On Wednesday 5 June 2013, Doc Next Network will give presence at the Dutch Doc Awards with a po-up expo called Uprooted. Uprooted is about the need to belong somewhere. Young Polish D-I-Y photographers share how they identify with places and people that are important in their lives. What does it mean to be “at home? Who exactly am I – Pole, European, or maybe my Axis Mundi is my hometown? Why is it important to know the answer? Uprooted is curated by Krzysztof Pacholak. Continue reading
I’m Paulina Tervo. I have been invited to write for the blog in the next few weeks around the topic of Interactive Documentary. Firstly, I would like to introduce myself and tell you a bit about my background. I work as a documentary filmmaker and interactive producer at Write This Down Productions. I was based in London until recently but in April 2012 I relocated to Istanbul with my husband and business partner Serdar Ferit (who I co-own Write This Down with). Not long after we arrived, we met Gokce Su Yogurtcuoglu, and got acquainted with MODE Istanbul and with Doc Next Network. Fast-forward 8 months and we are sharing an office and planning many interesting collaborations together. Su asked me to contribute to this blog, knowing that I am very passionate about this subject matter.
I was introduced to interactive documentaries in 2009 while I was a participant on EsoDoc. The idea of combining the power of the internet with documentary storytelling really excited me. I have always been more of a short documentary maker and I find that short stories can be very powerful. I wanted to experiment and see if I could take storytelling a step further and engage the audience in contributing to the story, giving them tools to make their own decisions about how they experience the story as well as build in ways in which they can get involved in making change.
As a result, in 2010 I started to develop a film idea into an interactive documentary (The Awra Amba Experience). Through this project, I have been exposed to a new world and learned a lot of things about gaming, web design, coding, interactivity and social media. Starting an interactive documentary project has been nothing less of enriching both professionally and personally. But more about my project later!
In this post, I want to briefly introduce interactive docs, including what’s currently going, and what some of the challenges are. Next week I will review a few of the web tools that are being developed for filmmakers wishing to make interactive documentaries. In my third and final post, I will go into the project I mention above in more detail.
In preparation for this post, I have been talking to my colleague Matthieu Lietart, from Not So Crazy! Productions in Belgium, whose book ‘Web Docs – A survival guide for online filmmakers’ is essential for anyone wishing to navigate their way around the web doc jungle. Matthieu says: “What is fascinating is that our audience can interact with our content and with one another creating communities or even social movements. The tools are there, so let’s see what we can produce to make social change happen!”
I highly recommend the book both as an entry point for beginners as well as a important reference tool to more seasoned media makers.
The genre of interactive documentary is very young. The first mention of it was in 2002 in France. It has since taken off particularly in France, where public institutions, such as the CNC award grants to interactive documentaries and where broadcasters and publishers including Arte, France 24 and lemonde.fr commission web documentaries.
Canada is another country where many innovative projects take flight. The National Film Board of Canada stands out as an early innovator in the genre, with projects such as Highrise, Waterlife and Bear 71 to their name.
In the UK, some broadcasters like Channel 4 and the BBC have been experimenting with interactive programming for a while, whilst organisations such as Power to the Pixel and Crossover have led the revolution on training and project development. Sheffield Doc Fest and the Pixel Market offer some of the best international pitching opportunities for interactive projects, attracting some of the biggest names in the industry. On the academic side, iDocs has been forging links between academia and practitioners, with their annual symposium in Bristol.
Over in America, technological innovation has emerged through organisations such as the Mozilla Foundation, who have for instance developed an open source web tool ‘Popcorn maker’, which I will review in my next post. On the funding front, Tribeca Film Institute is currently one of the only financiers of international interactive documentary productions (where no broadcast film is needed alongside the web component) through their annual New Media Fund.
On the festival circuit IDFA Doc Lab has been the pioneer of showcasing interactive documentaries ever since 2007. Next year, Tribeca Storyscapes begins a new transmedia program to showcase work that explores new forms of storytelling, highlighting innovation across a variety of platforms.
Workshops, labs and hackathons where filmmakers meet coders, web designers, game designers, app designers etc. are getting increasingly popular around the world. Labs and hackathons are great not only for networking but in fostering a culture of creative collaboration. If you are interested in this, I advise you to check out for example what POV and the Mozilla Foundation are doing: POV Hackathon and Living Docs.
