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Category Archives: interactive narratives

A champion of nonlinear narratives: An interview with documentary filmmaker Florian Thalhofer

When Florian Thalhofer shows one of his interactive documentaries in theaters, he arms the audience with laser pointers. Whenever there is a choice of which clip to watch next, the crowd votes by aiming a glowing red dot, and the choice with the most dots wins. Thalhofer, a documentary filmmaker based in Berlin, had to [...]

Narrative bonbons — outtakes from Storyboard posts, 2013

“Detroit: A love story:” Chuck Salter, Fast Company, and a layered, live-storytelling approach to the tale of a desperate city

Fast Company‘s Chuck Salter recently came up with an innovative way to address the unfolding narrative that is Detroit. The city, long depressed, is now bankrupt. Unemployment stands at double the national rate; buildings have been famously abandoned; dozens of schools have closed; services are so eroded firefighters buy their own toilet paper. When Whole Foods showed up, [...]

WBUR + The Atavist + Whitey Bulger: using Creatavist to manage a major tale

If you haven’t already seen Justin Ellis’s Nieman Lab piece on WBUR’s plans for the Whitey Bulger trial, have a look at today’s news: The Boston NPR station is partnering with The Atavist to provide immersive storytelling via Creatavist, The Atavist’s new platform. We’ve got a narrative-centric conversation with Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff coming next week as the [...]

Inside “Snow Fall,” the New York Times multimedia storytelling sensation

“Snow Fall,” the widely celebrated New York Times multimedia narrative on a deadly avalanche in Washington State, won a Peabody this week (and would later win the Pulitzer) for being “a spectacular example of the potential of digital-age storytelling.” The project packaged a six-part story by former Pulitzer finalist John Branch, accompanied by interactive graphics, video and [...]

Story, interrupted: why we need new approaches to digital narrative

The way we tell stories in print has been mostly the same for some time now. Space constraints and graphic layout have made the narrative flow a broken one. With the advent of digital devices and rich new ways of shaping content, the pressure is on to rethink how we produce and present our stories. [...]

Old story, new media: David Dobbs brings family secrets to the Atavist

We recently talked by Skype with David Dobbs about the mystery that began with his mother’s dying wish. Dobbs’ years of efforts to solve that mystery eventually became “My Mother’s Lover,” which was published last month byThe Atavist. Dobbs has written at many lengths in several formats: He’s completed three books on science and environmental [...]

What we’re watching: two takes on documentary

Lately, we’ve been pondering the full range of documentary projects. From a storytelling standpoint, “Hell and Back Again” represents one end of the spectrum. The film, which won the documentary award at Sundance this year, tracks a soldier through combat, injury and back home to North Carolina. Watch the brief trailer and see a gallery [...]

The Goggles on “Welcome to Pine Point”: digital narrative chases memory and loss

What if your hometown disappeared, literally vanished from the map? How would you hold onto it? Would the community of people who had lived there continue? “Welcome to Pine Point” is a website that explores the death of a town and the people whose memories and mementos tell its story today. The site lives online [...]

Harvey Smith on environmental storytelling and embedding narrative: “It has to be possible to miss some things to make finding them meaningful”

In a bit of serendipitous surfing last fall, I stumbled onto “What Happened Here?” a presentation by Harvey Smith and Matthias Worch at the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The presentation focused on environmental storytelling and referred not only to gaming, but also to documentary photography, narrative journalism and a treatise on comic [...]