Emma Approved and the Trouble with Transmedia
Reality rarely exceeds expectations, and when it does, it begets expectations for the future. When I watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I did not know what to expect, I don’t think anyone did—not even the creators. It was a wonderful experiment that was wildly successful. But Emma Approved doesn’t seem to be meeting the expectations that follow such success.
At first I thought that I was being overly critical. After being inspired by The Lizzie Bennet Diaries to pursue transmedia storytelling and am now pursuing a graduate certificate in digital media. I’m currently taking Video for Social Media where we are focusing on transmedia, dissecting web series and their online presences. But after private discussions with other Pemberley Digital fans, I was assured that I was not being overly critical. I’ve been hesitant to voice my opinions because I truly admire the creative team and the talented individuals behind Pemberley Digital and I don’t want to burn any bridges, since I want to work in this industry in the very near future.
So here is my take on the state of Emma Approved and some steps that could be taken to make it Audience Approved.
Beyond the book, there’s still the story.
For the first time in my postgrad career, a publisher has stood up in front of a room and actually gushed about…stories.
Her name is Jen Porter, and she’s one of the founders of Beyond the Story. She develops not ‘books,’ but on immersive narrative fiction apps— beautifully written and visually rich works of art. Stories you can touch and see. Stories created not by one author, but a team of diverse people with a common goal: the pursuit of beauty.
Perhaps it’s true that those who truly love art are always on the forefront of cultural change. But it may also be true that contemporary traditional publishing is simply not an environment in which artists can flourish, and that those who love stories must look elsewhere for answers.
Some say that no ereader or tablet screen can perfectly duplicate the printed book. True, as far as it goes, but what, if anything, are we really losing?