When Bubbles Burst
An international approach for a documentary about an international problem
When Bubbles Burst is a documentary by renowned director Hans Petter Moland (Aberdeen, The Beautiful Country) that examines the mechanics behind – and victims of – financial bubbles and crashes.
The documentary comments on how globalized economy is making it increasingly difficult for nations, companies and individuals to protect themselves from extreme financial volatility. This highly relevant topic is needless to say of great international interest, importance and value.
In our opinion, this film’s website could be as interesting, important and valuable as the film itself.
The story of this project started when we were sharing the same office space as the editor of the film in the autumn of 2011. On breaks during after hour work, we found ourselves engaging in interesting discussions with him time and time again. The editor told us about the vast amount of great interview material that would never make it to the screen because of his time restrictions.
This triggered our idea. The material would not have to go to waste, but could create a great way to gain international visibility, start conversations and act as a driver for online sales of the film.
Our holistic approach started by looking into the infrastructure needed for this idea to come true. We wanted to make sure all activity – everything from the discussions about the interviews to social shares and PR – eventually would lead to buying the movie. Together with the producer we created a plan for distribution of the full-length interviews. We looked into video streaming solutions, ways to programmatically caption the interviews in a range of languages and mediums, Amazon s3 solutions for hosting, tagging systems throughout sites, alternatives for buying the film - and APIs to connect it all into one seamless experience
Cowbird was a great source of inspiration for ways of designing an interlinked system of stories.
One of our many references for the project included the excellent Avant Garde Diaries.
We learned a lot from meeting the film distribution business, amongst other things, that they are reluctant to let go of what is left of their influence and control. Although this was an obstacle, we found inspiration in projects that are challenging the traditional business models – like Louis CK who earned $1 million in 10 days, using his own online distribution system.
“I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without "corporate" restrictions.”
- Louis C.K.
In the end, the project never happened — ironically — because of funding reasons, but the knowledge we gained through our experience is just waiting for the right film to come along to embrace this international opportunity.