Initial Thoughts

Online documentary in its single state seems quite self-explanatory. From a quick glance, the idea of developing a documentary based on a factual or socially relevant topic seemed simple enough.

From a young age, watching the National Geographic documentaries informed most of my knowledge back then. As I grew older, I began to come across various other documentaries that revealed more than that of a simple informative nature film. According to Bill Nichols (2001), there are 6 modes of documentary: Poetic, Expository, Observational, Participatory, Reflexive and Performative.

Initially, as I contemplate the vast range of socially relevant topics available to explore as well as the types of documentary methods to implement, I am finding it quite difficult to narrow down what I want to explore and address. Considering the time frame and short period of time allocated to this concept development, I know that the conceptual idea for the documentary will need to be quite simple. The only thing I am certain about at this stage regarding the concept is that I want to tell stories.

I have always loved the idea of being able to tell and share a story with not just one person but with many people. It is usually able to trigger emotions within other people and I just find it so fascinating. Miller describes the role of storytelling as not only being able to “transport the audience on a thrilling journey into an imaginary world, but it can also reveal dark secrets of human behaviour or inspire the audience with the desire to do noble deeds.” (Miller 2008, p. 4)

Thankfully, with constantly evolving and emerging technologies readily available at hand, we are able to create digital interactive documentaries that allow further engagement with these stories and narratives. At this stage though, without a concept in mind, it is quite difficult for me to even consider how interactivity will play a role within this documentary.

References & Additional References

Miller, C. H. 2008, Digital Storytelling: A Creator’s Guide to Interactive Entertainment, Focal Press, Boston.

Nichols, B. 2001, ‘Chapter 6: What Types of Documentary are there?’, in Introduction to Documentary, Indiana University Press, Bloomington. <>


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