Hackathons, podcasts & choose your own adventure: an update from i-Docs

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had some good emails to the i-Docs inbox about some interesting things happening in the world of interactive documentary, so thought we’d share them with you!

First up, you can download a great podcast about documentary in the digital world from the folks at ABC (Australia) Radio National:

“Most of us have a stuffy view of what a documentary is, but in a world where we increasingly write and post images about ourselves do we need to re-think that idea? What impact are new technologies having on storytelling? We speak to documentary makers about the role digital tools and multiple platforms are having on their craft. We also explore some of the most cutting edge approaches to what we think of as the documentary.”

Guests include Ingrid Kopp, Director of Digital Initiatives  at the Tribeca Film Institute and Katerina Cizek, Emmy award winning Director of Out My Window and the National Film Board of Canada’s multi-year HIGHRISE project. Click here to download.

Onto something completely different, a ‘Choose Your Own Documentary‘ interactive experience:

“Inspired by the interactivity of the Choose Your Own Adventure books of the 1980s (you may know them as the books where you could choose which pages to turn to and control your own story), for the past two years, three colleagues and I have been filming an interactive documentary that will launch with a 5-night run at London’s Royal Festival Hall next month.

The show is the true story of my friend, Nathan Penlington, who in the 80’s was a nerdy child obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books. Perhaps, inevitably, he became a 30-something nerdy man obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books – and a few years ago, decided to complete his collection by buying a job lot on eBay.  They arrived.  He got excited.  Then pages of a heartbreaking child’s diary from 20 years ago fell out.  And everything changed…

…our curiosity piqued by the enigmatic pages, we decided to try and find its owner and as both he and Nathan were inextricably linked by a love of CYOA books, we felt the only way to do this was in the form of a Choose Your Own Documentary.

That’s where you (and your fellow audience) come in, for just like the books, this is an interactive documentary in which you’ll make decisions throughout the show to determine which route your journey takes.  There are hundreds of possibilities, multiple endings and the outcome is all down to YOU.”

Intrigued? We certainly are. To find out more visit the Choose Your Own Documentary site. The show runs from the 6th-10th of November, so head over to the Southbank website to book tickets!

Back in August POV ran a hackathon for filmmakers, developers and designers to reinvent documentary for the web. You can view all the prototypes that were created here, which included an i-doc about urban poverty, an interactive cookbook and an online debate with film characters.

Susan E. McGregor works on the Op-Video team’s project
Photo by Isabel Castro/POV

As part of the event, Rahul Chadha documented the teams progress in a series of incredibly detailed blog posts which are a must-read for anyone interested in technology, hackathons, interactive documentary or all of the above.

The i-Docs site runs on a community model, we always want to hear about new projects, events, research, online resources and anything else related to the field of interactive documentary, feel free to email us at idocsinteractive@gmail.com or join our Facebook group –

we look forward to hearing from you!