Sunday, December 15, 2013

Web Doc Manifesto

The Web Documentary Manifesto was released last April through Zeega which, inspired from Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov's early writings, called for "a revolution" in storytelling:
  • One, time to bring storytelling and storytellers to the web.
  • Two, it is time to turn the web into an interactive audiovisual medium made by everyone
  • Three, it is time, fellow comrades, for a revolution!"
Zeega allows the user to use any media in the cloud to transform the entire screen into your playground, and share your interactive creations with the world.  The Zeega blog says:  Created by a global community, Zeegas are a new form of interactive media. Some Zeegas are funny. Others are sad. A Zeega can be anything you imagine.   We’re living in a unique moment. More media than ever is recorded and shared. But the web today is dominated by a few platforms - all stories start to feel the same, trapped in rigid boxes and long lists. Zeega is ushering in an era when the web becomes an interactive, audiovisual medium made by everyone.

Check out:  

For a deeper transmedia experience check out:  Waterlife 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

PechaKucha Turnaround

Aubrey Williams

in Louisville

Aubrey Williams grew up in poverty. When he was 14 he began selling cocaine to make money. He was later caught and jailed, but continued his ways when he got out. It took a gunshot to turn his life around. From that point on he got his GED, got two college degrees with honors, and has now become a motivational prescence within his community, working to improve the lives of those who are now where he was.  "Presentation of the Day" on November 11, 2013.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to be Wise: Ted X Rome

Simon Cohen at Ted X Rome: Transmedia

Simon Cohen challenges conventional views on wisdom and discusses what it means to leave a legacy of hope, love and ideas. He shares his story of chasing wisdom according to traditional methods and what he learned in the process.  Wisdom is not knowledge, the avoidance of pain or gained through world travel. Cohen did not gain wisdom through his university studies, a corporate career, or travelling around the globe to places like India to learn from wise leaders like the Dalai Llama. He asserts that wise people are willing to admit when they do not know something. They also are willing to be vulnerable and understand that pain is an inevitable part of life. Wise people take their time and go slow. Contrary to typical images of bearded professors, he finds the most wisdom in babies and children.

You find out more about Simon on his website:  Mr. Simon Cohen

Jeff Gomez: The 3 Rules of Transmedia

Gomez: There are rules.
1) Your story needs to have some kind of aspirational quality. It needs to be meaningful. If your story is violent and really a downer, it's not going to be enough of a draw for people to follow it across multiple platforms. There's an upbeat quality to most successful transmedia stories. It's got to be a story world you want to spend time in. 
2) You have to understand the media platforms that you will have at hand. If you're an independent creator with a little budget, you still have access to social media, the web, independent digital publishing. You need to understand the language of each of those platforms. If you don't want to, find someone who can help you understand the strengths and weakness of each of those platforms. You need to be able to design your story to play to those strengths and avoid those weaknesses. You're already developing a design sensibility for the media platforms you have at hand which will help you develop the story and ultimately, produce it.

3) You need to think about and ultimate build an architecture for dialogue around your transmedia implementation. This, in essence, gives your audience the ability to provide your audience with feedback. You can make it fancy and have that become a part of the narrative if you want where your characters can literally communicate with the audience, but that's not a requirement and it's tricky to do that. We now have the ability as storytellers to look into the eyes of our audience and to validate their participation -- by which I mean the audience has a need to express themselves - from their opinions about what it is they're experiencing with your story to creative content and story-driven user-generated content. They're doing more and more of this in social media. It is my belief that if you ignore them, they'll go away.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Moth: Stealing Dogs, Three's Company and a Bargain with God

“It is brilliant and quietly addictive” – The London Guardian

“New York’s hottest and hippest literary ticket” – The Wall Street Journal

The Moth is an acclaimed not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. It is a celebration of both the raconteur, who breathes fire into true tales of ordinary life, and the storytelling novice, who has lived through something extraordinary and yearns to share it. At the center of each performance is, of course, the story – and The Moth’s directors work with each storyteller to find, shape and present it.

Since its launch in 1997, The Moth has presented thousands of stories, told live and without notes, to standing-room-only crowds worldwide.

Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways. Since each story is true and every voice authentic, the shows dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.

Moth stories dissolve socio-economic barriers, expose vulnerabilities, and quietly suggest ways to overcome challenges and see with new eyes.

Check out the Dog Days of Spanish Harlem by author Ernesto Quinonez.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Doll Test

During the 1940s, psychologists Kenneth Bancroft Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark designed a test to study the psychological effects of segregation on black children. In 1950 Kenneth Clark wrote a paper for the White House Mid-Century Conference on Children and Youth summarizing this research and related work that attracted the attention of Robert Carter of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Carter believed that Clark's findings could be effectively used in court to show that segregation damaged the personality development of black children. On Carter's recommendation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund engaged Clark to provide expert social science testimony in the Briggs, Davis, and Delaware cases. Clark also co-authored a summation of the social science testimony delivered during the trials that was endorsed by thirty-five leading social scientists. The Supreme Court specifically cited Clark's 1950 paper in the Brown decision.

Check out this April 28th, 2013 Youtube Experiment

To learn more read this CNN Article and the results of the CNN Study 

Strong Song: 強い歌

Carter from Cineastas on Vimeo.

