Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Kat Cizek: Out of My Window at #PINYC
There were many speakers in the morning session of The BAVC Producers Institute Public Conference day in NYC,(#pinyc) but I have chosen to focus on the documentary/multiplatform projects that struck me as most important.
First up Kat Cizek. Cizek spoke at two points in the day about her project Out of My Window—http://interactive.nfb.ca/#/outmywindow/ Cizek spoke about documentarians needing to seize new tools for storytelling that empower audience to be an active part of the storytelling. Out of My Window is the world’s first 360 degree feature length documentary and is part of a larger project, ‘Highrise’ it is also the first idfa doclab award winner for a digital story http://www.doclab.org/. Cizek’s view of her project is that it challenges long-held notions that in the past have made documentarians reject collaborative storytelling. As she sees it, Out of my Window shows that you can be collaborative and yet have an authored piece, and that technological innovation is no excuse for poor storytelling. She talked about the difference in creating this project as opposed to a documentary: when she thought she was finished with the Out of My Window story, she had really just begun – what followed was a lengthy period of user testing and learning to examine how people navigated the story. She advised on the essential need to identify your goals and chose your measuring stick for a project like this and was incredibly generous about divulging costs: According to Cizek the project cost 25K in Canadian dollars for image collection and 125K for everything else. She also talked through her process – most of the assets for the project were gathered by local collaborators and reassembled by Cizek in Canada. Cizek cites the 25 page Style Guide that she produced to work with local collaborators as a key part of the project’s success, so too the sound design of the piece-- small sound files that could be randomized. Cizek was open to sharing her style guide publicly. The BAVC site is the most likely place it will be available –I will look out for this (could be a useful guide). She also talked about the technology used to create the 360 video – a 5 camera system made by Yellowbird, a Netherlands-based company http://www.yellowbirdsdonthavewingsbuttheyflytomakeyouexperiencea3dreality.com/ although panoramic video, Australia http://www.panoramicvideo.com.au/contact.php
was also mentioned as another company developing similar a camera. Do check out the Out My Window project – it’s really stunning