So the digital rabbit hole I mentioned a couple of posts ago is offering some actual assistance in the making of this project. The first comes in the form of a scripting program called Twine, which I stumbled across during a bout of web-crastination.
Twine in effect allows me to create a map of the project. While at least at the moment Twine doesn’t offer anything I couldn’t do in say Photoshop or even Pages, its mapping is already established so that I don’t have to format anything. Which is useful, in its own way. I can concentrate on organizing content and figuring out the links between everything. My focus has been to not allow the content to become too cluttered (i.e. overlinked) while at the same time making sure I allow for enough organic navigation within the individual pieces.
The biggest help I’ve gotten from Twine is that it allows me to visualize the links and see where there is just too much junk, such as links to other pages within the i-doc simply for the sake of linking. But the web doc is designed as interactive – and that means that I need to relinquish authorial control and allow for naturalistic user-navigation. People make not watch every single section of the project, which is definitely not like a traditional film. Scary.
The other bit of production usefulness comes via the web CMS platform Racontr. This platform is so amazingly cool that I can’t wait to begin playing with it. It allows for building rich interactive websites, reminding me a lot of one of the i-docs I especially admire, Prison Valley (this makes sense – both Racontr and Prison Valley are French productions.. I want to do rich, video based storytelling in the pin up project; storytelling that allows for a bit of viewer play but which also allows for significant narrative development. I’ve been trying to emulate the look and feel of these sorts of i-docs in the WordPress-based site we have running, but it doesn’t offer the flexibility that I really need (or to get to that flexibility is beyond my personal skill-set). So getting onboard to experiment with Racontr is exciting.