New directions in visual storytelling

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Video in TIB AV-Portal: New directions in visual storytelling

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New directions in visual storytelling
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The session subject will be a discussion on "New directions in visual storytelling," and will focus on alternative production and distribution paths for documentary, visual storytelling, and photojournalism in the context of networked, online communities. We will discuss several online multimedia platforms that encourage user production, editing, and creation, and show elements of several projects. We expect the discussion to range from aesthetic implications of new forms, to reaching audiences in different ways, to participation. Together we will explore the effect of technological change on the aesthetics, production methods, distribution, and social impact of visual storytelling. The discussants will be Ivan Sigal, Executive Director of Global Voices, and a photographer working in the tradition of long-form still-image narratives and Bjarke Myrthu, the creator of the online multimedia editing and presentation software Storyplanet, and formerly the Executive Editor of Magnum in Motion.
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means you have this season bigger and thanks for coming out 1 thing that makes me really happy looking at audiences that island speech yesterday and we
have many more people today but they can be I've listed
the safety of the vote of confidence that good morning wonderful that you come with us today but we're very we're
very excited to have an access to talk about this discussion because both of us are extremely passionate about these issues the question of how we presented so stories and pictures of documentary on I think we're going
to start by giving you just a short short introduction as to why it is that we got interested respectively got interested in
this subject and then we're gonna have a conversation with the show you some pictures to show you some talk a little bit about and some trends that we see on line and we're going to show you some platforms and some examples of some really interesting work so as we all all know very well I think at this point the story of how digital media technologies are changing distribution supply and demand of of of of media and that has of course affected the documentary and and for
the journalistic field as well as everything else and both of us respectively noticed quite some time ago that the dominance of a still image it been eroded by the fact that we have an abundance of images coming from everywhere around the world I think
for instance that the last time of professional documentary photographer for photojournalists had made image that had a world of effect on world policy was probably 1994 probably students or Somalia and we still see that image still individual images around the world have a huge effect in terms of what kind of a have the potential to have a huge effect on world events and the kind of implicit ideal scope for how images can play a role In an ideal way documentary world but the last time that happened was probably a theory interactive that was made by a citizen soldier in that case and it's sort of just a
numerical facts that any given 1 image is made in the world today is likely it's not going to come from citizen rather than a professional so what is that leave in
terms of the art and craft of professional photography documentary film-making what's left so so 1 of my mentors that taking photos start telling stories and I think the difference the fundamental difference right now which is not what kind of camera and all that stuff you have in your hands but what you do with that are you think about stuff when you go out and shoot photos and if you're thinking about an an actual story in combination with what you do and so to get the the what where we're writing outside what's happening right now and I think there's several things that we want to get into it in terms of tools so there's all these new tools emerging that's going to make it much easier for a non take people to to be creative basically and to do these stories and the 2nd thing is that there's a lot of initiatives and social setting months and 3 and helping communities to connect with each other and and and and helping you publish stuff and
so just to get into the 1st thing tools if and so I think most of us know about this this this fact that you know everybody can can consider to have access to the tools now and you have software you have you have to have cameras and all these things and everybody has that that's kind of the whole the whole point of view but and
and the 2nd thing is that everybody can publish also so there's all these platforms that makes it that gives you a chance to the world so I like we said
them uh and but then sort of missing a little
bit but the yeah that that the 3rd thing which I think is really interesting is the content is becoming really shared and there's different parts of the cell so what is the state the eyes and if you're not really take the API means application of application programming interface interfaces as a way to look into a database and say take what's ever whatever's there so all these databases of content of becoming really open at the moment and so you can take stuff from YouTube and Facebook and all over national and stories and produce stories with this concept and the other part of it is legal pads so so so so what we have organisations like creative Commons Francis working on opening content and making it easier to share and the legal side of things and and it's sort of
a movie consisting of all these different aspects of the API is opening up the databases yeah that then there's attacking and characterizing all these things so the metadata basically on the on the on the media becoming much better and of course the whole blocking
