Sunday, March 11, 2012

Transmedia and Mr. Morris Lessmore

It isn't often that an animated film about books gets any kind of attention. As bookaholics and library students you should know about the 2012 winner of an Oscar® for Best Animated Short film.

The Fantastic Flying Adventures of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a touching film about a man's adventures with books. The movie does not contain dialog but there is an expressive musical track.  If you haven't seen the movie take a look at the trailer.

You can watch the full authorized version of the movie on iTunes. There are bootleg versions in other locations. We all need to make a better effort to respect copyright. I won't link to those versions.

For me, the movie operates on many levels. I can appreciate it as a love poem to reading and traditional books. According to the producers of the film, it is also an homage to the great silent film start Buster Keaton. I can clearly seen Buster's spirit giving the okay on this honor.


It is also one of many growing examples of transmedia. Think of transmedia as a tree with many branches. You have your source material that can be extended with new content to other platforms.

This isn't new. Spiderman started out as a comic book. Then an animated series, a live action television show, a movie series and a theatrical show on Broadway.  This is the digital version of transmedia.

Mr. Morris Lessmore's adventures will be converted to a picture book based on the movie. There is a supporting iTunes application where users can explore the world of Mr. Morris Lessmore and interact with some of the characters.

What Does This Mean?

Well, it could mean that when you get a request for a book you might need to consider offering related content. There might be a physical book, a recording, and an app on Android, iOS or Windows smartphones and tables. (Trust me, there will be an Windows tablet.)

There could be a web site that supports the book or a fan community that is adding content to their shared experiences. Or an electronic book that is only located in the Nook, Kobo, Google or Kindles stores.

This is an extension of knowing your collection. Collections, as the trailer and movie demonstrate, have a life of their own.

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