Video Edge - May/June 2013 - (Page 20)
Sleepless in Montreal
A JOURNAL OF INSOMNIA EVOLVES ONLINE AND REAL-WORLD INTERACTION
by JAMES CARELESS
Photo by Dominique Lafond
A Journal of Insomnia premiered at the 2013
Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes interactive
presentation venue as a darkened bedroom.
xperiencing the National Film Board of Canada Digital Studio’s
transmedia documentary A Journal of Insomnia will make you
lose sleep—literally. That’s because the interactive storytelling
project is not available on an “on demand” basis. Instead, potential viewers visit insomnia.nfb.ca and make an appointment with either Tina,
Fathia, Francis or Sarah, the four real-life insomniacs who were profiled
for the production.
That appointment may be late at night or in the wee hours of the
morning. It varies. What doesn’t change is the fact that the viewer has to
provide his name, e-mail address and phone number so that he can receive
a confirmation e-mail and a web link to A Journal of Insomnia that will go
live only at the appointed time.
My appointment was with Tina, a Montreal insomniac. At my scheduled time of 9:23 p.m.—I got lucky, the other option was 3:45 a.m.—Tina’s
prerecorded voice called the phone beside my desktop computer. She
huskily directed me to click on the now-activated link. I did, and my journey into Tina’s nighttime world of insomnia began.
I found myself in Tina’s online house, four rooms where she appeared
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in moody digital still photos, talking about her life and its challenges. Arrow
buttons on each side of the screen allowed me to go from room to room,
jumping between stories as I pleased.
Meanwhile, a central icon in each frame beckoned me to click, and
of course I did. Ghostlike images of Tina’s dancing form appeared as
an overlay, accompanied by an echoing version of her voice speaking
directly about insomnia and its toll on her. The anxiety, restlessness and
self-doubt of this chronic ailment were well reflected in Tina’s words:
“Insomnia is the moment where your inner ghosts wake up.”
The overall experience of clicking from room to room, from waking
clarity to insomniac blurriness, certainly separated me from the outside
world and drew me in, which was the point. As a disease that affects one
in three people to some degree (according to the NFB), insomnia is one
of those great unspoken afflictions that lurks in the shadows of human
society. Understanding it requires empathy, not sympathy: You need to
somehow experience insomnia yourself to truly grasp its reality.
A Journal of Insomnia creative director Guillaume Braun and producer/NFB French Program’s Digital Studio executive director Hugues
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Video Edge - May/June 2013
Video Edge - May/June 2013
Arrested Development Lands at Netflix Relaunch of Fan Favorite Expands the Streaming Business Model
Development: Sleepless in Montreal A Journal of Insomnia Evolves Online and Real-World Interaction
Production: Please, Don’t Turn Your Phone Off APP Integrates “Second Screen” and Cinema Experiences
Delivery: Manic Compression When Will HEVC Streaming Become A Reality?
Consumption: Watching the Watchers Broadcasters Innovate to Reach the “Zero TV” Viewer
Expertise: Fueling the Future How to Handle New Content Delivery Systems
User Report: Calvary Chapel Produces Streaming Services with Digital Rapids
User Report: deltatre’s Multiplatform Audience Engagement Efforts Utilize Elemental
User Report: ETEX Telephone Cooperative Supports Multiscreen Services with Harmonic
User Report: Fujitsu Encoders/Decoders Deliver Live Content for LMG
Buyer’s Briefs: Encoders Decoded
Virtual Tour: Haivision Makes Video Easier for Enterprises
Download: Mutual Benefits HuffPost Live’s Roy Sekoff Considers the Convergence of Web and TV
Video Edge - May/June 2013