There are many fantastic interactive projects out there and not enough space to mention them all. But here is a small selection of my favourites:
Out My Window by director Kat Cizek, NFB
The Johnny Cash Project by Chris Milk
At Home by the NFB
Gaza Sderot by Upian
We Feel Fine by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar
It is an exciting time to be a media maker. We have access to data and stories like never before. Yet, all of this presents a challenge for us. Suddenly, we are expected to take on a host of new roles. You can no longer just be a director but you have to constantly develop yourself to move with the times. You may also have to become a story architect, a web producer, and a community manager – all of these require a whole set of new skills.
Matthieu talks about another challenge filmmakers face:
“One of the biggest problems for many filmmakers is that there is no clear business model in the webdoc industry. Large experiments have so far only been possible thanks to help from film funds like the CNC in France or NFB in Canada, or broadcasters like Arte, France5 and VPRO. Yet, there are also many smaller webdocs that have been created using very innovative financial strategies. Today’s webdockers have to be open-minded and look for new partners and create new funding strategies. But remember that others made it and there are lessons to be learned from that…”
Some people say that web docs are a passing phase. Whatever the future may be, it is clear that the documentary genre is being reinvented. The internet offers us a chance to take the documentary out of its box and gives us new tools to tell stories. I think it’s time to put our egos aside, and put the user first. It’s time to open our minds to new kinds of collaboration across industries, and across continents. The revolution has started and there is no stopping it.
What to pay attention to when developing projects
1. Cross-over! Talk to and learn from people in other industries. It is important to forge partnerships and build a good team of experts in their respective fields.
2. Story is always the most important, technology should come second.
3. Use what the web has to offer and then you can create a truly interactive project – also think outside the box on how to engage the audience in offline events.
4. Find partnerships for distribution – link your story with existing stories, build relationships with online publishers and brands to get your story out there to a wide audience.
5. Small is beautiful – vast complex projects just confuse the audience. Sometimes it is the simplest projects that are most effective.
6. Put the user first – always think from a user’s perspective; how is their experience and what will they do when they first come to your site? Create different entry points to your story.
7. You will need to be multi-skilled and a great manager – you need to stay on top of the entire project all the time (this is not an easy task!)
8. Have fun! Experiment, try new things, don’t be afraid. Nobody has a formula as to what interactive documentaries are – be part of inventing it!
18 year old Karol Komorowski is now premiering his work at the Lookout Gallery in Warsaw, Poland. Karol is a talented photographer representing the youngest generation, standing on the threshold of his caree. His exhibition ‘Debiut’ consists of two projects: In the Dark and Girls.Karol Komorowski is one of this year Polska.doc participants – a programme run within Doc Next Network’s framework.
Young people are attached to their mobile phones… But do they still use landlines? Is online television as popular as ‘regular’ television? What is the most popular games console among today’s young people across Europe? And what are the biggest differences between European countries in terms of how they use media today?
The answers to these questions – and more – can be found in the first European-wide Youth Media Trend Report (2011-2011), which was commissioned by the Youth & Media Programme of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).
The extensive research was carried out by the Belgian research centre Trendwolves, which looked at media use among young people aged between 15 and 25 in five European countries: Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and Croatia.
Researchers mapped how young people use media in each of these five countries, focusing specifically on social networks, internet, telephone, television, radio, newspapers, magazines and games.
The first Youth Media Trend Report of its kind identifies different media landscapes across Europe and represents an important step in measuring, observing and revealing changes in the way young people use their media.
With this research, ECF aims to provide broad access to exclusive data to cultural, political and media organisations and professionals working on youth and media policies and programmes. The research is designed to fill a gap for the cultural sector, which is often deprived from mere facts and figures, unlike the business sector, in which such research data are used for designing successful marketing strategies and forecasting trends.
Interested in finding out more? Download the report in infographics here.
For inquiries on how to access the full report, please contact email@example.com
“El sexo sentido” (Sex Sense) is a short documentary about youth, sex, love and fears. This video belongs to Doc Next Network media collection and has been made during the audiovisual workshop ZEMOS98 produced at El Viso del Alcor (Seville, Spain), in the IES Profesor Juan Bautista (June 2011).
