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 THE MATRIX

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AN INTRODUCTION
The Matrix is a science fiction action film that was initially created by Larry and Andy Wachowski in 1999. The narrative starts with the actor Keanu Reves, a man who’s living two different types of lives. He works as an computer programmer during day time in the actual world and at night, he transform to another person, a malevolent hacker in another world which, is the Matrix.The first film turn out to be very successful that later on, the Wachowski brothers decided to produced another two films continuing from the first one. The following films “The Matrix Revolutions” and “The Matrix Reloaded” also turns out to be successful as well. Both films were released in the same year, 2003 but in different month. 

LONG LIVING
Th
e Matrix manage to continue develop from the first film in 1999, it has gone extremely popular and from there, they release a matrix series of films, comic books, video games and animation. Matrix series is also a franchise that was created by the same people. The products was released in the years between 1999 to 2003 and it was distributed by Warner Bros.Pictures. The series started out with the first film “The Matrix” and later on extend into another two sequels which, was “The Matrix Reloaded” and “The Matrix Revolutions”. The settings and the characters of the Matrix fictional universe (a different world that is not exist in the real world created by the humans imagination) are being further explore in other media forms including animation, comic books and video games.  

EXPANDABILITY
The platform of the Matrix is designed to be transmedia because of the fantasy genres, the creation of a storyworld that is different from the actual world and how it brings the audiences in and be a part of the fantasy world. 
  • Anime
One of the very successful media platform in The Matrix was the “animatrix”. Animatrix is direct-to-video anthology film based on The Matrix trilogy. It’s a combination of nine different animated short films that was released in 2003. The animatrix is a convergence that is created for a new chapter for the Matrix by the film’s directors collaborating with some of the Japan’s anime film’s creators that influences them. The animatrix was originated and overseen by the Watchowski Brothers but they only wrote four of the segments by themselves. They didn’t do any of the direction in fact, most of the project’s technical side was overseen by notable figures from the world of Japanese animation. The fans gets to seek for a new different experience in Animatrix in relation to The Matrix films.
  • Games
    • From the Matrix film’s series, they develop the series further by creating the very first video game, “Enter the Matrix”. It was developed by Shiny Entertainment and published by Atari and WB Interactive. They release the platforms in GameCube, PS2, Windows and Xbox. The game was designed similar to the Animatrix, to be an essential part of the Matrix series. Numerous previous films have been adapted as games but in Matrix case, the game expands upon the the story told in the films. The martial arts moves and in-engine cutscenes of the game feature actions captured directly from the film’s actors and stunt doubles to recreate their unique fighting styles while suspended from wires under the supervision of the series fight scene choreographer Yuen Wo, Ping.   
    • The Matrix: Path of Neo is also another video game that was developed by the same company and it was released in November 2005. This is the third video game base on the Matrix series. The game’s works in a similar method like the previous games but it provides new options and in the game, the player may choose to participate in many different actions scenes at one time.
  • Books
After the first Matrix film got released, there were books written about The Matrix started being published. “The Art of the Matrix” was the first book that were released a year after the Matrix film. It was written by both Wachoski brothers together with another author, Spencer Lamm. The book gives the readers an insight of the first Matrix film’s progress providing details such as conceptual drawings, storyboards, interviews with the people like the artists and participants that were a part of the film as well. Apart from that, the other books that were published later on were “The Matrix: The Shooting Script”, “Like a Splinter in Your Mind: The Philosophy Behind the Matrix Trilogy”, Philosophers Explore The Matrix” and many more.
  • Comics
Apart from the books, Matrix also produced a series collection of comics. In 2003, the Wachowski brothers collaborate with Geof Darrow (comic artist) and produce two comic books which was “The Matrix Comics Vol.1” and “The Matrix Comics Vol.2”. The first comic book was released in Nov, 2003 and the second book was a year later after that. Besides the books itself, Matrix also use another way to interact with the audiences by creating webcomics. So the webcomics is like a normal comic books but only published online. It allows the fans and readers to get access through Internet easily everywhere without needing to buy the books. In total together, the produce 3 series of webcomics base on the Matrix’s stories. 

SELF CONTAINED

The Matrix has various of branches and it has been branch out successfully in its own way however, not every branch is related to the original content. The content for each branch has its own narrative and uniqueness. Hence, the branches are not self contained. The audiences can't really proceed to other films or games without going through to the original narrative first. 

AUDIENCE RECEPTION
The Matrix films still remains popular up till now and what makes the audiences enjoys watching the films so much besides the narrative was the special effects. They were so successful that the fans started to create their own videos by making a short film and dedicate it to the Matrix’s films. There are websites that features short films or videos that were made by the fans and this is one of them, http://www.fanfilms.net/c/matrix

ECONOMICS
All three Matrix films has done exceptionally well and in the economics. Each film manages to successfully gross more than the budget that was given in domestically and internationally. 


CONCLUSION
The Matrix has been successfully adapted into the transmedia storytelling. The media platforms that were created was able to extend the contents from the films and Matrix series.  

