Divergent Film Analysis Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Transmedia Property. Case study related a media property (e.g., comic, film, television, ). This analysis existing property development a transmedia plan property. Break movie's elements starting introduction, music, back ground, audience engage movie, flow movie All typed papers assignments double-spaced, 12- 11-point font -inch margins.

Summary of the property

The transmedia concept is not a novelty these days, as the concept was first patented at the beginning of the 1990s. According to researchers, "The term transmedia was coined in 1991 by then-USC professor Marsha Kinder, while the transmedia storytelling concept was developed by current USC Annenberg professor Henry Jenkins. He describes transmedia storytelling as "a process in which integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story." (Tenderich, 2013) More precisely, transmedia allows a film to go beyond the theaters and ensures that the experience in itself is channeled via multiple means of communication, be it the written press, social media, action figures, video games or anything that can, in the end, exploit the subject of the film in order to attract a larger audience, higher incomes, and eventually, a larger success for the film. Looking from the perspective of the audience, the creation of subsequent video games or action figures (the Harry Potter example being just one of many) only increases the fan experience and allows it to expand on different channels.

The film "Divergent" makes use of several transmedia elements to ensure success both in the box office registry as well as the prestige of the producing companies, Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment. These elements include the use of social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter and allow fans and interested parties to interact on the subject of the film, printed media channels, starting from the marketing idea that the film should be directly linked to the book on which the plot and the script is based and ending with pre-launch teasers for the printed and online media to disseminate. Moreover, using the film's soundtrack and collaborations with important names from the music business, the producers also ensured that the film would be promoted on the radio and another element of the film's identity could be transferred to a media channel.

Targeted audience

The targeted audience for this film is similar to the one in "Hunger Games," another series released previously that focuses on similar sci-fi action, albeit a different story line, but one that was produced by the same studio. What is important to note is that the audience in this case has been somewhat captured by the books initially, and the writer was the one to set the stage for the film to be produced and to identify its target. Unfortunately for "Divergent," the overall type of story did not present necessarily something new for the particular targeted audience as this story is based on similar concepts of a broken society, need to fight authority which in the end desires only acclaim of power. Similar to the Hunger Games, Divergent focuses on this type of approach and for this reason, critics have often associated the book / film with its predecessor (Lombardi, 2014).

"Divergent" is based on the novel with the same name by American writer, Veronica Roth. The film is only the first in a series focusing on the story between Four and Tris, two characters that are representatives of a post-modern, into-the-future world in which people are split and set into categories according to their most prominent character trait and their own personal choice. The story line is much more complex and takes into account different ideas that are current for this day, including the need to avoid destructive and decisive wars in the future and creating an ideal society. The first film of its series, "Divergent" represents one of the first struggles the two characters need to face and introduces the viewers the entire concept of divergent and the abilities divergent people, such as Tris, have and for which they would eventually be persecuted.

The film was officially launched on March 21st 2014 and is known to have earned by April 22nd, up to 210 million dollars worldwide (Boxoffice Mojo, 2014). Most critics see it as being a success and indeed appealing to its audience and fitting the purpose for which it was made. However, there are also those that consider the film to be at a lower quality standard than the book, despite the fact that the author contributed significantly to the script (Lombardi, 2014).

Discussion on current transmedia elements

As a transmedia project, "Divergent" is focused on a story line that aims to be followed from the beginning until the end. The struggle Tris, the main female character, needs to endure to determine her nature as a divergent and then to protect herself and her family from the ones determined to oust divergents because of their free spirit and liberty of thought provides the backbone of the story. Together with Four, the main male character who in his turn has certain internal conflicts related to his past fears and relationship with his father and his own faction, the story also provides a romantic twist to the film, which ensures a point of contact with a different type of audience other than the one interested solely on sci-fi story lines. This mix is important because it allowed the producers of the film to span their horizon in terms of market and appeal to wider audience. However, even so, the audience targeted included mostly young adults and in particular the ones that are traditional fans of the genre.

For this film, similar to other films as well, there was a variety of means thru which both advertising and marketing was conducted prior to the release of the film itself. In this sense, an important aspect of the marketing campaign was in fact to officially link the film, before its release, to the book and to promote in fact the act of reading the book before seeing the film. More precisely, "Lionsgate has partnered with HarperCollins to print an edition of "Divergent" that's tied to the movie, with a first run of 1.5 million copies. The imprint is milking its foreign publishing deals to coordinate promotions with Lionsgate's international film distributors. "We're united in pushing the 'read it before you see it' message," says Jean McGinley, HarperCollins senior director of subsidiary rights." (Cheney, 2014) Through this action, the producers tried to separate the previous successes of the company, "Hunger Games" and "Twilight" and create a distinctive individuality for the series based on Roth's novels. This is an important aspect to be taken into account because, appealing to one of the oldest means of spreading an idea -- a book, producers have managed to include "Divergent" into its own category and give it a singular personality rather than one which could have been compared to previous cinema experiences. According to critics though, this approach was not fully successful to date.

Another important aspect to be taken into account in the pre-release stage of the film was the channels that were used to promote the story, the teasers, the pictures, the trailers, or the interviews. It must be pointed out however that all these media channels that ensure transmedia at a modern level targeted the core audience, which, according to most statistics, is predominantly young adults and in particular females. In this sense, there are several channels to consider. On the one hand there are the social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Secondly, there is the television such as MTV, which appeals in itself to the targeted audience for the film. Thirdly, there is Youtube that broadcasted the official trailer before the release of the film.

The music of the film was yet another element that helped the production ensure a transmedia experience. This is particularly because the composition was not necessarily one completely new to the audience but rather one that included artists that were not unknown to the public and therefore the radio was again a means thru which the film manages to create a more complex experience for the listener and the targeted audience itself. The film included works from Ellie Goulding or Snow Patrol, and influences from Kanye West, which are all well-known artists that boost the visibility of the film and expand the range of the environments in which the film can be promoted (Smith, 2014). Furthermore, the effect is further augmented by the release of the official soundtrack of the film, which allows the audience to purchase or download the soundtrack thus creating an even more complex audio experience related to the film.

Discussion on Fandom

Social media has become one of the most extraordinary and effective means of promotion of ideas, beliefs, news, and information. From politics to entertainment, almost anything can be seen on Facebook,…

Sources Used in Document:


Bauckhage, Tobias. "Digital Box Office Drilldown: How this week's wide releases are shaping up on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google," in Variety, 21 march 2014, available online at http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/social-media-buzz-young-audiences-focused-on-divergent-at-weekend-box-office-1201142237/

Box Office Mojo. "Divergent," 2014, available at http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=divergent.htm

Cheney, Alexandra. "Lionsgate and Summit look to lay claim to another franchise, hot on the heels of 'Hunger,' 'Twilight' films" in Variety, 26 February 2014, available online at http://variety.com/2014/film/news/will-movie-be-divergent-enough-to-lure-young-adult-audience-1201119322/

Divergent Fans. 2014, available at http://www.divergentfans.com

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