community is part of of driving this this culture of tagging and then you have some search technologies that are proving obviously Google and Apple and others are buying up technologies and working and developing technologies for instance the face recognition stuff so if you know how somebody looks you can search and find other photos of of of the person uh and all these and then there's the licensing legal plot creativecommons as the driver of that so all these things like protein and making plans and really opened and so there's the makes of the access to the tools and the open content and so on so so obviously that leaves us in a space that's really changing and it's changing 2 things mainly it's changing the idea of who is actually doing this story telling I mean what is a journalist and and what is the role of and sometimes we doing which is watching something for participating and it's changing how the story's done so sort of the form of the esthetics of stories that yeah and so a lot of the images that in the slides that talk about our about the supply side there about how we make something we optimize that supplies of the other side of course is the men and that is 2 things that's the need that's an idea how we imagine who our audience might be you were talking to a who were participating with and so it's both a question of if you're trying to reach a mass audience how you might think about doing that and thinking
about what kind of community you building around the stories that we telling because these tools can also be used for small communities they don't need to be for mass audience so it's true that a lot of people missing professional side of the building platforms and tools in this way are originally from obviously own way of retrieving a mass audience and as you know sometimes things go viral and you can have a project we put online itself million people watch for you to have a project and nobody wants it was really hard to know but that's about unless you have a pretty clear idea of what the community is so it's not just about tools and also about building social networks also about building of context and what seeing dozens of projects and experiments and start ups that thinking about various applications and and instances of or iterations of of this kind of idea how to build a platform hunter-gatherer community around so
basically what I'm during the spring when I was old model so you have a pile of content assets video photos text all that stuff that were produced by you know
professionals journalists color when you want publishers and you have some gatekeepers and which were deciding basically you have to put stuff together and publication and the rest of us would just you as we would be fed by the stuff the future thing is small like this so you have a pile of assets and I could say that the the eyes the creative commons search and all that stuff is making accessible and and then around that you have all these different participants and and and it's the different roles 1 1 person can have different roles and we can all have different roles depending on you know how we engage at that particular time so sometimes I just give you
our continuing that sometimes I can be a trader and sometimes they can be re makes something as the I jury things in a way that all these new social networks and operational means centuries countries such curation platform and and and then of course is there's also just engaging in other ways like commenting on things and it's all become really really good so so then the role of having engaged with the cats and this food but also the idea of a troll and Montrose pretty food as well because I mean sometimes you might just visually a story for yourself but but then it might reduce pro project and so on and and then we'll hold things pretty food and so let's get into a few
examples here so this first one is that it's is getting which extreme so it's a pretty good example of of of the use of of these API you know I'm looking into a database so in this example and getting just open is that an interface from their own database and you can do a few setting this is the starts and so you can say set that what kind of parameters you want to use stories this should be sad you know you can see all the rest of the the contemporary 1 pool and then choose if you want photos and videos and is the WikiProject and starts generating the story based on your preferences so so it's not really story telling the same but I think it's really
interesting example of of how you can measure things and how you can sort of remixes created the Curia stuff and so that's generating away and eventually it's pretty funny thing is that users monkey and
that's kind of sad because the set of the little bits that and this stuff yourself so it's got your whole stream of video clips and photos and it does also have already on it so it points to something of a in a in a very basic way which is that this is a very different way of constructing a story and scientific linear narrative and documentary form it's based on a set of categories in a set of data and organizing data according to essentially an algorithmic process and there's a lot of experiments in the interactive media studies of interactive documented interactive multimedia which are about trying to establish the terms and actually comes out of the Arab world that that that notion that we can build stories based on kind of but structurally assigned ideas that will then allow us to think differently about our own loser ourselves in this case and that's that's the reason that this is especially that for me and we don't
know what you that makes it a little there is nothing in the center of the and and they will go on and on and on and on and on and on the other other hand there is a lot of the that problems people of the aftermath of the same thing
