Julia Scott-Stevenson

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

Giving Time: A foray into the world of the webdoc

13 August 2013 | 0:00 - By Julia Scott-Stevenson

SBS Documentary's very own Julia Scott-Stevenson makes a bold leap into the world of the webdoc with her new project, Giving Time.


Over the last couple of years of digging up morsels of interactive documentary news for your consumption, I’ve also been beavering away making my own webdoc. Called Giving Time, it tells the stories of a wide range of volunteers with Australian Red Cross, and it’s finally live!

It is, I hope, a reasonable example of a webdoc made on a tight budget. Giving Time is essentially a collection of short clips containing volunteering profiles and stories, and is designed to be dipped into and out of however you choose. For example, one clip shows Beryl, who’s 88 years old and has been inundated with elephant figurines by her family. Another is a profile of Mal, who talks about some of the harrowing experiences he’s had at a disaster evacuation centre. Australian Red Cross will be gradually rolling out the webdoc over their social media channels in the coming weeks.

I used Klynt (which I’ve written about here) as the software tool to build the webdoc, and would highly recommend it for anyone without the funds for a web developer. It involves a very user-friendly storyboard interface that sets out visual connections between the different elements of the webdoc.

The project is in HTML5, which allows video to be fully embedded in a website, rather than in a break-out player. It does mean, though, that not all browsers are compatible. For Giving Time, it’s best viewed in Chrome or Safari. Klynt, as well as the plethora of similar emerging template tools for webdocs, are all still quite new, so there are a few bugs here and there. But overall, it’s been a lot of fun playing around with the design and construction.

So visit Giving Time and meet some of the fabulous Red Cross volunteers I’ve been interviewing over the last couple of years. As a huge fan of the webdoc form, it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to be sending my own out into the world. I hope you enjoy it!

Image: The Klynt storyboard interface for Giving Time.

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Comments (2)

21 Aug 2013 12:30 AEST

Thanks ProDoc

From: Sydney

Didn't know SBS wrote there own Advertorial

Thanks ProDoc, I got your link. I think this article should come under Advertorial. Checked out The Journey of Documentary website as well Looks fantastic a wealth of doco professionals interviewed. A great Australain made resource for film professionals.

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21 Aug 2013 10:01 AEST


From: Sydney

Site is slow

Good idea, checked the site. So slow and not user friendly. But I love how amateurs now have a medium to release there work. People need to remember that before they make there website live, it needsnto work or there story just gets lost.

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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.