The “Living Docs” Project

One of the most outstanding keynotes at this year’s i-Docs Conference edition was Brett Gaylor (Mozilla Foundation, Popcorn.js, RIP! A remix Manifesto). Gaylor, during his brilliant speech and subsequent feedback session, introduced briefly and concisely a new interesting project developed by different partners: the LIVING DOCS Project.

Mozilla is partnering with the world’s leaders in documentary film to launch The Living Docs Project. The partnership will produce events, projects and code aimed at revolutionizing Web-based documentaries, using the power of new open Web tools like Mozilla Popcorn to create new ways of telling stories online. Living Docs is a partnership between Mozilla, The Tribeca Film Institute, The Center for Social Media at American University, ITVS and BAVC. We caught a fragment of the home page of the project, which we quote below.

The partners in the Living Docs Project believe that the ethos of the web – collaboration, constant learning, and iteration — offers a fundamentally new way of producing documentary. The idea behind is to hold events, celebrate projects and share code to explore the unique possibilities that the web offers to documentary creators.

 “Living Docs” are the descendants of classic moving images, but closely resemble software in their structure and approach. Like software, these new documentaries put the user at the center of the experience. Like the best documentaries, they are grounded in real human stories and experiences. Above all, Living Docs projects are “web native.” Put another way, the web has given documentary filmmakers a powerful way to distribute their films, but we have only scratched the surface of how it can change storytelling.

The web offers a shared commons of images and sounds, conversations, and data about our politics, our histories, ourselves. It transforms audiences into active participants. It opens the door for documentaries to become living, changing, and constantly evolving works. Living Docs require new skills, new teams, and new aesthetics. This initiative support this emerging field in a number of ways:

  • Hack Days
  • Project Support
  • Documented Best Practices and Lessons
  • Code Sharing
  • Production Funding


Bonus tracks:

Read the Living Docs launch announcement from ITVS

Apply to take part in the “Hot Hacks” sprint at the Hot Docs Film Festival

Learn more about Mozilla Popcorn

Learn more about why Wired and Fast Company call Mozilla Popcorn “the future of web video”



Twitter: @livingdocs