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rriddle @ infi.net (Randy A. Riddle) writes:
 
>What about laserdisk or CD-ROM "documentaries"?  Prelinger's
>interactive "You Can't Get There From Here", available on laserdisk
>from Voyager, is a prime example of how an audio/visual presentation
>medium can be used to explore the history of a topic.  The "Sound in
>Motion" CD-ROM that is based on the 16mm documentary about
>contemporary poetry might also be interesting to explore as well.
>...Inclusion of expansions (ie, video, CD-ROM,
>interactive laserdisk) on the form (film) can provide students with a
>look towards the future of the documentary and it's potential for
>telling a story or sending a message to the viewer.
 
Multimedia "interactive documentaries" definitely deserve a look -- they offer
a whole new approach to documentary-style storytelling, and the effect can be
just as engrossing and moving as film.  One critically acclaimed CD-ROM is
NORMANDY:  THE GREAT CRUSADE.  It's based on the Discovery Channel documentary
of the same name, but *not* a reversioning of the television documentary (it
was finished months before the show, with different material); it can be viewed
as a cinema-style multimedia presentation or browsed through at will, and
includes letters and diary entries, radio broadcasts, photos, movies, articles,
etc.  It's a good introduction to the possibilities of the medium.
 
The CD-ROM on poetry mentioned above is POETRY IN MOTION and I think it's
published by Voyager; you can get it at bookstores or from Giorno Poetry
Systems in New York City.  It is a reversioning of the original documentary of
the same name (made in the mid-80s?) & features video readings and text of
poems by famous and not-so-famous poets.  Its advantage over the film is that
you can go straight to what you want to see; however, it sticks to the film doc
material, and is not as interactive as some other titles.
 
PASSAGE TO VIETNAM is getting a lot of attention in the CD-ROM press now; I
haven't seen it yet, but it's probably worth a look.
 
I would be interested in hearing from anyone who's used CD-ROM documentaries or
knows of others worth exploring; I also welcome discussions on the potential of
interactive documentaries now & in the future, as technology evolves -- should
they get more cinematic?  more novelistic?
 
Molly Olsen
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