POV Hackathon 2 is getting underway this weekend. In a series of blog posts, we’re introducing you to the participating filmmakers, developers and designers.
The Human Experiment is a documentary about the high-stakes battle to protect our health from the thousands of untested chemicals found in our everyday products. Stop the Experiment is its accompanying mobile app. The POV Hackathon 2 team includes filmmakers Dana Nachman and Chelsea Matter and developers Mimi Flynn, Christopher Castiglione and Cameron Hickey.
Dana Nachman is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker and former journalist whose documentaries have premiered at Toronto (2008) and Tribeca (2011) and received national television broadcasts on MSNBC and OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network. Prior to directing independent documentary films, Dana spent 13 years producing, directing, and writing for television news.
I have spent my career telling stories, first as a television news producer and now as a documentary filmmaker. Being a storyteller is a large part of my identity. But an equally strong part of me is my activist side. I think making documentary films enables me to introduce audiences to worlds that may be unknown to them. And my favorite types of films to make are those that reveal some kind of injustice. This is where the activist in me comes in. I feel that making an app that continues where our film leaves off is a great way to bring audiences into the story. With this interactive element, the audience becomes part of the solution, part of the movement to create change. It’s a great time to be a filmmaker because of new technology that lets us go beyond the film itself. The POV Hackathon 2 is an amazing opportunity to learn a new type of storytelling and activism. I’m so grateful to be able to participate in the POV Hackathon so I can take my storytelling and activism to a new level.
Chelsea Matter is an independent documentary producer and audience engagement coordinator. A graduate of Stanford University, Chelsea’s broadcast credits include producing and writing programs for The History Channel, The National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, Travel Channel, Plum TV and A&E.
As a producer who makes social issue films and coordinates audience engagement campaigns around them, I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can move audiences beyond passive viewing to active engagement with a story after the credits roll. I think new technologies offer some really exciting possibilities for bridging that gap. Particularly with The Human Experiment, there is such a great opportunity for audience involvement in this story right now and the POV Hackathon 2 seemed like a perfect way to explore that. I also really admire the POV series and what it has done for documentary film so I’m very excited to be a part of this.
Beyond actually building the prototype for our app, I am looking forward to learning more from our developer and the other teams about the arsenal of newer technology tools that exist for filmmakers. My background is almost exclusively in linear storytelling for traditional formats of film and television, so I’m very interested in exploring new and creative ways of bringing stories to audiences beyond these formats. I think there are technologies out there that I don’t even know of, so I’m eager to work with a developer who speaks that language – someone we can exchange ideas with who knows this landscape and can help us expand the scope of what we are able to create.
With 13 years of experience, Mimi Flynn has contributed front end code for the likes of Vera Wang, Brides Magazine, NYSE Euronext, BAE Systems, the NFL, and the UT System. She is currently relaxing at a large financial firm by day, and moonlighting as CTO of Swingset Imagination.
I’m always up for adventure, especially if I get to meet people, solve problems, and write code. As a developer, the opportunity presented at the POV Hackathon 2 to learn about a new subject really excites me, especially with passionate and devoted documentary filmmakers.
Christopher Castiglione is a front-end developer with a specialty in UX strategy and WordPress. In the past, he has designed applications for clients ranging from The Black Eyed Peas, Toyota, Bacardi, CLIF Bar, and American Express. He also teaches the workshop “Programming for non-Programmers” at General Assembly.
I’m really drawn to the cause researched in the documentary film The Human Experience. I’m excited to help create supplemental digital materials, and hopefully I’ll learn a few things in the process. At the POV Hackathon 2, I would love to develop something that people use.
Cameron Hickey is a developer, cinematographer and producer focused on documentary and television news, primarily for PBS. Hickey shoots and produces science stories for the PBS NewsHour, and has produced, directed, shot, and/or edited for PBS, BBC, Channel 4, Al Jazeera English, Bloomberg TV, The Carnegie Corporation, and WNET THIRTEEN. Hickey was a founding member of DocAgora, a doc-media thinktank focused on the intersection between documentary and interactive technology. Recently, Hickey won the Washington Post/ NPR/ Sunlight Foundation 2012 Election Hackathon with their project Capitol Clout.
I’ve participated in a few technology focused Hackathons where I built media-oriented projects, so I thought it would be exciting to translate that experience into developing a more narrative focused project. As a filmmaker myself, I understand both sides of the process and enjoy the challenge of devising creative ways to use interactive technology to educate and inform in a narrative way.