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Welcome to the MIT Open Documentary Lab

The OpenDocLab brings technologists, storytellers, and scholars together to advance the new arts of documentary.
Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism

Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism

Supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The MIT Open Documentary Lab conducted an eight-month research project mapping and assessing the dynamics of an ongoing convergence between interactive and participatory documentary...
"Walden, a game," presented by Tracy Fullerton [Feb. 9th at the Open Doc Lab]

“Walden, a game,” presented by Tracy Fullerton [Feb. 9th at the Open Doc Lab]

“Walden, a game,” presented by the game’s designer Tracy Fullerton, Director of the USC Game Innovation Lab. Walden, a game, is an experiment in play about an experiment in living, simulating Thoreau’s experience living a...
Sandra Rodriguez | Rewriting Publics

Sandra Rodriguez | Rewriting Publics

_ReWriting publics, by MIT OpenDocLab Fellow Sandra Rodriguez, is a research-creation project that aims to rethink social change and public engagement through transmedia platforms. Interactive, participatory installations and webdocs are becoming part of our...
Latest entries
Upcoming conference in Berlín |Feb. 6th

Upcoming conference in Berlín |Feb. 6th

OpenDocLAb Fellow, Lara Baladi will take part in Anxious to Act, part of Conversation Piece Transmediale Berlin this February. On Saturday, February 6, Baladi will participate with her project Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, in the Hybrid event, Five Years After moderated by Oliver Lerone Schultz. Following the panel, Baladi will take part in Tactical Media and the Archive, a workshop, moderated by David Garcia and Eric Kluitenberg. Under the name Conversation Piece, transmediale reboots the format of...
The Internet is the Wild West |Suvi Andrea Helminen

The Internet is the Wild West |Suvi Andrea Helminen

The Internet is the Wild West. By Suvi Andrea Helminen The Internet is the Wild West in many ways, it is a masquerade, a second life where there are no face-to-face consequences for how people behave. Words are being shot back and forth in duels between opposing opinions. People can say very hurtful things and remain anonymous. Last winter Open Documentary Lab fellow Thorsten Trimpop and I filmed an interview...
Storified Science and Content Retelling

Storified Science and Content Retelling

Monday, June 8, 2015 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM MIT Building 4, Room 231 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA (map) Enter MIT at 77 Mass Ave (Rogers Building), walk through lobby into the long hallway, pass through Bldg 3, Bldg 10, and into Building 4. Go up stairwell to 2nd floor and turn right, room 4-231 is just two doors away from the stairwell. On June 8th, MIT Open Documentary...
How to finance your interactive documentary. Part 2: some interesting initiatives | Arnau Gifreu

How to finance your interactive documentary. Part 2: some interesting initiatives | Arnau Gifreu

How to Finance Your Interactive Documentary Part 2: Some Interesting Initiatives By Arnau Gifreu In this series of posts we address useful information for people interested producing new media in general, and specifically interactive documentaries. Among other initiatives, there are key mechanisms such as financing markets, commonly called marked place or crossover  market, which a few years ago started to operate in the interactive and transmedia field. They have been...
How to finance your interactive documentary. Part 1 | Arnau Gifreu

How to finance your interactive documentary. Part 1 | Arnau Gifreu

How to Finance Your Interactive Documentary Part 1: Some Interesting Initiatives By Arnau Gifreu In this series of posts we address useful information for people interested in producing new media in general, and specifically interactive documentaries. Among other initiatives, there are key mechanisms such as financing markets, commonly called market place or crossover market, which a few years ago started to operate in the interactive and transmedia field. They have...
It started with the human voice | Suvi Andrea Helminen

It started with the human voice | Suvi Andrea Helminen

It started with the human voice By Suvi Andrea Helminen On Tuesday March 3rd, Open Documentary Lab fellow Halsey Burgund gave a talk about his work as a sound artist working with voices and music-scapes. What does this have to do with documentaries? All his work springs from real life and recordings of people’s personal experiences. Inspiration often starts in the most unlikely situations, when not searching for it. In...
On the Front Lines of the Virtual Frontier | Jeff Soyk

On the Front Lines of the Virtual Frontier | Jeff Soyk

On the Front Lines of the Virtual Frontier By Jeff Soyk We had the pleasure of hearing from ODL fellow Raney Aronson of Frontline. She shared insight on the current integration of “interactive” media into Frontline’s offering. The following is a summary and response to her presentation. As soon as journalism-based media was able to go online, Frontline was right there with streaming media. Now they’re expanding upon their digital...
Funding models for documentary.  Part 3: The transmedia documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding models for documentary. Part 3: The transmedia documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding Models for Documentary Part 3: The Transmedia documentary By Arnau Gifreu Broadcasters constitute an important part of the budget for transmedia documentary production, but there are still few television networks involved in this format. In countries with a strong interest in cultural issues, however, the networks are usually heavily invested in the documentary as a form of storytelling and technology. Examples of this tendency are the NFB, Arte and...
Funding Models for Documentary Part 2: The Interactive Documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding Models for Documentary Part 2: The Interactive Documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding Models for Documentary Part 2: The Interactive Documentary By Arnau Gifreu Some formulas mentioned in the first model (broadcasters, production companies, other institutions and agencies, micro-patronage systems and collaborative models) are included in this analysis of the second documentary expression form, the interactive documentary. The possibilities of this expression form in relation to possible funding models and consumption are still unknown in light of the fact that the traditional...
Funding Models for Documentary. Part 1: The Audiovisual Documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding Models for Documentary. Part 1: The Audiovisual Documentary | Arnau Gifreu

Funding Models for Documentary Part 1: The Audiovisual Documentary By Arnau Gifreu Interactive and transmedia projects are usually complex and require various production skills. Financing projects that require designers, programmers and filmmakers to work together can be overwhelming, therefore seeking funding from diverse sources and budgets is a good strategy. Producers also need to be prepared for the fact that the project may change depending on the funding source. To effectively finance...
Despite Being A Geek In Many Ways | Cindy Bishop

Despite Being A Geek In Many Ways | Cindy Bishop

Cindy Bishop reviews Alessandro Canosa’s talk to OpenDocLab:  “Games as Research Tools for Psychology of Personality and Emotions” Despite being a geek in many ways and choosing software development as my career, I’ve never really gotten into video games or game development. I used to be too much of a cheapskate to get good at games–I didn’t want to just keep dumping quarters into the slots at the arcade, and generally regarded...
Thoughts on Lara Baladi’s work | Thorsten Trimpop

Thoughts on Lara Baladi’s work | Thorsten Trimpop

Protesters during a speech in Tahrir Square, April 8, 2011. Photo by Mosa’ab Elshamy. © Mosa’ab Elshamy. “Tahrir Square: On Archiving and Interpreting the Revolution”   Thoughts on Lara Baladi’s work by Thorsten Trimpop I met Lara at MIT’s OpenDocLab shortly after she flew in from Cairo where she lives and works. The first thing we talked about was — of course — the revolution in Egypt. Our encounter brought...