Transmedia storytelling research gets world attention

Vincent Pelizzi and Assistant Professor Bozena Mierzejewska in Germany.

Vincent Pellizzi and Assistant Professor Bozena Mierzejewska in Germany.

By Joe Vitale, GabelliConnect freelance writer

A senior research project completed by Vincent Pellizzi, BS ’15, has captured the attention of several worldwide research and media associations.

His project investigated the concept of “transmedia storytelling“—which sounds complex, but is actually a fancy name for a fairly everyday phenomenon.

The popular video game Assassin’s Creed is a recognizable example. The Assassin’s Creed narrative, owned by Ubisoft, has expanded into a series of comic books, films, and novels. Followers of the franchise can interact with the story in any or all of its forms.

Pellizzi’s research project, done as part of his Global Business Honors Program study, focused on the creative and logistical analysis of transmedia storytelling—the development of entertainment for numerous media that results in a cohesive media experience.

His findings were compelling enough to attract the notice of the European Media Management Association, which invited Pellizzi to present at its May conference in Hamburg, Germany. He also explained his work at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C., in April, and as part of Fordham’s on-campus undergraduate research day.

“Some of the main goals of my research were to create a framework of some of the creative components that go into crafting a transmedia story, and why such a strategy is desirable for media/entertainment companies,” Pellizzi explained in an email.

Why study transmedia storytelling, of all topics? “I’ve always been a movie guy,” Pellizzi said. “I’m fascinated by their power as entertainment. I’m always staying tuned to what movies will be box-office hits, and what franchises people are growing tired of.”

Though his research focuses on entertainment media and communications, Pellizzi said the focus can have larger consequences for business.

“Looking at this type of strategy from a creative perspective can serve as an attempt to answer some of the most interesting questions about transmedia strategy — namely, what makes this structuring of content so appealing to audiences,” Pellizzi said. Given the annual dollar value of the media and entertainment industry, it is not hard to see the potential value of his study’s implications.

View Pellizzi’s presentation online here:

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