Julia Scott-Stevenson

Julia is a writer and researcher of all things documentary, and even dabbles in making them herself from time to time.

In a Tizz about Transmedia

31 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

It may all contain grains of truth, but my goodness there is a lot of codswallop being written and said about the power of digital storytelling to connect people/save the rhinoceros/bring you tea in bed, etc., etc. I suppose it’s a fine line between encouraging the development of groundbreaking work and peddling in hyperbole (and I may have ended up on the wrong side of the line now and then), but perhaps occasionally it’s useful to all just take a deep breath and rein it in a bit.


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Interview with Lourdes Portillo

28 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

One of the grand dames of documentary filmmaking has some insights to share from her years telling stories about women, human rights, and Latin America. Lourdes Portillo is a filmmaker whose work crosses fiction and non-fiction, and POV has posted a video interview with her.

Portillo talks about her desire to see documentaries that incorporate more comedy, playfulness and art – “There’s a seriousness that is just overwhelming, like a dark cloud over our heads,” she says. She’s hopeful that increasing cross-genre work will help address this. “That is the great thing about documentary, that we’re adhering to truth as we see it,” she says. “But at the same time, there’s a lot of possibilities, of art, imagination, poetry, metaphor, allegory, all of that.” Watch the interview to see more soundbites and some snippets of her films as well.


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One Plastic Beach

27 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

One Plastic Beach is a short online video that follows artists Richard Lang and Judith Selby Lang as they collect plastic that has washed up on a one-kilometre stretch of beach in northern California. In two hours of fossicking they can collect 75 pounds of plastic, more than they can carry back home.


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Life in a Day on Earth?

22 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

I'm not sure which idea came first, but it seems there are two competing projects to capture life as it's lived by millions around the globe over the space of 24 hours.


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Enjoy the show, folks…

21 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

After repeating in a recent post Ira Glass’s exhortation to use your natural voice in narration, I now come across a blog by Basil Tsiokos of Sundance Film Festival coming at the same issue from a different angle.


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What have you learnt from documentary?

20 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

Christopher Campbell, who writes a biweekly DocTalk column for Cinematical, has written a post on the educational value (or otherwise) of documentaries. He sounds fairly jaded about the whole question, but does generally (if reluctantly) grant that docos can have educational value. I like to be a tad more optimistic, but he does make some incisive points about a lot of the films made in the last year.


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Soul Patron

19 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

I just stumbled across Soul Patron, a beautiful interactive webdocumentary about Japan.  The viewer joins Tokotoko, a small soft toy who is journeying across Japan to reach a shrine.  In each stop on the journey a home screen provides links to various points of interest at the location where you can take a closer look. This might be more information about how to cleanse yourself at the entrance to a shrine, or a close-up shot of water trickling over a ledge.  The video footage is stunning, although to begin with there’s not a lot of it.  In a way it feels almost too interactive - almost nothing happens without clicking somewhere, and at risk of sounding lazy, sometimes as a viewer I just want to be led. 


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Online shorts

14 January 2011 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

Killian Fox has written in the Observer a great analysis of short films on the web.


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About this Blog

Julia Scott-Stevenson Julia is a writer and researcher of all things documentary, and even dabbles in making them herself from time to time. She lived in the Pacific Islands of Fiji and Samoa for a few years, where she made a documentary about the inaugural Miss Tokelau beauty pageant and a short documentary about climate change in Samoa, which screened at the inaugural Pacific Climate Change Film Festival. While in the Pacific she was subjected to limited internet connectivity, and was staggered to discover the possibilities in online documentary on her return at the end of 2008. She has since been making up for lost time by undertaking a PhD researching cross-platform documentary, and also working on a database documentary about volunteers. Julia is also on the programming team for Antenna International Documentary Film Festival.

 
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