AVATAR

AN INTRODUCTION
Avatar’s first appearance was in a form of film that was produced and directed by one of the famous filmmaker, James Cameron. Avatar is a science fiction film and the narrative was situated in the mid 22nd century. It’s a story about the battle between the United States armies and the Na’vi’s avatars from another planet called “Pandora”. They both have different mission in the war against each other, the United States main intention was to seek out for a type of precious mineral that was called “Unobtanium” whereas the avatars was the opposition, they were trying to protect and prevent them from getting it. Starring withSam Worthington, a paraplegic marine was given the order to go on a unique mission, who travels to Pandaro and had to blend in as an avatar, trying to convince the avatars and gains their trust. But later on the incident became an obstacle between following his orders and protecting the world and the girl that he felt in love with throughout the story. In the early years when James Cameron was producing other films such as Titanic, at the same time, he begins the development of Avatar by written up around 80 pages of scriptment. On August 1996, he announced that after completing the Titanic film, he would start working on the Avatar’s film but he then realise and stated that it wasn’t really the right time to do yet because the technology that he wanted to use in the films hasn’t been developed and so, he decided to postpone the film’s production further till the necessary technology was invented. He waited for 15 years for the arrival of technology and only then he put himself back on the film’s production.
 
LONG LIVING
The film was released in December, 2009 and was first premiered in London followed by United States later on. Avatar was the first film that was made in 3D format, described as one of the absolute striving, most breathe taking film in the film’s history using the latest technology that modernize the film making. During the filming’s process, James decided to developed a new generation of stereoscopic cameras. It’s basically two cameras strapped together with each providing a slightly different perception on the scene, impersonating the way how we as humans observe the world in three dimensions way.

EXPANDABILITY
Avatar is still a recent film production and because it's still a quite new and recent film production, there wasn't much and it may have the possibility of working on extending the contents and making it transmedia.

  • Books
 Before the film was released, a number of books was published and one of the books were written by Maria Wilheim and Dirk Mathison, it features a confidential report on the biological and social history of Pandora. It contains 224 pages, providing the readers an insight of the form of a field guide to the film’s fictional setting of the planet of Pandora and it’s illustrated as a collection of data collected by the humans about Pandora and the life on it. The book was released on November, 2009 by Harper Entertainment. The other books that were found on the website that relates to Avatar were The Art of Avatar: James Cameron’s Epic Adventure, James Cameron’s Avatar: The Na’vi Quest, The Making of Avatar, and many more.

  • Games
 In the process of making the film, Ubisoft Montreal (Game Company) created a third person action video game and it was launched on December 2009, same time around when the film was released as well. The game was first launched with devices such as PS 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii and Nintendo and later on they released a PSP version. Ubisoft also announced that they will be using the same technology that was shown in stereoscopic 3D cameras for a better entertaining purpose. According to James Cameron, “Avatar was created for a world rich in characters, detail, conflict and cultural depth. It has the raw materials for a game that the more demanding gamers of today will want to get their hands on, one that is rich in visuals and ideas and challenging in play.” As a result, the game were successfully sold nearly 2.7 million copies on May, 2010.
  
  • Merchandise
 On December 2009, Mattel Toys made an announcement that they will introduce a line of action figures for Avatar itself. Each action figure will be made with a 3D web tag, called an iTAG. What it does is that the consumers get to scan it using through a web cam, revealing its own unique content that is made specially for each of the action figure. Besides that, a sequence of six different toys of different characters from the film were distributed in McHappy Meals in McDonald’s fast food chains in many different countries including in United States itself. On the same month, France Post (France Mail Services) released a special limited edition stamps based on Avatar. Apart from that, there are also some websites found on the Internet that sells Avatar’s merchandise such as T-shirts, collection of toys and action figures from the film and many more.

SELF CONTAINED
Avatar is still reasonably still quite new and there hasn't really been any branch being build up or further extend. Therefore, there is no answer whether Avatar is self contained or not. 

AUDIENCE RECEPTION
In terms of the audience reception in the Avatar’s film, audiences were impressed with mostly the 3D effects but not the narrative itself. Apparently Avatar wasn’t as successful as it was expected to be, some people love the film and some people dislike it. According to one of the film reviews, “No doubt that Avatar has the most spectacular 3D and visual effects that draws millions of people to find the adventure in it. But it nevertheless feels unsatisfying and somehow lacks the pulse of a truly alive film.” Another review that was written by Andrew Pulver from guardian.co.uk, he stated that “The Titanic director’s monstrously-hyped creation does look fantastic but, in trying to cover all the bases with militarist sci-fi, vacuous eco-waffle and an intra-species love story, it’s too baggy”.
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/34378459/ns/today-entertainment/t/effects-wow-story-avatar-unsatisfying/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/dec/11/avatar-james-cameron-film-review

ECONOMICS
Although the Avatar did not gain a massive popularity from the audiences but the film certainly has gross more than it’s expected. The given budget in making the film was 237 million dollars and as a result, the total of gross revenue in United States was around 760 million dollars and the world has a total of 2.7 billion dollars.

CONCLUSION
Avatar hasn’t been successfully or well adapted in the transmedia storytelling. The other media platforms such as books and games wasn’t that successful either. Due to its success in the film, James Cameron is thinking of the extending the content by making Avatar 2. With the film and other media platforms that has been created, Avatar might not work in the transmedia world.

CONCLUSION

So what can we, as media practitioners learn from the success's and failures of The Matrix and Avatar?
  • Creating a content or narrative using the idea of Science collaborating with action film.        
The Matrix can be use as a very good example and future reference in creating new types of transmedia storytelling because the films were extremely successful and the other media platforms were able to be further explored and extend. It's important to keep that creativity up so that we can fulfil the audiences's needs and keep it running. 
  • Don't put all the focus on the technology, concentrate on the narrative as well.
Although Avatar is very successful when it comes to technology, there's no doubt that it has one of the greatest 3D's and special effects in the history but don't forget, narrative is as important as the technology. Without a good narrative or content, there won't be many audiences and without the audiences, you will fail to be in the transmedia storytelling world.