We’d like to congratulate the media makers José Manuel Borrego, José Manuel Expósito, Pedro Fernández, Rosario Fernández, Noelia Fernández, Belén Márquez, José Antonio Márquez, Iván Ruiz Vergara, together with the coordination of Pablo Domínguez and Rubén Díaz (both members of ZEMOS98) because of the VISIBILIDART 2011 prize, given by COLEGADES (a LGBT association located in Cádiz, Spain).
The VISIBILIDART prize awards those cultural initiatives that make efforts to eradicate homophobia and to promote democratic values.
This publication tells the story of an unusual year-long civic project that took place in the Turkish city of Çanakkale in 2010, carried out by Anadolu Kültür, who have been closely involved with the ECF European Neighbourhood programme since 2005. Chosen by United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) as an example of good practice, the project encouraged the city’s entire population to get involved in cultural policies and activities – through workshops, focus groups, activities and meetings.
Downloadable in English and Turkish, this publication documents the project’s progress from start to finish in the words of the citizens themselves. It includes statements of mission and vision, activities that led to the development of a city-wide manifesto, press coverage showing the project’s visibility and evaluations of the project, as well as some suggested next steps.
The idea for Çanakkale 2010 was developed under the framework of ECF’s ‘(In)visible Cities’ project, which provided arts management training and advice to local cultural operators working on cultural projects in three different Turkish cities, including Çanakkale.
First holiday workshops of Poland.doc finished in Pszów. Group of young people worked on a joint film project, telling the story of residents of this Silesian town. We watched classic and modern documentaries and practised basic language of film expression. Together, we worked on questions, which were later posed to our protagonists. After a week of intensive work we managed to complete materials for a short film etude. Participants from Pszów will be invited to the official premiere in September.
Op 4 juli start de IDFA Summerschool 2011. Naar aanleiding daarvan presenteert IDFA TV een speciaal themaprogramma rondom creative, jonge talenten. Het programma bestaat uit acht documentaires die de afgelopen jaren in de IDFA Competition for Student Documentary te zien zijn geweest. De documentaires zijn allemaal gratis te bekijken.
Het programma bestaat o.a. uit de documentaires What’s in a Name (Eva Küpper – winnaar van de IDFA Competition for Student Documentary 2010), Du Soleil en Hiver (Samuel Collardey – geselecteerd voor de IDFA Competition for Student Documentary 2006), en Paradise – Three Journeys in this World (Elina Hirvonen – winnaar van de IDFA Competition for Student Documentary 2007).
Bekijk de Studenten Docs hier online
We are not necessarily united by a song contest, a single market or a parliament. We do all share a war-torn history and a − resistible − rise in populism. The European Cultural Foundation launched an online space is for the stories − imaginative and confrontational − that make Europe move forward. The site includes insights, reflections and commentaries, keeping you up-dated on all narrative-related activities. The discoveries will also be showcased during an event in the autumn of 2012, in Amsterdam.
“Eskişehir’in Yerel Kahramanları” konulu Youth MODE Eskişehir Belgesel Film Atölyesi başarıyla sonlandı!
18-24 Nisan 2011 tarihlerinde düzenlenen atölyede 15 katılımcı önce Anadolu Universitesi İletişim Bilimleri Fakültesi’nde belgesel film yapımı, senaryo oluşturma, dijital kamera kullanımı ve montaj konularında iki günlük eğitime girdi; daha sonra 3 gün boyunca gruplar halinde kısa belgesel filmlerin çekimlerini tamamladı. En son 2 günde filmlerin kurgusu gerçekleştirildi. 25 Nisan’da ise filmlerin gösterimi yapıldı. Tüm filmler yakında yayınlanıyor olacak.
Ilgın Aksoy, Şengül Moral ve Gamze Akan İÇİMİZDEN BİRİ adlı filmi; Merih Yıldırım, Ayşenur Uyanık ve Halil İbrahim Gökcan DİNLE NEY’DEN adlı filmi; İbrahim Zateri, Gözde Karadağ ve Kübra Yurtseven KOŞULSUZ adlı filmi; Ayşegül Kara, Yusuf Ziya Esencan, Müge Şahin ve Eren Babacan KRİSTAL UMUTLAR adlı filmi; Ahmet Demir ve Karan Düzyol da KİM-İM-İZ adlı filmi tamamladılar.
Devamını okumak ve atölye fotoğraflarını görmek için tıklayın.
To read more and to view the workshop slideshow click here.