This is the first installment of the interview with producer and teacher Alejandro Angel, in which the concept of peripheral narratives and the role of the media today explained.
Luis Fernando Gutierrez Cano
Jorge Luis Pacheco Orcasitas
From the apparently already distant 1983 when the political scientist at the MIT Ithiel de Sola Pool published his book Technologies of Freedom, there are many aspects that have been changing and at the same time, modifying, in the so-called new ecology of the media, mainly in relation to the audiovisual sector.
The ways to perceive, analyze, reflect, even consume the media, they have transmuted significantly over the past three decades since the almost prophetic text of Professor Pool. These transmutations have demonstrated an era of media transition, marked by tactical decisions and unintended consequences, contradictory and conflicting interests signs and, above all, no clear instructions and unpredictable results.
Just to understand and at the same time, reflect these unpredictable issues, in this issue we bring the concepts of producer and professor Alejandro Angel who, from his experience, makes a thorough analysis of contemporary media events, analysis undoubtedly should consider all agents involved in the details of the current creative processes where the account used by the new media, including digital television open, incorporates elements of the language of other media and forms of expression (Castro Campalans, Renó 2014 p . 87)
Angel Alejandro is Social Communicator and Journalist graduated from the University of North Barranquilla (Colombia); Masters in Design and implementation of programs and formats Television Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), and currently is a doctoral student in Communication at the University of La Plata (Argentina).
In his career he has developed works of audiovisual production and documentaries, is associate professor and director of CrossmediaLab the Department of Social and Cinematography Communication at the University Jorge Tadeo Lozano of Bogotá, is executive producer Armadillo: New Media & Films and Director of the Festival Creative Commons film & New Media Bogota. He is the producer of transmedia documentary Hands of Light and co-producer of the documentary Diana Puerto Santa Fe.
1. Contemporary narratives are characterized by their media expansion and a complex and compressed narrative, how this expansion means and what the narrative variations may experience these visual stories are?
Alejandro Angel: For some time there has been talk of contemporary narratives, which have a number of adjustments in relation to what was being done to some time ago. An entry that is worth noting is that while it seems that narratives are innovative, actually have a lot of time "spinning" and what happens is that they have been cataloged under some methodologies; but in fact the subject of convergent narrative already has a long time, even before Henry Jenkins 2001 when the appointment.
It seems to me interesting to note that media expansion can not define only formats; at times when we talk about these new narratives, we think that everything is a matter of platforms and actually think it's a mixture of many things. One is the emergence of this "prosumer" or this a little more active consumer, although I believe that in our Latin American context is still something a bit utopian, and has gradually emerged and has been potenciándose from new a little more critical users who are part of the narrative of history.
2. What is the role of spectator today?
Alejandro Angel: The fact that as the viewer becomes part of them makes these mutate and have other formats; for example, the issue of authorship: the classical author that marked very marked way what was the way that his story had, and today seems a spectator who also takes part of that story and therefore makes in a given time you can change.
Currently we have narratives that expand beyond the screen format and narratives that we bring, for example, accounts offline. I find it very interesting (in a time of so many digital storytelling) to begin to enhance the process of narrative offline to be experiential processes in which the viewer can take part directly and live a narrative experience, and not simple and simply consuming it.
3. What then does the term peripheral narratives?
Alejandro Angel: With the advent of all this amount of new formats that have emerged with the digital issue, many terms have emerged; Transmedia is the most recognized, but also crossmedia, hybrid media, transmedia worlds, multimodality, Internet ... have emerged a lot of terms where peripheral narrative is one of them. When we talk about a peripheral narrative, we talked about that content to some extent complements the core content, but that is out of the established canons of the early history tell that this was intended; however, it is dangerous theme name or name of one form or another because it will always stay out something.
The interesting thing has happened with this issue of peripheral narratives is that what was once the "out" now seems to be the "inside", in other words, peripheral narratives today are more recognized that even the central narratives to which we have become accustomed traditional, then, means very briefly: peripheral narratives would all those narratives that go beyond the central axis of a content, but greatly help tell the tale in a better way.
