This week in the lecture and lab, Seth threw around buzz words like ‘participatory storytelling’ and ‘interactive documentaries.’ What I’ve gathered is that, through the use of social media services, we are to create an interactive documentary that incorporates an event.
I think it is interesting and pertinent to look into the definition of a traditional linear documentary before exploring this idea that they can changed in a way that makes them interactive and participatory.
Sandra Gaudenzi’s ‘The Living Documentary: From Representing Reality to Co-creating Reality in Digital Interactive Documentary’ describes the idea that documentaries can differentiated from fictional works by how much control the filmmaker has. More recent documentaries are said to be a lot less scripted than their early forms. These filmmakers therefore have less control. Documentary filmmakers are representing reality and so they should have less control over what takes place. However, within the filmmaking team, they are making a conscious effort to control how this reality is perceived by the audience. They choose what is shown and in what context. Gaudenzi highlights the fact that a viewer “in a way, has to believe the the facts at the base of the documentary.” Documentaries are taken as being factual films. Okay, now it just feels like I’m running around in circles. OKAY. SO. I tend to think that filmmakers always, always have control. I think they might have a lack of control in some areas depending on the type of film they make, especially if that film is a doco portraying real life because those real life people get to be their real life selves, but otherwise, for the most part, this is a really long sentence, and filmmakers have heeeeaaapss of control.
Moving on to ‘interactive’ documentaries. These are ones that may or may not involve social media. Gaudenzi states that they do not as yet have a clear definition, but! Interactive documentaries should give their audience the willingness to do something and/or make a contribution to a cause. [TO BE CONTINUED WHEN MORE KNOWLEDGE IS ACQUIRED]