This is the second 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
Continuing the analysis of peripheral narratives with Alejandro Angel, talks about the relationship of the content to the user and how it proposes changes in the audiovisual speech. It also explains the concept of planning time frames and the influence of Digital TV in media convergence.
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.
The interactive narratives have some open content whose structures will depend on user navigation. What does this mean in terms of a new mode of enunciation of audiovisual speech?
Alejandro Angel: The main question regarding interactive narratives is how willing we are as creators to cede part of our responsibility or our narrative outline the viewer; because that is what is going to find the viewer when viewing an interactive product: a fragmented product in which it will be part of this product and who will be the creation patterns. No doubt there will be an initial part we give it the creator, but the final story will come, above all, of the decisions taken by the viewer, and I think that is something that must be asked as creator at a given time.
The audiovisual speech undoubtedly changed. We can not keep thinking in a linear way when we do an interactive structure. We can not keep thinking about a story in which there will be a beginning, a middle and an end (although it is), but we have to start thinking a bit in those old processes when the French New Wave emerged in the we began to say that every story has a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order as Jean-Luc Godard said.
How you should begin to be addressed then?
Alejandro Angel: You have to start hacking stories, to realize they can have different finishes, different content, different contexts. You also have to start thinking that not only the narrative processes that change, but also aesthetic. Then, for example, a product that is designed for the digital environment, can change things that could thus far be normal as the size of flat or the visual axis to where these are directed, depending on the interactivity we are generating in the draft.
It comes me to mind a web documentary called Solos (webdocsolos.com), held in the Master of Creative Documentary at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, in which the digital characters engage in a conversation context, and that is normal there are planes in which the axis of visually appears to be wrong in a classic and traditional narrative, but in the context of interactivity that is generated on that platform is fully valid and necessary. Then it begins to have an entire narrative not only change but also aesthetic.
Scolari also said that beyond the telling of the story through various means, a transmedia narrative can, in turn, developed through different languages. In a transmedia story, how the contribution of each new text faces the entire statement?
Alejandro Angel: One of the mistakes that we fall sometimes to create such a new narrative converging, is to believe that the mere fact that multiple screens and makes for a transmedia story and what we are doing is transferring content, ie, making crossmedia content, which is when we move the content from one platform to another, but ends up saying and telling the same.
Actually what we must bear in mind that a transmedia narrative asks each new format is developed, supplemented, extended or reduced, in some cases, the narrative of what is being told, that is, to expand the narrative universe of the we're looking at a given time. It is important to realize that today are no longer formats designed from the media point of view, that was what we thought before any narrative formats: each story if you had multiple platforms were all media platforms.
Today we are talking, for example, a documentary narrative can have a traditional central theme, but it can also have a "docu-game" or a play: formats that are not necessarily media, but to some extent expand the narrative universe and a variety of ways. That play on the documentary can be totally dramatic, while the "docu-game" may have a slightly more humorous tone. There a counterpoint to the narrative of what is being told and ends to expand a little universe of the story that is being done demarcating.
Henry Jenkins, who is credited with the implementation of the term, defined transmedia, as "the art of storytelling from build worlds to the extent that complex environments that can not be explored entirely on a single platform are created". How important is the concept of timing (temporal planning frames) in the development of peripheral narratives and in converged environments?
Alejandro Angel: The timing is all-important and how the whole concept of the product is planned and what will be the approach of the viewer. Undoubtedly, having so many universes in a transmedial history, no matter how minimal the number of formats always have several content around it. That will not be necessary to make the user must explore all content to be created; for example, a film which emerge a series of webisodes 30-35 chapters, a documentary editing a book and a series of contents around.
It is very difficult to claim that a spectator, however fanatic, display all content, then you have to try to do in terms of timing, is to define what the contents are, what is the duration of each of them and, all, how each will defend itself; that is, they are self-conclusive products, if I see the film and I see the webseries nothing happens because what happens is that the only webserie me a narrative universe expands. If I watch the film and see the webseries because obviously know even more the narrative universe, but if I see one or another should not be a major problem. This applies to any of the transmedia projects that can meet such as Matrix or Harry Potter.
In this sense, in a context of Digital TV and media convergence, how to improve results and optimize narrative participation and interaction of the user / viewer from focusing on peripheral productions narrative proposals?
Alejandro Angel: Maybe there is still -because so far is developing-single answer. Obviously telling good stories; in that sense, you could see any of these cliches that say how to make good TV or good movies, but beyond that the part of the question I find interesting is how to optimize participation and user interaction, and that's what I think there is no answer at this time because we are still discovering this new viewer, in fact we are training them a little.
