Transmedia storytelling is a growing form of story expansion in new media. Narratives can be built upon and expanded far beyond the limits of a single media form. TV shows, books, movies and other medias, can branch out into different forms to tell more about their stories. The 1990 book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton was adapted into the movie Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg in 1993. The first movie spurred two sequels, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, before gaining a third sequel Jurassic World. The fourth installment of the movie franchise utilizes the world building of transmedia to do what its predecessors couldn’t; it makes the park hauntingly more real.
The new website for Jurassic World allows people to look into the world built around the story. Users can view an interactive park map that lays out all the attractions, buildings, and dinosaurs available like the map of any real zoo. There are links and photos available, all making the park seem less like a fictional story and more like a real attraction that people could go and see for themselves.
This creates “complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Jenkins). The realism doesn’t stop with the map. Transmedia storytelling can “add a greater sense of realism to the fiction as a whole” (Jenkins). The website does this by providing videos, not only from the movie but also “live” webcams of the park itself.
The world built for Jurassic World leaves little room for questions on missing information. One can look into information about the park founder, the dinosaurs, the park attractions, and even view the little details such as the weather and park capacity. Then they go a step further, the overarching villain of all three movies before has always remained the same- not the dinosaurs, but the corporations that made them. Whereas before there has been always been little told about the controlling powers trying to make money off dinosaurs, the new website gives a link pointing straight to the culprit for concocting the new park. There’s information, links, videos, an entire fictional company created with its own website to answer any unasked, or asked, questions about who thinks they’re controlling the dinosaurs of the park.
“A transmedia text does not simply disperse information: it provides a set of roles and goals which readers can assume as they enact aspects of the story throughout their everyday life” (Jenkins). The creators of Jurassic World and its website and extensions, manage to build on the original narrative through transmedia storytelling. The end result embodies multiple forms of transmedia, creating a good example of how it can be utilized to further a narrative and enhance the audience experience. There’s a degree of irony to the fact that Jurassic World uses transmedia to expand upon the very ideas the stories warn against. The story looks, feels, and reads real enough to jump through the screen and start a park destroying rampage.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 19 Feb. 2015. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.
“Jurassic World.” Jurassic World. Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment, INC. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.jurassicworld.com/>.
“Masrani.” Masrani. Masrani, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <http://www.masraniglobal.com/about/index.html>.
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