Stefano Odorico

Stefano is a Doctor in film studies, a part-time lecturer in film at University College Cork and Queens University Belfast and a documentary film maker. He has published a number of articles in international journals and anthologies about documentary studies, film studies and, in particular, interactive new media.

He was recently awarded a post doctorate fellow position at the University of Bremen with interactive documentaries as his topic of research.

Session Title: A taxonomic approach for a new definition of authorship in i-Docs

How new forms of storytelling and new technologies affect authorship remains an important issue not yet completely developed in film and media theory. In general, theorists agree that the author’s function has changed and will continue to change as the process of writing a story constantly and technologically moves from one support (i.e. page) to a more advanced one (i.e. tablet computer).

This paper will explore the relationships between the author and the real world. It will analyse such issues as “the author inside a real world”, the “user (active and passive) as an author inside a real world” and discuss the figure of the participant of interactive documentaries as an agent figure.

Basing my approach on classic theories such as Eco’s “Model author”, Barthes’ “The dead of the author” and Bakhtin’s “Exotopia” together with new trends and developing experimental practices, I will trace the history and theory surrounding the idea of authorship in order to investigate the role of authorship and user-generated content in interactive, locative and collaborative documentaries, together with web sites such as by Daniel Cross.

Furthermore, I argue that media scholars working on web productions must revise existing theories of authorship, in particular moving on from the general concept of co-authorship in order to embrace the idea of an author as an entity in constant flux.