When USC professor Henry Jenkins, a leading authority on transmedia, is moderating your Comic-Con panel, you'd better believe that this is serious business. THQ let it be known that they are very serious about pioneering the art of transmedia and they're using their vaunted Red Faction franchise as a jump-off point.
Transmedia producer Jeff Lopez described transmedia as a property that people can experience in many different ways through a variety of different means of delivery, whether its a game, a movie, a comic, a website or virtually any other media. He added that it's a technique that broadens the lifecycle of a world and makes it deeper and richer, where the user will want to share their experience with others. He went on to explain that in a typical franchise, the game, movie, graphic novel and other media are set in the same basic world, but other than that there's little continuity. In other words, the whole is usually less than the sum of its parts.
Red Faction creator Danny Bilson added, "We don't want to just build a game or a story, we're building a universe." He continued, "The key to transmedia is that it's a partnership, not just licensing a franchise and passing it off to the next medium when you're done with it." He further explained how he is in constant communication with Lopez (who is tasked with creating a written history of the Red Faction universe, giving it a timeline and chronology that fits everything together) and Alan Seiffert, the senior vice-president of SyFy Ventures, which is developing a feature-length movie for the franchise.
The movie, tentatively titled Red Faction: Origins, takes place between Red Faction: Guerrilla and Red Faction: Armageddon. The movie's writer, Andrew Kreisberg, explained that Guerrilla focused on Alec Mason, Armageddon is centered on his grandson Darius Mason, and Origins will tell the story of Darius parents, essentially filling the gap between generations.
Seiffert said SyFy is always looking for opportunities to build content beyond just TV and they wanted to partner with THQ on this venture because THQ gets it when it comes to transmedia. He noted that Red Faction will be an epic saga, but instead of a game trilogy or a series of books, it will be a game-movie-game hybrid.
by Josh Engel