Exploring the Larger Ecosystem
A series of six Emmy award-winning documentaries tell the story of Ketchikan, Alaska. Karass built a system to enhance these video stories and engage the user by adding access to archival photographs from the local museums, articles from history books, stories from the locals, and hours of additional footage of the region.
We analyzed each piece of content to find relationships between them, and discovered that the documentaries themselves were the perfect vessels to house and organize these elements. Each photo and article elevates the videos inviting the user to dive further into the Ketchikan story. The challenge now was to integrate them fluidly into a cinematic environment.
Packaging a Player
We built a custom media player that provides smooth transitions between the film and supplemental materials. Each image or text is embedded as a “beat” — a media packet that is attached to a timestamp. While viewing the film users receive non-invasive snippets of beats, which invite them to dive deeper into the current topic. They also have the ability to read these beats as a full article and use them as a table-of-contents to navigate through the video footage.
Our visual approach used a dark scheme with a few bright highlight colors pulled from the palette of the environment. The type is light and bold, reversed for readability — a contemporary mix between marquee and newspaper. The primary layout is based on a series of horizontal viewing and browsing areas, linking the videos, articles, interactive images, and credits for each film together.
The Ketchikan story experience is also deployed as a mobile app and to a series of kiosks around the city. For the best ease of administration, these all share a common, custom CMS and video hosting solution — a change in one affects all the others.