#Romanovs100: 4,000 photos. 4 social networks. 1 family.

RT, Moscow / RT / 2018

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On July 17, 1918, former Tsar, Nicholas Romanov, his wife and five children were brutally executed by the Bolsheviks. To pay tribute to the family, we worked on a large set of visual data for a transmedia storytelling experience that pieces out the big picture of a "lost Russia".

#Romanovs100 is the story of the Empire’s last royal family through thousands of photographs they took themselves — published across 4 social networks, with accounts on each network showcasing their own narrative, format and content. We hosted a comprehensive photo-story depicting the last decades of Imperial Russia over the centenary of the last 100 days of the Romanov family on dedicated accounts on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


- create innovative educational social media storytelling

- educate and inspire our audiences to learn history

- increase brand awareness


#Romanovs100 is a unique digital storytelling project driven by visual data and built on the analysis of thousands of photos shot by Russia’s last Royal family in the early 20th century.

To make history come to life in the world of social media & digital platforms, we partnered with the Russian State Archive to retrieve over 4,000 actual analogue images once stored in the private family albums.

Our work to digitise and analyse this trove of family photographs helped portray the Romanovs from a new, deeply human perspective, resulting in innovative data-driven educational storytelling on social media platforms.

This vast family chronicle is a detailed first-hand witness account of the early 20th century - for decades this part of Russian history was eradicated from school-books and kept in the dark during the Soviet era. Today, we bring it back to the spotlight.


Our team's objective is to demonstrate how interactive educational projects can resonate with "new generations" fully-adapted to gadgets and a "news feed mentality"; to highlight how innovative storytelling can help young people engage with history.

The big challenge was to keep the narrative unique and original for every platform - considering the specifics of every particular social media platform the team thoroughly selected and distributed content between YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The team spent months gathering a data trove of digital images and then tagging every photo. As a result, a tag-cloud of some 200 markers was created to navigate the content archive via a digital asset management platform. Story planning started at the early stages of data curation - every image needed a story behind it. To create narratives for social media posts, we extensively used dozens of different sources.


During 100 days 4 social media networks (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) hosted a comprehensive photo-story review depicting the last decades of Imperial Russia. Each platform boasted unique content and we arranged the storytelling as follows:

- 100-year-old shots turned into interactive 180-degree panoramas on Facebook

- short digital documentary-style videos on YouTube

- real-time blog-posts by historical characters on Twitter

- POV Instagram perspective by the Romanov's dog - Russian spaniel Joy

- World's first-ever digital colorization contest judged by renowned artist Marina Amaral

- Twitter account run by one of the most popular writers on the Romanov family - British historian Dr. Helen Rappaport

- Music video combining old photos & VR Animation in Quill with Cinema and After Effects

- Video teasers reconstructing several of the Romanovs' images, in-motion - filmed on retro 8mm & 16mm cameras with large-scale production and authentic stage props.

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