Three television documentaries and a website for VARA tv. Twelve teenagers from different parts of the Netherlands, portray their lives on the Internet with text, photo’s, video and animations. The television programs are a look behind the scenes of this process.
What is 12×12.nl?
Set in cities throughout the Netherlands, this unprecedented interactive online experience will allow viewers to follow the interconnected lives of 12 teenagers over a 12 hour period through the use of seamless, synchronous, multi-media web page entries created by the teenagers themselves. Our approach will allow participants to explore a wide range of lifestyles and viewpoints, see complex issues in a highly personal light, and, most importantly, upload their own perspectives in an interactive dialogue with peers from around the Netherlands.
12 teenagers will develop and produce www.12×12.nl in an intensive 7 day group learning process which stresses communication skills and empowerment through interactive technology. Using the latest telecommunications and multimedia tools, the program will empower teenagers as individuals, as members of a community that has at last been given an equal voice, and as builders of a greater community that moves beyond traditional borders.
The program resulted in a website and three documentaries on television which were broadcasted in November 2000.
CREATING AN ONLINE EXPERIENCE WHICH FEELS LIKE TV
The main problem with interactive experiences is that they have no shape or dramatic structure. The viewer never knows whether they are in the beginning, middle, or end of a story. They simply click around until they get bored and decide to quit. To deal with this problem. the project may also take advantage of “server-push” features to re-create the constantly forward- moving narrative flow and time-based nature of television.
HOW THE EXPERIENCE IS STRUCTURED
If watched from beginning to end, www.12×12.nl is a ninety minute experience. To ensure the dramatic build and closure we are accustomed to with television, film, and dramatic experiences, the software will only allow the viewer to move forward in time, not backward, just as with traditional TV programming. Furthermore, the viewer will move (or be moved) from one hour in the program to the next hour after five minutes has passed, thus insuring that the viewer is brought to the end of the experience within ninety minutes. This method allows the story to have a beginning, middle, and end in ninety minutes. As the viewer moves through the show during the morning hours (from 10 a.m. to noon), our teenagers may share background experiences that have shaped their present views. It conerns questions about their identities. As the show moves forward through the day and into the afternoon (from noon to six) our teenagers are out and about while we hear them speak on themes related to their present day lives and the communities they are now a part of. As we move into the evening (from six to midnight), the pace of our day slows, as our cast reflects on the future of their communities.