“After the Storm” is the first extension of PBS TV’s documentary series Independent Lens into an online, interactive format. Written and directed by filmmaker Andrew Grace, the website tells the story of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama tornado disaster in April of 2011 as a letter written to future disaster survivors. Initially envisioned as a spoken word piece, Grace enlisted the help of Toronto-based creative studio Helios Design Labs and New Orleans–based sound designer Jeff Byrd to develop “After the Storm” as an interactive documentary. To advance the story, viewers click and scroll through the pages, and the visuals and interactivity cue off the audio narrative. Backgrounds made of large-format images and video, clever visual metaphors and black-and-white animated illustrations work to emphasize the human perspective on a natural disaster, such as relating the sound of a tornado to a washing machine, or the events of one’s life as the rings of destroyed trees. Designed in HTML5 and CSS3, several parts of the website feature small galleries as pages of a scrapbook or images on the viewfinder of a digital camera, requiring viewers to click buttons or flip pages to scroll through them. Interactivity enables users to connect to the documentary on a visceral level, and helps serve Independent Lens‘s mission to reach new and diverse audiences with thought-provoking content.
Read more here:: Webpick of the Week: “After the Storm”