New Directions in Narrative: Week 4 – Digital tools for digital narratives

Shelter – a web documentary discussion of potential digital tools

At this stage of the process I am still very much working out how I want the web doc to work. Of the tools I have considered, the ones below are the most likely at this stage. The options are either one of these tools that allow you to create an interactive documentary or creating a simple website that would offer users a range of options. This is certainly an option as I am feeling at this point that the web doc will not have a game type structure, rather it will have a structure that offers viewers a choice out of a range of video stories of what to watch. These would be offered most likely by topic. This would be a rhizome type narrative in that the modules would all be independent of each other and a user can enter and exit at any point. I don’t think there will need to be a linear narrative where I will offer one starting point and one end point only.

Interlude Treehouse – this tool is a a self-service HTML5 web app that allows creators to map, shape, and publish interactive videos on multiple platforms—web, social, and mobile. The tool allows you to create interactive videos where viewers can take an active role and be active in the way the video plays out. This review by TechCrunch includes a video which provides a good example of the way Treehouse works. At any time during the video you can choose to change the topic and within these topic changes there can be a range of choices. This is a potentially interesting tool for me to use as it allows users to access all the content and choose what they want to look at. It would also allow for segments such as “About’ and other information we may want to provide.

 

Interlude Treehouse article by TechCrunch

The site provides a gallery of projects and can be seen at Interlude Treehouse Gallery.

Racontr is another tool that allows users to create interactive video. It seems to be quite broad in providing templates to include interactive graphics, text, audio, video and animation. This is a Racontr short ‘how to’ video that gives an overview of how the tool works. In some ways it may be more complex that Treehouse but it also looks like there is a lot of flexibility in organising and laying out your content. I am thinking at this stage that the video will be made up of a range of videos and am not sure that I will need capacity to add text and graphics. But if I decide that the web doco should include information such as statistics then this would be a good site to use.

Korsakow – I have reviewed this tool in an earlier blog. As I noted then this is a very film based system which I like as I will be using video clips (or stills) as the basis of the website. It is both interactive and at the same time it is rule-based and the rules are set by the creator. I would choose which videos I wanted to connect with each other using a range of tags. These tags can be topic based or can be based on mood or tone or subject. The user on choosing one clip is then offered a small choice of other clips that are linked by this tagging system. This means each users journey may be slightly different. In the videos I have watched made using this tool, this is a good device for creating mood oriented works but perhaps not such a useful tool for allowing the user to have an overview of the content and choose where they go. As discussed in class this tool is no longer a free tool so this means that this site would really have to deliver the ideal solution to warrant using it.

Another tool I have considered is Klynt. This tool was used by Julia Scott-Stevenson to make her web doc Giving Time. This web doc is a pretty good example of how I am currently envisaging mine to operate. It is clean and simple and offers the user a menu of topic choices.

Giving Time menu page

Within these topic choices are a range of videos about that topic.

Giving Time topics page

The website has a range of features as noted on their Klynt features page. This includes a really appealing visual storyboard, mixed media editing and a lot more. Like the other tools it delivers across a range of platforms. There’s a useful 15 minute Klynt Tutorial. BUT this one costs money. The lite version is approx $220 and the Pro version around $750. They have a two-week free trial period – disappointing as I like the way this works.

So at this stage either Interlude Treehouse or Racontr would be my options and possibly Korsakow depending on cost. The other option is to build a website but I would need to know I had a team member able to do this.

Shelter – a web documentary: draft flowchart

In thinking about making a flowchart I have to think a bit more about the content and structure of the documentary. At this early stage of research I have 4 or maybe 5 areas of homelessness that I want to explore through interviews. At this stage I am considering a rhizome structure that connects the range of interviews we might collect covering these potential scenarios and that these interviews would be linked or tagged to allow viewers to follow a particular journey or experience. The aim would be to expose viewers to the range of potential experiences that encompass being homeless.

I have created a draft Flow Chart to reflect the potential connection between stories and the journeys that could be experienced through the web documentary which is attached as a PDF file.

 

 

 

 

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