C’s new transmedia studio breeds opportunity
Last semester, I was granted an internship at NBC’s art film studio, Focus Features, working in the publicity department. I had always enjoyed films, even greatly appreciated them — but this experience turned mere leisurely enjoyment into a source of passion. And of course, living in Los Angeles during Oscars season is impetus enough to transform the typical moviegoer into an over-night fanatic.
When I received an email detailing the Park School’s latest venture in industry innovation, The Transmedia Studio, I felt as if I’d stumbled upon the lottery. I was finally receiving some sort of positive karma for my strange attentiveness to lengthy emails and Intercom updates. A completely student-run film studio looking at a new model of storytelling — could it have come at a better time? I immediately expressed interest in taking a position in the marketing department, long before Carol Jennings, the organization’s advisor, sought applications for the executive staff.
Transmedia is the perfect IMC project, and as an integrated marketing communications major myself — it just made sense. It encompasses multiple platforms in an interactive manner, each building upon the other, creating an immersive world for the audience. This is not to be confused with multimedia plans, which take one story to several different outlets. Rather it is a holistic, continuing storyline that uses each media in a unique manner.
With a studio like this, all majors and interests are encouraged to join. The process of transmedia storytelling invites all talents. The studio’s projects will be completely student generated, developed and produced. Workshops and alumni involvement will allow for studio growth, and give students of all disciplines a chance to get their feet wet in a new and different area, while building a professional network. We’ve begun to hear pitches — and students have brilliant ideas that have been lying dormant.
Then there’s the physical studio itself — an idyllic space on the basement level of Center Ithaca in the Commons. When I first came upon it, I thought it was an old ballet studio. Instead, it is a charming hub for filming, screening and installations alike. I can only really describe the space as organic — crying for creative use.
Falling into this new organization was mere luck for me. I was never previously involved in film, nor poised to work in a studio. I got this one life-changing internship, and then I happened upon this — the result of the ingenuity of alumni, the persistence of Carol Jennings and the enthusiasm of Dean Gayeski. The Transmedia Studio is a piece of Park, but moreso of Ithaca College as a whole, and somehow I was fortunate enough to get on board. I get to help build the blocks that will support the studio’s foundation for years to come. I get to continue working in publicity and marketing for film, even after returning from perma-sunny L.A. to the frigid hills of Ithaca. I get to bask in the glory that is film. I get to be enthralled by transmedia projects that could change the entertainment industry altogether.
And the crazy part is, whoever you are and whatever you do, you can too. This is a place for ideas — any ideas. We have the tools to make anything into a transmedia story. We have the resources to make your idea a reality. We are anxiously awaiting your pitch!
Emma Martin is a senior IMC major who would marry transmedia if she could. Email her at emartin4[at]ithaca.edu.