Murray Carter is the 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he traveled to Japan when he was 18 years old. He stayed in Japan for half his life and apprenticed under a Japanese bladesmith for 6 years. In this video, Murray tells his story and discusses the importance of pursuing one’s dreams.

Murray Writes:

Like many North American boys, I have been fascinated with knives and things that go 'cut' since my early childhood. As fate would have it, I ended up in Japan at the age of 18 where I fell into an apprenticeship with a 16th generation Yoshimoto bladesmith that lasted six years. Upon completion of that fortunate tutelage, I was asked to take the position of number seventeen in the Sakemoto family tradition of Yoshimoto bladesmithing. I believe I am the only Caucasian ever to have had the honor and privilege of this position.

I continued forging blades in Japan for twelve more years and in June 2001, I was awarded the rating of Mastersmith by the American Bladesmith Society, thus proving a degree of competency by Western standards. In 2005 I moved to the United States and have continued forging blades in Oregon since then. To date I have personally completed over 19,000 knives, the majority of which were one-of-a-kind pieces consistent with the kind of work done by old-world artisans.

I speak Japanese fluently and can read fairly well. I think that it would have been impossible to understand the "essence" of Japanese bladesmithing without the language ability and I am very thankful for it.

During these years I have been truly blessed to have had such wonderful customers. Many purchase additional knives while others simply stop by for a visit. This gives me an overwhelming sense of gratitude and humility. Your indications of satisfaction provides the motivation to produce the highest performance cutlery available in the world today.

Check out his business:  Carter Cutlery

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Welcome to Pine Point: This Was Suppose To Be A Book

Pine Point was the townsite built at the Pine Point Mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada, which was an open-pit lead and zinc mine.  The first buildings were erected in 1952 during the original exploration and development campaign, and even before that a number of log cabins had been built in the late 1920s. The modern town was surveyed in 1962 and became operational by 1963.  The town was a joint-venture between the Canadian Government and mine owner's Cominco. It became a territorial settlement in the 1970s with private businesses and boasted a population of 1,200 at its peak. Pine Point had an elementary school (kindergarten to grade 6)--Galena Heights—and a grade 7 to 12 school, called Matonabbee School. The last graduating class was in 1988 as the mine was closing.

Cominco closed the mine in 1988, forcing the single-industry town to close. All buildings were removed or demolished, and today the site is completely abandoned, although there is still evidence of the street layout.

Pine Point is the subject of a 2011 Welcome to Pine Point, created by Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge.

The web documentary includes audiovisual material and mementos compiled by ex-Pine Point resident Richard Cloutier for his own website, Pine Point Revisited.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Localore: Have You Considered Radio

This Is Localore from AIR on Vimeo.

Localore helps innovation at public radio and TV stations with a "full spectrum" model that blends on-air, screen, and street media.  Check out their documentary as well as their site.

Here are some of the Localore Projects:

The Making of....from the Folks at KQED in the Bay Area of California
Here Here Pop Up Radio Project:  Stories About Your Neighborhood Oakland and San Francisco
Sonic Trance:  Stories from LA's Immigrants Stories
I See Change:  Crowdsourcing Community Climate Change
Black Gold Boom:  How Oil Changed North Dakota
Zed Omegas:  High School Dropouts or....
Curious City:  Crowdsourcing in Chicago
Austin Music Map
Reinvention Stories:  Stories from Dayton, Ohio
Planet Takeout:  Boston

Interacting wuth Autism

Sensory Overload (Interacting with Autism Project) from Miguel Jiron on Vimeo.

Some people with autism have difficulty processing intense, multiple sensory experiences at once. This animation gives the viewer a glimpse into sensory overload, and how often our sensory experiences intertwine in everyday life.  Created as part of Mark Jonathan Harris' and Marhsa Kinder's "Interacting with Autism." Coming in January 1st 2013, IWA is a three-year transmedia project funded by the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ). University Professor Marsha Kinder, the Executive Director of the Labyrinth Project at USC, and Mark Harris are heading a team of filmmakers and artists working to build an interactive, video intensive website that will focus on the best available treatments for autism.

Check out some of the videos from the site that are very moving:
The video above is animated from Miquel Jeron.  Check out his Reel below:

Arcade Fire Goes Transmedia

Just a Reflektor is Arcade Fire's new transmedia music video.  Check out their normal video to see the different in approaches.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

3 Little Pigs Goes Transmedia

Dr. Pamlea Rutledge is the Director of Media Psychology Research Center.  Her recent Transmedia Case Study:  The Three Little Pigs gives a good example of how to take a story and make it transmedia.

The basic story would be told in an anchoring medium, such as a novel, TV show, or film. In this case, it’s a short story.  There are four primary characters to expand and explore: three pigs and a wolf. There are also deeper themes of hard work, planning, collaboration, family and persistence underlying the main story arc.

