Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Meet Meograph, and online storytelling tool

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Innovation” and “startup” have become buzzwords in the journalism and publishing industries as companies try to find new ways to tell stories. But sometimes the best tools come from people in other industries — such as aerospace engineering at MIT. Misha Leybovich, an international technology consultant, likes to tell stories the old-fashioned way: in person.   …Continue Reading


Behind the scenes of “Inside Disaster”

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If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you know that I am a huge fan of the “choose-your-own-adventure” packages. Thus, when Katie McKenna contacted me about her site “Inside the Haiti Earthquake” I knew I wanted to feature it in a behind the scenes post so that you all can learn more about how they put it together. You may have already come across the site since it’s a few years old. However, if you are like me and somehow missed it, then now’s the time to learn more about it! Here is Katie’s account of the site and the larger package within which it lives called “Inside Disaster.”


Behind the scenes of NFB’s One Millionth Tower

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I am thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with Kat Cizek, Emmy award winner and director of Highrise, an innovative project by NFB on urbanization and highrise architecture around the world. Last year I featured an earlier project in the series, Out My Window. They recently released their latest project One Millionth Tower, which is an immersive 3D virtual documentary built with HTML5, webGL, open-source Javascript libraries and numerous APIs. You can either watch the 7-minute documentary is a passive, sit-back fashion or as an interactive 3D experience. For users with dated computer technology, there is also a simple HTML version. Hopefully you can experience the “super-techie version” (as Kat says!).


Behind the scenes of JSOnline’s “Empty Cradles”

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I have blogged about JSOnline’s impressive multimedia packages several times in the past. This time around I’m excited to take you behind the scenes of “Empty Cradles,” an in-depth series on infant mortality in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read my Q&A with fellow UNC grad Emily Yount, who helped produce many of the interactive pieces for this package.


Behind the scenes of “Goa hippy tribe”

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Last January I took you behind the scenes of “Africa to Australia,” a multimedia site by SBS Online. Their latest project “Goa hippy tribe” is another Flash-heavy, video-rich site that incorporates Facebook connect to personalize the experience. I was hesitant to blog about this site though due to the nudity and open dialogue about drug use, but then I realized that this is actually a great vehicle to discuss rationale behind telling these types of stories. So, I invite you to read the following Q&A with Darius Devas (Director), Nick Doherty (Managing Editor, TV Online) and Matt Smith (Designer and Developer), then I’d love to hear your thoughts on the site.


Behind the scenes of “Reframing Mexico”

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Thirty-two students from UNC Chapel Hill and Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology will soon publish their latest documentary project, Reframing Mexico, which documents stories other than the drug war in Mexico. Several months ago I attended a screening of the stories and by far my favorite was Cath Spangler’s “Enough to survive,” a story about a mother who works in a dump to feed her children. Thus, I asked her to detail her experience finding her story subject, dealing with unexpected challenges while documenting in the field, and finding a way to give back to the mother.


Behind the scenes: “Soul of Athens: Our dreams are different”

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For this year’s Soul the senior producers came up with the idea that we should have a small number of strong stand out stories. For past Soul projects the number of stories was anywhere from 25-40. For this year’s project we decided to have 15 stories. This set the bar extremely high for the students to create multimedia projects that would stand out not only with strong visuals, but that told great stories as well.


Behind the scenes of “Love to Leave”

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I was recently notified about “Love to Leave,” a capstone multimedia website by Syracuse University recent graduate Marlei Martinez. I have highlighted other impressive individual student projects in the past, and I believe this two-year initiative is another great example of what one student can produce. I thought that II readers would also like to learn more about Marlei’s impressive quest to document online dating in the Philippines so I asked her to write a “behind the scenes” look at the project.


Behind the scenes of “Africa to Australia”

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Many of you may know that I am a big fan of interactive documentaries. So, when Matt Smith of SBS Online approached me about their newest interactive “Africa to Australia,” I knew that I wanted to take you behind the scenes. Six videos and six photo stories document the stories of African refugees and immigrants living in Australia. Each is presented in a full-browser Flash interface, and deep-linked for easy access. Moreover, all content is presented in seven languages, from English and French to Dinka and Swahili.


Behind the scenes: Unveiling MediaStorm’s website redesign

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“I don’t know if you can hear it in my voice, but I’m wiped.” It’s the Saturday after a complete redesign of his company’s website, and Brian Storm, executive producer and founder of MediaStorm, does indeed sound exhausted. If you know the unending energy of Storm, you’ll appreciate this admission. With seven full-time staff and an intern, this small Brooklyn New York based company spent the better part of a year quietly reinventing it’s web-based image. When considering that job was handled primarily by about half the staff, you start to get an idea of how immersive this experience must have been for those involved.


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