Mandy Rose: What do we talk about when we talk about documentary?

Digital has brought disruption to documentary. Radically new forms are emerging requiring new teams and skills. The market is changing. The audience is changing. But documentary has been a fluid form – reinvented by generations of producers taking advantage of new technologies and possibilities. So what’s distinctive now? Outlining key features of this moment of transformation, Mandy Rose will suggest that, if we want to know what we should teach now, we need to think less about documentary production, more about the life of a documentary today.”

Mandy Rose is Director of the University of the West of England’s Digital Cultures Research Centre and Co-Director of i-Docs. Her research looks at the intersection between documentary and networked culture. Mandy has made work on diverse themes – from the women of the Raj – Hilda at Darjeeling (C4 1989) to 20th Britain in postcards and their messages – Pictures in the Post (BBC 1999), from Pop Art to housework. During twenty years at the BBC she led innovative participatory and interactive projects including the “mass observation” camcorder project – Video Nation (94-2000), the pioneering digital storytelling project in the UK – Capture Wales (2001-2007), and the transmedia exploration of language, accent and dialect across the UK – Voices (2004) (Webby nominated).

Mandy’s The Are you happy? Project (2014) revisits Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s seminal documentary Chronique d’un Ete (1960) in the context of global collaboration and the web, and explores the potential of HTML5 for the “creative treatment of actuality” (Grierson’s 1926 definition of documentary).

Her recent writing appears in The Journal of Documentary Studies (Intellect Books 1013), The Documentary Film Book (Palgrave 2013) and DIY Citizens; Critical Making and Social Media (MIT Press 2014.) @CollabDocs @i_docs

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