Goodbye, Lizzie (and the Pioneering of Trans-Media Entertainment)
Yesterday marked the 100th and last episode of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
We are sad.
In case you don’t know what this wonderful thing is, it’s an adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, modernized and told in the format of a video blog, with characters interacting on screen as well as over Twitter and Facebook and Tumbler, and they interact with their fans as well.
And it is…was…AMAZING. The writing, the actors, the crew, everything was stupendous. And the melange of platforms drew you into the story even more than would be possible if you were experiencing it through only one medium.
I’ve been sitting on this blog for a long time (originally mainly about the idea of stories told over social networks, particularly Twitter), and I just feel that now is the perfect time, on the eve of the last Lizzie Bennet Diaries episode, to talk a teeny bit about how much this creative movement gets me excited.
To start with, I LOOOOVE the internet. Like, I can spend all day on it working and playing. I start up social networking accounts just to jump in and try them out, and I can even consider it career research. I used to have five active Twitter accounts before they started driving me out of my mind. I love seeing the creative ways people are learning to express themselves on the internet because the result will often bring joy; the joy of creating and the joy of the interactive experience. And even when there isn’t much interactivity, the joy is being out there! As a storyteller and a web dork, it’s the perfect marriage of two amazing things that just makes the other more than it could be alone.
Some of my other favorite social network storytellers that inspired me before this was a twitter that told the entire Dracula story based on the book on Twitter with the different characters communicating with each other (that stopped a while ago and the twitter is being used for other things).
Around the same time I discovered my old friend Wendell Howe, who is a character belonging to Jeanette Bennett (better known as Scablander) and who appears in her novel (he’s also not tweeting anymore for plot reasons). These really expanded my mind and got me thinking about trans-media entertainment (which I was calling social media storytelling at the time).
But the Lizzie Bennet crew combined more social networks into the process than I’d every seen before, and did an incredible job. I loved it so much that it made me itch to try it all out myself with a story of my own, if I only had the right premise. Still on my writer bucket list. Check out the multi-platforminess here.
A friend of mine, Mathias DeRider, knows a lot more about TV than I do and he had this to say:
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries isn’t the first of its kind, but it is definitely one of the most high profile.
It can, and should, encourage people to develop creative content, not just meme-inspired comedy.
We’re getting closer to the age of independent television being a sustainable model, meaning that the people who work on the productions can live off of the proceeds of what they’re producing. Whether it’s advertising revenue, DVD sales, or merch, it is growing closer to being a serious possibility.
This isn’t a first step, but it’s a pretty big one. Keep watching.
This is an exciting era to be an artist and a fan, guys. The world is changing, and while change is scary, it brings good things too!
It’s going to be so weird not having a new video from the Lizzie Bennet crew every Monday and Thursday, but they have a few more series in the works, as well as a DVD set of the whole series (which is going right to the top of my Wish List).
But regarding the series’ end, Kelsey here encompasses my thoughts exactly:
Thanks for everything, Lizzie Bennet Diaries cast and crew! And good luck in your future endeavors!