Charlotte, Joe & Bradley
WHAT IS AN INTERACTIVE
DOCUMENTARY?An interactive documentary consists of the film maker having a role in the
documentary and shows the engagement between film maker and the
subject. The documentary acknowledges the presence of the camera and
The interviewees are being filmed responding to questions asked of them
and they can then make their personal case.
There is synchronous sound recording due to the question and answer
dialogue by the interviewees; the interviewees may be edited to look foolish
or deluded by their personal interpretation of events, which creates the
interactive documentary to be untrustworthy in some cases.
This interaction means that the focus is on the exchange of information
rather than the creation of an objective view. The audience may read
interactive documentaries as being more honest because there is no
attempt to hide the camera and crew.
CONVENTIONS OF AN INTERACTIVE
Long take interviews dominate but tend to be informal, ‘on the run’
Location shooting- Handheld camera.
Use of archive material- stills, news footage, newspaper headlines,
Synchronous direct sound recording.
Voiceover, usually by the documentary-maker.
Documentary maker is visible to the audience, they intervene and
participate in the action.
‘Hollow’ is an interactive documentary that merges cinematic techniques
with web-based storytelling to encourage a dialogue about the issues
that small-town America faces. (2013)
Nick Broomfield work, such as Kurt and Courtney (1998)
investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Kurt
Cobain and allegations of Courtney Love’s involvement.
EXAMPLE OF AN INTERACTIVE
Handheld camera, to give the realism effect and to engage the
Some direct address but usually the interviewees speech is edited to
only give little information; usually clips and images are shown whilst
the interviewee is speaking.
Cuts/jump cuts to keep the audience interested in the action.
Sound effects- gun shot symbolises death, police sirens represent
crime (links to genre)