If you look at this time, the viewer is still a very classic viewer; we talked a lot of "prosumer" and we filled a little mouth talking about the "consumer who also produces content", but there are theories on the Internet, such as 90-9-1 that says each 100 users, only one actually is the one creates content. There are other 99 90 who does any kind of content or additional interaction and 9 who just started a little that contact with content creation through social networks. So based on that, a little rushed at the moment think we really have a "prosumer" we will do our programs.
How the peripheral narratives are approached from the creators?
Alejandro Angel: I think from the beginning, the creators must continue giving much of the narrative pattern of our process to allow that little 1% make it grow a little our content generated by the user, but is not feasible for us today center it everything in this single user to be the creator of content because we can be waiting for him.
Still, this kind of narratives generate an interesting interaction viewers; to less than 3 years ago, this kind of content were almost inbred: the group of people who were investigating and exploring around the topics was the same group that saw them, read them and commented; It seemed to be very powerful, but really were not reaching viewers. Today, apart from these peripheral narratives have reached mainstream media have taken a little more than echo.
For example, here in Colombia is Tales of Old (cuentosdeviejos.com) has not only done very well from the point of endogamous view of internal awards channels it out too: it has had a good reception from the public and the component transmedial already begun to move with users generating content; then it is something that will take time, but it's a matter of seeing how it is moving.
How these narratives can contribute to the development of digital television?
Alejandro Angel: Digital television is certainly a huge challenge from the industrial point of view. Whenever I mention the analogy I heard on occasion by which digital television is like a highway with many old cars passing through it. And so: it is a highway full of technology and technical quality, but its contents actually remain very basic, traditional, and even often rehashes of things that were made prior way.
Then these narratives can build enormously because we are in an era in which many good content is needed because we have nowhere to transmit through these major highways of information, not only digital but also digital television as such. It is an interesting challenge that will greatly help small producers and especially small regional producers to create these new formats, interesting proposals that could be accepted in the context of the needs that digital television to have excellent content and to enable the public really interested in being part of this new technological process.
How do these media collaborate in the formation of a national imaginary ?, privileging certain aspects of culture and discarding others?
Alejandro Angel: Something interesting how these means fail to generate new imaginary part a little like the ease and also commented that he allow these new formats for creating stories without relying on a large medium; this is doing that to some extent represent a lot of imaginary so far they were a little hidden waiting a technological opportunity like this.
This type of new narrative allows the country to count many aspects; and some channels had begun prior way as to allow sign Colombia; if we look at it, it is actually a channel that is rife in the good sense of the word peripheral narratives because it has allowed start showing what we are as a country in general.
In Colombia we have experience in generating content in new formats?
Alejandro Angel: Yes, Signal Colombia is a channel that focuses broadly in Colombia around the theme of convergence; then it must be taken as an example, it shows us a little about how these new formats can afford to have a country of many new forms.
interesting projects like 4 Rivers (http://4rios.co/) as Patient Jorge Caballero (http://pacientedoc.com/?lang=en) also arise; as Captain Butron, (http://www.capitanbutron.com/#!index/home), which is more targeted at children; The blue puddle (http://elcharcoazul.co/) Irene Lema; among others, a lot of projects that have emerged gradually in Colombia who already show some extent not only what we are as storytellers but what we are as a country.
For example, Picó: Caribbean music machine (http://www.pico.com.co/) Roberto de Zubiría and Sergio Zaraza and proclaimers of Medellin (http://www.pregonerosdemedellin.com/) Angela Carabalí, we see from these narratives that no longer emerge from the center of the country, which was where normally we had what we were as a country, they will also start counting the regions and the periphery of an interesting and attractive way, even winning awards at national and international levels, but especially allowing many other people accessing this kind of stories that were lost in the pile of stories we have to tell as a country.
What options peripheral narratives to study aspects such as television network, regional television, public television and private television channels open and paid channels, community television, the proposed alternatives, the articulation of peripheral speeches and production possibilities of new digital content for information, culture, education and citizenship?
Alejandro Angel: This pile of peripheral narratives, digital, transmedia or whatever we call them largely allow us to get out a bit of the traditional story, repeated stories, and begin to tell new stories, regional stories, community stories, a lot of new of speeches that have largely never had a voice, but thanks to these new formats can take it without any problem.
In that sense, the regional television, public television and community television channels are all spaces that certainly should quickly connect with the whole issue of digital peripheral narratives and the whole issue of convergence because that is where they really they will survive, telling those stories that are needed, they have much more visibility and not just have it because their channels are very rarely seen. Once you start to connect to the digital environment and therefore with new formats, will be able to reach many more people and will be able to allow these stories to connect more interactively with all this public.