So what is transmedia? Transmedia is the concept of using a variety of media formats to support one all encompassing narrative. It aims to reach multiple demographics of potential audience while developing new ways for the existing one to comprehend the story. Today, using multi-platform engagement has proven to be an essential branding strategy and creative outlet, solidifying its place as the rapidly growing future of new media.
An example of transmedia storytelling is withheld in The Matrix. The Matrix is a science fiction action film that was initially created by Larry and Andy Wachowski in 1999. The first film turned out to be very successful that later on, the Wachowski brothers decided to produce another two films continuing the first one (but we all know that the first one is the best). The following films “The Matrix Revolutions” and “The Matrix Reloaded” also turned out to be successful as well. Both films were released in the same year, 2003 but in different months. The platform of the Matrix’s designed to be transmedia because of the fantasy genres, the creation of a storyworld that is different from the actual world and how it brings the audiences in and be apart of the fantasy world.
One of the very successful media platform in The Matrix was the “Animatrix”. Animatrix is direct-to-video anthology film based on The Matrix trilogy. It’s a combination of nine different animated short films that was released in 2003. The Animatrix is a convergence that is created for a new chapter for the Matrix by the film’s directors collaborating with some of the Japanese anime film creators that influence them. The fans get to see for a new different experience in Animatrix in relation to The Matrix films.
From the Matrix film’s series, they developed the trilogy further by creating the very first video game, “Enter the Matrix”. It was developed by Shiny Entertainment and published by Atari and WB Interactive. They released the platforms in GameCube, PS2, Windows and Xbox. Unlike previous films that have been adapted as games, the Matrix’s game expands upon the story told in the films.
After the first Matrix film was released, there were books staring to be published about the series.”The Art of The Matrix” was the first book released a year after the film. Both Wachoski brothers and author, Spence Lamm, wrote it. The book allows the readers an insight of the first Matrix film’s progress providing details such as conceptual drawings, storyboards, and interviews with the people like the artists and participants that were a part of the film as well.
Apart from the books, Matrix also produced a collection of comics. In 2003, the Wachowski brothers collaborated with Geof Darrow (comic artist) to produce two comic books; “The Matrix Comics Vol.1” and “The Matrix Comics Vol.2”. The first comic book was released in November 2003 and the second book was a year later. Besides the books itself, Matrix also used another way to interact with the audiences by creating webcomics. It allowed the fans and readers to get access through Internet easily everywhere without needing to buy the books.
The Matrix has various of branches however, not every branch is related to the original content. The content for each branch has its own narrative and uniqueness. Hence, the branches are not self contained. The audiences can’t really proceed to other films or games without going through to the original narrative first.The Matrix has been successfully adapted into the transmedia storytelling. The media platforms that were created were able to extend the contents from the films and Matrix series.