So I thought I would confuse you all and begin with a musical piece… and then end up writing about something completely different. Sorry! But it does have something to do with that little old word in the title. “Transmedia”. What is transmedia? According the Henry Jenkins, transmedia is –
“…integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience” (Jenkins, 2007)
This is a common theme now happening with pop cultural phenomenons, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the cult classic “The Matrix”, and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Universe. All of these have something in common, and that is as they became popular, more and more of the story has been delivered through different mediums. For this point, I will focus on Pottermore, the offspring of the sprightly, and generational defining series “Harry Potter”.
Pottermore has begun from a demand from fans desperate for more. Harry Potter spanned over 10 years of books, then emerging into a series of 8 movies which have made such a lasting impact on the world that to quote Minerva Mcgonagall,
“There won’t be a child in our world, who doesn’t know his name” – McGonagall, Philosophers Stone
From these novels, there came the movies. From the movies, there came the website. Pottermore is a site that uses JK Rowling’s writings, canonical of course, to become a part of the Harry Potter universe that furthers the dispension of HP information. It contains elements such as characters backstories, spells, dialogue and events that were skimmed over in the books. These can be completely new to the world, but at the authors authority, as much a part of the canon as the books themselves. The website contains excerpts, scenes deleted and edited, new stories for the characters and activities that further the knowledge a keen HP nerd would want to know.
To me, Pottermore is more than an example of transmedia. I have discussed it before in my blog post “Medium is the Message”, about how Pottermore is also evidence that an experience such as the website can create new meaning, and new outlooks upon an already established story.
Images captured from http://www.pottermore.com/ by myself