Fruszina Eördögh marks the rise of “transmedia” shows, which use multiple social media platforms to tell fictional stories:
It’s taken years of failure amidst the hype and vomitable PR speak for a clear expert on the genre to emerge and make it financially viable, and that expert is Bernie Su, a YouTube storyteller with a forte for adapting 200-year-old novels for the web. What makes Su an expert at transmedia storytelling, exactly? Well, besides drawing large audiences (mainly women under 25), generating hundreds of hours of content, and winning a prime-time Emmy for interactive storytelling in 2013, Su’s transmedia properties are actually profitable. Like, waaaay in the black.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Su’s show that won an Emmy, is the longest adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in history, at nine and a half hours. The show’s fans don’t care about the length, and raised just shy of half a million dollars on Kickstarter to put it on DVDs. The story can be watched just by going to the main YouTube channel, or you can check out the ancillary material spanning five YouTube channels and across a total of 35 social media profiles on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, depending on the personalities of its 13 different characters, with each digital platform adding an additional layer to the original story.
(Video: Episode 1 of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries)