Read Alert - Youth Literature

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: transmedia

July 11, 2016

transmedia Previously - Context (2/6)

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a perfect example of highly successful transmedia. A series of web tools that integrate all aspects of the narrative, and creates unique content based on existing (and out of copyright) properties.

Transmedia Victoria defines transmedia as “…the combining of multiple creative practices on a diverse range of platforms or artforms to deliver a cohesive, multi-sited, experience.”  The Lizzie Bennet Diaries does this and more by utilising multiple websites to tell the characters’ stories. The Q&A videos with Lizzie allow for greater participation and community development in the world of the Bennet sisters.

Austen is a perfect conduit for the transmedia model as her work has so often been translated and adapted into a myriad of forms. The rich characters, universal emotional beats and social commentary allow room for variations in place and time. For example, although ‘Lost in Austen’ and ‘Bride and Prejudice’ took liberties with Pride and Prejudice, they still hit the same narrative markers, translating the story for a different era and culture. While there have been modern takes on Elizabeth and Darcy’s journey towards understanding and togetherness, it has never been told in this way before – using multiple online platforms.

Hank Green (creator) stated his preference for “… simple, powerful ideas” and it was his idea that kicked off this project.  Co-opting Bernie Su as a creator, they have used the strength of Austen’s storytelling to explore the benefits of transmedia, with character and story always at the fore.

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