…the folks at Apple would undoubtedly love it if filmmakers everywhere ditched their high-end video cameras for iPhones, the fact is that the phone’s tiny lens, sensor and other features are no match for those on something like the RED Scarlet X. It was those limiting factors, however, that made the phone an ideal choice for the recently-completed indie psychological thriller, Uneasy Lies the Mind. It’s being promoted as “The first narrative feature film to be shot entirely on the iPhone.
This claim of this thriller being the ‘first narrative feature film to be shot entirely on the iPhone’ set off some responses on the video vortex mail list. A number of contributors brought attention to films produced with a mobile phone.
2007 Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me It Would Become This Bad in Afghanistan in 2007. Dutch Cyrus Frisch Netherlands – feature length documentary .
2008 SMS Sugarman, Aryan Kaganof, South African
2008 Immobilite Mark Amerika, USA
2011 Night-Fishing Park Chan-wooks (fantasy-horror short-film, South Korea)
Just last week Facebook bought WhatsApp for a staggering USD$19 billion – WhatsApp has 55 employees. So what exactly is WhatsApp? Simple, it’s Mobile = Video+Social.
Content creators, corporate brands, developers, and platforms are both ever more intertwined and ever more in competition. The opportunities have never been greater, nor more uncertain.
We are in an era where companies with direct links to consumers (think Netflix) are producing thrilling dramas (eg “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black”) with ‘all-at-once’ release strategies, compete with ‘constrained publishing’ models (Vine, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram), and where the ‘third screen’ has now become the first (mobile), oh – and then there’s YouTube.
Documentary remains a vital and dynamic media form, one that has persisted through decades of change in patterns of media production, distribution and reception, from its early conception in silent filmmaking, through ‘new’ media such as television, to the current explosion of digital platforms. New generations of documentary filmmakers, multimedia designers, online curators and social media aggregators are exploring the challenges and opportunities of a digital environment characterised as collaborative, participatory, and interactive. This book provides a unique collection of recent research into the ways in which these digital producers are adopting the ‘documentary project’ across digital platforms, developing new documentary practices and providing distinctive new ways for audiences to engage with reality.
As a lover and maker of lists, this made my heart sing: In 2009, the great Umberto Eco became a resident at the Louvre, where he chose to focus his studies on “the vertigo of lists,” bringing his poetic observational style to the phenomenon of cataloguing, culling, and collecting. He captured his experience and insights in The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay, where he charts the Western mind’s obsessive impulse for list-making across music, literature and art, an impulse he calls a “giddiness of lists” but demonstrates that, in the right hands, it can be a “poetics of catalogues.”
Collaborative Media: Production, Consumption, and Design Interventions – by Jonas Lowgren and Bo Reimer
Relative discourse – media design, case studies, collaborative media, practice-based, design-oriented interventions…
From the book summary:
With many new forms of digital media–including such popular social media as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr — the people formerly known as the audience no longer only consume but also produce and even design media. Jonas Lowgren and Bo Reimer term this phenomenon collaborative media, and in this book they investigate the qualities and characteristics of these forms of media in terms of what they enable people to do. They do so through an interdisciplinary research approach that combines the social sciences and humanities traditions of empirical and theoretical work with practice-based, design-oriented interventions. Lowgren and Reimer offer analysis and a series of illuminating case studies — examples of projects in collaborative media that range from small multidisciplinary research experiments to commercial projects used by millions of people. Lowgren and Reimer discuss the case studies at three levels of analysis: society and the role of collaborative media in societal change; institutions and the relationship of collaborative media with established media structures; and tribes, the nurturing of small communities within a large technical infrastructure. They conclude by advocating an interventionist turn within social analysis and media design.
" this series we focus on analyzing the two main parts that constitute the interactive documentary field: the documentary genre and interactive media. In these articles we introduce an original combined evolution of the digital and documentary mediums, in which it is interesting to observe that there are some significant coincidences in time between them. Our aim is to link moments of innovation in the documentary genre and storytelling in general with technological experiments, inventions and pioneering concepts in the digital field."
