The term “documentary” was coined by John Grierson, father of the documentary film, as the “creative treatment of actuality.” Distinct from journalism, documentarians strive to reflect the world through their own creative lens.
The web opens up massive potential for completely new kinds of documentaries: films that constantly update themselves with breaking information, movies that are built and shaped by users, and interactive narratives that let viewers chart their own path. Web browsers are a great point of convergence for connected documentaries—creators can incorporate things like HTML5, WebGL, social graph and personal information, and open data APIs into their craft, liberating film from the constraints of runtime.
In this course, we’ll explore documentary storytelling possibilities at the intersection of hypertext and multimedia. Students will explore these possibilities by producing of a short form “connected documentary”—and by developing their own language and style of interactive storytelling.