February 24, 2010

Too long?

I’m a big fan of the Bombay Flying Club (“Online Journalism as it could be” is their motto) BFC produces stunning multimedia. I checked in to see their most recent piece, Streetlight Ethiopia, which was commissioned by the NGO “Hope for Children

There are a some great things about this work: I like the the wonderful use of ambient sound (they have ambient sounds under everything and it gives it a wonderfully rich texture to the piece.) I love the full screen experience, full screen even BEFORE you click the full screen button in the upper left, and the use of subtitles on the entire piece. The B&W images are beautiful too.

But, I think the use of dissolves on every frame overly romanticizes the work, on a subject that, in truth, is really not very romantic. Cuts are harder but that’s the way we see the world.

One thing I find very disconcerting is that there’s no playbar. This piece is a little long and I really don’t like the fact they they’ve taken control out of my hands. I can’t skip ahead, and I can’t return and see the piece without starting at the beginning. I didn’t make it to the end the first time and when I returned, I was sentenced to start all over, like a punishment for abandoning it the first time.

So, how long is too long? This 11 minute piece has generated interesting talk on the blogs, summarized over at Tracey Boyer’s Innovative Interactivity. BFC even admits it’s too long in their blog, where they talk about how happy the client was and how they aim to please.

But why not make a shorter cut for the BFC site? You edit differently for a portfolio than you do for a client, right?


  1. This is the first post of my phlog that’s living on Thanks a million to CUNY’s Joe Filippazzo, who tweaked the code and fixed my errors. He’s working on a very cool project with Tom Clark, Knotebooks. Check it out!

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multimedia, news, phlog