Last night's vote was a huge win for new tellers of story. When I first saw the news on twitter, my brain did a high-five. But upon close read of PGA's definition of Transmedia Producer I was dismayed to see that the title applies only if the story has three (count em) storylines. Three? Isn't the meaning (and beauty) of transmedia that one, single story is proliferated across platforms? Three works for franchises. But franchises aren't the only type of transmedia project, as Christy Dena, a Melbourne-based PhD in transmedia points out on her blog:
What about all the transmedia producers for special television episodes that include the web in a special two-screen experience? Gosh, simultaneous media-usage with TV shows especially created to work with the web or mobile are one of the biggest growth areas in broadcasting. And books with websites or DVDs? The minimum-of-three rule applies to franchises easily, but it shows how little these people know about how big the area is.
Perhaps Gomez and others pushing for this reform knew vote would go through only if it was explained in marketing speak: franchise. And that amendment won't be limited to strict adherence. Because to do so would limit the vastness of the field first envisioned by Henry Jenkins in the Jurassic Period (early 1990s).
Your turn now, WGA. Transmedia Writer?
Jeff Gomez kindly comments with clarification: Transmedia Producer credit relies on three story threads, not storylines:
"To clarify, the three storyline rule stands for at least three narrative threads, not three completely different and separate stories. It's specifically aimed at producers and designed to prevent repurposing, which has run rampant in the age of new media."