Newer new media
|Zan Azlee is a documentary filmmaker, journalist, writer, New Media practitioner and lecturer. He runs Fat Bidin Media www.fatbidin.com|
JUNE 15 — I’ve always had the idea that multimedia or interactive content meant that it had to be able to be delivered over traditional and also new media. Basically, I thought that if you produce this kind of content, you could have a version on television, radio, print and the Internet at the same time.
Many of my documentary projects have been based on this concept and have always been designed so I can adapt the content for any kind of media.
For example, my latest project, which I shot in Afghanistan, appeared on television, the Internet and print media.
And to be honest, I think that this particular concept is already quite interesting and innovative. In fact, it has allowed my content to be more widely accessible.
But this week, I had this point of view totally transformed. I’m currently attending the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival in England as part of the Malaysian delegation.
The first few events of the festival consisted of presentations and conferences. And one of the presentations that interested me was by Channel 4 UK.
The broadcaster’s multiplatform commissioner, Kate Quilton, talked about one of their projects which was a documentary programme about wild foxes.
Basically, the programme, titled “Foxes Live: Wild in the City”, was a reality show observing the lives and behaviour of foxes that live around the country
But what made this programme unique and different was the fact that it was multimedia and interactive.
And no, the words “multimedia” and “interactive” did not have the same meaning as I thought they had.
What the producers of the programme did was to look at photographs and video content as data, rather than just solely content alone.
A portal was set up to allow the public to submit videos and photographs, even text data, that they have recorded around their area relating to foxes.
All this data is submitted along with the times and locations of where it was gathered. The producers process this data and then present it on the portal itself.
Then, from this same data that is gathered, a television documentary programme is designed to be broadcast on, well, traditional television media.
So instead of shooting the television programme and then adapting the content for different media, the entire process is reversed.
The actual production of the programme wouldn’t even be possible without the multimedia and interactivity element. In fact, the production becomes the content too.
You are able to go online to the portal and check out all the videos of these foxes all around England. Then you turn on the television and see how it is all interpreted.
Or, you can also choose to go vice versa. Watch the television programme and understand all about the lives and behaviour of foxes. Then go online for the raw data.
And if you think about it, not only is it interactive, it also incorporates user-generated content. Now that is what I call fully utilising new media.
It’s amazing how technology can so rapidly change the way we consume media. And now, it has also very rapidly affected the way the media is actually conceptualised.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.