Like Life Itself: Blurring the Distinction Between Fiction and Reality in the Four Broken Hearts Transmedia Storyworld

Article published in print and online in the Journal of Media Practice (Routledge)



My thesis for my MFA in Design and Technology at New York's Parsons School of Design was published in the Journal of Media Practice in 2014 while I was still a student. The paper I wrote accompanied my transmedia project, Four Broken Hearts, and details the media theory underlying the project. 


Transgressing the boundaries of the real and the virtual, the temporal and the spatial and the personal and the political, Four Broken Hearts (FBH) is a hybrid storyworld encompassing film, live performance, location-based experiences and social media. The project is scheduled for launch early next year and is currently a work-in-progress undergoing initial user testing. The story of FBH is being told by taking each of the classic elements of fiction – character, setting, exposition, climax and denouement – and bringing them ‘to life’ in the medium that conveys them to the highest degree of mimesis: characters are built and explored through social media, setting is experienced through location-based storytelling, the backstory is fleshed out using film and the climax is performed as an immersive drama. By taking advantage of what each medium does best while complementing the other mediums, FBH is presented in the form of a rich transmedia experience that allows audiences to explore the storyworld across many different platforms while still tying it all together within a cohesive narrative. This paper presents an investigation of the project's narrative outputs produced so far and will be followed by two additional articles over the next six months that will cover the results of the project's public launch and focus group analysis.