"Thank God for stories—for those that have them, for those that tell them, for those that devour them as the soul sustenance that they are. Stories give shape to experience and allow us to go through life unblind. Without the, everything that happens would float around, undifferentiated. None of it would mean anything. Once you have a version of what happened, all the other good stuff about being human comes into play. You can laugh, feel awe, commit a passionate act, get pissed, want to change things"

Tomas Alex Tizon, reiterated in the Nieman Foundation’s excellent Telling True Stories


Aaron Koblin on applying & experiencing with interactive media technology in storytelling. From the 2012 Future of Storytelling Conference.

“I think it’s really actually what makes life worth living, is having rich stories & living our lives through them. I think actually our lives are really just a series of stories we’re telling ourselves”

Koblin talks about narrative projects he’s worked on where the experience mutates as a result of the viewer’s active participation. He speaks about having viewers richly experience a music video about nostalgia for where you come from by having the video tap into Google’s streetview imagery of the viewer’s hometown.

The biggest interest I take here is the potential for extending a documentary project’s reach by finding ways to make it all the easier for the viewer to relate to the issue being depicted. If you reach them where they stand, they’re much more likely to take action beyond just passively watching your film on Netflix, or blogging/tweeting about it at most.

Another way you could branch off of this is thinking about how to make data visualization for your factual content to be more dynamic, interactive, visually rich & personally compelling to the viewer/user. Infographics have been a fairly useful trend in the past few years, they present data starkly in a way that mass audiences will want to consume/learn & share. But they can be shallow or misleading, & they’re static. Transmedia technology can improve on the idea, & can be a great boon for filmmakers/producers.

This is a great jumping off point to start thinking about how you could design experiences for your documentary & factual projects, whether they be about informing people, connecting people, or even just disruptive means of marketing.