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Stories To Tell is a full service book publishing company for independent authors. We provide editing, design, publishing, and marketing of fiction and non-fiction. We specialize in sophisticated, unique illustrated book design.

Stories To Tell Books BLOG

Interactive Narrative: A New Tool in Storytelling

Biff Barnes

Bill Smith posed a question on his blog, Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories, “Have you seen Welcome to Pine Point?” (Thanks, Bill!) I hadn’t. I followed the link to the Nieman Storyboard, the blog of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

Blogger Andrea Pitsker opened her post with this introduction:

What if your hometown disappeared, literally vanished from the map? How would you hold onto it? Would the community of people who had lived there continue? “Welcome to Pine Point” is a website that explores the death of a town and the people whose memories and mementos tell its story today. The site lives online under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada and came into the world via the creative duo of Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (also known as The Goggles). I haven’t seen anything quite like Pine Point before — it incorporates music to haunting effect but is especially innovative in its use of text and design.

I had to watch. The result, which Pitzer describes as interactive narrative, incorporates text, old photographs, audio recordings, home movies, animation and music to tell a deeply engaging and entertaining story which had a surprising emotional impact on me. It’s somewhat hard to describe, but well worth watching. You’ll need about 15 to 20 minutes to watch the film. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

 Click here to watch Welcome to Pine Point.

Enjoy the video? I hope so. Now you may want to read Andrea Pitzer’s interview with its creators Michael Simmons and Paul Shoebridge on the Nieman Storyboard.

Click here to go to the interview.

Is this kind of new media what family history or memoir might look like in the future? Interesting question to ponder.

Post a comment and let us know what you think.

Click here to read Dr. Bill Smith's post.