Transmedia can be defined as one story scattered across many channels(such as film, web, comic ect), with each element telling its own part of the story in its own way. This requires participation from the audience and involvement with the story or culture.
The element of transmedia differs from that of multimedia in the sense that multimedia is the same story or information over many platforms. Multimedia requires no involvement from the audience, they are simply a receiver of information. For example, if there was to be a story on the news, this story could be spread over different platforms such as the news website, but it would still be the same story.
An example of transmedia could be the movie ‘The Matrix’ created by Larry and Andy Wachowski in 1999. The movie explains the general plot and one story about the main character Neo, but to completely immerse yourself further into the detail of why everything is the way that it is in the Matrix world, you would need to dig deeper, to different platforms of the Matrix. ‘The Matrix’ is the story of Neo, a computer hacker who lives a life online, and in what he thinks is the real world. This movie is a classic example of falling down the rabbit hole. Once Neo discovers that he had been living a false reality, he is pressured by his companions to be ‘the one’ and help save the real world.
The comic book of the matrix is a branch off from the movie to explain further information about the vast detail and experience about the matrix world. Created by the Wachowski brothers collaborate with Geof Darrow there were a total of three series in both web comics and the physical comics based on the Matrix journey.
The story continues in the games ‘Enter the Matrix’, and ‘The Matrix: The Path Of Neo’ to give light to aspects of the untold story. It is discovered in the game how the enemy (the machine robots) came to power. The machines are big octopus looking robots, which are a constant danger and threat to the survival of the Matrix world and its inhabitants.
Short film animations of the matrix, called ‘The Anamatrix’ also tell more of the matrix world. The combined animations introduce how the matrix world came to be, after the war between man and the machines.
The combination of all these platforms and their extended story of the original movie explain in detail, and branch out further into the matrix universe. The transmedia, or branching out of stories, involves the audience with their participation and concentration throughout and across platforms.