With most documentaries, there is to be an overlying narrative regarding the topic in order to reveal or showcase certain ideas. Honestly, I haven’t really thought of it in this regard.

I wanted to kind of just address the idea and let the content speak for itself rather than trying to tell people that ‘this is the idea I am going for’ and ‘here is my proof!’. I want people to interact with this project and essentially make up their own mind regarding the topic and what the documentary is trying to say; I want it to be their own interpretation. I want them to be able to immerse themselves and individually create a sense of meaning from whatever they interpret from the project content.

Content will be gathered through traditional methods of interview. This will be completed through planned interviews with chosen interviewees as well as vox pops in various locations.

This project’s content and rhetoric style will be interactive and reflexive.

Points that I hope will be covered will be in regards to:

  • What is happiness?
  • What does it mean to you?
  • How do we obtain this happiness?
  • Have you ever been unhappy? Why?
  • Is there a generational ‘happiness gap’ between the young and the old?

There will be about 6 interviews (at this stage, these are unconfirmed due to various factors) that will hopefully showcase a spectrum of community members and ages.

The other major component to content gathering will be done through user-generated content. This will be completed through vlog recordings, audio sound bits, user-submitted photos, handwritten notes, surveys, questionnaires, content ‘feedback’ forms sent through social media platforms, as well as any ‘creative’ product created that they wish to contribute.

Just to show you what kind of user-generated content I will be looking for, I asked some of my friends through brief instruction to ‘submit’ some concept videos to showcase what potentially these user-generated content would look like.

As you can see, the primary purpose of these user-generated content is to make it as ‘authentic’ as possible. Video clips such as the ones above are extremely ‘vlog’ like and therefore tend to feel more personal and authentic than an interview that has been setup or structured. This will therefore make the documentary more immersive because of the personal connections that can be established between the audience and the content shown in the project.

These questions and actions will ask/prompt the participants to think about:

  • What does happiness mean to you?
  • What role do you think happiness plays in your life?
  • Why do you think people strive to be happy?
  • How do you strive to be happy?
  • What’s your best advice to someone who feels unhappy?
  • Share a story about the time you were incredibly happy –
  • Was there a time where you were unhappy? Why?
  • How did this unhappiness affect you and others around you?

Participants will be given the agency to choose whatever questions they wish to answer.

Once the content is collected, there will be a process of categorising them according to their type such as: video, audio, pictures, short stories, text posts and quotes.

These digital online media content will then be structured and coordinated according to categoric tags and will be displayed as an interactive 3D exhibition-like gallery that will be interactive for users to click on and view. You can kind of get the idea here in terms of what I want it to look like.

The way the content will be shown will be addressed in-depth in the interface/experience post.


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