act by the end of the week and most of them although we
don't know what it is that so that they can do with the material that
American that is the yellow check out the the the difficult and you know the so this is a few basically do that essentially that the same thing as getting which but
just with everything online so you can so that build an interface where you can go and pull in things from you to and all the new face of all these different forms social media channels that were obviously going to be a big part of each of revolution and so they created sort of storytelling curation fuel for people that want to collect all these different content and create new stories and and and and 1 of the interesting things in this that and the promotion video it's also the type of people that contributing with the cell phones and all these things and as I think it showcases pretty good what were the so change from the traditional journalism role an idea and I have journalism background and I do think there some mythologies in journalism that really working well and that that's interesting to sort of teach new participants but I also think there's a lot of doctors and traditional journalism that's that's really great to get rid of like handling stories to go away so that this whole idea of tying and that you always have to put it into a special events and also traditional media have a really short attention span something you would talk about yesterday so they going with reporters cover
something goes to the next thing and with all these things great and a lot of scope the signal yeah and
stories like this have a temporality and expands its own spaces of virtual space and and it sets the frame but it doesn't insist on a storyline and so the interactivity here is that the esthetic of the narrative stories open ended and it allows people who are participating to decide the direction of the story themselves based on their own history and we see a lot of projects like that saying well look what wanted the only be 1 there's a question to be a traditional journalistic narrative has as dictated by the editor let's see what what's will have also might be about the structure of the stories so so so that's 1 thing is changing people's ability to do stuff in changing the role of people and the other thing is changing the actual storytelling and so again the all of the things that you have a beginning and an end and was more or less linear even in the books and websites that front pages and subpages and and movies start at 1 place of course you know if you have a TV set the remote control that it was more than linear and and the future is small like this so as to have a beginning and you can use multiple directions and you have multiple layers sometime in the story so you can have a top layer that may be really sure and
an angle on 1 specific interests but then you can dive deeper into certain sections of the story you want to do that so again to show few examples
this is the National Film Board of Canada is called a bear 71 want to this is the the documentary that focuses on 1 part of a National Park in Canada and it's meeting surveillance and entities the role of the manager of the formulation of the documentarian made that made them by tapping into the cities you can't rest on and also that part of the space and then inserting the viewer into the into the platform into the and that's part of so that you can travel through the film you right through a
range of possible based on your own set of following the camera and the devastating FIL it has little some of them and very just after the this is the scene so so
basically uses this 1 there was there is 1 and then you follow up and then move on to something that's within the city so you can see that throughout the mapping threatened topography it gives you with the International at the heart of the comedians on the parents of insulin closer together than any other place that explains the radio collar constantly being limitation some range of the 15 remote-sensing cameras and range of infrared images and barbed wire next to collect the money I call right I would like to conclude that of of all
all this and so the film is narrated by the fundamental and thank
you as a as you were our navigating through the same space that the parents so it has an curious
contemporaries tend not to to use this knowledge and so on and in any other place that's not has a curious effect of
making the subject of the film the narrator the pair and putting you in exactly the same place and so in
and I urge you all know what lot of participate because it it gives you a substantial amount of control in terms of deciding narrative the end the end is always determined asserts that the fast way of National Film Board of Canada as a good place to go to see some of these things the fueling a lot of new very interesting projects and so the next logical and show shows some of British and you know that today and you to face movie actually to try
to get hits hidden in the UK to uh not carry weapons especially life and so we
just put the sample this is that it is based on a the point game you can write it as a result of the show was used to talk to some of the so you can choose what you do and depending on your choices in the movie there are several points where stuff you get different outcomes and what's interesting is that it's made to you to introduce the usability very simple ways of annotating
video so you you know what it's like this here it's graph what I had forget to make but I think it's interesting because you to essentially is replicated an old model which was nonlinear video but now the we get because there is a greater demand for doing these things and the cost the online medium basically caters the point is
