Leaders in the field of transmedia storytelling converged at the National Association of Broadcasters Show to discuss its potential for engaging audiences...
'...Jenkins next introduced Gale Anne Hurd, asking her to speak on any struggles with the transmedia expecations for The Walking Dead franchise. Jenkins noted that the zombie series was based on “a comic book that’s well known by comic readers, maybe not so well known by viewers of AMC, and you had to work to keep both satisfied.” Gale responded,
Genre fans are already very familiar with transmedia, because most of the properties they respond to have existed in another medium . . . look at Lord of the Rings, [and] some of the films I’ve done, including The Punisher, which became a THQ video game which started as a comic book.
Hurd discussed how transmedia can go in the other direction, mentioning how The Terminator and Aliens both ended up spawning comic books and games. Hurd notes, however, that fans of these works can be “the most demanding, because they feel an enormous connection to the material which has pre-existed, and the first thing you have to respond to is fear.” Fans, with their deep connections to the original material, are often afraid the adaptation won’t remain true to the original when they learn of new media extensions. Part of the solution to this is to involve the creators to make sure they’re happy with the direction the material is being taken. In the case of The Walking Dead, the creator, Robert Kirkman, came on board as Executive Producer and writer. Getting this information out to the fans was important to alleviate their fear, to give them confidence the adaptation would remain true. The other piece was deciding when to air the adaptation to get the most eyeballs on it, especially from the genre fans. AMC airs FearFest in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and the Walking Dead team believed this would be the best venue to air The Walking Dead pilot in order to reach AMC viewers who were already fans of the genre. The next decision was where to start marketing the project....'