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interDOC: the first spanish project and platform for the analysis of the interactive documentary

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InterDOC is an educational platform based on research, analysis and dissemination of interactive non-fiction, and can be used as a tool for studying and producing interactive documentary, an emerging form of audiovisual narrative.

equacio_600px[Documentary    +   Interaction   =   Interactive docs  (Directory    +   Resources)]

InterDOC is an online collaborative tool with two main functions: first, it facilitates the transmission of a certain type of information and knowledge that can be used in education, training and leisure activities, for example, in audiovisual and interactive production; and second, it allows a high degree of interaction and exchange between different users.

equacio_2_600px[Theory + Production+Interviews+Practice+Database+Resources+Comments = InterDOC]

InterDOC is configured in two main areas: one visible area and one closed. The observatory will be the visible part of the production of interactive nonfiction genres, and particular emphasis will be placed on the interactive documentary genre. The area that is closed to the general public is considered to be the first social network specifically devoted to the interactive documentary.

The people who will benefit from applying the InterDOC platform are those involved in the creation and production of interactive nonfiction, academic research and training in this area and the social networks of culture, leisure and entertainment.

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Figure 1. Scheme showing the different parts of the platform

 

Precedents and context

The platform InterDOC fits the new transmedia logic, which tends to make a product brand, perfectly, generating all kinds of products (games, movies, series, toys, etc.), and active users in turn generate new content to expand this world (wikis, blogs, etc.). We have seen this phenomenon in TV shows like “24″ or “Lost”. Therefore, the terms “crossmedia”, “transmedia” and “multiplatform production” can be considered to have a common production logic and conceptual philosophy.

The mobile device market is an unexplored land full of potential and excellent prospects for this particular genre. The classical space-time boundaries dissolve and we can connect and navigate anytime, anywhere. Classical devices ‒ such as a mouse or a keyboard ‒ are replaced by others that open a new universe of possibilities according to the natural human way of proceeding and relating. As this new technology offers more options and formats for interaction between users and the interface, the possible ways of learning by interacting with the system grow exponentially. Third generation mobile phones and devices like the iPad from Apple and the new version 5 of HTML, which accepts video and other interesting implementations, make it possible to view and navigate in this new genre. The idea is to produce the desktop version in the first phase, and when this is implemented, begin to produce for the mobile format.

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Figure 2. Homepage

State of the art

To gain insight into the current state of development of interactive nonfiction productions and in particular interactive documentary, we have carried out very thorough studies of the following six areas: (1) events and conferences related to this are (specifically and generally), (2) companies / specialized producers and practitioners / relevant actors, (3) researchers (principal and other related disciplines), (4) specific software for creating interactive documentaries, (5) bibliography and references (specific and related), and (6) online resources (specific and related). We believe that this review on the state of development of this field encompasses the vast majority of work around the new interactive documentary genre, which has existed now for two decades, although during the first decade it had large technological limitations.

The analysis examined the three main areas – related events, specific companies and specialist researchers. The analysis showed that the main advances come from the extensive media research and production of the French and English-speaking world, predominantly in countries like Canada, England, France and the United States. It is precisely for this reason that we consider it essential to open a platform that, without neglecting the English-speaking world, emphasises and promotes Latin culture (Catalonia, Spain and Latin America), in order to have a tool like this in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English. A platform / observatory like InterDOC would be the first reference in the Catalan, Spanish and Latin American sectors, and would also be connected with all the potential English-speaking sector.
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Figure 3. Homepage

Design and phases

InterDOC is a multiplatform project that we are developing according to the following design and implementation phases:

- Theoretical conceptualisation: This is based on nearly a decade of research (2003-2012) in the field.

- Interactive web platform / observatory (2012): This will be completed in two phases: the first will cover the theory and concepts (2011) and the second phase will cover all research (2013). The idea is that the platform has five separate spaces or main sections: the documentary genre (1), digital media (2), interactive documentary (3), directory (4), and resources (5).

- Implementation for Mobile Devices (2012): In conjunction with the construction of the desktop web version we plan to adapt the parameters to work for mobile technology. This task will require a programmer to work on both the classic and the mobile web.

- Interactive Documentary (2013): During this phase, from pre-existing materials to the web platform, we will produce an interactive documentary about the nature of this genre.

- Interactive installation (2013-2014): Some of the film routes will be able to be transferred to an interactive installation (which could correspond to an application of 3-6 stories with position sensors and other aspects).
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Figure 4. Article about Alma project

Applications and benefits of the project

The benefits and opportunities of InterDOC can be applied in three main areas that are closely related: research and innovation, education and training, and production and distribution. As an indication only, we suggest that the applications will be useful for the following recipients:

a) National, European and international research groups, which could take advantage of the observatory as a platform for information dissemination and to ensure visibility.

b) Professional and university education programmes, which have an information and interaction platform for the different teaching activities.

c) Specific postgraduate training offers, such as a master’s degree that could be related to companies.

d) Creation and production initiatives: production of prototypes through the creation of an interactive laboratory that is related to companies.

e) Organisation of annual or biannual events related to the development of the interactive documentary and interactive nonfiction fields (festivals, conferences, symposiums, etc.).

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  Figure 5. Section menu

The team behind

 

Idea and direction

Arnau Gifreu

 

Research 

Valentina Moreno

Mariona Vivar

Arnau Gifreu

 

Social media and interviews

Ángela Gómez

 

Content editing

Noemí Sánchez

Arnau Gifreu

 

Graphic design

Catalina Acelas

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Twitter account: https://twitter.com/interdoc2

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The interDOC team

arnaugifreuinterDOC: the first spanish project and platform for the analysis of the interactive documentary