4. Some theorists as Carlos Scolari said the productive inertia of large companies (public and private) of "monomediático" character contrast with the dynamism of small producers. What do you think are the causes of this phenomenon and how you think, within a framework of DTT in Colombia, this may change in favor of expanded content from broadcast television?
Alejandro Angel: It is certainly much more difficult for a large company, whether public or private, bring about a change of this means mono-with coming accustomed to working to create more dynamic content ones that do small producers. This phenomenon is because the larger the environment, the dynamics of production and workflows are much more complex and therefore these workflows change becomes a challenge and something very complicated.
Interestingly, believe me, that taking into account not only the TDT, but in general the arrival of this bunch of new formats or contents in Colombia, and do not involve forcing even the small creator or small producer to have to depend on the great means but directly have an idea, develop and share from digital environments or from networks; therefore, this makes competition in the field of content creation is much more powerful.
Now there are more possibilities for small producers and for creators who are still just in the process of creation or production, and therefore, this will benefit, after all, the person who receives content because every time it goes to have more and more varied content, more niche and more focused on various issues, and not simply and simply what traditional media had accustomed him to receive as a spectator.
5. In the field of politics and the exercise of citizenship, we see that the narrative expansions of political communication in social networks and offers user-generated content have the underlying purpose of forming and consolidating a cohesive community and participatory followers. How does it benefit this type of communication and audiovisual immersion processes and political participation of citizens in a highly convergent dynamic contextual framework?
Alejandro Angel: No doubt we are political in nature and any evolution of phenomena ends also urging the political issue. It is interesting to see how and today we are talking about, inclusive, political transmedia; for example, we have the case of Barack Obama, a president who has been totally media thought converged environments, and of course all this visibility he has given the issue of political transmedia also permeates what they are doing today politicians in various countries of the world and that includes Colombia.
This type of communication dynamics that have emerged around digital content and social networking benefits broadly political exercise: it allows us to be part of it much more openly and more dynamic; still, it is important to consider a future in the social networking environment-by the very fact of anonymity and various types of issues that bring consigo- care that must be taken to avoid what happened sometimes become : on a battlefield where anything goes and where misinformation begins to appear as happened in our plebiscite for peace with content creation that were used repeatedly to generate problems from the point of view of how citizens received contents and how they interpreted.
There obviously is something more fundamental and is a subject of the need to start also making a literacy transmedia that is what theorists call the study not only the means to understand or interpret, but also, and especially, to study and interpretation of digital media, networks and other issues that have arisen.
For this reason, the fact that citizens can participate actively in this type of communication processes makes them part thereof. Communication processes which are no longer the political means or those who gave the information received and point the viewer; but certainly are dual processes in which the political and the media provide information, but the citizen by its very ability of interaction also gives responses and different results, making one way or another a community and interaction really hard generate around these concepts.
6. The development of the Internet and called participatory web makes new narratives seek greater involvement of users and audiences. What strategies continue to achieve effective results in this type of audiovisual communicative context?
Alejandro Angel: There is no doubt that the Web 2.0 is that in which the citizens themselves or users are those that allow the contents are enhanced in each of the networks and web pages that are currently generated. One of the things he says Jenkins is that transmedia is not only to create multiple platforms of the same content but also generate a strong participation and a real community that believes in the project narrative that is unfolding.
One of the main strategies that I have to remark on this issue is to develop a community that believes in the project, is also the need to start thinking like a creative society in constant beta content. And it burned down a bit this preliminary stage of us as creators of audiovisual content in which we almost secret we kept everything we were developing way and once completed the project 100% had was that we shared with the public.
7. How to take on these challenges?
Alejandro Angel: We are in an era of beta versions, we are in a time when we as creators first thing to do is start sharing our content with our possible community; not when it is ready, but when it is at a very early stage of its creation; that will allow people part of the decision-making sit and feel part of the story that is being created.
Similarly, it is important to note that has greatly changed the production process. Before we had a very schematic stages of production that were pre-production, production and post-production and no touching each other. Today we have added two additional pieces such as development, at first; and the promotion and distribution to the end; besides that, they have broken some barriers that were in the productive principle and we work a little more transparent, less linear and slightly more fragmented very consistent way with what they are fragmented today content .