Exploration and Stimulation

An award-winning filmmaker and journalist with a consuming curiosity about connecting

Why F(earless) I(inspirational) T(imely) C(hallenging) is for me

I’m trained as a journalist and I’ve worked in every facet of journalism there is -- radio, TV, print and online as well as directing documentaries. In my industry, the advent of interactive storytelling is taking hold and continues to morph and move in different and varied ways. I’m always curious about new things and ready to experience diverse ways of working and creating.

In my previous incarnations I have written many articles on different topics including regular columns on artists who are focused on socio-political isssues.

Since I’ve also done TV reporting (news) and films, I’ve examined ways in which I can really do articles that meld art, video, audio and creative narrative. With the advent of HTML 5 storytelling a few years ago, I can see that news media are attempting to figure out what’s next? For me, HTML 5 is getting little old …. What’s new? And, how can I contribute to the continuing innovations in this sector?

Humans of Berlin by June Chua 2015

Digital Story Telling

It’s so important to stay on top of things and in the realm of digital storytelling, I have discovered avenues of expression I never knew existed. Last year, for the first time, I attended the FITC convention in Toronto with its focus on narratives. I never would have done so in the past – as my focus has been on documentaries or “pure” journalism – but decided I needed to discover what was out there.

FITC 2014 was a revelation. Not only was I inspired (who couldn’t be by Stefan Sagmeister’s “Happiness” opening lecture? Or the wise ruminations of Hal Lasko? And the charming Yuko Shimizu? ) but I was held in wonder by the interactive art demonstrated by the likes of Kim Pimmel, the PARTY creative lab and Lauren McCarthy and in awe of the left turns in the career of James White. FITC made me excited for the future and looking forward to the new frontiers of interactivity available to me.

Image credit: http://blog.sandglaz.com/

Interactive film project

As I consider fresh paths in my career, my focus *MUST* be technological for obvious reasons: the audience is online. Even more so, after years of cutbacks in staff, the Toronto Star recently announced 60 new positions (!!) in their interactive journalism department. That marks a new level when it comes to traditional media embracing “new” media --- I have not seen that amount of journalism positions available in a single Canadian organization for a decade at least.

In my pursuit of new channels for storytelling, I have co-created a sample interactive project based on my award-winning film TRAVELS WITH MY BROTHER.

Travels With My Brother - Promo (HD) from Christine Alexiou & June Chua on Vimeo.

In TWMB, we chronicle the inner life of an autistic man utilizing 2D animation mixed with video. The award-winning short film has captured the imagination of many who do not understand the inner workings of autistic individuals. As a result, my co-director and I also nabbed a DOCshift interactive pitch prize (Documentary Organization of Canada) in order to produce a sample of our project, CITIZEN AUTISTIC, in 2013.

We’re now seeking funds and collaborators to take this project to the next level. We have the support of the autism community, researchers and others in the field -- they are all enthusiastic about the project. As such, I am eager to attend FITC Toronto 2015 in order to gather information on the latest types of technologies and ways of creating and to make connections.

Most importantly, as evidenced by FITC 2014, it’s vital that as a creator and content strategist I am inspired and energized. One is ALWAYS in need of the fuel of new ideas that can lead to revelations and innovations.

The best advice I’ve gotten so far has been from Yuko Shimizu herself (FITC 2014) who has preached that one should “always take one small risk every day” and to understand that “bad ideas lead to good ideas” – in other words, Be Willing to Experiment and Explore. This means to keep trying, failing, challenging oneself until you breakthrough barriers and land in new horizons. Be fearless enough to know that success is built on a mountain of trials and hardships, which lead to moments of discovery.

That’s what FITC does for me -- I am propelled forward into worlds that are fun and inventive and in the wake of it, I am powered-up with the joy of creating original and unique experiences!

I hope to see you in April.

June Chua