Case Studies

To get a greater idea about what type of documentary I want to produce, I have been researching a few other online documentaries that are similar in either subject matter or form. Below just a few notes I jotted down whilst viewing these works:



–       Focuses on overpopulation, but has interesting use of viewer metadata

–       Each person is asked ‘If you had an extra minute, what would you do’? à these results are compiled at the end of the documentary

–       Users can explore how each individual person answers à could be used for the question ‘What do you fear’

–       Twitter handles representing viewers increasingly fill the screen à demonstrate the ills of overpopulation

–       Data is compiled by key words, but full responses can be explored at a viewer’s digression.


Users' responses are gathered and then can be explored in a variety of fashions
Users’ responses are gathered and then can be explored in a variety of fashions


–       Stand alone short film, but covers some interesting aspects of fear à try to take themes discussed in this and add more interactive element

–       Fear: program that infects rationale though

–       Is fear an innate quality in all humans à adaptive quality of fear

–       “We needed to be afraid of certain things to survive.”

–       Fear as a valuable psychological device

–       Superstitious habits vs. superstitious responses

–       “What we needed to be afraid of to survive.”

–       Functional fears vs. irrational fears

–       Religion is something people find comforting à fear of death pacified by religious devotion.

–       Religion, a societal way of coping with anxieties???

–       Physiological response to fear à increased heart beat, enhancement of the senses,

–       News media preferentially feeds us negative stories, what we are most likely to pay attention to. “If it bleeds it leads”

–       In groups and out groups

–       Substituting our fears for something else



–       Uses available metadata and presents it in an interactive an engaging manner

–       Size of icons increase depending on how many phrase/words are said

–       How can I use existing or collect my own metadata to create an interesting project?

–       Politalk puts data on a chronological continuum. Could I map society’s changing fears over time? Is this data available?

–       Data can be viewed in different forms and is presented in different ways, although it is mostly based on the same data.



–       Viewers can organize a time to speak to other insomnia –sufferers at which point they are connected by webcam. Could people with similar fears be connected so they can discuss their shared terror?

–       User interaction is the predominate feature of this documentary, minimal interviews and other information

–       The effect is powerful, a more immersive experience then being told/informed


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