Reflections on pitching a transmedia project

Pitching a project can be difficult. Especially complicated ones. Transmedia projects are by their very definition complicated. With complicated narratives across multiple linearity’s and varied mediums, condensing the appeal of a project down to a ten minute summation can be difficult.

Each of the groups pitched differently and in their own way on Thursday. This is extremely logical as each of the projects was extremely unique also.

The one thing they all had in common (including my own) was a lack of coherency. Statistics like that are interesting and it got me thinking.

What if it was the pitch itself that was mismatched? How can we properly define a complicated, changing phenomena in an extremely terse and linear ten minutes? I suggest that these new forms of media are such a conceptual leap from discrete, linear media that even the way they are explained needs to be reexamined.

Take for example another transmedia, interactive phenomena, ‘Wikipedia’. I challenge anyone to properly explain what it is, who makes it, what it is for. It exists as too much of a plurality. Many actors write Wikipedia, each with their own interests and rationalities. Each of the entries can exist independently and will attract an entirely different audience to that of an entry only one click away.

The entry for former US president George W. Bush has had the most edits and reverts on Wikipedia in English. This shows it is a site used by competing interests, no one could tell you what the authors were trying to say.

Transmedia projects also suffer from relativity. As each piece of the project is separate and imbued with a different set of rationalities, they gain the ability to conflict with other elements of the very same project. Giving the audience more agency via interactivity and locating these projects in the real world or web further conflates the issue. Where does the control lie? This takes us back to the famous Barthes death of the author. But transmedia relies on this, to lose control, for the audience to take on and inhabit the work, is to have a successful project. Pitching therefore must be reimagined to reflect the authors simply as planting the seed of an idea, what it will actually become is not up to them. Understanding this allows us to rethink how we next pitch our project. How to properly express that we are merely one actor in a complex ecology.


Photo Credit Scottish Resilience Development Service CC BY Non-Comm Share-Alike