Storytelling In The Digital World: Four New Developments That Will Blow Your ...

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Published on January 31, 2011 by Kim Borba Two weeks ago, the Producer’s Institute for New Media from the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) came to New York to work with six documentary filmmakers interested in developing games, data visualizations, mobile apps, and interactive website projects based around their films. To share this expertise with a wider community, BAVC hosted a public conference day on January 8th at the Tribeca Film Theater. Speakers included many of the experts that would be assisting the NY documentary teams with their multi-platform developments. To introduce a series of ten quick-fire, TED-style talks on the digital world and its intersection with emerging models of storytelling, BAVC Creative Director Wendy Levy said, “Open your mind and forget everything you think about what documentary film should be.” Presenters then had fifteen minutes to blow our minds - and they did. Here are four of the highlights: 1. Data Mining and Mapping If you consider data mining a nerdly pursuit, one that falls beyond the purview of storytellers, think again. For Google’s Eric Doversberger, data can describe very human stories. Witness Google Search suggestion, which is visualized by Web Seer’s data mapping site. Seer does a Panelists (from left to right): Mark comparison of search terms to reveal what the Belinsky, Patricia Finneran and Loira Limbal Google community is asking at that moment. Search for “is my boyfriend”, and the most common question endings pop up (“cheating” and “gay” are often at the top of the list). Type in “is my girlfriend,” and you’ll get another set of answers (“cheating” still ranks high but “pregnant,” “crazy” and “a whore” are right up there. How’s that for narrative?). Then there’s Twistori. Take the emotional pulse of the Twitterverse by selecting love, hate, wish, think, or believe from the menu. You’ll get a colorful feed of real-time Tweets starting with the phrase “I love”, “I hate”, “I wish,” and so on. How data affects your film: Eric has been working with BAVC on an impact measurement tool, and they’ll likely release it to the media arts community as an impact dashboard sometime in 2011. 2. Open video: According to Mozilla guru and NYU Open Video professor Ben Moskowitz (@benrito), HTML5 is making video content more a part of the fabric of the web. This means it can work more like digital space, becoming interactive, nonlinear and multi-layered. Popcorn, the new JavaScript from Mozilla and Open Video Alliance, turns old online video into dynamic “hypervideo” that interacts with the rest of the web, pulling data from sites from Google Maps, Twitter and Wikipedia. Offer your audience access to the mass amounts of research and extra footage that never made it to the final cut. Tap them into real-time news and social media feeds on your subjects and themes. Connect them with one another in an online community around your film, and link them to web advocacy tools. Some early Popcorn demos are akin to (but smoother than) VH1’s Pop-up Videos (remember those?), and filmmakers and audiences accustomed to a linear experience may balk at the distraction factor. To ease into it, check out Arcade Fire’s high-tech but nostalgic THE WILDERNESS DOWNTOWN. Ready to get in on the fun? Try your hand at Butter, an easy, point-and-click interface tool that allows non-tech-savvy users to create media rich experience in Popcorn, like Rebellious Pixels’ RIGHT WING RADIO DUCK. And if you’re still not ready to dive in, Open Video Alliance will soon be offering a Popcorn and Butter Camp to teach the ins and outs to curious New Yorkers. FYI: hackers are on the hunt for interesting video content to play with. Find them (and Ben!) at the Camp and chat it up. 3. Collaborative Editing: Had enough of those late -night sessions at your editor’s apartment? YouSendIt upload limits driving you batty? Nonny de la Pena, the Producer/Director of UNCONSTITUTIONAL and one of the brains behind Gone Gitmo came up with Stroome, when she was editing this talking fish video for the NY Times. Stroome is the collaborative media editing Marquee at Tribeca Cinemas community you’ve been waiting for. Upload video, photos or music publicly or privately; edit sequences online, add music, text, voice and overlays. Share your project for your group members to see, comment on and remix. The upload limit is high (the first 3GB are free), and you can use any of the thousands of clips uploaded daily to the community clip pool. You can also save multiple versions of your project and push finished content straight to Facebook and other social media sites. One caveat: they’re launching a new site in April—streamlined import into FCP is among the new features—so they may have some minor tech issues until then. In the meantime, it’s well worth the occasional hiccup. Like 9

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people create community. Think of it as an investment. Patricia Finneran art and meaning. This article is available for noncommercial use under a Creative Commons license. Aim at spending 15% of your total budget—yeah. How To Build a Digital. they all look the same. New York. 6/1/2011 .” Cizek turns non-linear. Skylight Pictures’ Producer Paco de Onis is taking GRANITO to the next digital level. In New York. Concrete residential highrise buildings are the most commonly built form of the last century. too. a group dedicated to the development of innovative. But inside these towers of From left to right: Jennifer Wilson. • Find your built-in constituency. So now that you’re inspired. Then you can approach funders with proof that your project will be successful: “Here are concrete and glass. And while you ponder. Don’t just pre-produce your film. we know!—on interactive media and digital outreach. Words can’t do it justice.. or do you want to tell a story?’ ” That was the closing advice from Jennifer Wilson of The Project Factory. He’s working with BAVC on an ongoing project to restore Guatemala’s collective memory of genocide. fragmented content into a surprisingly engaging. Where is your audience? What platforms are they on? How do they get their stories? One possibility: Maybe it’s through email newsletters. Interactive World Around Your Film: • Start at the start. • Open your mind. Comments (1) | Leave a Comment | Share: Share Your Thoughts Name: Email: 5 6 Post my Comment! Comments Thank you for such a great article! I feel like I was there experiencing it1 Posted on 2011 01 31 by brit 145 W. Include a line item for a Transmedia Producer or a Social Media Strategist. a wildly popular social networking site they designed.” • Cut the costs.000 people who are already excited about what I’m doing. here’s how to get started. grow your audience. Big organizations are on the lookout for flashy content to feed their newsletter readers. On the outside. Too cool. The home page reads “You see them all over the world. Empower your subjects by giving them the tools to share more of their stories with the digital world. But a good digital strategy can actually make you Your budget’s ballooning. pre-produce your digital strategy.. You can play with your audience in the digital space long before your film is finished. cohesive. You’re welcome. Tap into Hunter’s Integrated Media Arts Program or NYU’s Digital Media Marketing. interactive. Kat Cizek. multiplatform projects. Throw a clip online. digital archive. Interactive Cinema: Kat Cizek’s OUT MY WINDOW is the world’s first feature-length. This notice must accompany the article at all times. • Spend the money. user-driven experience. Mark Belinsky. a project of Arts Engine. 3rd Fl. Now gimme some dough.. so give it to them. Users in Guatemala upload their photos and text stories from their mobile phones to an interactive. You’ve just got to do it. • Let your subjects tell their stories. NY 10011 Ph: 646-230-6288 Fax: 646-230-6328 contact us http://www. students and recent grads looking to work on compelling. and it epitomizes the rethinking of storytelling in a digital space. 24th St. build a following... test your happiness level at Making Australia Happy. Page 2 of 2 4. Inc. Get one of these whiz kid interns in a room and brainstorm. based around an Australian TV show. It was originally published on MediaRights. We get it. 360-degree documentary.mediarights.Storytelling In The Digital World: Four New Developments That Will Blow Your . multi-platform media projects abound. “Ask yourself: ‘do you want to make a film.

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