The challenges on this project were to first learn about the issue, and learn what story needed telling. With divisive political opinions covering the issue it was hard to know what elements to focus on.
After reading all the current events on the issue and a bit of California’s tumultuous water history, Andrew traveled to California in order to find a subject for the film. Following the trails from local public radio, he was lead to Terra Bella California where he went door-to-door meeting farmers and hearing their experiences with the drought.
After visiting dozens of farms, fruit packaging plants, and farmer advocacy meetings, he finally selected Jesus Ramos, who stood out as both a first generation Mexican immigrant and a farm owner. Charmed by Jesus and his family, he conducted a short interview and sent to the footage back to New York for approval and insight.
While the MediaStorm team was excited by Jesus’ personality, a new challenge arose: how could person articulate the importance and complexity of such a multi-faceted issue.
We spent four days filming with Jesus and his family. The final day was dedicated to capturing drone footage in order to show the scale with which the drought had affected Terra Bella’s farming community. After returning with the footage and putting the film together, we identified three experts who could provide context and interactive storytelling components for Verse. We showed a rough cut of the film to the experts and they were able to understand Jesus’ story and to speak to his situation directly.
The short film and interactives were showcased on the Verse platform to create a non-linear interactive documentary about the impact of the drought on a farmer.
The film highlighted the toolset of the Verse interactive platform, and served as an example of how the platform could be used for interactive storytelling.
is an interactive platform with a toolset that showcases non-linear multimedia storytelling.