Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Transmedia Translator
A brief post from Helsinki Airport, as I’m off for six days of the craziness that is MIPCube, MIPFormats and MIPTV. As I look at the people and companies congregating on the Cote d’Azur, I’m once again struck by how difficult many of these will have when it comes to not only talking to each other, but actually understanding each other.
I’m not talking about a language barrier either, but rather a barrier that arises from context. This is all perfectly natural, as tv producers will talk another language than for instance 2nd screen app providers, in much the same way as someone working in publishing would have a hard time grasping the fine details of a corn farmers professional life and vice versa.
The difference there is that the publisher and the farmer seldom would have anything to do with each other. In a transmedia world, everyone have to collaborate with each other, to a certain degree at least. And just as the farmer would have needed a person who understands both farming and publishing in order to explain publishing to him, and understand which questions he is asking and why he is asking them, in the same way transmedia projects need someone who understands it all, at least up to a certain level, and is able to facilitate discussions and collaborations by greasing the wheels of conversation and information exchange.
Christy Dena touches upon this issue in her post ”Do You Go Both Ways”. People want to excel in one area and leave the rest to others (some practicioners apart, who enjoy leaping over the boundaries). And, precisely because of this, I feel the Transmedia Producer end title, or Transmedia Director or whatever, should be accompanies by one more – Transmedia Translator, responsible for getting everyone to talk to each other and UNDERSTAND each other.