We had a chat with Joseph Bell, a Digital Producer, about The Sound of Autumn.
What is The Sound of Autumn?
It’s an experimental ‘Gif Wall’, pulling together a selection of Autumnwatch GIFs in one place.
Each individual GIF can be shared, but it is also tied to a track within a looping audio bed on the page. Clicking on a specific GIF mutes/unmutes a specific track within the audio. This means users can in effect trigger as many as they want, in any order they want, to create a bespoke audio visual experience.
What is the most exciting aspect of it?
For me it’s the simplicity of the proposition. On one level it’s a really nice format for bringing together themed GIF content and making it easily sharable. However by adding the audio element and an extra level of user interaction in the click to start/stop a GIF, it creates an experience that is more than the sum of its parts.
What were you trying to achieve?
GIFs are obviously a massive part of web culture yet were not something we had really played with – so this was a nice opportunity to try something different with them.
The whole GIF wall idea started off as a tech demo for an arts project. Once we saw how well the idea worked and how quickly we could get a demo together, we looked for something with topicality and visual appeal to test the idea with an audience.
We soon landed on the idea of a collaboration with the fantastic digital team at Autumnwatch for their 2015 series. And when we saw the work of local musician and sound designer Pete Styles everything just clicked. In just a few weeks we’d pulled this experience together as a quick experiment.
What do you think the fans of Taster will make of it?
I hope they’ll see it as a bit of fun but also an interesting way of bringing together other assets that can easily get lost in a flurry of social activity.
This is obviously just an experiment, but it’d be great to see how people react and what other BBC teams make of the potential of bringing content together in this way.
There are loads of questions to address - How would this work with other ‘GIF-ifyed’ programme clips? Or Food content? Or science? There are still lots of areas for experimentation and I hope the audience reaction will help us work out where to take it.