NYWIFT Panel Recap: Writing Fiction for Transmedia and Cross-Platform Entertainment

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Panelists spend a half hour in discussion with audience members post-panel. Photographs by Emon Hassan.

On Tuesday May 21, 2013, NYWIFT held a panel at the WGAE as part of Internet Week New York, produced by Amanda Lin Costa and moderated by WGAE Director of Programs Dana Weissman. Four transmedia writers discussed creating cross-platform content for film and television, such as Game of Thrones, 30 Rock, The Walking Dead, Transformers, and Star Trek. Writing fiction for a variety of mediums, including webseries and games, was discussed.

Panelists Nick Bernardone, John Esposito, Andrea Phillips, and George Strayton agreed that successful transmedia content must bring narrative-centric rewards to fans. The writer’s place in the development of this content is to create parallel story elements that enhance the experience for viewers with interactivity — without conflicting with the core story.

Further, the majority of transmedia budgets are small; content writers and producers must embrace these production limitations and find a way to be creative within the budget constraints. Overall, it seemed that the future of transmedia is ensured and will grow as an industry, possibly via an immersive platform such as Google Glass as Phillips discussed, or as Strayton pointed out, when the gaming industry brings in more revenue than the film industry. An example of story growth from core content is the upcoming MMORPG based on HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Transmedia storytelling is not limited to film and TV; virtually any creative project can benefit from interactive options for its audience.

For more panel pics and quotes, search #NYWIFTLive on Twitter. —ANNIE LABARBA

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