The first round of expansion:
Pig 1 has a blog which details the family history and complicated family dynamics that led to the pigs decision to live apart rather than together. Pig 1 also harbors paranoid suspicions of a dark figure lurking about his house and a conspiracy theory of a cover-up by local authorities that contributed to the interfamilial conflict.
The wolf has a website would give us opportunities to learn more him, the path that led the wolf to his current antisocial tendencies, and give us a glimpse of his complex inner genius, such as showing his mathematical schematics of the impact of wind velocity on the materials of straw, sticks and bricks. We would also be able to find maps of the turnip field, apple tree, local market and County Fair and strategic attack positions. We would follow the wolf as he plots and adjusts his plans at each volley by the pigs and contribute ideas and support.
The second little pig, Pig 2, takes to Twitter. Given that his house of sticks didn’t do very well under Wolf breath, he has become very interested in rebuilding with sustainable building materials and exchanges tips with his Twitter followers. He tweets breaking news during any PigLand events such as a Wolf attack. @littlepig2 walls of house bowing inward, sticks flying off roof – help
The third little pig, Pig 3, is a hardworking homebody. He keeps a vegetable garden and creates a cooking blog and cooking demo videos for YouTube shot on location in the House of Stone. His recipes, such as such as Parsley Turnips, Baked Apples, and Stewed Wolf Surprise are made using only local, organic ingredients.
The second round of expansion:  
On a Ning network, Wolf supporters form Team Wolf and contribute strategy, information, additional maps, and alternate endings and plot developments.  An Anime comic takes fans on the first little pig’s visions of a pig super hero uncovering the conspiracy, saving the world and avenging evil as personified by wolves.
Pig 2 posts eco-friendly home designs and materials on Pinterest and holds a contest for homes make from sustainable building materials
The third little pig has a cooking series shot on location from the Stone House kitchen posted on YouTube with ways to make Parsley Turnips, Baked Apples, and Stewed Wolf Surprise. He hides clues for secret ingredients in his dishes in lyrics of songs and the YouTube trailers and encourage viewers to send in their stories about home cooking and wolf encounters to be shared on a website. He publishes a cookbook with recipes, clues to the location of the remaining house of stone, and phone numbers with changing recorded messages of cooking tips and pig gossip.
Additional expansion:
The Three Little Pigs II – The Sequel
A new game called “Angry Pigs” is available for download at the Apple Store involving pigs, wolves and wind velocity.  Pig 3’s videos showcase occasional trips to the Local Market and County Fair, where additional characters can be introduced.  The pigs in PigLand can link with other story worlds, like Little Red Riding Hood or Puss n’ Boots, where there are opportunities for Wolf collusion for hard core fans.

The hypothetical transmedia version of the Three Little Pigs is not the repurposing of story across different platforms. It is the creation of a holistic narrative that unfolds in different and unique manners across different media. It allows for a dialogue between creator and participant.

Developers could decide if participant interaction, such as solving the sustainable materials problem, finding the wolf through clues and maps, or creating another character for the story, could move the story in different directions than the original version. Participants might urge the first little piggy to trust his instincts about the dark figure or create a hunter who steps up the stakes for the wolf and alters the time dimension of the wolf’s schemes.

Check out Ellliot Worley's 3 Little Pigs (animated by his dad).  

Elliott Worley's "The Three Little Pigs" from Seth Worley on Vimeo.

Monday, November 11, 2013

PechuKucha Song Presentations

Ni Pechu Kechu from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Untitled from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Brey's Pechu Kechu from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Fashion from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Adrian's Pechu Kechu from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Steph's Song from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Tristans song from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Diamond's Song from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Christine's Song from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Joseph's Song from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Maria Paredes Pica Kushu from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Charlie Chaplin's Speech in the Great Dictator

Tristan sent this to me.  It is from the 1940 movie The Great Dictator.  The film starred, written, produced by the the great Charlie Chaplin.  It was his first talking picture and was released in 1940 right before the beginning of World War II.  Here is the speech below:

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....

!/images/photos/0000/0874/Great_Dictator_Pub_140-6_normal.jpg! The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. .....

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

November 14th, 2013 To Be Heard

To Be Heard (Trailer) from nicole films on Vimeo.

To Be Heard is a documentary about three young writers from the Bronx in a program called Power Writers.  Folks from Power Writers and To Be Heard will be presenting the projec the class on Thursday

The About Section of the To Be Heard website is below:  

Lives and language on the edge: Three teens from the Bronx tell their stories of friendship, love and struggle, and show how a radical poetry class can ignite change.  To Be Heard is the story of three teens from the South Bronx whose struggle to change their lives begins when they start to write poetry.   As writing and reciting become vehicles for their expressions of love, friendship, frustration, and hope, we watch these three youngsters emerge as accomplished self-aware artists, who use their creativity to alter their circumstances.  A verité film, intimately shot over four years, To Be Heard is the story of three friends and the love that develops between them as they evolve as artists. This “tripod,” as they call it, is bound by proximity, circumstance, and poetry. To Be Heard is also the story of how language links people. Pearl is the support and soul of the three; Karina is the passion and heart; and Anthony is the energy and physicality. In a community where friendships are kept tenuous for many reasons, these three build a bond based on language, respect, and the need to survive.  What will happen to these three kids? Will they find a way to articulate their dreams? Will that articulation manifest meaningful change? Does language contain the power to transform? Perhaps this film is simply about the lives of three kids from the ghetto and their struggle to survive. Perhaps it is also about the poet in all young people, the struggling artist in all of us, seeking to emerge. Embedded in the story of these three teens is the tale of their path as writers and a look at the source of their inspiration. That seed of inspiration comes in the form of a radical poetry class, called Power Writing, taught by a trio of outsider teachers.  Early on we meet Joe, Amy and Roland. Given the heightened volume of the educational debate these days, their message and approach merits close attention. Not a part of any school faculty or formal curriculum, these three come bearing a simple gift in the form of a motto—If you don’t learn to write your own life story, someone else will write it for you. There are very few secrets to their teaching methods, very few tricks. Their style of committed pedagogy is less about instruction and more about empowerment—simply stated, they are there to listen closely, if the writer wants to be heard.

