Killing Lincoln

http://killinglincoln.nationalgeographic.com/

Creators

National Geographic Channel

Related News Attribution: New York Times

Photograph courtesy: Library of Congress; Dover Public Library; U.S. National Park Service;mrlincolnswhitehouse.org; National Police Gazette; My American Odyssey

Photographer: Taber Andrew Bain; Fred Delventhal; Michael Mathewson

The assets

Part. 1 Conspiracy

4 videos

57 pictures (some of them are repeated)

20 text parts

10 audio tracks 

11 timelines

22 characters

Part 2. Assacination

3 videos

46 pictures

13 text parts

6 audio

8 timelines

20 characters

Part 3. Aftermath

5 videos

60 pictures

20 text parts

10 audio

14 timelines

25 characters

Also the narrations contains: quotes, additional information side boards, map and Google map street views.

The examples of how the story is structured:

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The most important elements are: the place, the action and the characters

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The story is divided into 3 parts.

All together they contain 46 episodes and 38 locations:

BOOTH MEETS JOHN AND MARY SURRATT

(SURRATT’S BOARDING HOUSE)

LINCOLN ESCAPES SHOOTING
(SOLDIERS’ HOME)

BOOTH INITIALLY PLOTTED TO KIDNAP LINCOLN
BOOTH LAUNCHES KIDNAPPING PLOT
BOOTH RECEIVES MYSTERIOUS FUNDS

BOOTH TRAVELS TO MONTREAL

BOOTH COURTS HALE
(HALE RESIDENCE)

LINCOLN’S SECOND INAUGURATION
(CAPITOL BUILDING)

LINCOLN’S PROPHETIC DREAM
(THE RIVER QUEEN)

THE CIVIL WAR DRAWS TO AN AGONIZING END.
THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG ENDS

LINCOLN MEETS WITH GRANT

LEE’S TROOPS BEGIN TO RETREAT

GRANT PLANS HIS FINAL ASSAULT

BATTLE OF RICE’S STATION
BATTLE OF SAYLER’S CREEK

ON THE ROAD TO FARMVILLE

LEE SURRENDERS TO GRANT

(AQUIDNECK HOUSE HOTEL)

WASHINGTON, D.C., CELEBRATES
(WHITE HOUSE)

BOOTH VISITS PUMPHREY’S STABLE
(PUMPHREY’S STABLE)

BOOTH ALLUDES TO ASSASSINATION
(SURRATT’S BOARDING HOUSE)

BOOTH WRITES TO HIS MOTHER
(NATIONAL HOTEL)

BOOTH CHANGES HIS PLANS
(HERNDON HOUSE)

GRANT DECLINES THEATER TICKETS
(WILLARD HOTEL)

O’LAUGHLEN’S ASSASSINATION WARNING
(STANTON RESIDENCE)

THE LINCOLNS PREPARE FOR A NIGHT OUT
(WHITE HOUSE)

BOOTH STOPS FOR A DRINK
(TALTAVULL’S STAR SALOON)

PLOT TO KILL VICE PRESIDENT FAILS
(KIRKWOOD HOUSE)

ATTEMPT TO KILL SECRETARY OF STATE
(SEWARD RESIDENCE)

BOOTH SHOOTS LINCOLN
(FORD’S THEATRE)
LINCOLN SUCCUMBS TO HIS INJURIES
(PETERSEN HOUSE)
BOOTH AND HEROLD MEET
(SURRATT HOUSE& TAVERN)

MUDD TREATS BOOTH’S INJURY
(SAMUEL MUDD RESIDENCE)

THE INVESTIGATION BEGINS
(ASTOR HOUSE HOTEL)

BOOTH AND HEROLD AT RICH HILL
(RICH HILL)

HIDING IN ZEKIAH SWAMP
(ZEKIAH SWAMP)

HELP ARRIVES AT THE PINE THICKET
(HUCKLEBERRY)

THE CONSPIRACY WEAKENS. THE ARRESTS BEGIN.
ARNOLD IS ARRESTED

LINCOLN’S FUNERAL & VIEWING
(CAPITOL BUILDING)

LINCOLN’S FUNERAL TRAIN
(BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD DEPOT)

MUDD IS ARRESTED
(SAMUEL MUDD RESIDENCE)

BOOTH AND HEROLD CONTINUE TO HIDE.
BOOTH AND HEROLD CROSS THE POTOMAC

STANDOFF AT GARRETT FARM
(GARRETT FARM)

CONSPIRATORS ARE HELD FOR TRIAL
(USS SAUGUS & USS MONTAUK)
THE TRIAL
(OLD ARSENAL PENITENTIARY)

FOUR CONSPIRATORS ARE IMPRISONED
(FORT JEFFERSON PENITENTIARY)

FOUR CONSPIRATORS ARE HANGED
(OLD ARSENAL PENITENTIARY)

 

This story is succesful, because it covers a very controversial topic, step-by-step replaying back the situations of the past. The authors meticulously explain all the parts of the story (the location, the time, the people involved, the actions and the reasons – well-known or supposed). They are helding reader’s hand constantly, but permit and even encourage him to feel the emotions, immersing him into the past with the help of all types of multimedia (clopping sound, zip code that helps to see how far the reader is from the place where the action took place, clips, literally illustrating the described events).

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This narrative succeeds more like a piece of art that has an intention to make the audience to feel strong emotions (from curiosity and fear till anguish and sorrow). This story is good for the nostalgic readers that are very familiar with the story, but want to check some details or want to dive into the atmosphere of this exact time. However, as the informative piece the publication is not so brilliant, because it hardly gives us a possibility to understand the whole picture. Some of the photos, videos and quotes that are used more confuse, than help to have a clear view of the actions before and after the killing.

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The most important thing this snowfall requires is a solid text fragment or article that can be supplemented with all the digital tools: maps, photos, video, google maps and so on. Also it would be helpful to have the list of all the characters together with the background explaining how they are connected. They probably even could use a “family tree” or similar format. Some of the pictures need additional description and explanation, especially the pictures of the buildings, because some of them look quite random. It is difficult to see the straight connection between the picture of the house or the and the occasion.

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The reader must be very patient, becase it is very easy to become tired from scrolling all the way down during the long time, especially on mobile. Also, additional information side boards are not very useful on mobile. The sound effects are deep and impressive, but are very distractful when you are trying to follow the narrative thread and see the logical connections between the people, places and occasions. The attempt to relocate the reader to Lincoln’ America seem a little bit artificial, because different digital tools united in one big story still cannot provide the feeling of the full immersion, which can be easily done with the help of the movie.

For the reader who is not familiar with the topic it is not very clear what exactly has happened and why, because here multimedia do not support the text, they have their own life now. Therefore, the short text fragments are dominated and loose their influence on the reader, although this piece could be a great reminder for a person who knows the story but needs to fresh his knowledge.

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As this story is very long, it can drives you crazy sometimes, especially when they repeat some of the pictures and it feels like you are walking around again and again.

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This story deserves to be told in this way, because it is beautiful and encouraging piece of art, but as an informative narrative it requires additional article where the connection between the characters and the occasions is described very clear without distractful elements such as quotes and sound effects which also support the creativity and the beaty of the piece, but make it less clear and harder to understand.

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