Dan Hume's Blog


BBC – The Virtual Revolution – 3D Interactive Documentary Explorer
February 5, 2012, 2:13 am
Filed under: Extended Major Project

Phil introduced me to the new approach to making a documentary called, The Virtual Revolution. This is a British television documentary series presented by Aleks Krotoski, which began airing on BBC Two on 30 January 2010. A co-production between the BBC and the Open University, the series looks at the impact the World Wide Web has had since its inception 20 years ago. The series took a different approach to BBC documentary making by encouraging an open and collaborative production.

Now this is a similar approach to what I want to achieve for my documentary project, except mine will be more broken down and simplified in comparison to this. It’s this concept of being able to explore more than just what you’re watching. We live in a fast world with many distractions. I find it hard to believe that people, now-a-days, can sit and watch a documentary or any sort of video for more than half and hour without the erg to do something else.

I think the crucial ingredient to engage people more with is ‘interactivity’. People want to be able to choose what they want to watch and this is why I’ve chosen to create something that offers the user some form of exploration other than just watching a straightforward documentary.

I think this also relates to how BBCi Player functions, where you are able to choose what program you want to watch and when you want. Although the programmes are available  for a limited time, it still makes watching TV a more convenient experience than prioritising your time around the broadcast schedule.

The 3D Documentary Explorer is a radical new way of telling the story of The Virtual Revolution, using video clips from the first two episodes of the series.

Once you click to launch the Explorer, press pause or play to move between ‘Watch’ and ‘Explore’ modes. In ‘Explore’ mode, click the arrows to the right and left of the video to see pictures of web pages relevant to that clip. Click on the link above the web page to load it in your web browser.

Here is a visual demonstration.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
BBC – The Virtual Revolution – 3D Interactive D…, posted with vodpod

The 3D Documentary Explorer lets you use the web to find out more about the stories that we’ve been exploring for the ‘The Virtual Revolution’.

Click to launch the Explorer, and you will see the story space appear and fill with images representing the web pages that will be the starting points for your own journey.

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