Documentary as a new multimedia format
The emergence and wide spread of the Internet, as well as the development of the mobile Internet, has led to the emergence of various interactive forms – interactive infographics, or flash infographics, various interactive special projects, interactive videos. Digitization could not help changing the field of documentaries, which led to the emergence of web documentary.
The essence of the concept of web documentary
Web documentary as a new multimedia format appears due to the convergence of Internet technologies and the documentary genre, originating from 1920 Gaudenzi S. The Living Documentary: From Representing Reality to Co-creating Reality in Digital Interactive Documentary. – Goldsmiths, 2013. – P. 18..
The definition of the documentary genre has evolved quite a bit over time – it has been used to describe different forms and content: news, educational films, travel stories, television shows. In the 1920s Scottish journalist John Grierson first used the concept of “documentary” (documentary), denoting the genre of cinema, in his review of Robert Flaherty’s film “Moana”. Grierson lays out the basic principles of the documentary: First, he argues that the documentary is “a new and necessary art form that can photograph scenes from life and real stories. Characters and scenes taken from reality better reflect the modern world and provide more room for interpretation.” Finally, he believes that material from life reflects the essence of reality, showing spontaneous movements, gestures, scenes.
A documentary film can take many forms, from a simple catalog of events to a political pamphlet, but in any case it reflects reality, and this is the main difference from feature films. The American theorist Bill Nichols says that documentaries have a close connection with world history – the genre is based on the connection of the film with historical reality. The documentary is organized not around the protagonist, but around an argument or logic that is rooted in historical reality.
The main characteristic that web documentary has inherited from the documentary genre is the representation of reality. We will return to the relationship between the traditional documentary form and the web documentary below Gifreu A. The interactive multimedia documentary.
In 2002, during the French film festival Cinema du Réel Festival, the concept of web documentary was first used, and experiments began with a new format. By 2010, the number of researchers who choose web documentary as the subject of their work has increased. This is primarily due to the increase in the number of produced web documentaries, as well as the fact that this format is gaining popularity. The growth in the production of web documentary contributes to an increase in interest from both the media environment and the academic world. The growth in popularity is primarily seen in the increase in the number of festivals, awards, conferences related to web documentary. For example, 2012 was marked by the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam, which included the Interactive Documentary (IDFA) conference. In 2013, Web-doc meetings were held in Brussels.
Specialized sites appear, where information about web documentary is published and accumulated, which unite researchers and producers of Web documentary and other specialists in this field into communities. Among them are I-Docs.org, the French blogs Le blogdocumentaire and Webdocu.fr, the German WebdokuTreffpunkt page, and the MIT Open documentary lab Braida N. Web documentary, which is closely involved in this topic. Documenting reality in the Post-media age. – Academico, 2013. – pp. 62-63..
However, despite the appearance of a significant number of works on web documentary, only two main scientists specializing in this topic can be named – Sandra Gaudenzi from Goldsmiths University in London and Arno Guifro Castells from Pompeu Fabra University in Spain. Gaudenzi’s main research is her PhD work entitled The living documentary: from representing reality, to co-creating reality in digital interactive documentary. Gaudenzi S. The Living Documentary: From Representing Reality to Co-creating Reality in Digital Interactive Documentary. – Goldsmiths, 2013. – 308 p. Gifro is known for his pre-PhD work The interactive multimedia documentary: A proposed analysis modelGifreu A. The interactive multimedia documentary.