Between the Lines Festival | Rich Mix Cinema | 1-3 March 2013
Each technological change in filmmaking has influenced the way stories are crafted. Adapting to these new technologies has repeatedly been presented as a revolutionary new way of storytelling. The first films shot with handheld cameras allowed unprecedented access to events, and later, digital cameras made it cheaper to produce films. Now, with opportunities offered by new media, stories can be told in a non-linear fashion through different platforms, or made interactive. Do these new technologies truly revolutionize the way we document the world, or do they merely change the relationship between the maker and the viewer? Do the old methods of storytelling still apply to interactive or non-linear documentaries?
Between the Lines festival explored the challenges facing documentary makers, investigative journalists and citizen reporters in the new media landscape. Three days of powerful films and lively debate on the issues and opportunities raised by the internet, trans-media and merging documentary conventions.
AFTRS 2012 Masters thesis ‘Documentary Producing and Interactive Platforms: Opportunities, Evolving Processes and the Changing Craft’ by Atalanti Dionysus of The Journey of Documentary website.
This research question led to investigation of some of the changes that have occurred in the documentary filmmaking industry and consideration of how approaches toward making a documentary are shifting, challenging all filmmakers to consider how and whether their project ideas can function using the new technologies and to look further into the opportunities that have arisen as a result. Recognising that filmmakers are seeking an understanding of these new opportunities in order to give their work a life as an interactive multiplatform documentary, from the cinema to DVD, the iPad, iPhone, radio, gaming and the web, this paper aims to provide research that will create access to these platforms for traditional and emerging documentary makers.
I have had my presentation included in the Video Vortex 9# re:assemblies of video reader, which is in the progress of being brought together. The interface is reminescent of Whale Hunt. The project documents all the speakers at VV9#.
I came across ‘paradigm and syntagm’ in (Manovich 2001, pp.202-05) and then recently read this analysis in recent paper ‘Remembering Bogle Chandler: an exploration of new media’s storytelling potential’on an interactive docuumentary Remembering Bogle Chandler produced by the author Young. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14626268.2013.776973). I decided to note it here for more thinking some time in the future? For me pictures/visuals always make concepts so much clearer.
From the Young’s article pg 9:
An expanded section of the Remembering Bogle Chandler timeline (Figure 5) shows how the story is mapped on a horizontal/chronological/ syntagmatic axis and a vertical/point-ofview/ paradigmatic axis. Each module can be accessed in a chronological sequence (left to right) or compared to other modules seen from different character’s perspective at the same moment in time (top to bottom). Alternatively, the user can access the story modules in a more stochastic manner. No matter which path the user chooses, it is a unique one deriving from the variability of the digital narrative.
A diagram/graphic by Young accompanying the text (from the article):
From Manovich (p. 204):
Interactive interfaces foreground the paradigmatic dimension and often make explicit paradigmatic sets. Yet, they are still organized along the syntagmatic dimension. Although the user is making choices at each new screen, the end result is a linear sequence of screens which she follows. This is the classical syntagmatic experience. In fact, it can be compared to constructing a sentence in a natural language. Just as a language user constructs a sentence by choosing each successive word from a paradigm of other possible words, a new media user creates a sequence of screens by clicking on this or that icon at each screen. Obviously, there are many important differences between these two situations. For instance, in the case of a typical interactive interface, there is no grammar and paradigms are much smaller. Yet, the similarity of basic experience in both cases is quite interesting; in both cases, it unfolds along a syntagmatic dimension.
What is interesting me here is ‘paradigm’ in relation to indexing as a process.
Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001. Print.
Young, Rebeccca. “Remembering Bogle Chandler: An Exploration of New Media’s Storytelling Potential.” Digital Creativity (2013): n. pag.
A ‘video reader’ (‘interlace software’) being developed by Robert Ochshorn who presented at Video Vortex 9. The lectures and presentations from the event will be brought together into the work in this software.
An example of a work made in the software ‘Montage Interdit’ by Eyal Sivan, shown in the screenshot above. An online video explaining this work and how the software works.