National Film Board of Canada

by stronged

What an amazing initiative the National Film Board of Canada have accomplished with their online interactive experience focused on documentary making.

I am most impressed with the Out of My Window project that depicts a snapshot of people around the world by compiling a stockpile of images in a David Hockney style collage of their home environment. As you navigate through their home you are able to select meaningful objects for the subject that will uncover another thread to their life.

The project made me think about how interactive documentaries tend to be based on an object (i.e. for a crime – the pieces of evidence; for a slice of life – personal artefacts that prompt memories and aspects of the subjects personality/life). This ties into our readings on Bogost quite well. For the process of list-making/ontography aims to unravel the system components of a unit/object of operation. How does the object function in our life? How does it function for the other objects around it? Why does it function like this? Etc.

I have been considering what to focus on for my precursor assignment; a rough sketch of my major project. A ‘working out’ of what exactly I am intending on accomplishing for the rest of the year.

Adrian has suggested picking any subject matter to propel me into the use of the technology I will be needing to be familiar with for my major project. My brainstorming has been the following:

  1. What has been your most memorable dream? Why?
  2. Who was your faviourite teacher? Why?
  3. What does water personally mean to you? Stream of consciousness.
  4. Your faviourite movie? Why? (splice together clips of faviourite movies/scenes to overlay dialogue)
  5. What has been your faviourite experience at the Palais Theatre (my work)? And why? (compile still and moving images of the Palais as an overlay of management, staff, performers, and patron’s responses)

Then I began to think about how a sentence functions as a collection of objects; the semantics of the syntax. When hypertext functions on the screen in text form, providing links within the structure of the prose to jump into other branches of the narrative, perhaps a moving image could function in a similar way. A conversation between two people already has layers of meaning presented to the audience. If, whilst watching an interactive documentary, you are able to unpack a response of the subject by selecting key terms/phrases they produce, the audience/user will be able to go further into the depth of meaning present for them.

For example:


Yeah, I was walking down the street today and I bumped into this lady called Julia. She was great. Think I’m gonna see her do her thing tonight.