OpenDocLab Research Affiliate Arnau Gifreu Castells continues his series of video interviews with leaders in the interactive documentary field with Jeremy Mendes, the Vancouver-based artist behind the NFB interactive documentaries Bear 71 and This Land.

Video Interview | Jeremy Mendes Discusses iDoc Business Models

By Arnau Gifreu Castells (PhD)

In this series, we focus on the theoretical part of the study of interactive documentary. We conduct video interviews with leading experts in the field that revolve around six key questions: (1) How would you define interactive documentary? (2) Do you think that interactive documentary, as a form, is a natural evolution of linear documentary? (3) Do you think there has been a change in the logic and dynamics of production, distribution and exhibition? (4) Do you think that the role of the author is threatened in this form? (5) What do you think is a possible business model for interactive documentary? (6) What are your views on the production, research and events organized by countries that are active in this field, in particular Canada and France?

Our next interviewee is Jeremy Mendes, a Vancouver-based artist with over 10 years of experience working on interactive projects. He specializes in art direction, creative direction, design and illustration. He currently works as a freelancer on interactive projects with the National Film Board of Canada. These interactive projects truly capitalize on his extensive experience because they require an understanding of story, culture, art, design and, most importantly, how these elements are conveyed through interactive experiences. In this video interview, Mendes answers our last questions:

1. What do you think is a possible business model for interactive documentary?

2. What countries have been especially active in the production of interactive documentaries?

Over the next couple of years, we will see a major change in the way the Internet is monetized, although it is not yet clear what model will take shape. Subscription-based models, monetization, Facebook and other actors yet to enter to the field will all have an influence in this matter.

According to Mr. Mendes, there are a few key institutions in Canada and it is important to be able to talk to the right person. In addition to Canada, France and Australia are also investing money in interactive documentary.

Arnau Gifreu Castells (PhD)
Research Affiliate, MIT Open Documentary Lab
agifreu@mit.edu