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Personal reflection

Your homework for this week: watch a movie.

As a student in commercial economics, that’s something I never thought I would read. But it happened, and I ‘made’ my homework. Now, a full four weeks later, there is a lot to reflect on.

It all started with with the analyses. The narratology part wasn’t the hardest; just do your research, look up facts, apply some theories and call it a day. Then the harder ones started. Just like I had never seen that homework assignment, I had never even thought of hermeneutics or semiotics. Still, when thinking of some, I was able to write some (probably more obvious ones) down. Consequently, I now think way more about these when watching any film.

Conducting this research was a crucial help in searching for an entry point in my own hypothetical transmedia production. Leni Riefenstahl’s character grabbed my attention when I first watched the film, but doing more research gave more and more insights in her life and how to connect it to Race. Coming up with her story was easier than expected; in order to stay connected to Race, Leni’s spinoff story also had to be heavily based on reality. A dive into history books and the internet gave an abundance of information. Consequently, I could cherry-pick whichever part I deemed appropriate for the story.

With the story being done in concept, it was time to make up the transmedia part about it all. I wanted this to be a community-driven campaign, so Reddit was the obvious choice for a worldwide audience prepared to take a deep dive in vague QR codes scattered around the world. But to keep the characters alive during the campaign, social media turned out to be a crucial part as well. This is where the characters come to live and contribute to the search themselves. All in all, this is the part I struggled with the most. How to include the whole story in multiple platforms, with people being able to follow only one part, and not feel like they are missing out on anything. All this although they know there is more to enjoy. Luckily, the feedback on the user journey overview only contained positive feedback.

In terms of learning goals, I could apply many of them in this treatment.

One of my personal goals was to further develop my skills in English. Practice makes perfect, so this exercise was a perfect fit for me. With the great deal of text that was written, I could freely write whatever I wanted in the style I wanted. I went for a semi-formal style (I did not try to make it too formal, but I did pay attention not to make unnecessary contractions).

Another goal was to carry out analyses as a basis for a transmedia communication strategy. Exactly that was part of this assignment, so there was no way around anyway. I am not complaining though, as that is what I wanted to learn. These analyses were a first time for me, as can be read above, and I feel like I have learned much from it. The whole concept of watching a film just went from passively enjoying one to actively paying attention to every single detail.

I do not know if I can say that I ‘led and coordinated’ this project, because I worked on this individually. That individual nature of the project does mean that I can show full accountability for the results. Every single word you can read here, was written by me.

Then we arrive at the part where I defend the creation of an adequate and innovative transmedia concept. As I just wrote: I have made this whole transmedia concept by myself. Admittedly, I am not the one to judge if this is adequate and/or innovative. But if this is deemed adequate and innovative, I can safely claim that I fulfilled my goal.

Last, but certainly not least, I will discuss the visualisation of ideas, using relevant software. When I heard I had to deliver this as a working website, I was simultaniously excited and scared. I had some basic experience in WordPress, but never had my own website. This meant that I had to build one starting from scratch. And having to pay for a domain and hosting anyway when working with WordPress, I decided to also make a personal website for myself. So in the pressure cooker week, I started with my own website, where this treatment would be one part of the whole. After setting up the basics, I had to focus on this treatment, to receive feedback on it. That meant finishing it before Friday at 5 p.m., in the same week. Sadly, I do not think one of the teachers actually looked at it, although it was submitted in the right folder. Feedback was only received on loose documents, found somewhere else in teams. Anyway, after the treatment part of the website was done, I wanted to continue working on the rest of it. During the next week, I worked on the website for four hours each day. After nine days of work, I proudly launched the website through LinkedIn.

Other software was obviously also used. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop were a crucial part to keep the whole of the website in one style. But I can safely say that I knew what I wanted the end products to look like, and I knew how to get there using the relevant software.