Saturday, 13 October 2007

Web2 and Documentaries

On Thursday I attended a great course called "Into the Frame 2" at the Aust Film, Television and Radio School. Documentary film makers and teachers worked together to determine how to better support each other using documentaries in education. Mark Pesce presented on how 'digital natives' regard media. He noted that young people share media in a completely new way and that social credit in the 21st century is based on the ability to share media.

Cathy Henkel, an award winning documentary film maker, talked about a project she is working on at the moment, The Burning Season. It tells the story of the burning of rainforest in Indonesia to provide land for growing palm oil, and the devastating impact on orangutan numbers and carbon emission levels. From the film's website is this description of the film

"Faced with a global crisis on an unprecedented scale, a new breed of crusader - the environmental entrepreneur - has appeared. Can a fresh approach and sharp negotiating skills reverse the devastating impact of climate change? Or will self-interest triumph yet again?

Time is running out. Another burning season is approaching.

Can one major carbon trading deal protect the forests of Indonesia, save the orangutans from extinction and help redefine the Earth's future?"

Apart from the personal impact on me as I was not aware of the extent of the problem, what I found interesting was Cathy's use of a multiplatform strategy for the documentary. Although the documentary will not be available till next year, various aspects of the production are available online, such as blogs, My Space, You Tube and a Webcomic. Cathy's blog provides insights into the massive amount of behind the scenes work required to produce a documentary and her use of web2 tools enables students to connect to the documentary in keeping with Mark Pesce's insights. One of the orangutans, Waru has his own MySpace, with a great video, also available on YouTube.

My first embedded video!! And I didn't have to ask my 15 yr old to help.
I love web2