Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Web documentary

Web documentary

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Web documentary'
Start a new discussion about 'Web documentary'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
A web documentary, interactive documentary or multimedia documentary is a documentary
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 production that differs from the more traditional forms—video
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

, audio
Radio documentary
A radio documentary or feature is a purely acoustic performance devoted to covering a particular topic in some depth, usually with a mixture of commentary and sound pictures. It is broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD...

, photographic
Documentary photography
Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle significant and historical events. It is typically covered in professional photojournalism, but it may also be an amateur, artistic, or academic pursuit...

—by applying a full complement of multimedia
Multimedia
Multimedia is media and content that uses a combination of different content forms. The term can be used as a noun or as an adjective describing a medium as having multiple content forms. The term is used in contrast to media which use only rudimentary computer display such as text-only, or...

 tools. The interactive multimedia capability of the Internet provides documentarians with a unique medium to create non-linear productions that combine photography, text, audio, video, animation and infographics
Information graphics
Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education...

.

How web documentaries differ from film documentaries


The web documentary differs from film documentaries through the integration of a combination of multimedia assets (photos, text, audio, animation, graphic design, etc.) and the requirement on the part of the viewer to interact with, or navigate through, the story.

Compared to a linear narrative where the destination of the story is pre-determined by the filmmaker, a web documentary provides a viewer with the experience of moving through the story via clusters of information. The integration of information architecture
Information Architecture
Information architecture is the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems. Among these activities are library systems, Content Management Systems, web development, user interactions, database development, programming,...

, graphic design
Graphic design
Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

, imagery, titles and sub-titles all play a role in providing visual clues to the viewer as to the sequence through which they should move through the web documentary. But from that point, it becomes the viewer's discretion to poke their heads into the nooks and crannies of the project, exploring the components of the story that interest them the most.

Further reading

  • Museums and the Web 2004Influences of Concepts and Structure of Documentary Cinema on Documentary Practices in the Internet, Melahat Hosseini and Ron Wakkary


College-level Courses


Examples of web documentaries

  • Journey to the End of Coal
    Journey to the End of Coal
    Journey to the End of Coal is a French web documentary directed by Samuel Bollendorff and Abel Segretin.Based on the choose your own adventure principle, the interactive documentary tells the story of millions of Chinese coal miners who are risking their lives to satisfy their country’s appetite...

    — A web documentary that let the user investigate the living conditions of Chinese coal miners.
  • Out My Window
    Out My Window
    Out My Window is a 2010 web documentary by Katerina Cizek exploring the lives of families living in high-rise buildings in 13 cities around the world. The website is produced by National Film Board of Canada as part its collaborative documentary project Highrise...

    — a National Film Board of Canada
    National Film Board of Canada
    The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions...

     collaborative documentary showing 13 interactive views from highrise apartments.
  • Green Unplugged — a Culture Unplugged Studios short form documentary showing worldview on environment and showcased by United Nations Council For Environment.
  • Barcode — an ARTE France and National Film Board of Canada
    National Film Board of Canada
    The National Film Board of Canada is Canada's twelve-time Academy Award-winning public film producer and distributor. An agency of the Government of Canada, the NFB produces and distributes documentary, animation, alternative drama and digital media productions...

     documentary about objects and how they reveal the way we live, created with 30 directors and containing 100 videos
  • Welcome to Pine Point
    Welcome to Pine Point
    Welcome to Pine Point is a 2011 interactive web documentary by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge, collectively known as The Goggles, formerly creative directors of Adbusters magazine. The website explores the memories of residents from the former mining community of Pine Point, Northwest...

    — a National Film Board of Canada web documentary exploring the memories of residents from the former community of Pine Point, Northwest Territories
    Pine Point, Northwest Territories
    Pine Point was the townsite built at the Pine Point Mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada, which was an open-pit lead and zinc mine.The first buildings were erected in 1952 during the original exploration and development campaign, and even before that a number of log cabins had been built in...

