Whose Documentary is it anyway? Encounters with the global digital family on social media and the rise of a participant-centric mode of documentary filmmaking.
Kohle, Friedrich Herman
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This study examines the way social media changes the way documentaries are developed, produced and distributed. I want investigate how web 2.0 technologies disrupt the documentary sector and the way producers navigate the social media ecology. Research exposed an industry in transformation. New roles, like the Producer for Marketing and Distribution (PMD), the Impact Producer (IP) and a participant-centric mode of documentary filmmaking are revealed. The way users connect via social media has changed the way people interact with each other at work. A balanced real- and virtual world network approach makes a strong and highly central network position for a documentary project possible. Emotional contagion and an authentic online presence create value for a films social media campaign. Both are crucial factors to the mobile multi-device audience expecting a credible social media experience. Research suggests that users accept the risks associated with the way their data is exploited by social networks as long as the user’s social media experience is not diminished. The concept of the Global Digital Family is revealed when reappraising social media. I suggest further research into the problem of online authenticity. Kozinets’ ideas on Gemeinschafts-type engagement (Kozinets, 2015) shed light on the phenomenon. But exactly when something is perceived as authentic online is still not entirely clear and should be investigated further. I also recommend that the PMD is formally accredited to encourage industry recognition.