that I 1 of the most of the time was the most
exists and have 1 of the things that excite of the again the example again and again and again and again and again in this if that there there's is a lack of yeah so just enough of them but this is this is another Canada
Fieldbook book story and it's about a little bit the
lives and is basically a story about the role can but what I really like about it is that it doesn't really personal voice and it uses interactive some of it in some ways you can you can move through different trials and you have things on each side that does that and and I think generally these these reductions that that's have a personal voice to them work really well it's also interesting because it has a has a really to curious play on the future of the book on it's a it's a great melding of website film and book because it has a narrative structure that term that allows us to turn pages and tens of hours it open open disk space is through that and that kind of linearity but at the same time this illustrated video and text and it's all happening in a way that allows the viewer to to click on the side on different parts of it to navigate not just through the linearity of the book itself
so it's a it's a it's a wonderful example of how we take these esthetics that are based on different technologies and and play with them construct welcome supplying point by the way if you can't see the use of the same thing thing go with yeah when you have no access to a life of its own again the same so just a few words about the next step and so basically we've we've talked about how how the the assets and the media and tools is becoming a commodity server you have a camera everybody had channels and there more and more gaining has access to a pool of people cool content and so will the where the hot problem but also the part where you can actually make a huge difference is in the actual
storytelling and reaching a community reaching retreating you will want to see what you do so in the post office there exists but but but the story telling it where we started it's about your missing and what we want to achieve with going out and shooting videos and photos but it's also about how you and how you put to get to the end product it's a lot with the interface and the design and I think a lot of the
examples we've shown here has been used really cool packages and where you know they really put a lot of thought into the personal voice and the the esthetics of the story and that's not that's the hard part to do the hard part of that tuning collecting stuff to happen this this refining it into an experiences and the story maybe you want say about communities yeah I mean I think up on the community side the important thing about storytelling is not just telling a story that's based on your own experience of course there's something out your own imagining but we'll tell stories with an understanding of who we're talking to and it's kind of sometimes easy to forget that idea and 1 of the 1 of the things that's great about coming coming tools that are being built they're based on broad access is that you you'll be able to build stories the community that you care about and so on you you without necessarily a lot of technical knowledge and thinking about beforehand although under the make something last minute I care about my family see that having it that's all and if somebody else is that's great or you can you can spend a year and a half building something like what the point point and something that's really elaborate really involved in terms of 3 processes on the also really interesting
platforms for education and because while we say of course that it's possible that the contents easy it's still let's assume the easiest thing in the world to take a good picture so a lot of these tools are also really useful for sharing for this aggregating educational platforms and having a pure pure knowledge of heartrate peer learning from within the framework of communities and I think a lot of groups that are focused whether focused on education and be only this using these technologies as well so yeah basically think
creativity and the content was there but we still missing a little bit of really good tools to do all this the interactive stuff it's this 1 it's something that's been a big issue for me all I mean I want to have a little bit of flatter myself and so on and just out necessity because needed to do this fast out of
javascript and HTML and and and it's really difficult is really a barrier if you come from a creative content background and but I think
the next wave in in this whole field is going to be a huge amount of different tools that allows you to put together the stories but also as island is saying you know rich communities and that and then that can help to evolve as a storyteller and give you an audience it's also things like funding so you know universal whole crowdfunding track at the conference on that and I think what Kickstarter and others are doing is really amazing and very interesting it's something we discuss the background way way back and I saw
the opportunity for that but we just didn't have the funds to build the whole platform to crowdfund what we were doing but now Kickstarter is doing in in with the back of the fragments very talented project last year and know there's those others in projects where they're raising funds for the Contras photography so that's really interesting if you want
to so the answer so so I mean I is the consequence of my huge huge annoyance of having to always deal with class coding and spending hours
and then I discovered that I have a little like a punctuation mark that needed to be swept with something else and working trying to that is to give you an to build to elect because I was waiting for something to do with cultural and nobody really did it mean that the center of the self and this is the point where I was supposed to go online and
