Because interactive documentaries are still new to the world of non-fiction expression there are many questions surrounding their form and meaning. These questions have come up in interviews about the project with several reporters and the community. I express to people that linear films are meant for passive consumption whereas interactive film encourages active participation and allow the user to determine the narrative. Additionally, we believe the design of “Hollow" as a participatory project should reflect its final design, as an interactive and immersive HTML5 website.
To further express this, I wanted to share this quote from “Alternative and Activist New Media.”
“Mass media systems may have enormous persuasive power, but people’s principal mode of engagement with mass media is basically receptive. Exposure to or reception of a message may or may not provoke action on the part of the receiver…in contrast, new media systems do not just deliver content; people must actively use them to do something, i.e., search, share, recommend, link, argue, and so on. Use is an action by definition, which may encourage new media users toward more involved social and cultural participation online and off. We might argue that it is a much shorter step from use/interaction to participation than from exposure/reception to participation.”
The goal of “Hollow” is to engage the McDowell County community in the creation of new images of “self” and “environment.” With this new identity we hope that the community will begin to work together toward common goals of improvement.