Welcome to Pine Point was meant to be a book… it is now becoming a cross-platform project… and an interactive documentary produced by the NFB of Canada.
This interactive documentary tells the story of a city that has been totally destroyed in the last ten years. Although the documentary is fundamentally linear (you can only press the next/previous tab and click on some photos) the quality of the narrative, and of the combination between graphics and video, is outstanding! A real piece of craft work… and maybe a good example of Lev Manovich’s “deep remixability” applied to the new media documentary world.
Here is how the project is described in its Press Release:
Toronto, January 26, 2011 – Imagine your hometown never changed. That no one ever grew old or moved on. Part book, part film, part family photo album, Welcome to Pine Point unearths a place frozen in time and discovers what happens when an entire community is erased from the map.
Welcome to Pine Point is the first online interactive documentary from internationally renowned Vancouver-based creative team The Goggles (Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons), produced in collaboration with the NFB’s director of digital content and strategy, Rob McLaughlin. Inspired by Simons’ childhood visit to a mining town in the Northwest Territories, Welcome to Pine Point is accessible through NFB Interactive, the NFB’s online portal, which showcases an evolving collection of innovative, interactive stories exploring the world—and our place in it—from uniquely Canadian points of view.
Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons are award-winning authors, artists and creative directors. They have spent most of their professional lives telling stories in compelling new ways, creating unique books, magazines and television spots. They are most known for their award-winning work with Adbusters Magazine.
Find out more:
Watch Pinepoint online
For me Welcome to Pine Point is both a success, and a disappointment. The story is strong, hence one wants to watch it all, the graphics are very beautiful, it is sticky and playful. Basically: it works! This should be enough no?
Well… the only problem with it is that it is fundamentally linear… so… what does it say about interactive documentaries? Does it confirm to us that linear narrative is the best way to communicate stories, or does it just prove that linear is easier to do? I obviously think that interactive narratives are possible… so that is where my disappointment comes from: Pine Point was meant to be a book… and I think you can tell. There are elements of interactivity in it, but that is not its strength. Its strength is a grabbing story, fantastic use of graphics and animation, and a good music track… it sits on the web, but does not use its interactive possibilities at its full.
Still worth watching it though…
This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 1st, 2011