Webdox, Brett Gaylor & more: an update from i-Docs


The world of interactive documentary is an exciting place to be at the moment. Zeega’s web doc manifesto went live during Tribeca’s film festival and the NFB’s Insomnia project received some well-deserved recognition. Here’s a few more things that are going on…

The Webdox conference starts in just under two weeks. If you’ve yet to hear about it, have a read of our extensive rundown of the event here. Tickets are still available to see a wonderfully diverse lineup including technological artist and maker of datavisualisation projects Cowbird and We Feel Fine, Jonathan Harris and pioneer of immersive journalism, Nonny de la Peña. You can read more about the speakers and about the conference as a whole here: webdox2013.wordpress.com, also check out the video of last years event:

Doc Jam 2012 from iDROPSLABS on Vimeo.

Popcorn founder and general internet whizz kid Brett Gaylor has been interviewed for Filmmaker Magazine as part of a new digital storytelling series. It’s a fantastic interview by the MIT Open Doc lab and well worth your time. We’re particularly pleased with this mention:

MIT Open Documentary Lab: Where is this community and how can people access it?

Gaylor: It depends on which type of interactive work you’re talking about. For web documentary, I’d have to say that the strongest and most sustained communities are in academia – so groups like iDocs have been convening practitioners and academics together for many years. These groups are great because they are able to see the meta-trends – the things that connect traditions of documentary and interactive/new media, for example. MIT’s Open Doc Lab is another more recent example.

The folks at the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) have been programming interactive work for a few years now – its probably the most important documentary festival in the world, and I’d say the same applies to it’s interactive strand,DocLab. This is where many projects are financed, curated and exhibited.

You can read the full interview here. Also have a look at the others that were conducted for the series, a must for anyone involved in interactive documentary or transmedia projects.

More interactive documentary projects and this time there from Tribeca’s Film Festival. In a first, the festival ran an exhibition last week entirely dedicated to interactive projects. Entitled Storyscapes, the exhibition showcased five projects, including a personal favourite: NFB’s Insomnia. You can read about the rest of the projects through the Tribeca site, but for now here’s the trailer for the Insomnia interactive experience, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

Last but not least, I’ve stumbled across this call for expression of interest from Auckland’s Colab. Colab is “an interdisciplinary creative technology centre which aims to facilitate and promote creative practices, research and development, knowledge sharing, innovation and collaboration” and they have put out this call:

Digital Art Live in association with Documentary Edge is calling for expressions of interest from documentary film-makers, interactive artists, and programmers who want to explore and develop interactive documentaries.

This first Expression of Interest is for us to get a better idea of who is interested, the technical and conceptual skills that already exist and development that might be required to build greater capability across the field. We also want to know about the types of formats and locations you may want to utilise.

Using this information and working in partnership with Doc Lab, we will be announcing details of forthcoming workshops and an interactive documentary competition from which the finalists will be showcased at the 2014 Documentary Edge Festival and there will be the opportunity to have work screened on the Digital Art Live interactive screen in the Aotea Centre.

Interested? You can fill out an application form here, the deadline is the 10 May.