Creating the On-line Documentary: A Satellite Solution

By John Francis Hetherington.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The online documentary, A Satellite Solution, is a case study investigation into how digital communication technologies (primarily satellite TV) have impacted the quality of life of a rural community comprising 50 households in southeast Queensland (Australia) between 1999 and 2006. The production depicts a community-mediated process by which these residents adopted and then responded to receiving free-to-air TV services for the first time. The author, instigated and facilitated the project in the community and as well, recorded and produced all the material contained in the documentary. The paper will highlight the production components of the research set against the context of this participatory activity.
This online documentary is a web site containing research materials (policy documents, significant correspondence and reports) video interviews and location sequences, maps and technical information such as, how to install a satellite system, where to find free to air satellite services, what satellite broadband incentives are available etc.
Importantly it also represents innovation in film and television and particularly, the researcher’s selected art form, the documentary.
This paper, takes a practice focus and will document the production of the web site and how this new form impacts on the production style of traditional linear productions and as well, what filmmakers working in this emerging non-linear form may need to plan for.
This project formed the practical component for a recently completed research degree, Doctor of Visual Arts (Griffith), by the author.

Keywords: On-line Documentary, Narrowcast, Non-linear, Government Regulation, Free-to-air Television

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.45-52. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 464.856KB).

Dr. John Francis Hetherington

Lecturer, Media Production, School of Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Is an academic, teaching at the University of Southern Queensland and at Griffith University. He teaches television and video courses within the art schools of both institutions and has been a practising filmmaker in Australia, since 1968. He is a passionate proponent of the opportunities afforded by convergent technologies in the film and television industry, particularly the ability to democratise both the means and the distribution of product.


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