From the blog Documentary Tech here’s a good quick overview of ways that digital technology and crowdsourcing have changed documentary film — and audience expectations and standards — in the last decade. According to Documentary Tech’s Edward Delaney, DIY media culture and Youtube have inculcated a new level of audience flexibility about production values, when the best content may just happen be captured on a cell phone video. “Viewers,” he says, “are willing to accept what they see if it makes sense.”
These points are very well taken, but I think the seeds for this kind of expansive documentary environment were sown before the birth of Youtube. To that point, I’ll post next about a filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area who worked collaboratively with teens shooting with consumer video equipment to make a trilogy of breakthrough documentaries way back in the 90s.