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Interactive documentary – what does it mean and why does it matter?

Having just convened our fourth i-Docs symposium, it feels like an opportune moment to reflect on what is meant by ‘interactive documentary’ and why we at i-Docs have always seen it as a way of framing a set of possibilities, as opposed to being a specific medium, genre or platform. This seems prescient in light of the ‘immersive turn’ with interactive …

Orion: Behind the Mask

I am currently working as academic expert on a REACT funded Future Documentary project with the film-maker Jeanie Finlay. ORION the movie tells the story of Jimmy Ellis, an unknown singer thrust into the spotlight with a fictional identity and a mask, as part of a crazy scheme to masquerade him as Elvis back from the grave. ORION: behind the mask, …

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The ‘linear turn’ in i-docs – a provocation

I have just returned from delivering a workshop on i-docs at the Freiburger Film Forum, alongside Florian Thalhofer, inventor of the Korsakow system. It was great to see Florian again and our respective talks sparked a lively discussion between us on the evolution of interactive documentaries. As two of the pioneers in the field – Florian having invented Korsakow over …

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i-Docs Lab goes to Nyon

I have just returned from delivering the i-Docs Lab to twenty up and coming i-docs professionals in Switzerland. This was a five-day workshop, aimed at audiovisual professionals from across Europe to help them to innovate their productions, to keep up-to-date with the evolution of audience behaviour and to raise competitiveness. My role was to introduce the concept of interactive documentary to …

Studies in Documentary Film – edition on i-Docs

I am delighted to announce that the i-Docs special edition of Journal of Studies in Documentary Film is now available. Edited by Sandra Gaudenzi, Jon Dovey and myself, this came out of the 2011 symposium and covers many key issues pertinent to ongoing debates in the field. The journal can be purchased online and articles can be downloaded. It is backdated …

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i-Docs Presents: Reinventing the Graphic Novel for the iPad

Daniel Burwen hot from his talk at IDFA Doclab is on his way to speak to my students in Bristol today and to meet fellow residents in the Pervasive Media studio tomorrow. This is the first of an intermittent series of i-Docs presents events in Bristol – get in touch with us via the Facebook group or idocsinteractive@gmail.com if you’d …

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i-Docs at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Here’s some thoughts from the 2012 Sheffield Doc/Fest. I was there for the first two days – when most of the interactive documentary discussions were taking place. I attended the second half of the Crossover Summit on the Wednesday and had a good look round the Crossover Lounge. I also went to the live cinema performance of From the Sea …

Feedback on participation and authorship panel

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this session – it certainly led to some lively discussion and helped to frame key debates for the rest of the symposium. The role of the author is key here – from Max Whitby’s work which is all about storytelling, to Siobhan O’Flynn and Faisal Anwar’s work around visualising experience and bringing forth …

Storytelling and interactive documentary

When discussing what is new about interactive documentaries, I am genuinely excited by the possibilities for using Web 2.0 to create community hubs through participatory documentary making. The producer/director often assumes the role of a curator and takes responsibility for creating a narrative framework as a catalyst for audience-generated content, leading to the possibility of immediate dialogue with and between …

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Fluid interfaces for crossmedia documentaries

I have just been teaching crossmedia documentary production to my undergraduate students in Bristol. Their brief was to create a character-led documentary across the three areas of moving image, sound and interactive. After several years of teaching this module, I have finally seen a good example of a cinematic interface helping to create an immersive framework for engagement with documentary …