Transmedia: Analysis


These two pictures and works of digital art depict transmedia in different lights. Is transmedia really just about the storytelling and not the tools? Will the transporting of a medium into a different medium affect the way in which the substance and the content is viewed?

 Transmedia is the art of storytelling, and with technology rapidly evolving, it is not uncommon to see different forms of mediums interpreting stories and narratives in its favorable way. The Producers Guild of America recognizes Transmedia as a form of medium and art of production stating:

"A Transmedia Narrative project or franchise must consist of three(or more) narrative storylines existing within the same fictional universe on any of the following platforms: Film, Television, Short Film, Broadband, Publishing, Comics, Animation, Mobile, Special Venues, DVD/Blu-ray/CD-ROM, Narrative Commercial and Marketing rollouts, and other technologies that may or may not currently exist. These narrative extensions are NOT the same as repurposing material from one platform to be cut or repurposed to different platforms. 

A Transmedia Producer credit is given to the person(s) responsible for a significant portion of a project's long-term planning, development, production, and/or maintenance of narrative continuity across multiple platforms, and creation of original storylines for new platforms. Transmedia Producers also create and implement interactive endeavors to unite the audience of the property with the canonical narrative and this element should be considered as valid qualification for credit as long as they are related directly to the narrative presentation of a project. 

Transmedia Producers may originate with a project or be brought in at any time during the long-term rollout of a project in order to analyze, create or facilitate the life of the project and may be responsible for all or only part of the content of the project. Transmedia Producers may also be hired by or partner with companies or entities, which develop software and other technologies and who wish to showcase these inventions with compelling, immersive, multi-platform content. 

To qualify for this credit, a Transmedia Producer may or may not be publicly credited as part of a larger institution or company, but a titled employee of said institution must be able to confirm that the individual was an integral part of the production team for the project."


As would have been the obvious choice to choose the novella in terms of comparing and contrasting the other forms of original mediums. However, it is more sensible to use the film as a contrasting element for not only is Apocalypse Now the most well known out of the other three mediums, but it is also the most accessible above all to the public. Indeed, it was with the production and release of the film that brought to light the novel and the poem for both were used directly in the making of the film. Unquestionably, the book and poem were made publicly available long before the movie, but as time has a way of passing so do works of art unless reminded and sustained in the culture. Apocalypse Now was that friendly reminder that these works of art are the original if not still existing. They are still pertinent and relevant especially in today's obsessions with remakes and sequels. 

What is in a Name?

Even the title changes can be noted as a different interpretation that was appropriate and relevant for it's time period.

Apocalypse Now + Vietnam War = The end of the world caused by a strongly opposed war and contradictions within the political and personal agendas of the war.

Heart of Darkness + European Colonization of Congo = Symbolism of darkness and loss of control that can easily be felt by the colonized living in times of subservience and dehumanization.

The Hollow Men + Referring to the characters from Heart of Darkness = The human mind can only take so much before it becomes desensitized to it's surroudings and eventually becomes dehumanized; making one empty and hollow from the inside and out.

Transmedia: Cultural Effects

With the release of Apocalypse Now, the film has had much affect in other mediums and medias. The soundtrack of the film which was in fact composed and compiled by Coppola himself and Coppola's mother, Carmine Coppola, enlists a song by The Doors. Despite what some avid fans of The Doors might think, the song "The End" by The Doors became famous because of the film, as it was used not only for the opening of the movie but the closing as well. The song was even used for the trailer of the film. Not only does the song and title fit perfectly for the film, but it was very much relevant to it's time period and in it's depiction of the Vietnam war; popularizing the song, and now having an established association with the film.

Apocalypse Now Poster

A movie poster that was released in Poland(on the left) and the American poster(on the right). These two posters were released at the same time in terms of release dates of each area's specific date. There is a clear and different interpretation of the way the film wants to be portrayed even within same mediums and time periods. 


Apocalypse Now Parody

Apocalypse Now has become such an ingrained part of culture that it has affected other mediums such as television. This hilarious parody entitled, A Pack of Gifts Now, is a spin-off from MadTV starring the one and only Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer rescuing Kris Kringle, and his hardships of Christmas past.

MadTV would not have done a parody of this film if they did not think it was unknown to the public. What makes a comedy and makes people laugh is the degree of personal relatability to the material. If one viewed this skit and had not watched the film, it would clearly make no sense to them. A film that was influential in the culture of it's time and is still influential today. 

Timeless Artists

The great Coppola, Conrad, and Eliot who all indirectly worked together to change the future of media and their forms of mediums that was unbeknownst to all, including themselves.

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