Sat, 11 Jun 2011  /  Post a comment
Sounds Like Techno’ online documentary exploring origins of techno music, from its early days in Detroit, to its place in Australian subculture today.
The project showcases interviews with local and international artists, promoters and other music industry personnel.
DJ’s Stacey Pullen, Derrick May and Juan Atkins are just some of the internationals featured in the documentary, along with Australian artists Voiteck, Richie Rich, Ollie Olsen, Brewster B, Steve Law
Sounds Like Techno’ was an online documentary exploring the origins of techno music, from its early days in Detroit, to its place in Australian subculture today.
Launched in2003 on the ABC website, the project showcases around fourty interviews with local and international artists, promoters and other music industry personnel.
DJ’s Stacey Pullen, Derrick May and Juan Atkins are just some of the internationals featured in the documentary, along with Australian artists Voiteck, Richie Rich, Ollie Olsen, Brewster B, Steve Law and many more.
Impressive flash animation and a killer soundtrack, support the extensive research material to create a truly unique and in depth multimedia documentary.
According to German director JD Mittman, the project took just over three years to complete, including the application and proposal for funding from the Digital Media Fund, commissioned by the ABC.
JD says that he and producer Keren Flavell first joined forces to produce the online documentary because, it seemed like a great opportunity to explore this new medium.
“Keren comes from a multimedia background whereas I come from a more journalistic background,” explains JD. “We wanted to do something that would work as a documentary on the net and since we were both into music and found that there was a large techno scene in Australia, particularly in Melbourne, we felt that there was something to explore.”
“There is such a vibrant scene down here and a lot of people come quite regularly, as you know, because they like to play down here. Especially Stacey Pullen and Derrick May, they’re here almost every year”, JD says.
JD and Keren were unable to travel to Detroit, Chicago or Berlin, to collect research material but as it happened, May and Pullen visited Melbourne during the documentary’s production so, JD and Keren were lucky to have the international DJs involved in the project.
According to JD, other artists who came on board the project assisted by contributing music, working on the soundtrack or by contributing still images. He explains that still images are used in the documentary rather than streaming video because the quality of video on the web is still fairly poor.
“If you want to see interviews or dance floors or that sort of thing we can’t deliver that but on the other hand – still images suit the user because it means file sizes are smaller and downloads are quicker,” says JD. “When we did our research and watched all the other documentaries on the web it kind of got repetitive after a while so, we wanted to get away from that conventional image.”
Another positive aspect of producing an online documentary rather than a traditional video, is the absence of a particular broadcast time. Users are free to access and explore the documentary for the next three years on the ABC website, rather than being restricted to a specific time slot.
“You can actually go and check it out whenever it suits you or wherever you are,” exclaims JD. “Because there is so much content on there, I assume most users will go and have a look first and then say ‘Oh there is more than I thought’ and then come back later.”
This new approach to documentary production is proving highly successful with users so far. According to JD, feedback for ‘Sounds Like Techno’ is so promising, that the ABC might consider funding another ‘Sounds Like’ series in the near future.
“From what we have gathered so far, if the site gets a lot of hits and we continue to receive positive feedback, they may want to do another similar project,” JD says with obvious enthusiasm. He seems particularly excited at the prospect of producing another online documentary and already has some ideas worked out for a future series.
Checkout ‘Sounds Like Techno’ at