Composition Project #1

Project Overview

As we’ve discussed in class, transmedia storytelling invokes a variety of modes — all with the purpose of “creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience” (Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101”). The meaning moves across the media and no one single source communicates the whole story. Therefore, the clarity of the narratives depends on how clearly details of the narrative are woven (see what I did there) into the various media used. Our in-class example has been the transmedia storytelling of BTS’s discography, music videos, and promotional materials. Meaning moves across these media, with meaning requiring a synergy between the different modes. (Remember also our Microsoft examples used in class discussions as well.) This is style of media use is not limited strictly to creative media.

In this project assignment, you will be working in groups to create your own transmedia storytelling experience. You will need at least three modes represented, with one of those modes being a short podcast. More regarding this can be found below in the Requirements section. Remember the importance of design.

Objectives

  • Develop your collaborative skills in a group environment, working together to create a cohesive and rhetorically unified storytelling experience
  • Cultivate your ability to recognize and utilize the WOVEN modes – this project emphasizes all modes (including those potentially ‘not mentioned’ in WOVEN
  • Advance your creative and analytical thinking skills through engagement across medias, noting the rhetorical purpose behind specific textual choices

Requirements

This project has three major components— (1) Proposal, (2) Creative Collection, AND (3) Project Statement.

PROPOSAL

  1. Your proposal will be written collaboratively with your group members, though it is up to your prerogative to designate particular roles within your group. The proposal for the transmedia storytelling project will define the scope of your project and describe how it will be completed. Note that the proposal is due earlier than the rest of the project so that you may get feedback in the composing process. It should include:
    1. An Introduction – The introduction should provide an overview of your project’s goals, how you will approach it, what genres/modes you will use, and how those genres fit specific rhetorical situations.
    2. A Project Plan – Explain in detail how your group will design the project, what technologies you will use, how you will gain access to or create media assets, and how you will integrate awareness of multiple perspectives. You should also explain how your modes will engage with the source media your group has chosen.
    3. Justification Statement – Describe why your Creative Collection (three proposed modes) for this transmedia storytelling project is appropriate and effective for this project.
    4. Roles and Responsibilities – Identify which group members are responsible for specific project activities. (For example, one group member may be the administrator for Google Docs. Another might curate a timeline.) If you have created a group contract, attach to the proposal. This is not necessarily compulsory, but suggested.
    5. Timeline – A convention in effective proposals is the inclusion of a project timeline. Provide a detailed timeline regarding how and when you will complete the project components, including a breakdown of tasks necessary for the successful completion of each stage. For more on this, consult pg. 183 of Pro-tip: The course schedule and due dates are a good place to start.

CREATIVE COLLECTION

  1. You will work with fellow group members to choose a topic for your transmedia storytelling project. This topic should be associated with a source media—such as a television series, comic book, film, book series, or video game. What is essential is a narrative – a story– of some kind. You can create a series of promotional materials, add elements to the source material, or create some spin-off narrative. The narrative across your chosen modes must be clear across the media chosen.
  2. Your transmedia storytelling experience should have a clear goal. Is it continuing to tell a story? Is it promoting a value? Is it promoting a thing or a way of thought? What is your project doing?
  3. Your creative collection for the transmedia storytelling project must include three different modes. One of these modes will be a podcast of 4-5 minutes in length. 
    1. For example: a podcast, a comic book, and a news article. Each of these things would contain pieces to the story’s puzzle. Another combination might include: a video, a diorama, and a map.
  4. The podcast element will be recorded and edited to present at least part of your story. You will write a short script, perform the script, and create a soundscape that makes sense within the context of your overall storytelling experience.
    1. Microphones can be found through Gadgets @ GT.
    2. Audacity (an audio editing software) is free through GT.
    3. You will submit this podcast in .mp4 OR .mp3 format.
  5. Remember, as discussed in class, that your storytelling experience can also include material objects. Therefore, models, dioramas, and other material rhetorics are all accepted. You will need to be able to submit this material object to the instructor (so keep it portable and able to be stored in a small office). If the object is too large to submit in-person, take pictures or video to show the details.
  6. Likewise, in terms of accepted modes or media: performances are acceptable, but they must be recorded. YouTube videos, public-service announcements, and other such media are also acceptable. These things must be able to be submitted on the prescribed due date.
  7. You should aim to represent at least three of the five WOVEN modes in your collection.

PROJECT STATEMENT

  1. Describe the basic concepts of your narrative. Who is your audience? What kind of story are you trying to tell? Why are you trying to tell it? What are the main features of your narrative? How are those features (and transmedia elements) connected across your creative components.
  2. Explain the goals of your transmedia project. Aside from a positive grade, what was the motivation behind the narrative your group chose to embody? Why did you choose the media you chose to tell that story?
  3. Place your transmedia storytelling experience into conversation with our readings and in-class examples. You must cite at least two scholarly sources and use two in-class examples in your discussion. Your scholarly sources may be readings from class. You may use other sources if you feel it is necessary to thoroughly discuss/frame your work.
  4. Your project statement should be at least four pagesIt should be in the most recent MLA format. It should include proper MLA citations. It should be collaboratively written through Google Docs, or through whatever means you choose to collaborate.

Important Dates

SEPTEMBER 19 – PROPOSAL WORKSHOP – Bring working group proposals to class to collaborate during class time.

SEPTEMBER 21 — Composition Project #1 Proposal due on Canvas by 11:59pm EST. The document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Any other format will not be accepted, per syllabus requirements. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately. Submit one document per group.

SEPTEMBER 27 – WORKSHOP — Bring a digital copy of at least one in-development “creative component” of your group transmedia storytelling project. We will be workshopping during the class period. You absolutely must have at least ONE complete draft of a creative component by this class period.

OCTOBER 2 — TRANSMEDIA WORKSHOP — Bring a digital copy of your group’s creative collection components as well as your project proposal from Composition Project #1. We will be workshopping during the class period. You absolutely must have at least ONE complete draft of the Creative Collection by this class period.

OCTOBER 5 — Composition Project #1 is due on Canvas by 11:59pm EST. The document should be in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format with all necessary links/images provided in the “Creative Collection” components document. If you are providing a multimedia or material components, images should be provided or arrangements made with the instructor for submission. The project statement should be submitted by one member of the group. Any other format outside of the above listed formats will not be accepted, per syllabus requirements. If you encounter any issues while submitting your assignment, email Dr. Murdock immediately.


The group work will not go like this:

A clip from Doctor Who with Jethro Cane saying happily "We've broken down" then ominously declaring: "in the middle of nowhere."