The folks who created a transmedia extension to the film called.  Power Poetry.  Check out about Power Poetry below and how the site works.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pechu Kucha: Faith and Victoria

Street Art from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo by Faith R.

PechaKucha or Pecha Kucha (Japanese: ペチャクチャ, IPA: [petɕa ku͍̥tɕa],[1] chit-chat) is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (six minutes and 40 seconds in total). The format, which keeps presentations concise and fast-paced, powers multiple-speaker events called PechaKucha Nights (PKNs. PechaKucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa), as a way to attract people to SuperDeluxe, their experimental event space in Roppongi, and to allow young designers to meet, show their work, and exchange ideas.[6] In 2004, a few cities in Europe began holding PKNs, the first of several hundred cities that have since launched similar events around the world. As of June 2012, PechaKucha Nights were held in 534 cities worldwide.

Patagonia from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo from Victoria R.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pecha Kucha Matthew G

Matthew Goris Pechu Kechu from Mediastorm New Design on Vimeo.

Check out Matthew Goris Pecha Kucha presentation on his "Song." Matthew decided to mask his "Song." into the project his is doing.

Here is from his proposal:

Title of Project: Success Reacher
Description of the Project: Success Reacher is a book about a young man trying to be successful in life.
Artist Statement: The author of Success Reacher is going to keep what’s going to happen in the story a secret, but he’ll say a couple things about the book. It’s about a kid that tries to reach success, but there are so many things that he goes through that angers him, and depresses him, that can prevent him from ever succeeding in life. When he finally has reached success he’s made a big decision that involves his parents. He also has a family of his own. At the end of the book he’s going to share out what’s his biggest fear.

One of the Milestones for 1st Quarter is the Pecha Kucha presentation. It includes a finaly slide show, recorded over and uploaded to our class Vimeo site.  Matthew used Screen Cast O Matic to record his presentation.  He can help you if you need it.  Presentations are due by November 8th.

Here is the Vimeo Mediastorm Site
Log In:
Password: mediastorm

Monday, October 21, 2013

Born Sweet - Entire FIlm from Cynthia Wade on Vimeo.

BORN SWEET, winner of 15 awards, is about a 15 year old Vinh who lives in a remote Cambodian village and has accepted his destiny – to be sick for the rest of his life with incurable arsenic poisoning. He dreams of becoming a karaoke star, winning the affections of adoring fans. But his body is scarred by illness and there is a good chance the arsenic will soon take his life, like the girl who once lived across the road. A chance to star in a karaoke video about the dangers of arsenic allows Vinh to wonder if he truly knows his destiny.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

5 Transmedia Projects from Simon

8,336,615 (New York) from Paul Riccio on Vimeo.
Five transmedia projects from Simon Staffans

In February I did an overview of five transmedia projects I would be keeping an eye on. Of the projects I wrote about back then, Defiance opened to mixed (and some derisive) reviews. I thought it was a brave step, a good story and something I’d be happy to have on my CV. Beat Girl, another of the projects, has since February gone on to movies, bestselling music, deals in the US and so on. Great stuff from Nuno! And Authentic In All Caps ran a successful crowdfunding campaign… all in all, moving forward on all fronts!

At the time, I wrote:  These are exciting times. New transmedia projects are cropping up left and right and the debate over ”what the definition of transmedia is?” seems to have taken a bit of a step back. All in all it feels like we’re slowly – or perhaps rapidly; these are things that can better be assessed in hindsight – moving towards a media and content world where there is no need to talk about transmedia, as every project is as transmedia as it needs to be to fulfil any potential that project might have.

I feel everything is continuing to move in the same direction – towards the media and content world I describe above. With that in mind, here are five transmedia projects, in different fields, that I’ll be keeping tabs on over the following months:

Quantum Break
As I’ve pointed out in posts from different gaming conferences and conventions, I believe the TV (and other ”traditional” media) industry could learn quite a lot from the gaming industry and vice versa. Quantum Break is a slightly different animal. Produced by Finnish (yay!) game developer Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios, the Xbox One game will be accompanied by a TV series, now in production. Apparently ”how you play the game impacts the show, and the show informs how you play the game”. With ”Defiance” fresh in everyone’s mind, it’ll be very interesting to follow how Remedy and Microsoft pull this one off.

Aurelia: Edge of Darkness

The Theatrics platform is an interesting one. It’s designed to enable creators to create a story, invite participants and manage the show, through a video storytelling platform and its suite of social video tools. Aurelia, a ”steampunk fantasy web drama starring you” is distributed via Theatrics and is included in this list as an interesting project to keep an eye on. You could also immerse yourself by creating an account and join the participants already signed up and try the platform out yourself.

