Dan Archer's 3D recreation of the Michael Brown shooting, 'Ferguson Firsthand,' part of first transmedia installation at True/False

Dan ArcherDan Archer, a graphic journalist and RJI Fellow at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will participate in three immersive technology events this weekend in Columbia, Missouri, as part of the True/False Film Fest, which is featuring transmedia stories, events and installations for the first time.

Transmedia storytelling is the publishing of different parts of news stories across multiple digital platforms. Empathetic Media, the startup Archer founded as part of his 2014-2015 fellowship, specializes in adapting journalistic stories into an immersive format.

Archer’s “Ferguson Firsthand,” an interactive work that focuses on the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, will be showcased as a means of activism Saturday morning and as part of a three-person panel discussion that afternoon.

"Ferguson Firsthand" combines eyewitness accounts in comics format with audio narrations of grand jury testimonies in a 3-D virtual reality reconstruction of the Ferguson shooting. It also features 3-D models of evidence found at the scene.

“Ferguson is just one application for this technology,” Archer said. “My intent is to be able to develop and iterate virtual reality scenes on a short enough timeframe that newsrooms across the country can use them as a way of allowing users newfound freedom in exploring their stories."

The morning session, “Arthouse to Statehouse,” sponsored by The Fledgling Fund, begins at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Ragtag Cinema.

Transmedia Live! begins at 3 p.m. at the same location and includes Archer, Elaine Sheldon and Oscar Raby. Ingrid Kopp, Tribeca Film Institute’s director of interactive, will moderate the panel.

Each panelist’s work, including Sheldon’s “Hollow” and Raby’s “The Assent,” will be featured in installations at The Picturehouse at Missouri United Methodist Church. The public can view the installations at no charge throughout the festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday.

Visit truefalse.org for other transmedia events and the complete festival schedule. RJI is a host site for films on Friday and Saturday.

RJI grants several fellowships each year to individuals and organizations with innovative ideas and projects geared toward improving the practice or understanding of journalism. Learn more about the 2014-2015 class here.

Sarah Strasburg  
Guest blogger


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