Interactive documentaries are a really exciting format due to how it engages people within the new media approach, oppose to the traditional style of documentaries. Many people may argue this way of documentary people don’t take that serious, due to the way it’s constructed in more of an interesting way. For example the use of fancy graphics and animations. However this doesn’t really mean that something isn’t the truth, I believe it just because they are used to the traditional style of documentary, which is understandable. According to I-docs, “For us any project that starts with an intention to document the ‘real’ and that does so by using digital interactive technology can be considered an I-doc. What unities all these projects is this intersection between digital and interactive technology and documentary practice. Where these two things come together the audience becomes active agents within documentary”.(Linington, n.d.) I believe the innovative features of I-docs changed the style of viewing from the past for example passive viewers oppose to more of an active viewer in todays world, and has benefited hugely. As we know people can switch off after a while when watching documentaries on screen, but due to the interaction we have online the audience feel much more involved watching it in a interactive form. Not forgetting the style of documentary forces people to be active meaning they are always to up to date with the latest documentaries. Even though I-docs keep the conventions of documentaries it’s how the audience convey the message in such a unique way. Margaret Looney states “These typically online films leave behind a digital footprint, enabling data streams to be collected for evaluation. Filmmakers can track how long people view certain segments as well as where they’re coming from… Flahive said people don’t stay for very long, usually just about seven minutes, but they frequently come back for more” (Looney, 2012)
Another important factor of I-docs is that its much cheaper to deliver oppose to the production of a traditional documentary, which is certainly an advantage. I suppose this why there is a big scale of interactive docs being produce daily online. Another key element is that it is accessible for the masses as everyone can watch it on the go, for example on their smartphones, tablets etc. With the transformation of new media I suppose this brought the change in documentary forms being delivered in this particular way such as social media and how everyone interacts, sharing the views and communicating. It’s a really interactive world we live in today and basically everything on the Internet is linked, with the help of the rise of web 2.0.
In summary the future looks bright for interactive documentaries being a new era of documentaries especially as we have moved on and most importantly technology has evolved. People will argue whether that’s complete a good thing as it could have even more of an effect on the conventions of documentary such as actuality. As some believe you cant take them serious, even though people may be frequently watching online, it doesn’t get the straightforward message from a traditional documentary.
Linington, J. (n.d) About- i-Docs: a site dedicated to interactive documentary. Available at: http://i-docs.org/about-idocs/ (Accessed: 6 March 2015).
Looney, M. and (2012) Six pros and cons of interactive documentaries. Available at: https://ijnet.org/en/stories/six-pros-and-cons-interactive-documentaries (Accessed: 6 March 2015).