Risk Takers Survival Guide project

£50,000 for online documentary to explore risk

Exploring the idea of risk - in a short interactive documentary - forms the basis of a new project led by the University of Exeter in collaboration with viral advertising agency, Rubber Republic, Bristol. 

‘The Risk Takers Survival Guide’ project is one of six projects to have been awarded £50,000 by REACT Future Documentary Sandbox, a nationwide programme that seeks to bring storytelling, design and technology together to innovate and inspire audiences.

The interactive documentary will be developed to explore how people calculate risk in everyday situations. Whether by rule of thumb or gut instinct the way in which risk is calculated is not always scientific or appropriate for the complex situations which may arise. What should we be worried about and why, will form the basis for the online documentary that will use academic research to reveal the ways in which we make decisive or quick choices. It will illustrate what tools are used to come to a decision of whether to act and how to respond to situations which are perceived as involving risk. 

Dr James Lyons, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Exeter said: ”This project lets me apply some of my research around risk and non-fiction film to an exciting interactive documentary project that is both experimental and accessible to a broad audience. It’s also great to know that we are working alongside a company that has just won a Gold Lion at the prestigious Cannes Lion international Festival of Creativity, which represents worldwide recognition for their excellence and innovation in online creative content.’

Matt Golding founder of the Rubber Republic, Bristol said: ”We're looking forward to collaborating with James and the University of Exeter on this project, and we're excited to see what we can create by sharing our knowledge and resources.”

The project will be developed over the course of three months beginning in the autumn, with regular project testing at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio. The production phase will culminate with each of the six project teams developing a working prototype which will be presented at a public showcase. Future Documentary is the third theme explored by the REACT programme, which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), following sandboxes addressing Books & Print and Heritage over the last two years.

REACT Executive Producer Clare Reddington said: “There is so much creative potential for experimentation in the documentary format, which was reflected by the high quality of applications we received. The six projects that were finally chosen showed real insight about how digital technologies and storytelling can work together to create something inspiring and new as well as collaborative, accessible and inclusive.”

This is all great news for arts and humanities scholars and the creative industries in the region according to Anka Djordjevic, Knowledge Exchange Manager for REACT at the University of Exeter. She said:”New types of collaborative partnerships are emerging supported by REACT, and there will be more projects like this for the local economy and community to benefit from. These new creative ways of engaging audiences is both exciting and likely to be great fun.”

Date: 9 July 2013

Read more University News