Digital shop teams with filmmakers for interactive LGBTQ doco

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A new documentary, from the emerging field of interactive content, has just premiered online. Digital agency Resn has teamed up with Piki Films, NZ on Air’s Digital Media Fund and the Fafswag creative collective to create – The Interactive Documentary, from director Tanu Gago.

The documentary explores the LGBTQ vogue ball scene in the world’s biggest Pacific city, Auckland. Vogue ball culture is a global phenomenon with underground scenes established around the world.

The documentary aims to make New Zealand’s scene accessible to an international audience by streaming for free at

The experience uses a gaming methodology; drawing the audience into the story through intuitive interactions while they learn about vogue culture. Audiences can choose striking characters and locations or become the judge in a unique dance battle. Selecting a winner will unlock short-form documentaries revealing the personal lives of five young performers.

“I was drawn to the interactive format because it allowed storytellers to develop an immersive experience that mirrors the social interaction you have in real life.”

Resn CD Wade Cowan said: “The technology powering is Resn’s own interactive video platform, Cake, previously seen in projects such as Converse Diamonds, VeilHymn and Pocket Mustang. Resn has expanded Cake’s capabilities, allowing an audience to actively participate and control aspects of the unfolding narrative. Resn goal was to reimagine an audience’s relationship with film and to deepen their involvement with the story.

“Through interactivity, our audience naturally becomes more engaged with the characters and will spend more time learning about them.”

Director Tanu Gago made the decision to make the film interactive early on. “I was drawn to the interactive format because it allowed storytellers to develop an immersive experience that mirrors the social interaction you have in real life,” he says.

“You invest time and emotional energy, you’re not just a passive viewer and in the end, you’re rewarded with a deeper understanding of the people and the world they occupy.”

Made with assistance from NZ On Air

Tamatoa: Pati Solomona-Tyrell & the Witch Bitch collective
Envy: Darren Taniue
Fang: Cypress Afakasi & the House of Coven
Khaos: Jermaine Dean
Jaycee Baby: Jaycee Tanuvasa

Dance Battle Crew

Director: Tanu Gago
Executive Producer: Carthew Neal
Producer: Morgan Waru
Director of Photography: Darryl Ward
1st AC: Mike Bull
Camera Assistant: Laura Tait
Gaffer: Karl Saunders
Lighting Assistant: Sam Britten
Safety Supervisor: Karsten Meldgaard
Wardrobe Standby: Jasper Powell
Set Runner: Riley Mouat


Director of Photography: Darryl Ward
1st AC: Mike Bull
Sound Recordist: Colleen Brennen
Editors: Tanu Gago, Daniel Strang, Dan Kircher
Colourist: David McLaren
Music: Jermaine Dean & Tim Checkley

Thanks to: Imagezone, Family Bar, Department of Post, Screen Auckland, Otahuhu Mangere Youth Group, Paper Bag Princess, Artspace NZ

About Resn
Established in Wellington in 2004, Resn has grown to become one of the world’s leading digital interactive agencies. Resn focuses on creating groundbreaking work that redefines what’s possible. Always devoted to connecting with diverse audiences across the globe, Resn puts the audience at the heart of every experience. Resn has been fortunate enough to have earned a number of the industry’s most recognised awards, including Awwwards Agency of the Year, CSS Design Awards Agency of the Year, FWA Hall of Fame, FWA Club 100 and many more.

About Piki Films
‘Piki’ means to climb, ascend, climb over, and get on in Māori. This speaks to the tone of their projects and to the aims of the company—to have energy and momentum in the development process through to production and release lead by executive producers Taika Waititi and Carthew Neal. Their initial releases include Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Aroha Bridge and upcoming The Breaker Upperers.

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