You know the projects, now meet the teams. The POV Hackathon is upon us, and we’d like to introduce to the members of the five teams. Five teams of filmmakers and developers will be converging in Brooklyn starting today to “re-invent the documentary for the web.”
1. Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys
Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys is a feature-length documentary that follows a year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. Equal parts story, game and educational study guide, the film unfolds over the course of a year in the Arctic. It is a study of hard work, hard-earned leisure and an intricate bond between man and nature. The complementary online component will expand the reach and depth of the project, bringing each participant face-to-face with the unique challenges of herding reindeer. Utilizing video, photos, maps and infographics for their Web component, the filmmakers aim to show that the struggles herders face are the struggles of traditional, agrarian communities around the world.
Filmmaker: Jessica Oreck
Jessica Oreck’s first feature documentary, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, was released theatrically and aired on PBS’s Independent Lens. She is currently in production on two new feature documentaries. Mysteries of Vernacular, her series of animated shorts, is now playing at the IFC Center in New York City.
A digital veteran of 20 years, Mike Knowlton is a recognized leader in the transmedia community in New York City. He co-founded the nonprofit, immersive storytelling community StoryCode. He has also founded and led a number of technology companies, including digital agency BASIK and interactive film company Murmur.
Hal Siegel’s work represents a unique blend of storytelling, visual design, interaction design and usability. As a creative director at BASIK, he leads the development of Internet initiatives for arts and cultural organizations. He recently co-founded the interactive film company Murmur.
2. Living Los Sures
Living Los Sures is a collaboratively produced, interactive documentary that explores the legacy of urban poverty on the increasingly trendy south side of Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. It seeks not only to capture a diverse collection of important and unusual stories from the neighborhood, but also to create new shared histories and relationships among neighbors. For POV’s Hackathon, the Living Los Sures team will develop simple, shifting navigational features that work creatively with video assets and start to build a testing environment for artists in the UnionDocs Collaborative Studio.
Christopher Allen is founder of UnionDocs and an initiator of numerous experiments in documentary and interactive media. His individual works and collaborative productions have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the Volksbühne theater, Direktorenhaus in Berlin, Independent Film Week, and at Sonár, DIVA and the Conflux Festival.
Andre Almeida is a media theorist, filmmaker and Ph.D. candidate currently writing his dissertation on interactive documentary. He is affiliated with UnionDocs and the University of Porto and has been exploring the boundaries of nonfiction through linear features, including From New York With Love, and interactive projects.
Developers & Designer:
Danny Bowman is a recent Bay Area transplant to New York City. He worked previously as a front-end software engineer at a social gaming startup in San Francisco and as a program manager and internal tools developer at Google.
After completing a degree in computer science, Kyle Warren engineered the nonprofit site govoteabsentee.org for the 2008 election. He has recently worked on such products as Words with Friends, Timehop and projectOPEN, while finding time to cultivate his interest in software as art.
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Lucas Carlisle is a graphic designer and art director specializing in interactive media. He is a UnionDocs Collaborative alumnus and designer for The Huffington Post.
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An Op-Video is a short-form, freely embeddable, mixed-media essay that features experts, writers and doers, as well as hand-drawn animation and original music, about current public affairs. As ever-quickening news cycles create an echo chamber centered on a never-ending “horse-race,” Op-Videos invite the viewer into a more thoughtful and inventive space to learn about the important public issues of our time.
Joe Posner works at the intersection of documentary film, motion design and music. His work as a mixed-media director has appeared in Newsweek, The Daily Beast and APM: Marketplace, and he has contributed motion design to several documentary feature films.
Lam Thuy Vo
Lam Thuy Vo is a multi-platform journalist currently producing infographics, videos and animations for The Wall Street Journal and NPR’s Planet Money. She is an instructor in multimedia and data journalism and has spoken at conferences and universities around the world.
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Susan E. McGregor
Susan E. McGregor was the Senior Programmer on the News Graphics team at the Wall Street Journal Online for four years before leaving to join the Tow Center for Digital Journalism in 2011. An expert developer in multiple languages, Susan specializes in areas of data journalism and information visualization.
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4. Feed Me a Story
Feed Me a Story is a transmedia project that encourages the sharing of secret family recipes in a documentary-style food truck, video cookbook and Web application. The filmmakers seek to break down socio-cultural barriers through intergenerational storytelling. As people answer such questions as “What is your favorite childhood food?” and “What food is important to your cultural experience?” the project explores what it means to be American. Feed Me a Story was performed on Ellis Island as part of its first artist-in-residence program.
Theresa Loong is a filmmaker and interactive media professional whose work has been exhibited worldwide. She directed the documentary Every Day Is a Holiday and has produced digital media projects with AMC Networks, nymag.com and Food & Wine magazine. A Harvard graduate, she has lectured at New York University and The New School.
Laura Nova is an artist and associate professor in creative art and technology at Bloomfield College in New Jersey. She received Lower Manhattan Cultural Council funding to create The Crescendo Project, an interactive praise-singing machine. She holds a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was a Rotary scholar at Goldsmiths College.
Developers & Designers:
Lauren Hasson is an iOS developer with a degree in electrical engineering, computer science and economics from Duke University. She is a graduate of Leadership Texas and is co-chair of the Dallas chapter of Women in Wireless. She currently develops iOS apps at Bottle Rocket Apps in Dallas, which she describes as “the greatest place to work on Earth.”
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Sumin Chou is Co-Founder and Principal of Concentric Studio and oversees strategic direction, conceptual and aesthetic design as well as engineering for all projects. An interactive industry veteran, Sumin previously served as design director for New York Times Digital, where he oversaw all interactive design projects.
Sonna Kim is a visual designer and musician with experience creating interactive applications and websites for Fortune 100 companies and startups. She has degrees from Princeton, MIT and Parsons and has performed on the cello at major international festivals.
5. StoryCorps Audio Slideshows
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization that provides people of all backgrounds with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives. StoryCorps produces audio segments weekly for NPR and since 2010 has turned a selection of stories into Emmy Award®-nominated animations for POV and the Web. So, what’s next? At POV’s Hackathon, StoryCorps will begin work on a new Web platform to complement its distinctive audio style.
Michael Garofalo is senior producer for StoryCorps, where he leads the production team. He has had a hand in nearly all of StoryCorps’ content, including producing segments for NPR’s Morning Edition and the StoryCorps podcast and co-producing animated shorts on POV.
Isaac Kestenbaum is the production manager for StoryCorps. He previously worked as a reporter for the Portland Press Herald and logged many hours as an erstwhile farmer and lobsterman. He is a graduate of Vassar College and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.
Antonio Kaplan is the CEO of Innovent and creator of the Transmedia Toolbox. Leveraging decades of experience in online video and media, he co-founded Innovent to help media creators use technological innovation to realize their creative and commercial goals.
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Matt Oltendorf works in Interactive Development at Innovent, working directly with clients, taking project visions and inventing new unique ways to efficiently achieve the project goals.
Sam Bailey has been designing and building new media projects for FRONTLINE since 1996. Previously he was the webmaster of Random House. He’s built many interactives, a video system and a simulated stock market game tied to the 2004 Presidential Elections. As a contractor he’s worked with ABC and others.
Philippe Pierre is the Director of Operations at Socialbomb, a social media agency which specializes in creating applications that integrate with social platforms, and mobile applications tailored to engaging users.