Hollow Documentary
Every now and then these beautifully crafted online documentary projects pop up on my radar, dazzling me with their artfulness, the skill and thoroughness on display and the way they invite you to immerse yourself. There have been Pine Point and Bear 71 from NFB or the gripping ”Alma: A Tale of Violence” from LightBox. The Hollow Documentary is another one in the same vein, a collaborative effort focusing on the diminishing and possibly soon to be extinct rural areas of West Virginia. It’s on this list as a great resource for inspiration, whatever it might be you yourself is working on right now.

Feuten (Freshers)

This project, “Feuten“, comes from the Netherlands and is running for its third season on BNN’s channel 3. It’s a story about ”the troubles of a fictional fraternity group called H.S.C. Mercurius”. What companies Spektor and Elastique have done for season three is create an app where people can apply to be accepted into this fraternity. The culling process involves popping 30 beers in a minute (hopefully not having to drink them all!) and answering questions about the fraternity. When you’re finally accepted, you can – via the app – do all the things you would be able to do in a real fraternity; arrange parties, chat to other members, raise their own chapters together with friends etc.

The reason I find this project interesting is because it touches on one of the things I always keep in mind – plan for success. You never know which project might be the one to take off, and if it does, you have to be prepared. This is what has happened now, with 15.000 members signing up immediately, keeping community managers working 24/7 to keep up. If there is a proper strategy in place, this could become a case study on how to harness success.

The Marvel Experience Tour
A list like this wouldn’t be complete without something blockbuster-y, right? This is something that we’ll see in 2014, but to TL;DR it, it’s a real-life traveling experience bringing the Marvel Universe to everyone.

Producers Hero Ventures promise that the Marvel Experience Tour will be everything from 4D motion rides to VR and holographic simulations, from 3D animation features to ”dynamic interactive activities”, all in the setting of a first-person Super Hero adventure.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Middle School Child Trafficking

Walking Merchandise: child trafficking and the snakehead trade from Walking Merchandise on Vimeo.
Walking Merchandise exposes the tragic story of middle-school-aged, Chinese children trafficked to the United States by smugglers known as “snakeheads.” Sent by their parents to work as low-wage laborers as a source of income, the children embark on a perilous journey that can include physical harm, sexual assault, and even death.

 Check out the films website:

How would we make this a transmedia project?

Check out How Road Trip Nation went about it.  Check out their Artist Statement:

Roadtrip Nation empowers you to define your own road in life instead of traveling down someone else's.  We encourage you to engage in self-construction, rather than mass production. We encourage you to be proactive and actively participate in defining your future by hitting the road and learning from Leaders who have resisted The Noise of conformity and stayed true to themselves.  Our philosophy is that when we listen to ourselves and are honest about whom we are, and what we love, we are able to seek our own path and contribute to the world with our unique talents.  We believe that by helping others discover their own paths, there will be a significant positive change in the world—the world needs people in tune with who they are and what they care about.  Living a life fueled by authenticity and passion allows people the ability to offer their creativity, ingenuity, and enthusiasm toward their goals. We hope that this, in turn, will build a better local, national, and global community.  The Roadtrip Nation Movement exists to support, empower, and encourage individuals who want to define their own roads in life.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

True Giving

The Thai telecommunications conglomerate True is getting rave reviews worldwide for its latest spot, "Giving," which tells the story of a man unexpectedly rewarded for a lifetime of good deeds he performed without expecting anything in return.  TrueMove too says it "believes in the power of giving without expecting a return."  Which would probably be more meaningful if they were to, say, give away their services and devices for free. Which they are not.  But what the company lacks in commitment to its own philosophy, it more than makes up for in inspirational advertising.

Anothere example of using great storytelling.

Today, we will working on our bio's for our project proposals.

You can start class today with a New Design Mediastorm original film from the Class of 2010.  The film, Adapt and Overcome, is a portrait of graffiti writer SKUF. I wanted to show it to you today to get you in the mood to be able to talk about yourself as an artist and designers.   Today, we will be writing your professional biographies for your blog site.  Designers, artists, filmmakers and photographers often keep their professional work on-line.  We will be documenting all of your work this year in your blog and your blogs will be very important to your grade.  

You can see some examples of professional sites below:
Here is the website from the design firm Crush Lovely:  Crush Lovely Web Site
Professional Portfolio of some dude named Jason:  Jason Aderholt Portfolio

You can also check out Scott's bio as an example on the top of this blog. 

Professional portfolio's always include a professional biography. You will be writing your own today to be included as part of your class blog. We will revise these several times before we put them on-line. You are writing about yourself as a professional so make it high quality.

Your bio can include the following:

Date and Place of Birth
City or area or street your grew up.
Information about schools you attend
Information about New Design High School such as what grade you are currently in
Description of acitvities you like to do or programs you are in (Remember you are impressing the reader)
Future goals including career and college plans.
Any other life goals or desires.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Juggle, Cut and Tweet

Juggle & Cut from Caleb Slain on Vimeo.

