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The Editor's Blog

Contemplations and digressions from Filmmaker's Editor-in-Chief by Scott Macaulay

Filmmaker Announces Collaboration with MIT Open Documentary Lab

in Columns
on Mar 7, 2013

Should filmmakers learn to code? That’s the question posed by MIT Open Documentary Lab’s Sarah Wolozin in her introduction to a 12-part series beginning today at Filmmaker. And, amidst all of our discussion in our pages about DSLR cameras and crowdfunding and audience engagement strategies, it’s a question that we’ve contemplated too. We wouldn’t think of telling a director he or she doesn’t need to know anything about lenses, or sound design or dramatic lighting. So, as filmmaking begins to embrace transmedia — extending story beyond the film frame — why shouldn’t producers and directors know something about the tools their potential collaborators use?

Coding is a skill that may or may not be practical for filmmakers to pick up. But what will be essential is for filmmakers to learn how to talk to technologists. If filmmakers want to maintain a degree of creative control over their characters and story worlds, they will need to understand the methods designers, developers and coders use in digital storytelling so as to contribute meaningfully to the process.

Filmmaker is happy to be collaborating with MIT’s Open Documentary Lab on this series, which will both introduce to our readers exciting artists working within the realms of interactive storytelling and transmedia as well as provide insight into their creative processes and career paths. First up are the folks from Zeega, a new interactive storytelling platform. Check back every Thursday for the next ten weeks for a new interview.

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