A northern message for a southern audience.
With the documentary KONELĪNE:our land beautiful, iconic Canadian filmmaker Nettie Wild is creating a voice for people who work, live and move across the land in northwestern BC at a time of significant environmental and economic change. To complement this powerful film, our new transmedia project North through South pushes the artistic pursuit of the filmmaker’s style even further.
Linemen installing a powerline
An Iterative Process
Having specific goals always allows us to be more creative, but what about when goals change? This can happen with documentary film in particular, as you never know exactly what stories are going to appear on the other side of the lens. Sometimes you set out to tell one story, and you end up discovering another.
Canada Wild Productions approached One Net Studios, looking for a way to extend their KONELĪNE:our land beautiful story online. We met with them in person several times to think through different possibilities. The first round of ideas lead to the creation of a concept called “Your Weight in Gold” – a copper and gold calculator that would measure a person’s individual impact on the mining industry (similar to a carbon calculator). It also would weave character introductions through the experience. This concept was submitted to the CMF POV fund and scored very high, resulting in successful funding.
But a year into the project, the film’s direction was changing. It was shaping up to be less about the mining industry, and more about individuals. Suddenly, “Your Weight in Gold” no longer felt like the most appropriate fit. Rather than forging ahead with an idea we sensed wasn’t the best it could be (after all, we’d already received funding and approval), we decided to return to the drawing board.
Collaboratively, we worked through different scenarios, played with the emerging film’s themes and re-evaluated the goals of the project. The film was taking shape in a very artful way. And we really felt like this “art” was something we could explore further online.
Unification through Interpretation
How could we use art to expand the reach of KONELĪNE:our land beautiful? Social media has proven that most people look among their peers to gather information and learn about the world. After much contemplation (and a lot of ideas on the cutting room floor) we arrived at our final concept: to explore life in the North through the interpretive lenses of five urban storytellers from the South. And, to present those stories in an interactive website where users could explore the content while creating their own shareable interpretation of what they experienced.
Each urban artist (they include a bodypainter, spoken word beat poet, graffiti artist, rock band, and hip-hop choreographer) is paired with one of the characters in the film and asked to create an inspired interpretation in their own art form. Interviews with each southern artist, video clips of the works-in-progress, and final artwork were recorded and integrated into the web experience.
Using powerful imagery, modern typography, and video storytelling, the North through South interactive website plays on the creativity of the visual devices of the film while including media from characters in KONELĪNE:our land beautiful and 5 new urban artists.
L-R: Heidi, Kristin
It is hoped that the urban artists will help draw a new crowd, including many of their current fans and followers. As they interact with the content, viewers are introduced to the themes and characters of the film in an emotionally connected way. The feature film is promoted on the website along with ways to view it.
The result is an artful and cinematic journey that invites the audience to participate in creating and sharing mixed media from both worlds while enticing people to see KONELĪNE: our land beautiful.