Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Due on Thurs

Before Thursday's class, post up on the blog a couple paragraphs about what your flash "documentary" site will be about. Please address the four components of the project, further explained below below, in your summary (1. What are your three sections, 2. How will you combine images and text, 3. How will you use audio, 4. How will you incorporate some simple animation). The next few paragraphs give some parameters for the project. This project could be something you incorporate into your html site, or it could be a completely separate site.

Your next assignment -- which will take up most of the rest of the semester -- will be to make a "documentary" in flash. I put "documentary" in quotes because you don't neccessarily have to document a real thing -- this could be a fictional documentary. It could be a "documentary" about an animal or a historical figure who never existed -- who you simply invented. The visuals could all be drawings. In this way, you'll be using the "documentary" as a format -- a way of presenting information -- and not neccessarily as a jounalistic medium.

Of course, if you want to do an actual documentary, on a real subject that you research, gathering visual assets, taking interviews, etc, that would be great. And it doesn't have to be a document of something really grandiose and "historical" -- you could make a documentary about a day in your life, a documentary about your daydreams, about your favorite cereal, your pets, the various haircuts you've had, whatever. If you are doing some sort of historical piece, I may allow you to use some copyrighted material, though I prefer it if all the images you use are your own (talk to me if you intend to use copyrighted images). The main thing is to make it fun for yourself, so that you keep yourself engaged in the project.

There are a few things your project will need. These are:

1. There must be at least three seperate section the viewer can navigate to (if it's a documentary about an animal, for example, there might be a section on its anatomy, a section that has a map on its habitat, and perhaps a third section on its evolution).

2. At least one section must use a combination of images and text that the viewer can read.

3. At least one section must use audio in some way (as voiceover, as musical accompaniment, as sound effects, or what have you).

4. At least one section must incoprporate some animation (this could be aimated text; it doesn't have to be a fully animted figure).

And here are some examples of web documentaries that use Flash, that you should raid for ideas and approaches:

These first two have a good depth of information and terrific design:



This is a simpler, but effective presnetation of images and stories:


The following two have a really nice design sense, using transtions and organizing their information effectively:



This site effectively uses a map as its narrative backbone:


The graphics are rather crude in this, but it's a sensible use of still pictures, audio, and a small video clip to get an idea across:


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