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This week, the home page of the NYTimes.com featured an unusual, wonderful Op-Doc called “A Short History of the Highrise.” Billed as an “interactive documentary,” the project was a collaboration between the Times and the National Film Board of Canada.

With influences ranging from traditional documentary to video games to the tablet experience, “A Short History of the Highrise” is a digital publishing rabbit hole. A casual viewer can consume the film in a few minutes, while the obsessive can delve deep into supplemental content for hours. Fast Company caught up with the project’s Emmy Award-winning director, Katerina Cizek, to learn more about how the documentary form is being transformed in a digital age.


"The premise of the game is rooted in what’s going on today," says Jason Norcross, partner and creative director at 72andSunny. "If you look around, it seems as if our armed forces are becoming more and more filled with drones and A.I., painting the picture of ‘what if’—what if things go bad with the direction we’re heading."

The campaign for Activision’s highly anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 uses a faux documentary starring Oliver North to posit a near-future nightmare war scenario.
BEHIND CALL OF DUTY’S UNCOMFORTABLY REAL WAR “DOCUMENTARY”

"The premise of the game is rooted in what’s going on today," says Jason Norcross, partner and creative director at 72andSunny. "If you look around, it seems as if our armed forces are becoming more and more filled with drones and A.I., painting the picture of ‘what if’—what if things go bad with the direction we’re heading."

The campaign for Activision’s highly anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 uses a faux documentary starring Oliver North to posit a near-future nightmare war scenario.

BEHIND CALL OF DUTY’S UNCOMFORTABLY REAL WAR “DOCUMENTARY”

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I got a chance to talk to two amazing filmmakers, Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, 30 Days) and Richard Linklater (Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, Dazed and Confused) about how they’re making films and television shows in a digital age.

“We have a much bigger stake in ownership with these kind of programs,” Morgan told me. Digital distribution is giving the creators a bigger stake in their own work.

Here’s our feature profile of Morgan Spurlock from 2011: Morgan Spurlock: I’m With The Brand

Is technological connectivity mankind’s next evolutionary step?

"We created computers as an extension of our brains, and now we’re connecting through those computers and the Internet cloud as a way of expanding them," - Tiffany Shlain, Filmmaker & Webby Awards founder

In her new documentary, Connected, which premiered at Sundance this year, Shlain sees digital connection as the next step in harnessing our collective brainpower—as long as we don’t lose our ability to relate to each other.

Read more…