Our Tweet of the Week is from the people at Short of the Week.  This week they shouted out Juggle and Cut from filmmaker Caleb Slain.  Slain became known at age 19 when he directed Lost and Found Shop which received world wide attention.  He recently won the "Best Young Filmmaker Award" at Corona;s Fastnet Festival in Ireland.  Not bad for a 20 year old from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  His last film It Ain't Over won multiple film festival awards.  You can see the trailer here.  Juggle and Cut is his second documentary feature.  Short of the Week writes:

I just want to come right out and say it: I’m jealous of Caleb Slain. Yup. I am flat out jealous of him. I mean, seriously, how does a 22-year-old have so much damn talent? I first noticed Mr. Slain’s work with 2010’s the Lost and Found Shop—a delightfully sweet film that I admittedly borrowed quite a bit from for my own short, Baggage. More recently, I was dazzled by his use of language and direction withFree Pie. Now, I’m in awe of his work as a documentarian with Juggle & Cut, which is both a moving portrayal of human resilience and a love letter to the creative spirit. At this point, if you told me Caleb Slain also happened to be Batman, I wouldn’t blink an eye.  Juggle & Cut tells the story of Andy Phelps, a gifted young kid with a colorful resume: he’s a juggler, unicycler, carpenter, hockey player, and firebreather. But, on a tragic autumn day in 1998, Andy broke his neck in a massive car accident, leaving him without the use of his hands and legs. This film is about Andy’s journey after his accident, and he how he kept his creative fire alive despite some steep emotional and physical obstacles.  In general, it’s quite easy for the “inspirational doc” to be overwrought. But, Juggle & Cut is just too well crafted to venture into hackneyed territory. Slain is stylish with his presentation, but never so showy that he calls attention to himself as a filmmaker. The whole production feels polished without being too controlled—beautiful cinematography compliments old archival footage and photographs.  Much like the visuals, the music is also strong, emotional without being too saccharine.  If you’re interested, the soundtrack can be purchased for the low price of $2.00 (quite a steal if I do say so myself).  Juggle & Cut works because it’s more than just a story about human resilience. Granted, there’s definitely enough in that sentiment to make a compelling documentary. Yet, as the story develops, as Andy’s current occupation is revealed, it essentially becomes a manifesto for creativity. To put it succinctly, we creatives need to make stuff regardless of our supposed limitations. For Andy Phelps, once he lost the ability to physically construct things, he found a different way to express himself. And, so Juggle & Cut is a beautiful take on that impulsive desire to get out there and add to this world—not to consume, but to create—to  build things both tangible and intangible. There’s magic in that notion, and Andy Phelps’s determination is an embodiment of it.  Phelps’s story certainly isn’t over. He has a book coming out soon fittingly entitled, It Never Ends. As for director Caleb Slain, well, I’ll just have to enviously wait for his next project. When it comes to viewing his work, jealousy never felt so good.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

October 7th

FIVE/FIVE from chris jurchak on Vimeo.

To understand a good motivational story watch Five/Five:

Brandon Todd is 5’5’’ and he can dunk. He has never believed his height to be a limitation but an opportunity to change how people view small athletes. Brandon transformed his body over the course of a few years, gaining over 80 lbs of muscle, increasing his vertical to over 45 inches. Todd hopes to teach others that through hard work and perseverance physical limitations can be overcome.
-Short of the Week

All of you that have been counted out, been laughed at, been picked last.  Your biggest hurdle isn't your opponent, it's yourself.
-Brandon Todd

Follow on Twitter at @BTFlyt

To see a great transmedia project:

Check out Defiance:

Friday, October 4, 2013


Last Minutes with ODEN from Eliot Rausch on Vimeo.

Eliot Rausch is a filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. His short documentary Last Minutes With Oden won the Documentary Award and Grand Prize at the 2010 Vimeo Festival + Awards. He has since created films for organizations and brands including The Red Cross, Vans, Under Armour, Duracell, and Ford. His documentary series Ed’s Story, chronicling pastor Ed Dobson’s battle with ALS, was featured on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” In 2013, his short film Find Your Understanding, created for Expedia was awarded “Most Tear-Jerking Viral Ad of the Year” by Ad Age and one of TED's 10 Best Ads of the Year. Rausch’s film ambitions took root in college when his Ogilvy & Mather internship ended and he refused to leave.

Teenage photographer Tommy Petroni distills 4 months of video he took of his friends in all sorts of settings down to 4 graceful and moving minutes in a wonderful ode to friends, fun and being young.  Tommy is 17 and from Los Angeles.  He made the film with the encouragement and support of Eliot Rausch (director of Vimeo’s Video of YearLast Minutes with Oden).  Short of the Week wrote of the film, "Petroni captures the nostalgic, wistful feeling for things not yet past that is dynamite to the heart when done well. Youth is a wonderful keepsake for him and his friends, but its actually more resonant for those of us who’ve recently outgrown that stage of life, and for whom seeing it imaged so well is bittersweet."