actually give you a demo of story planet but we're not year the you know it's it's a conference however however I do have some so it was something very brave station sites of some images instead about the you know the days product is called story on it and it's innovative right now but what setting this up all the names of a couple of others there is a a browser based video editing project called strewn as oracle and he there's another of another browser-based
managing platform like this could Clint scale Y and T and you know if actually still work properly in the Internet world in the years just losers a hostility
Africa's arose has been Archuleta somewhere along there's a another project coming out of the head of Harvard's design school called Zieger CGA using a vector of probably is coming up later this year there's a half-dozen communities that we
can talk about what's going the the showing presentation so we're sort of close to the Sun right now but you can go to story line that prominent sign up to become a successful and within the next month or 2 depending on our test phase were gonna open up to more people but basically the idea of the interface is is to think it's a great where you can build stories of trials so you can place these tiles in the grid and build a structure and then it corresponds to a
player where you can navigate left right up and down so you can build any kind structure within
this great you can have a parallel tracks that you can jump between you could have something completely linear where you can have tracks that has side branches on them and you can have different islands and links between them so it's pretty it's pretty flexible and then if you and if you click it's
file you can open it up and this can space it that's a pretty similar to you know the powerpoint or in design for those of you who were that stuff so it's basically a place where you can pull in all these different things and video clips photos you can do and
texts and incredibly within each tile you interrupted interrupt entire movie it you make another context as well so it's time to be a single image or could be an entire field so that gives you a lot of flexibility to go both ways within the following 3 deeply and also horizontal and we're we're working with the idea of these apps so you can have let's say you wanted to ask for money from Kickstarter within the story we have a Kickstarter that interact can and do a few sentences and then people can actually don't
want to be a lot of different other kinds of pasta and we're open it up for third-party developers so so so if you do have a really crazy idea and you can develop your own and don't have to develop everything from scratch so that's the basic I did so I was just that
show that like now spend all this time and money in building and I can show here is this so we have a few minutes left for
questions and comments and we love to have you we think
microphone in coming this way or very best around yes yes what goes in instance OK so I guess that others that will have to come up to the microphone to do OK I mean if you want you can also just stop and we'll try again we've got the first one yeah we don't want gardens they get money
but the presentation on have you tried any means you didn't so what I do more multimedia
productions for 20 years now and I'm also missing proper authoring tools that Mike which would be have tried the boat builders are have you heard about the news that the Dubey director will be able to transfer their productions in the future to I O S and stuff like that I mean it's a different our publishing and distributing model
but as a storytelling going for pro I mean you want to get some money for it and I mean it's a different model if you go for public and and have some that if you spend a lot of time on I think it's interesting I our tool that you will provide better have you look and and experience of the stuff that as as a set of my book readers suffers coming out so kind of between Boca multimedia something in between and having a
distribution platform etc. haven't got any experience in that direction well I think you know a lot of the tools that are really becoming much much better at exploring different formats and all that stuff and you can do I had using the flash the he and stuff like that but I think there is a different sort of there's different types of projects so there's some really high on projects that's always going to be done in encoding the flat are HTML or whatever and you can never created a really easy to use tool to cater to that scenario you're always going to be able to do more specialized cooler things with coding but then there's a huge pile and then there's some really really simple projects which is just editing and it's like you know in easy-to-use life build but then there's a huge middle part of the story is that where you might not have the skills the budget to hire a coding team and but you are but but still you have some ideas that I created and and you have some ideas of creating something more than just a video of slideshow and that whole middle ground I think it's what what this tools now and that's what we're trying to get the story plan is to make it really easy to do something that gives you 80 per cent of the way if you were using fact that it's just much faster and easier and we also know that a lot of those kinds of tools
Adobe really expensive and specialist we get outside of the developed world we're talking about making sure that people from all over the world and tell their stories you got browser-based tools or tools that a light weight for free area of freedom security will have actually give access to people who we don't have the resources to purchase purchases that but I think you also really want to know where you can pull in media from everywhere you to everywhere and then you can publish it everywhere so all kinds of devices where all that
