The immersive multimedia documentary, built using Zeega, tells the story of the impact of oil drilling in North Dakota.
Todd Melby wants to tell small stories. Hardly an impossible goal for a journalist, but when you’re looking at something as big as the explosion in oil drilling in North Dakota, the scale of the story can get out of hand. In less than five years, the state has tripled its oil production; the Census Bureau estimates western North Dakota (where the oil is) will see its population increase by 50 percent. Big story.
So Melby decided to to tell the macro story in a micro way, focusing on the roughnecks who come to North Dakota in search of jobs, the daily experience of working on an drilling rig, and the families whose lives are upended by the oil patch. The result is Rough Ride, a multimedia experience that takes an intimate, documentary-esque approach to telling the story. Split into a series of chapters, Rough Ride divides up the various players and scenes found throughout North Dakota’s rapidly expanding oil country, intertwined with interactive graphics, photography, and first-person video.
(It’s not something easy to embed in an article like this; you really do need to go to the site and let it play to get the experience. Go full screen if you can. It’s immersive in a way that a 600-pixel-wide frame can’t be.)...