If you have time today,

YOUTH from Tommy Petroni on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chiplote and the Transmedia Scarecrow

The Chiplote Scarecrow

Chipotle Mexican Grill is a growing chain of restaurants in the United States specializing in burritos and tacos.  The was founded in 1993 by Steve Ells.  Ells has attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  He got a job in working in a very nice restaurant called STARS in San Francisco.  The chef was Jeremiah Tower who use to work at Chez Panisse.  Chez Panisse was one of the first famous farm to table restaurants.  Farm to table literally means that the food comes right off the farm and into the restaurant. Menus change seasonally with whatver is fresh.  Ells was walking around the Mission District of San Francisco and observed the popularity of taquerias and San Francisco style burritos.  He moved to Denver, Colorado, borrowed $85,000, found a location near a college campus and calculated he would need to sell 107 burritos a day to be profitable.  After a month, he was selling 1,000 a day.  He know owns over 1500 Chipoltes.  Ells made close to $20,000 in 2011.  Check out the video how it all started.

Ells combined what he learned at STARS with the farm to table philosophy as well as what he saw in the Mission District.  Chiplote has always been based on a Food with Integrity mission.  It highlights its using organic ingredients and serves more naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain.

Chiplote launched a transmedia campaign called the Scarecrow including a game on iTunes for iPhones.  

Check out Fuuny and Die Honest Scarecrow Parody

Today, write your artist statement.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Sleep No More

Tribeca Films Storyscapes Festival was last April.  Tribeca Films, and other traditional film organizations such as the IFP and Sundance Films are moving towards supporting transmedia project.

The clip above is from the Storyscapes Festival.  Ingrid Kopp from Tribeca describes the projects as:
Insomniacs are both spectators and actors in this large, interactive project that combines accounts of sleepless nights from across the world. In many countries, at any time, at least one in three people have problems sleeping. New Yorkers are no strangers to this affliction, familiar with the anxiety and pressures that keep us up at night. The talented team at NFB Interactive have been collecting stories via video, text and drawing online since fall 2012, and in this second phase of the project, they will share answers to questions like, what is your relationship with your alarm clock? What is out of your control? What scares you?  In the Storyscapes space, A Journal of Insomnia will take you into a different zone. Share your own stories of sleepless nights and discover what other people get up to in the wee hours by entering a bedroom space in this fully immersive, contemplative installation. 
Here are some other examples from PC Magazine 
The NY Times on April 12th, 2013 pulbished an article:  As You Watch. Invasion of Platforms 
Visitors to “A Journal of Insomnia,” part of the Storyscapes section of the forthcoming Tribeca Film Festival, will set up an appointment and, at the agreed-upon hour, receive a phone call. They will then presumably stumble sleepless to their computers, click on the “Insomnia” Web site and interact with one of four characters featured in the festival’s foray into transmedia: the crazy-quilt crossroads of new technology, uncertain expectations and audience participation.

Here are some transmedia examples from the festival:

Robots in Residence - While films are premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, some of the tiniest attendees are making their own movie. The BlabDroids are small cardboard-bodied robots with the voice of a 7-year-old. Their disarming nature lures people into answering their 17 questions, including "Who do you love most in the world?" and "What is the worst thing you have ever done to someone?" The BlabDroids were Alex Reben's thesis at MIT, part of which concerned theELIZA effect. Reben said each of the BlabDroids costs about $800 and three days to build. After interviewing Tribeca Film Festival attendees, the BlabDroids will make their own documentary and screen it on April 21st.

This Exquisite Forest - Games played by surrealists were never of the board or boring variety. They would instead assemble word or picture collages from their collective imaginations in the game known as Exquisite Corpse. Music video director and photographer Chris Milk and digital media artist Aaron Koblin have made a globe-spanning digital version of the game re-named with This Exquisite Forest. The collaborative art project features artists from the Tate Modern including Bill Woodrow, Mark Titchner, and Dryden Goodwin, who planted the seeds of the forest and worked with Google in growing the forest online. It's built using HTML5, JavaScript, and the Google App Engine and uses Google Cloud storage.

Star Wars Uncut - Plenty of Star Wars fans dress up as favorite characters when they go see the movies, but Star Wars Uncut gives them a chance to be in the movies. The project is the work of web developer Casey Pugh, who diced up The Empire Strikes Back into 480 segments of 15 seconds each and asked fans to remake them in whichever way they chose. So far they've featured everything from Han Solo getting frozen in the style of A-HA's "Take On Me" video to Claymation Boba Fett. All the segments are on view in the Storyscapes installation, and the final product will be released as a director's cut, as was Pugh's earlier work A New Hope Uncut.

A Journal of Insomnia - In a black box with a low-ceilinged entrance a computer glows red. Visitors enter the structure to pass into the world of the insomniac, donning headphones and answering on-screen questions about their relationship to sleep. The installation's creators said that rather than taking a clinical approach to the widespread condition of insomnia, they took a personal, anthropological one. Visitors to the site can watch insomniacs tell their stories and make an (after-dark) appointment to be woken up and experience firsthand struggles with sleep. A Journal of Insomnia is the work of the National Film Board of Canada.

