Collaborative and Creative Documentary Production in Video and Online

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Session Title:

  • Collaborative Production

Presentation Title:

  • Collaborative and Creative Documentary Production in Video and Online

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Abstract:

  • This paper will discuss the creative, collaborative production practices that resulted in the production of two screen based media products that expose the historic site in Newcastle, Australia called Fort Scratchley. A low-budget 50 minute documentary was made to be shown on site at Fort Scratchley and assumes the audience has an understanding of the geographical location upon which the Fort sits. Using primarily similar content and media, an interactive online documentary has also been designed for an international audience who has not visited the Fort and is experiencing the site through website options designed for that purpose. (see fortscratchley.org)

    These two products were created in parallel with an auto-ethnographic research methodology called Practitioner Based Enquiry (Murray & Lawrence, 2000). The purpose of this practitioner-led research was to examine the collaborative and creative experiences of my production processes, practices and contexts. Therefore, this paper will firstly situate myself as conceptual creator of these screen based products in a systemic creative framework where I have interacted with the rules of the domain and the opinions of the field (Csikszentmihalyi, 1988, 1999). A closer examination of this will include how successfully I was able to carry out the necessary technical and editorial production tasks to complete the products through a necessarily collaborative process to achieve my goals.

    The discussion will include an examination of the collaborative production practices of the documentary which occurred through the efforts of 18 technical crew, 20 interviewee’s, and 12 institutions over a three year period. Work on the online documentary began directly after the video was completed and used much of the material gathered for the video. The online production period of 4 months was also completed by a collaborative team of 3; myself as Content Producer, a Website Producer/Programmer and an Interface Designer.

    An examination of these two collaborative contexts should therefore provide insight into the collaborative production processes for screen based story telling.

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