Visual storytelling styles (2): Last Hijack transmedia experience

The pirate - Last Hijack - Dutch News Design

Dutch Newspaper NRC features The Last Hijack online, a transmedia production about piracy in Somalia. Storytelling style: Interactive Documentary.

The story is based on the ‘normal’ documentary Last Hijack, by Femke Wolting and Tommy Pallotta. The interactive version is easy to follow: a captain and his nemesis, the pirate. With accordingly the “Somalia” perspective (top bar) and the “Western” perspective (bottom bar). By clicking the smart designed timeline, you can go back and forth.

The Pirate - Lastij Hijack - Dutch News Design

The Pirate (top bar)

The Captain - Last Hijack - Dutch News Design

The Captain (bottom bar)

Last Hijack Online explores an abundancy of storytelling styles: data visualisation, infographics, animation, comics, cinematographic film, compelling interviews, explanatory interactive text frames, and music.
Stylistically that leads to a slightly eclectic experience, but by using subdued green, blue and yellow tones, the interactive still has an overall consistent atmosphere.

Last Hijack interactive - Dutch News Design

The smart timeline divides the Somalia perspective (top) from the Western perspective (bottom)

Pirate locations somalia - interactive last hijack - Dutch News Design

The Last Hijack can be watched without any interaction. That is slightly less interesting, like watching a documentary with buttons inside the video frame all the way through. But as you experience it as an example of Interactive Documentary making, it is a great storytelling experience.

Nice detail for journalists concerned with proper sourcing: the other side of the story is visible almost the whole time, at the top or the botton of the screen.

The Somalia perspective

The Somalia perspective (top bar)

Read also: Visual storytelling styles (1): Killing Kennedy

Watch the trailer of the documentary

Stijn Postema

Stijn Postema is a journalism lecturer and freelance reporter from the Netherlands. He has a background in journalism, arts and design.

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