December 19th, 2014
The Ghosts in Our Machine's "Interactive Story" - A Glimpse Into the World of a Front Line Animal Advocate
One of the very first questions I get asked by people, in regards to my work, is "How do you do what you do?" They're referring to the animal cruelty I witness on a regular basis, as a photojournalist and front-line activist. There are many answers, of course, and through the Interactive Story
that accompanies the film The Ghosts in Our Machine,
some of those answers are revealed.
(the above photo is a still from the Ghosts
, Director of The Ghosts in Our Machine
, wanted to create an on-line interactive story about how I work, what motivates me, and what its like to confront cruelty head on, giving curious audience members the opportunity to walk a mile in my shoes. Like the film, the interactive story also looks at what its like for animals to live, and die, at our hands.
Liz says, of the Interactive film: "I wanted The Ghosts in Our Machine
to be a "cross-platform" documentary, and for it to unfold over time to engage an international audience leading up to our premiere, and beyond." Liz hired The Goggles
to design and build this component of the film. The Goggles - Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons - "were inspired by early iterations and conceptual outlines, and they offered their talent to the mix as designers and award-winning interactive directors. The "Interactive Story", as we call it, was released in tandem with the film as a uniquely powerful cinematic companion. It exists as a featured portal from our website, available to all, as another way of learning and experiencing animals as sentient beings. It was a great collaboration, for the Ghosts."
The Interactive story was pieced together with a lot of my journal entries; "notes from the field", as I call them. The story, which won one of the 2014 Webby Awards
, contains rich visuals from the film, photographs, text (revealed slowly, along the journey throughout the interactive), narration by me, and layered sounds and music. Here, you witness the hope, devastation, exhaustion, exasperation, humour and determination in my life and in my work.
We were so lucky to have The Goggles enthusiasm for the project from the beginning. Paul Shoebridge wrote: "We initially signed on to do the interactive piece after Liz contacted us. It seemed like a no-brainer - an award-winning filmmaker and photographer, both of whose work we admired, and a film (not yet complete) which looked like it would be both beautiful and heartbreaking.
It was a great opportunity to use the more user-driven space of an interactive piece to explore elements that couldn't fit the big screen, namely, Jo-Anne's journals, which are by turns fed up, inspired, delightful and poetic; the inner thoughts of a someone who's raging against an unfair world. That the film (and Jo-Anne's book, which we were lucky enough to work with Jo on) met with such a global acceptance and celebration is proof we made the right decision."
We welcome you to watch, and to take part in, the Ghosts Interactive story. http://www.theghostsinourmachine.com/interactive/