Open video is the movement to promote free expression and innovation in online video. OVC is a two-day summit to explore the future of video on the web. Learn more...

Presented by
Open Video Alliance

New York Law School

New York Law School

With support from


Cloud Video Encoding


Yale ISP

Bocoup — The Javascript Company


Pace University Seidenberg School

Supporting OVC
Learn more about supporting OVC

a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to creating and promoting open technologies, policies and pratcices. Mozilla
Information Society Project

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New Frontiers in Open Source Documentary: One Millionth Tower

In just three short years since OVC kicked off, the horizons of what can be done with HTML5 video have expanded massively—and the potential for open video is only continuing to grow.

One great project that we think illustrates this potential is the work of filmmaker Kat Cizek and her team on the Highrise project—a multi-year multimedia documentary effort from the National Film Board of Canada that examines the experiences of those living in high-rise residential buildings all over the world.

The first Highrise release, Out My Window, was designed for the web—enabling viewers to freely browse the stories of many international high-rise residents and explore their environments in 360 degrees.

Now, the team is assembling the world’s first open-source HTML5/WebGL documentary, One Millionth Tower. The project uses a virtual landscape to re-imagine a dilapidated highrise neighborhood in suburban Toronto, giving users the opportunity to interact with the environment and reshape the neighborhood. While the real-world site on which the virtual environment is modeled is a hyper-local story for Toronto, the online experience makes it a global, or as the filmmakers call it, “hyper-glocal,” experience with relevance to similar communities worldwide.

One Millionth Tower is based on a number of existing open source technologies, including Mozilla’s Popcorn, Mr. Doob’s three.js javascript library for WebGL, Google Map and Streetview data, and much more. Open source fits the philosophy of the project, with its basis in participatory urban design and collaborative documentary production.

We think One Millionth Tower is a great example of the new possibilities emerging in the world of open video. It’s a perfect illustration of the ideas we’ll be working on at OVC, bringing together innovative new approaches from filmmakers, technologists, and many others.

The conference starts next weekend, so be sure to register today!

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