stuff and I think a lot of the Adobe and others and that have traditionally been very good at that I mean I think
traditionally is a new thing still but I mean they're not they're not really getting at the adapting iLink against such as sort of the question that I wanted to post to you which of the both of you out there is that on the 1 hand toward of the more interesting cases you're seeing that all mobile and lower tax example of Egypt you know it could be a not yet
22 that's the basic bit of technology or it could be an iPhone 4 so meeting that broad spread of mobile and it's is the anything interesting using either into you did and how how how how critical as mobile in in in stories that both at the creation point of view so actually being able to create on the fly and consumption so someone created something and so planet and here I am with any sort of device basic access and I can see thanks yeah I
think they're mobile is really essential for us but which started out sort of in another place but the next component we're gonna and distinct become consumption of components so being able to consume the stories on all different kinds of devices and and then that but then you still have created new browser but in phase after that is gaining on your phone with that and so you want to especially to for the for the for the global south because I mean I've got storytelling projects in places like the and and totally mobile connected so but they're not know that they've never seen a computer you I mean that the short answer is that
camera phones are good and getting better all the time for the purposes of small stream small stream more than
more than adequate quality and I think we will be seeing projects like that especially automatic on and there's a whole there's a whole separate communities that focuses on building building maps using maps narrative tools and there's a lot of development of thinking about making a SNS platforms onto mapping platforms and again geolocated people individuals projects in that way as well a lot of the freelance community Africa effect so it's book about it is that they might now we got samples with the challenge is like the science I mean because we
can we can already now display of stories from all different places but if you have a text page and it's designed for iPad and you scale it down and photos and videos of 1 thing but even
just using titles or little things that you can add navigation elements become very different when you scale of follows from size so for for these kind of projects the idea just doing 1 design and scaling and different devices doesn't really work so that's the big challenge that we're trying to figure out that we have time for 1 more question yeah it is set of get you know
you can see in the areas of data right it was so the question is what's the impact on we can have a whole other conversation about the idea of of white and build community around 1 . communities gather rather than 1 those 1 white communities gather around
stories and 1 of the interactive tools that that's the kind of interactive transistors offer people people within the context of stories the opportunity to participate in both and and to act instance to get beyond that that earlier traditional journalistic approach of just telling the story moving on on the on the head I don't know at think that the broader scope and and the long scope of stuff but that it does have an impact active people
and understanding and it raises questions in your head and makes you sort of think about the world in a way that it's very hard to measure but see also these things still as generation 1 mean and notion was very much generation 0 anyway way I mean we we we we had a couple of internal dimensions and we needed to find new way to find stuff from and that actually worked at me with the greatest and business models from background with my motion but there were a bunch of stuff we didnt achievement terms of interactivity and community building and all those things and from from many different reasons about that so I think there's gotta be a iteration and
has more impact actually and wouldn't I want and as well
the idea of buildings the value of the educational value average value to documentary is not a new idea I started my might be in the 20 years working on wall on documentary films and we we spend as much time pushing the products that we made in educational communities of policy communities to try to have an impact as we did making itself and so there was it's not what's different here is whether or not there's actually technologies that make that kind of participation simpler and allow people to engage in a structurally the notion that within a certain aspect of the documentary community at least for the journalistic community that 1 should be spending a lot of time thinking about how to make these changes as well as making the product has been there for some time the question the ease with which we make this connection yeah this overall shift documentary that's that's not just connected to to to online which is you know we all know by now Wong looks like for
instance so is there a point purely documenting war and I mean in my opinion you know we need to move above and beyond that and that's the basic yeah that's released but but that's that's that's you know that's a
storytelling approach and I do think that it will online community building and all that stuff is pushing that direction but it's also out of the overall thing even if you're doing a book exhibition is still facing
the challenge think we could have 1 last question that you thank you very much I reason we mean by morning it's along with the following oracle thank you very much for listening and the 1st thing that such y of if
this this this season this is that