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* documentary filmmaking and reproducible research?
@ 2011-03-14 20:44 David O'Toole
  2011-03-17  9:55 ` Bastien
  0 siblings, 1 reply; 2+ messages in thread
From: David O'Toole @ 2011-03-14 20:44 UTC (permalink / raw)
  To: emacs-orgmode Mailinglist

Greetings, org community. A while back I made two short (less than 10
minute) amateur documentary films. I used org-mode to outline
everything, structure my notes and the many public domain texts/images
I used, and coordinate the recording process for the voiceovers. I've
also separately experimented with using org as an asset management
system complete with binary attachments, Dublin Core metadata to keep
track of (among other things) licensing information for assets used in
video game development.

I have some (somewhat disorganized) thoughts and references collected
here: https://github.com/dto/ioforms/raw/master/ioforms.org

I've just seen the documentary film "Inside Job", and then watched it
over again, and listened to the voiceover commentary of the film's
director and producer. They discussed using many gigantic, complex
Word and Excel documents to organize the data they needed to make the
film, and apparently emailing these big MS Office files around the
world to coordinate the deep research the team were doing right up
until the film was finished.


One of the most striking aspects of Inside Job is its effective use of
animated diagrams with explanatory voiceover. By consistent use of
terms, shapes, simple icons, and color-coding, the diagrams lead to
some of the most effective moments of the film. Aside from many
illustrative bar and line graphs, the filmmakers use "block-and-arrow"
animations to explain the flows of money in what they call the
"securitization food chain".

An important part of the film are network analyses (identifying single
people who serve or have served on multiple corporate boards of
directors, or who went from a board of directors to a position at a
regulatory agency regulating the same corporations, or identifying
groups of people who served together on the same boards, and so on. I
wonder what it might have been like if something like Gephi
(http://gephi.org) had been used instead of Microsoft Excel.

Apparently now there is also some information on use of the R language
at the New York Times' graphics department.
  And perhaps people here have read arguments that David X. Li's
famous statistical formula had a part to play in the debacle.

So, what do people think of assembling free software so that anyone
can make reproducibly-researched, remixable, crowd-sourced documentary
films? Or even just research papers with some really nice animations?
:) And use org-publish to throw the "source code" of the documentary
on the internet for inspection and criticism? I'm seeing a common
theme, of how software tools (whether MS Office, or org and R) become
involved in the process of creating and then communicating the results
of research.

The government is already using stuff like link analysis to get
information about the general public (to identify connections between
members of Wikileaks, Anonymous) but it might be interesting to try
the reverse, and use software to connect people who can then cooperate
and share information, and perhaps discover connections or groups
(cells?) of individuals who are connected across networks in academe,
government, corporations, non-governmental organizations, large media
institutions, and so on.

Of course it doesn't have to be Julian Assange type intrigue, it could
just be another fun thing to do with Orgmode.

What do you think?

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2011-03-14 20:44 documentary filmmaking and reproducible research? David O'Toole
2011-03-17  9:55 ` Bastien

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