Posted by DocumentaryTech on September 29, 2011 · 1 Comment
“As audiences come to expect interaction along with media consumption, “old” media is showing documentarians the potential for video as a tent pole in cross-media storytelling.
Since its invention, film has been a permanent medium. And like a book with its threaded binding, a documentary film’s spooled polyester strip represents a series of moments set in figurative stone. We find ourselves in dark rooms absorbing its definitive message, a product of months, or years, of inquiry.
But a stand-alone film, these days, works against the nature of modern media, with its vortex of information, reaction and reassessment. New media actually invites the involvement of audience, rather than simply its attention. And this interaction has come to define the media landscape.
Could documentaries form the permanent center in a changing tableau?
An audiovisual work that evolves as its topic evolves could be the future of the form. Part of the drive to work across platforms, into a digital environment, relates to something as simple as return visits to a site, which one might translate to mean “increased engagement” in a social issue, or “increased revenue.” The dirty secret of online journalism is that those comment sections below stories, those cesspools of discourse, create return visits and, by virtue of that, ad impressions. Gawker has built its empire not on the content but on the comments, an example of morphing media that extends a story’s life by days. A documentary that can be the foundation of an ongoing discussion gives it a life beyond a single view….”