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  • ==The Matrix. Prod. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. Dir. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. By Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. 1999.=

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The MatrixEdit

​The Matrix is the first installment in the Matrix series of films, comic books, video games, and animation. The Matrix (1999) is a science fiction-action thriller film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski.

The SeriesEdit

The series consisted of The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions, but to me, the original Matrix, was the best of the series.

PlotEdit

Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lives a double life. Anderson works in a cubicle, manning a computer as a computer programmer at his nine-to-five job for a major software corporation. On the side, in the privacy of his home, he is a hacker under hacker alias: Neo, guilty of virtually every computer crime there is a law for.

Virtual reality imprisons computer jockey Thomas Anderson in the Matrix. In the Matrix, a computer-generated dreamworld built by the machines to control humans, Neo is contacted by a mysterious computer presence known as Morpheus. Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) is the captain of a space ship, and he believes that Neo is a messianic figure “The One” who can crack open The Matrix and bring his people to both physical and psychological freedom. When the two meet, Morpheus explains to Neo that the reality he is used to, The Matrix, is a fabrication, the product of a sinister race of intelligent machines that use human beings as power supplies for energy, only to be discarded like spent batteries when they are through.

Morpheus says to Neo:

"When the Matrix was built there was a man born inside that had the ability to change what he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was this man who freed the first of us and taught us the truth - When he died, the Oracle prophesied his return and envisioned that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix"

Morpheus then sets out to show Neo the truth about the Matrix.

Soon, Neo is learning how to manipulate the Matrix. The machines try to eliminate all free humans, and their most powerful weapons are the Sentient Agents (sharply dressed men in black suits). Together with Trinity, Neo and Morpheus fight against the machine's enslavement of humanity as Neo begins to believe and accept his role as "The One".

Play on RealityEdit

Its interplay between reality and virtual reality is quite intriguing and it does so in unique and interesting ways

Relation to CyberculturesEdit

The Matrix is an example of transmedia storytelling, which refers to a new aesthetic that has emerged in response to media convergence-one that places new demands on consumers and depends on the active participation of knowledge communities. Transmedia storytelling is the art of world making (Jenkins 20-21) which unfolds across multiple media platforms with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole (Jenkins 97-98). In the ideal form of transmedia storytelling, each medium does what it does best-so that a story might be introduced in a film, expanded through television, novels, and comics; its world might be explored through game play or experiences as an amusement park attraction (Jenkins 98). Each franchise entry needs to be self-contained so you don’t need to have seen the film to enjoy the movie and vice versa. Redundancy burns fan interest, so in order to make each medium successful, each one needs to offer new levels of insight and experience which refreshes the franchise and sustains consumer loyalty. A good transmedia franchise works to attract multiple constituencies by pitching the content somewhat differently in the different media in order to gain a crossover market that will expand the potential gross.

Synergistic Storytelling and Smart MarketingEdit

Plans for The Matrix were to have the movie, the video games, and the animated stories all interact in which the whole is worth more than the sum of the parts. I see what The Matrix did as synergistic storytelling and also as smart marketing. Quite honestly, I did not play the video games or read the comics, and all three of the movies were great. Maybe I did not entirely “get it,” but I could still follow the movies and enjoyed all three. There are strong economic motives behind transmedia storytelling, however, I do not feel that Warner Bros. was taking advantage of The Matrix’s cult following to cash in while it could. The cult following only increased demand for other mediums and media convergence makes the flow of content across multiple media platforms inevitable. Jenkins says that younger consumers have become informational hunters and gatherers, taking pleasure in tracking down character backgrounds and plot points and making connections between different texts within the same franchise (Jenkins 133)

Successful SynergyEdit

Synergy is not easy. The Wachowski brothers had to envision a world of The Matrix with sufficient consistency that each installment is recognizably part of the whole and with enough flexibility that it could be rendered in all of these different styles of representation. The world the Wachowski brothers made was successful as it unfolded across multiple media platforms because they made each new text a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole. Synergy in transmedia storytelling across its multiple media platforms is not easy to pull off, and so I commend their ability to be successful at attracting multiple constituencies by pitching the content somewhat differently in the different media in order to gain a crossover market and expand their gross profit.

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