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Monday, February 13, 2012

Excellent Post from Caspar Sonnen on Craft of Digital Documentaries

Excerpt from original post by Caspar Sonnen

"As we speak, the digital revolution is unfolding. It’s destroying age-old business models and ruthlessly blurring almost every existing boundary within society, media and the arts. The good news is that the need for great storytellers has become bigger than ever. And so have the opportunities for the ones who dare to explore and invent new forms of digital documentary storytelling. So, for what it’s worth, here are a few random tips for anyone considering to make a webdocumentary, based on my experiences as curator of IDFA DocLab and as someone who still thinks Pong is she best game ever invented. (By the way: Check out the project catalogue at for more than 100 innovative digital non-fiction projects and profiles of digital pioneers.)

Caspar Sonnen is an expert on webdocs. He started working as a film programmer, journalist and festival organizer while studying film and new media at the University Utrecht. In 2005 he started working for IDFA, where he set up the New Media department and IDFA TV. In order to better present emerging documentary formats outside the realm of linear filmmaking, Sonnen started the festival program Doc Lab at IDFA in 2007. Caspar is co-founder and program director of Seize the Night, the annual Open Air Film Festival Amsterdam. Foto © Corinne de Korver

1. Create a cinematic interface, not a website with video
Many of the webdocs that were selected for IDFA DocLab succeeded because of their cinematic interface. Besides being aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly (which helps), a truly cinematic interface becomes the story. It awakens peoples’ curiosity to explore, pulls them into the narrative(s) and surprise them once immersed (similar how camerawork and editing function in traditional filmmaking). An innovative cinematic interface is why you’ll never forget projects like ThanatoramaWe Feel Fine,Soul PatronGazaSderotJourney to the End of CoalWe Choose the MoonPrison ValleyWelcome to Pine Point,The Wilderness Downtown or Highrise/ OutMyWindow.

2. Don’t focus on technology
The only technological asset you really need, is the ability to recognize a great website and a great interface when you see one. Taking a piece of paper and turning your webdoc idea into a wireframe sketch is a great way to develop this ability (and convey your idea to a web developer)...."

Read the full post on Caspar Sonnen's site:

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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