts on Jupiter Ascending

***SPOILERS****

I recently had the opportunity to see a preshow viewing of the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending. To say that this movie had potential would be an understatement. It had the actors, the beautiful sets and computer renderings, and amazing worlds that I am itching to explore. It LACKED a great script and pacing that allowed viewers to really enjoy the story.

As I am watching the movie, I can’t stop thinking about how this would make a better YA trilogy than a movie. In fact, this movie is the movie that should have been made AFTER a YA book was first published. Jupiter Ascending should have been three books. I will vaguely outline my thoughts below so as not to fully spoil the movie. I do recommend it as a Netflix option.

Book 1:

We are introduced to Jupiter, a Russian immigrant, who works as a house cleaner, but dreams of more. One day, she is attacked by aliens (think cross between the Worms from MIB: Men in Black and the Silence from Doctor Who). A hunky man named Caine, with awesome space boots, saves her and reveals that Earth is not the only plant with sentient creatures. We, as readers, get the back-story of the human race, why Jupiter is special, and exactly why aliens were sent to kill her. A bit of space travel later, and some crumbs of back-story for Caine, Jupiter ascends to her space heritage, and learns the secret of time as a commodity.

Of course there are some fights and building romantic pairings (it wouldn’t be YA without it).

Book 2:

Jupiter now controls her space heritage and must contend with adversaries intent on taking that from her. Her growing attraction to Caine is stymied by Caine’s personal drama.

Book 3:

After thwarting a plan to steal her heritage, Jupiter returns to earth to discover her family has been kidnapped by The Big Bad in a ploy to steal her heritage to make the commodity of time. Jupiter and Caine finally realize their feelings.

As you can see much better as a book series. There is more time to explore areas that were glossed over by the pacing of the movie and allow for world building.

Transmedia is the future, people. And Jupiter Ascending would benefit from that treatment.