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DocLab Shorts 24 Nov at 19:45

A program of short stories that would never have existed without the internet.

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Interview Project and Camerawar.tv Live and Kicking

The first *truly* live storytelling event of this year’s DocLab – in the sense that stories were streamed live from Internet – featured two uniquely captivating online projects, both of them about the effed-up-ness of the USA; one more explicitly

INTERVIEW PROJCAMERAWAR

The first *truly* live storytelling event of this year’s DocLab – in the sense that stories were streamed live from Internet – featured two uniquely captivating online projects, both of them about the effed-up-ness of the USA; one more explicitly than the other.
We opened with the lovely Austin Lynch showing a series of highlights from his brilliant Interview Project – a year-long trans-American road trip that started on June 1st 2009, with the aim of…. you guessed it! interviewing characters that he meets along the way. A new audio-visual portrait appears online every 3 days, satiating an increasing number of devotees to what Exec Producer David Lynch (yes, that one) describes in his intro as the human fascination with looking and listening to people.
Watching these beautifully-shot snippets of life on the big screen amplified the melancholy, strange, and mesmerizing tone of this project – and was a luxury to behold. Austin finished up with a couple of exclusive sneak peaks of as-yet unseen items. Two words: Jenny Brown. The crew met her whilst enjoying the culinary delights of the IHOP and never looked back. See her soon on Episode 109! Oh, and watch this space for our forthcoming exclusive interview with Austin.

Following up from Interview heaven, was the all-powerful Lech Kowalski presenting his compelling and utterly anti-conventional Camerawar.tv project – a web documentary series which tackles the fragmented and multi-layered nature of life in the 21st century, with a new episode published each Monday for a year. As a response to what he calls those “dreary, 90-minute films” and the long-winded production and distribution procedures of linear film, Camerawar is an experimental, subversive “screw-television” format. And boy does it work.
Heavy, dystopian audio underlies this tapestry of often uncut shots in which controversial voices are aired, painting a picture of an America wracked by tension and bound in its civil unrest. Lech showed excerpts shot around a year ago, and it’s fascinating to take this moment to look back at the potential Palin disaster, the uncertainty surrounding Obama, and the looming credit crisis.
The “Prison” episode is particularly resonant: a man who has just been released after 28 years in prison is interviewed. The simple exchange between he and Lech says so much about access to opportunity and social acceptance. It’s one of those ones that stays with you…
Exploring the website and the stories he shot, you can sense Kowalski’s passion oozing from the pixels – a certified convert to content for web, we reckon. Linear film is for wimps! The future is fragmented!

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