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Vancouver group nets Webby awards

Welcome to Pine Point

Vancouver creators win Webby Award for interactive video

– by Rachel Langer

This week, the Vancouver-based firm the Goggles Media Group won two Webby Awards for their interactive video Welcome to Pine Point.

Beating out the Montreal band Arcade Fire and the New York Times, among others, the group – basically, Vancouverites Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons – netted awards for Documentary: Individual Episode Online Film and Video, and one for Netart in the websites category. They’ll fly to New York in June to pick up their awards.

Welcome to Pine Point is a poignant and poetic docu-piece on a northern mining town that has been completely erased from topographical map, remaining only in pictures, video, and the fond memories of the generation that grew up there. Pine Point was a town constructed for one purpose; production of lead and zinc. The government shut down the open-pit mine as soon as it was past its prime. The only generation that made Pine Point its own shares its memories, its past and present in Welcome to Pine Point.

Throughout the documentary, Simons waxes poetic on what makes a memory, a hometown, and a history. His retrospective monologue is enough to make you put on the entire Weakerthans’ discography and drink Pilsner in your parent’s wood-paneled basement – in a good way.

The Goggles have built an interactive documentary, where you can be as involved in the history of Pine Point as you choose, and watch at your own pace. It is artfully compiled, and thoughtfully narrated. The use of photos, videos, and illustrations is unique and enchanting, and the music facilitates a natural emotional response. The bottom line is, if you experienced any of Canada before the late ’80s, you’ll be able to relate, and proudly.

You can expect to see interactive productions making a surge in this new wave of media, social networking, and hands-on viewership. If everyone is able to create pieces as artfully as the Goggles, it will be a very exciting time.  Congratulations to them on their Webby win, and kudos to the NFB for taking risks on new media projects.  You can watch Welcome to Pine Point here: http://interactive.nfb.ca/#/pinepoint

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