The first interactive video I watched was Bear 71. The introduction music and static TV sets made the initial interaction a little terrifying as to what had been selected. The video plays a short clip that is a little hard to watch, before taking you to what is known as the Grid. This interactive portion of the video allows for you to track and interact with the various animals on the grid. Each animal or title that you see moving is associated with “live” camera footage in the woods. The narrator, a woman’s voice, depicts that of the bear and the surroundings in which she lives. You can click on the various areas on the map, use your mouse or arrow keys to move around. It allows you to also use your map to find different regions and track Bear 71. There is a feature that allows the use of your own web cam but I did not mess with that.
The documentary uses a mix of interactive segments and video to create the story. It allows the viewer to roam around like the bear in the story, constantly being monitored. I think this style of documentary allows for a better understanding of what the bear and other animals are going through. It allows a hands on experience to put in context how an animal in captivity may feel. I think it is a great way to build emotional connection and visually represent a subject that we are not able to interview or relate with. It is cinematic with the auto play videos that it uses as well as the trail cams to allow viewers to see what is happening around them as the story unfolds. The grid allows movement mixed with narrative to also tell the story in a visual context. Since the bear is not able to speak the cinema language relies on the found footage and trail cams to convey the emotion of the narrative.