Storyboarding the Oil Boom

A multi-media look at how oil changed North Dakota.

The Black Gold Boom is a multimedia project on how oil is changing everyday life in Western North Dakota. Starting with a series of short stories aired online and on radio, the project culminates into Rough Ride - a guided tour of the oil patch. 
A Cinematic Experience 
This interactive documentary is comprised of 9 chapters with video, infographics, user generated content and media galleries. Unlike traditional cinematic documentaries, the user can still navigate at their own pace or to the depth of content that interests them. 
Weaving Data into a Story
I worked closely with journalist Todd Melby, who gathered personal narratives and rich data sets, to weave these layers of information into his overall narrative structure. We worked iteratively through storyboards to create a seamless flow from one chapter to the next while incorporating data visualizations or additional media. 
Letting the Audience Set the Pace
Throughout the documentary, chapters are introduced with timing is displayed via a scrubber and time elapse. At any point, the viewer has control to move forward and back throughout the sequences based on her interest.
Harnessing User-Generated Media
Fascinated by the amount of pre-existing YouTube videos on man camps or oil field conditions, we strove to incorporate this material dynamically into the produced vignettes. 
UX Strategy: Lindsey Wagner
Producer: Todd Melby
Partners: Prairie Public, AIR, Zeega, CPB, Civic Center

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