Richard Lachman on The Digi Doc Forecast
Nothing is changing faster in this world than technology, and that directly effects visual storytelling. In 2012, does the term “interactive documentary” still exist? What does an app have to do with an environmental documentary? Should I abandon filmmaking and make video games to save the world?
Co-presented with DOC Toronto’s docSHIFT program, The Digi Doc Forecast (Friday, Oct.12, noon-2:00pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox) looks at the state of “interactive” in Canadian docmakin. Here, Planet in Focus asks moderator, Richard Lachman, why we need to attend another interactive panel:
RL: To learn about the creative side of some new projects. To dig into the promotion, funding, and management of them. And to discuss key lessons from each project that the audience can use to launch their own explorations into non-traditional production, funding, distribution and project-team/production management.
PIF: Get specific. What is one new trend this panel will explore?
RL: We’ll talk about how to grow an audience for this kind of work. Is it a traditional doc audience? And how have metrics as well as audience-feedback and experiences with previous digital projects informed our panelists’ current work?
PIF: I make traditional documentaries about the environment. Why should I attend this high-tech panel?
RL: There is a lot of creative potential being explored through digital documentary. Digital approaches also explore strategies for reaching new audiences, encouraging active (and activist) participation from viewers, and collaborating with designers, programmers, artists and audiences.
PIF: Tell me about your panelists.
RL: Producer CJ Hervey of Secret Location recently won an Digital Emmy for Endgame Interactive. Lalita Krishna has built the Choco-locate app in association with her doc, Semisweet. Gerry Flahive continues his illustrious 30-year career at the NFB by producing award-winning projects such as Highrise. Alex Jansen co-produced the multiplatform book/ nteractive doc, The Next Day. Some interesting characters.
PIF: And yourself?
RL: I’ve won a Gemini and have worked on interactive and convergent-media projects such as Diamond Road Online.
PIF: What’s docSHIFT, the co-presenters?
DOC Toronto: Real Stories to Multiple Platforms…facilitates new creative partnerships and helps develop innovative interactive documentary projects. (Thanks for the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.)
Tags: Alex Jansen, CJ Hervey, convergence, DOC Toronto, docSHIFT, environmental filmmaking, Gemini Award, Gerry Flahive, interactive documentary, Lalita Krishna, Planet In Focus, Richard Lachman, Ryerson University, transmedia