I wonder who the first true transmedia star will be? Of course this won’t happen until transmedia storytelling is accepted and understood as a legitimate form in its own right by the big players of traditional media – talent agents, film and TV production companies, broadcast organisations and the stars themselves.
To make the giant leap into the world of mainstream mass audiences the creators of transmedia storytelling will need to undertake a prolonged campaign of raising awareness as to what exactly they do and how it can be beneficial to future-thinking media organisations.
Will it then be a case of some beautifully crafted, well-told story, complete with irrestible and intriguing characters, that is conceived and executed from the very first idea as a native transmedia story, that crosses over into the mainstream? Something so organic and perfectly formed that it achieves its aim as a transmedia story and not just an add-on or marketing ploy for a bigger novel, comic book, film or TV series. Somehow I doubt it.
It is more likely to be a project that has a star talent attached to it that will break through as fans trust their stars. Fans are willing to invest their precious time and hard-earned cash in their stars, more so than the characters they play. They will go and see a film because so-and-so is in it.
The Old Model
So, if an A-list star committed to a transmedia story project their star attraction will, to a certain extent, ensure a large audience, and would also help with the fund raising and marketing aspects as well. It’s an old model and it has worked for decades.
All we need now are a few stars willing to jump on board the transmedia train and take a risk.
The benefits to all involved could be vast.