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Mozilla Announces Living Docs Project in Open-Source Documentaries

Will encourage collaborative, interactive web films.

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Mozilla Announces Living Docs Project in Open-Source Documentaries
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Mozilla hopes to revolutionize open-source, Web-based documentaries through its new Living Docs Project, which launched yesterday. The open source non-profit organization announced recently its partnership with The Tribeca Film Institute, The Center for Social Media at American University, ITVS, and BAVC. The goal of the project is to encourage a spirit of open innovation and collaboration in the world of online documentary. Participants will use open source, Web-based production programs and share code and resources, with a focus on the early and frequent release of new iterations of their media.

“This is about the evolution of the documentary genre,” said Mozilla’s Brett Gaylor, via the Mozilla blog. “We’re bringing filmmakers and developers together to tell stories in ways that have never been attempted before.”

Interactive documentaries are a relatively new and dynamic medium. They focus on the use of open source programs (like Mozilla Popcorn), free and open collaboration, and a variety of web-based media tools enables filmmakers working in interactive documentary to create unique, non-linear films with a flexibility unavailable to the traditional linear documentary format. Like both open source programs and all creative work published online, interactive documentaries can be released immediately upon completion, then tweaked and edited according to consumer feedback, new technological developments, and the evolution of the story in the filmmakers eye.

Check out this video of a Living Docs Hack Day by Brett Gaylor.

Mozilla and its partners will encourage the collaborative filmmaking of the Living Docs Project through a series of “Hack Days.” According to Beyond the Box, Hack Days will highlight new projects, document best practices in interactive filmmaking, share lessons between participants, promote code sharing, and provide funding for the creation of web-based documentaries.

The first Living Docs hackathon will be held April 28 and 29, at the Hot Docs film festival in Toronto. If you’re an interactive filmmaker, it’s not too late to participate. You can apply here.

Mozilla recently launched another Web-based filmmaking project, called Firefox Flicks. You can read about it here.

Mozilla Announces Living Docs Project in Open-Source Documentaries
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