Sandy Storyline is a video chronicle of Hurricane Sandy's effects. On the project site, those affected by the storm can share written, audio, video, or photographic accounts. The installation is set inside high walls, with a television askew on a pile of debris playing documentary footage. One great irony of Sandy Storyline is that you can charge your mobile device in the installation, something so many were scrambling to do for weeks after the storm.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Artist Statement Question Bridge

Question Bridge Kickstarter

Here is the Artist Statement for Question Bridge:

This is a critical period in history for the Black community. In recent years, many have been able to transcend racial, cultural and economic boundaries while others have found themselves increasingly confined to the margins of society. Black men are particularly challenged by this paradox. Although a black man is the President of the United States, black men are still severely overrepresented in incarceration and high school dropout rates, and suffer disproportionately from various preventable health risks and as victims of homicide.  Empirical data shows Americans, including Black people, still harbor negative associations with Black males that directly impact their ability to function successfully in this country. Of particular concern are statistics which demonstrate that the over-representation of Black males in the penal system and the disciplinary processes in schools does not correlate to their behavior. In reality, Black males are not more violent, more criminal, or more disruptive than their White male peers. The good news is that a meta-analysis of the social science research shows that there are effective means of overcoming our negative bias about Black males. One of which, is being exposed to more complex, multi-faceted, and whole images and narratives of black males. This is what the Question Bridge project hopes to accomplish.  “It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness, — an American, a Negro; two warring souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” - W.E.B. Dubois  Question Bridge: Black Males opens a window onto the complex and often unspoken dialogue among Black men, creating an intimate and essentially genuine experience for viewers and subjects, while providing new opportunities for understanding and healing. This project brings the full spectrum of what it means to be “black” and “male” in America to the forefront. “Blackness” ceases to be a simple, monochromatic concept.  By creating an identity container (e.g. “Black” and “Male”), then creating a way of releasing the diversity of identities and thought within that container, we can break the container. Question Bridge strives to make it more difficult to say, “Black Males are___.” 

If we succeed in deconstructing stereotypes about arguably the most opaque and feared demographic in America, then the Question Bridge model can work to overcome limiting assumptions about any demographic.

“Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.” - W.E.B. DuBois

Here are other examples of art statements:

Art Study Org 

Digital Photography School

Main Goal of Writing an Artist Statement is discussing your understanding of your process, ideas, and field. The statement also gives you an opportunity to define the critical conversation you want to engage through your art.  Consider asking yourself these questions:
  • What am I doing?
  • How am I doing it?
  • Why am I doing it?
  • What influences me most?
  • How does my art relate to the art of my contemporaries?
  • What do I want other people to understand about my art?
  • Am I unwilling to discuss any aspects of my work? If so, why?

“When I made the piece Red Goya, a diptych where two prints from the same negative are juxtaposed in 40×30 and 24×20 formats, I wanted to force an engagement with the question of the viewer’s taste, to examine the power of the physical manifestation of the image to alter its impression on a person. Does the bigger print have more authority because of its relationship to a body viewing it in a space, as something you can’t take in with one glance? Something that envelops you? Or is the smaller print more powerful with its higher resolution? More jewel-like in its intensity of color? More precious in its scale?” –Eileen Quinlan

“My new work deals with emptying my body: ‘Boat emptying, stream entering.’ This means that you have to empty the body/boat to the point where you can really be connected with the fields of energy around you. I think that men and women in our Western culture are completely disconnected from that energy, and in my new work I want to make this connection possible.” –Marina Abramovic

“I use my own constructed image as a vehicle for questioning ideas about the role of tradition, the nature of family, monogamy, polygamy, relationships between men and women, between women and their children, and between women and other women—underscoring the critical problems and the possible resolves. In one way or another, my work endlessly explodes the limits of tradition.” –Carrie Mae Weems

I think it would be disastrous if you could say what the message of Hamlet was . . . . everyone is going to come away with something different depending on if they've just left their lovers or if they've just had a child or if they've just been fired.
- Beth Henley

I don't tell people what things mean, but I describe the way they occur, in order to stir people's curiosity.
-Barabara Bloom

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Filmmaker and Mediastorm Mentor Visit: Suha Araj

I Am Palestine from Suha Araj - Filmmaker on Vimeo.

Artist and filmmaker Suha Araj is often found overhearing, watching, or telling a story. Her work often explores the displacement of immigrant communities and her passion lies in bridging cultures. Her short film, I am Palestine screened at festivals internationally and is used as an educational tool. She served as a story advisor to the Sundance selection, Slingshot HipHop and produced the narrative short, Fruition. Installation art (Displacement, Inshallah Falasteen, Buried in Michigan) and acting (Chocolate in Heat, Suitcase) have inspired her storytelling in new mediums. Her latest feature script, Khsara explores the humor created from the contrast of cultural expectations. Khsara has been developed with RAWI and the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Torino Film Lab, Dubai Film Connection, EAVE, and IFP No Borders 2011. Khsara was also selected for the inaugural Emerging Visionaries program from IFP, the Lincoln Center and the Royal Bank of Canada. This February participated in the Berlinale Talent market and Talent Campus.

For seven years Suha was part of the film selection committee of the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco and has also served on the LunaFest Board of Advisors. She is a cofounder of, a publishing platform for women to tell their stories.  She also teaches for Tribeca Films.  Her last work was a short film called The Cup Reader.  The film is about:

The Warde, shamed as a young girl yet renowned in Palestine for her mystical seeing and matchmaking, lives with her sister Jaleleh and reads the fortunes of her clients. Each visitor must make a choice between love and marriage, not having the luxury of both.

The Cup Reader Trailer from Suha Araj - Filmmaker on Vimeo.