A free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research.

Multimedia Communication

In the late 1930s, the novelist and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo read an article about the Prince of Wales paying a visit to a hospital in Canada for veterans of the first World War and meeting a soldier who had lost all of his limbs and senses from an explosion. From that inspiration Trumbo wrote his most famous novel, Johnny Got His Gun, about a soldier who wakes up in a hospital to find his arms and legs amputated and that he is blind, deaf and mute. It was published in 1939 to great success and in 1971 was adapted into a film that has since become a classic. But the adaptations didn’t stop there: it was also turned into a play in 1981, and the version you are probably most familiar with was the inspiration for Metallica’s 1989 song “One,” with scenes from the 1971 movie appearing in the music video.

Another type of remediation occurs when you translate text into either a single image or a series of images (a video or slideshow). These two types of remediations fundamentally involve the same process—translating text into visuals.

There are no strict guidelines by which this translation must be done. However, there are some large-scale suggestions or methods by which you can attempt to symbolically capture in visuals the messages and main ideas promoted in your original text. Moreover, the creation of a visual remediation—much in the same manner as the creation of a text remediation—involves an understanding of rhetorical stance and rhetorical strategies.

Instead of remediating a print text into a visual or audio text, you may choose to use a different genre within the print medium. For example, if your original text is a poem, you might want to remediate that poem into song lyrics, a children's book, a letter, or another print genre. Before you construct your text-to-text remediation, consider the following:

Capturing Content

Before you can create any type of effective or meaningful remediation, you should develop a good understanding of your original text.