    .
  • Saving Papa New Guinea’s Forests — Extensive web documentary about forest conservation in times of climate change in Papua New Guinea
  • Becoming Human — "Paleoanthropology, Evolution, and Human Origins"
  • Gift of a Lifetime — Audio slideshow storytelling complemented by interactive historical timeline and an interactive human body
  • Interactive Narratives — A collection of web documentary content from various sources
  • Water's Journey: Everglades — This web documentary includes six audio slideshows, and interactive map, an interactive historical timeline and film/animation clips
  • Hometown Baghdad — A series chronicling the lives of three Iraqi 20-somethings in Baghdad
  • The Iron Curtain Diaries (1989-2009) — web documentary by Matteo Scanni about the fall of the Iron Curtain
  • One World Journeys Expeditions — A collection of environment and conservation themed web documentaries created between 2000 and 2002
  • Canto do Brazil — web documentary about Brazil by a documentary photographer
  • Thanatorama — A journey into the arcane world of the funeral. Between the intimate and the universal, the sacred and the mundane, the religious rite and market rules, Thanatorama played on records and surveys the frontiers. At the heart of the viewer confronted with his own death. To him draw his journey, according to its beliefs, according to his curiosity.
  • Prison Valley — Prison Valley is an ARTE web documentary by David Dufresne and Philippe Brault on the prison industry in the recession-hit United States. A journey into what the future might hold.
  • New York Minute — An ARTE 6-part miniseries riding through the five boroughs and a web-based, collaborative and multilingual encyclopedia about New York's culture.
  • In Situ — In Situ is an ARTE web documentary about urban artists in Europe, by Antoine Viviani.
  • WATERLIFE - NFB — The interactive story of the last great supply of fresh drinking water on Earth.
  • Where is Gary — An interactive investigation about a real con artist. The documentary maker Jean-Baptiste Dumont challenged himself to find this fascinating guy in ten weeks, with the help of the audience.
  • My Tribe Is My Life
    My Tribe Is My Life
    My Tribe Is My Life is an interactive web documentary produced in Montreal by the National Film Board of Canada , which explores how young people use the internet to forge identities and relationships within various music subcultures...

    — an interactive exploration of how young people
    Young People
    Young People is a 1961 Mexican crime film directed by Luis Alcoriza. It was entered into the 11th Berlin International Film Festival.-Cast:* Teresa Velázquez - Olga * Julio Alemán - El Gato* Adriana Roel - Alicia...

     use the internet and music subculture
    Subculture
    In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a group of people with a culture which differentiates them from the larger culture to which they belong.- Definition :...

    s to forge identities and relationships.
  • Multimediadocumentary Is the new way to create and distribute multimedia documentary using the new mobile technologies.The projects is open to the contribution of everyone (photographers or movie maker) who have some interesting story to show.
  • MMDoc #1 Le cittá di Olivetti by Sandro Pisani First edition of the new Multimedia documentary community network, photografy and interview of people and place inherent the project as iPad application.

Related disciplines

  • Photojournalism
    Photojournalism
    Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that creates images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism...

  • Communication design
    Communication design
    Communication design is a mixed discipline between design and information-development which is concerned with how media intermission such as printed, crafted, electronic media or presentations communicate with people...

  • Copywriting
    Copywriting
    Copywriting is the use of words and ideas to promote a person, business, opinion or idea. Although the word copy may be applied to any content intended for printing , the term copywriter is generally limited to promotional situations, regardless of the medium...

  • Information design
    Information design
    Information design is the skill and practice of preparing information so people can use it with efficiency and effectiveness. Where the data is complex or unstructured, a visual representation can express its meaning more clearly to the viewer....

  • Typography
    Typography
    Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

  • Desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

  • Motion design
    Motion design
    Motion Design is a subset of graphic design in that it uses graphic design principles in a filmmaking or video production context through the use of animation or filmic techniques...

  • Interface design
    Interface design
    Interface design deals with the process of developing a method for two modules in a system to connect and communicate. These modules can apply to hardware, software or the interface between a user and a machine...

  • Web graphic design