A Passage to Vietnam
A Passage to Vietnam is the brand new title from Rick Smolan of Against All Odds Productions – the same company that produced From Alice to Ocean and the same photographer that produced the Day In the Life series of books. Once again he’s got a hit. With the intent to document Vietnam almost 20 years after the end of the war, Smolan and 70 other photographers, representing 23 different nationalities, spent a week there in the spring of ’94. The result is a CD-ROM packed with 400 first-rate photographs and an hour of video. These elements provide the foundation. Using the “Quebe,” a 3D navigational tool, you move around easily, quickly, and efficiently to explore six different “Passages,” each dealing with various aspects of Vietnamese life. Many pictures are accompanied by text, and audio or video of the photographer relating some story or piece of information about a particular shot. Periodically the user is invited to visit a related area – to sit in on photo-editing sessions as work for the project is discussed and selected, or to visit one of four “Virtual Galleries” of noted photographers like Elliott Erwitt and David Hume Kennerly. The text is intelligent, the music (which, for a change, does not end abruptly as you move around) is excellent, and the layer upon layer of content make good use of the technology. Here’s a CD-ROM that gives you much more than a book or video. What a pleasure!
– June 1995