Now that we all know what transmedia is, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas on how the average (and when I say “average,” what I mean is “completely broke”) indie filmmaker can incorporate it into a project.
While it’s unlikely that our average Jane producer can go whole-hog with a complete, portmanteau multimedia extravaganza, she can still plan for, and incorporate transmedia elements in her product. In fact, Jane can use multi-platform techniques to her advantage. Ultimately, the question is: What is the story that Jane’s project is trying to tell? From there, it’s simply a question of what platforms are conducive to that story, and how she can best leverage those media to create interest in the whole story.
Let’s say that Jane’s story is about finding love at the bus stop. She could host a web forum of ‘missed connections,’ letting users’ posts become part of her plot, or have a mobile app that guides the user through a map of where important events in her story happen. Basically, Jane’s imagination is the only limiting factor, if she plans for her transmedia content before her primary shooting. But how can Jane hope to realize these multimedia dreams?
At the lowest budget levels (which is where most filmmakers operate), it’s all about calling in favors. Not knowing how to write a mobile app should be no more daunting to an indie producer than not knowing how to do makeup. Especially in Seattle–there are enough coders and web developers to go around–surely Jane knows someone who is willing to work for a walk-on role, or credit (portfolio building!), or as a favor to a friend.
What I’m trying to get at is that producing transmedia content doesn’t have to be much more complicated than producing straight film content. And if it’s done right, that little extra planning and work can effectively develop a fanbase even before your first screening.