by Kylee Ingram
CrowdTV is steaming ahead with the next iteration of crowd-sourcing, and is asking viewers to collaborate in deciding the direction and content of the documentary. For our pilot we gave the online community bare bones topic - water issues in Western Sydney. But beyond that, we threw open the doors to anyone who wants to have a say with the hope the result would be fun and a little bit gritty, but when starting out we had no idea what the outcome would be.
Participants gain points for contributing, such as through posting ideas or voting, and these points equate to credits in the film. This community involvement continues through every step of the production, with users also able to contribute research, vote on edit choices, and contribute or choose graphics and music.
Getting funding bodies interested in the idea proved difficult, as it was hard to pitch an idea for which the very point is that no one knows what it will look like yet. But it was the government and community partners got it immediately. They could see the value of community involvement as an end in itself, whereas the other bodies had been solely focused on the documentary.
We believe CrowdTV has the potential to encourage a broader level of community involvement than other approaches that are all about UGC- the model can be applied to any factual production.
9th–13th March 2012