In 1999, Victoria Mapplebeck wrote, filmed and directed Smart Hearts, Channel 4’s first interactive documentary series, in which web cams streamed live from the subjects homes for over 18 months.
Smart Hearts explored the ways in which an audience can become part of the narrative, how they can shape and are shaped by interactive documentary. At the launch of the Smart Hearts web site, viewers became hooked on the mundane and the dramatic of life, lived, live for one year.
A 360 portrait of subjects who bite back. This longitudinal cross platform series aimed to collaborate with subjects who would collude in their exposure rather than be victims of it.
Smart Hearts explored the impact of interactive documentary for director, subject and audience and was nominated for a New Media Indie Award in 2000.
Victoria wrote a chapter on Smart Hearts, exploring the ethics of access and consent in multi platform production for The Tabloid Culture Reader – (McGraw Hill 2008).
This is hypnotic stuff
Although convergence between television and the web is still in its infancy, Channel 4’s new five part documentary series, Smart Hearts, offers intriguing pointers as to where the future might lie.
Director, Victoria Mapplebeck infuses the grainy footage with ideas and intelligence
A compelling exploration of consent and complicity in documentary film making, Smart Hearts is fascinating