On 6 February the FF team at M-ITI – Julian, Mara and Valentina – had our first meeting together. Below are some notes on what was discussed in the meeting.
The meeting started with an analysis and recollection of FF scenarios that were developed in the recent workshop led by our partners FoAM.
The idea of designing a transmedia experience was approached, and the team discussed the elements that make up a transmedia story project, what efforts are involved, and concerns we had about the final outcome.
Valentina told us about a story that she had started to develop in a creative writing workshop last year. The plot concerned a 19th-century wine merchant trading between Portugal and Brazil. We discussed the story as a potential transmedia project for FF.
The team agreed that the story should be developed as a transmedia experience and began an informal brainstorming session where some important ideas emerged.
The story could be told using a cross-platform approach: e.g. short story, Twitter feed, live blog, etc. It should definitely include a physical, location-based component in Madeira such as Funchal’s Old Town or dockside area, inside a wine lodge, or even on board a replica pirate ship. We also discussed how it might be interesting to tell parts of the story using physical objects, e.g. a telescope, old documents, a ship’s log book, and diaries. We agreed that the experience should allow users to make their own discoveries and fill in details from their own imaginations. For example, the audience could discover that something more sinister (e.g. slave trading) was being hidden beneath the wine trade storyline. Or by looking through old census lists, users could have the excitement of discovering vital names and connections.
Another idea was that since the story follows characters in different centuries, we could design the experience to take advantage of this: the audience could take an active role in the present by helping a future character uncover facts about the past. This could lead to a branching story with several different outcomes.
After this informal brainstorming session a need for further research on transmedia projects was identified, along with a need to further develop the characters and plot. Therefore, the next step will be to explore successful examples of transmedia experiences in order to gain inspiration and a deeper knowledge of up-to-the-minute transmedia storytelling techniques in a rapidly changing field.