Collaborative Documentary / Transmedia Factual Storytelling

Curator's Note

The recent development of transmedia storytelling is a challenge affecting film production and distribution worldwide. As is widely known, new media theorist Henry Jenkins (2006) attempted to define the term in his book Convergence Culture: ‘A transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms with each new text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole’. Over the past 10 years, within the factual transmedia context, an increasingly demanding documentary marketplace has forced filmmakers and producers to conceptualise and develop new approaches to engaging with audiences. As a result of this, the transmedia documentary form is actively involved in rethinking how new digital technologies can be used for audience activism and for promoting open conversations about specific topics that matter to us: users. The number of projects identifiable as transmedia interactive documentaries, also known as i-Docs as defined and theorised by the i-Doc community (, is increasing each year and include: Collabdocs (collaborative documentary meets the networked culture - Mandy Rose). Transmedia collaborative documentaries (Collabdocs) have been researched and analysed over the years by several scholars, including: Sandra Gaudenzi, Jon Dovey, Patricia Zimmermann, William Uricchio and, I particular, Many Rose with her blog which explore a large variety of contemporary documentary forms of co-creativity ( Collaboration, in transmedia, can happen in a number of different ways. The examples included in the slideshow are key participative examples that, we believe, help understanding different methodologies of co-production/distribution. As a case study and element of discussion, we would like to introduce ‘Take One’, a collaborative, educational and interdisciplinary transmedia project (prototype). It actively involved the departments of Media and Primary education at Leeds Trinity University (UK) and Valley View Primary School in Leeds (UK). The project’s primary objective was the creation of a number of short collaborative films (fiction and documentary), entirely conceptualised, shot and interactively edited by pupils of the primary school. The creative process was developed through the vision, analysis and recontextualisation (remix) of a feature film. After having watched the film to stimulate their creativity, the children were asked to come up with their own stories. At an educational level the pupils actively learnt elements of film culture (with the film screening) and filmmaking (both with their film practice and being filmed by the university students for documentary purposes). The software for interactive editing used, for its relative simplicity, is Klynt ( The pupils filmed their films using iPads.

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