View the prototypes from POV Hackathon 2.

In a span of 30 hours, eight teams of filmmakers, developers and designers sought to reinvent documentary for web at POV’s Hackathon 2, January 12-13, 2013.

In this batch of documentary prototypes, each of which has been shared thanks to the project teams, you’ll find new meaning in numbers from news headlines, learn about untested chemicals found in our everyday products, investigate how white Americans experience their ethnicity, browse a documentary cookbook, map the role of faith and religion in New York, be moved by the effects of Japan’s nuclear winter, experience the unintended consequences of Dutch Colonalism, and read stories about virginity in America.

The projects were judged by Ingrid Kopp from the Tribeca Film Institute, Terry Bryant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Paco de Onís of Skylight Pictures, Brian Storm of MediaStorm, and the POV Hackathon participants themselves.

The Participants’ Choice winner was Empire, The Human Experiment was named Best Prototype, and The Whiteness Project was selected for Best Pitch.

Start viewing the prototypes from POV Hackathon 2 »
Or view the prototypes from POV Hackathon 1 »

Empire

Participants’ Choice

Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Empire prototype developed at POV Hackathon.
(This prototype is best viewed in Chrome or Safari.)

Launch the demo »

Team: Clint Beharry, Claire Mitchell, Eline Jongsma, Kel O’Neill. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: Empire consists of five documentary installations that tell stories about people and communities whose lives are still in some ways defined by the Dutch colonial endeavor of the 17th-20th century.

The team notes, “Our piece created at the Hackathon, Empire: Bakermat, grapples with the binary nature of life choices. In the prototype, as in life, it’s impossible to be in two places at the same time, no matter how fast you move your mouse.”

Technology:

  • Raphael.js, a visual Javascript library to draw a collage of a user’s path between videos.
  • jQuery, a functional Javascript library to track the user’s mouse movements during videos.
  • jQuery-beforeafter, a Javascript plugin to handle the slider functionality.
  • Dropbox, for file sharing.
  • Final Cut Pro, for editing video instructions and timing.

The Human Experiment

Best Prototype

A screenshot from The Human Experiment prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Click on the image to interact with a demo of The Human Experiment prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Launch the demo »

Team: Chris Castiglione, Mimi Flynn, Cameron Hickey, Chelsea Matter, Dana Nachman. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: 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.

Technology:

  • WordPress.org custom installation
  • Advanced Custom Fields plug-in to create WordPress Custom Fields
  • Twitter Bootstrap for design elements
  • The Noun Project for icons
  • Github‘s free open source package to store source code and let the developers share version-controlled files
  • Google Docs to share project notes
  • An enormous white board and blue marker for prototyping initial ideas

The Whiteness Project

Best Pitch

Click on the image to interact with a demo of The Whiteness Project prototype developed at POV Hackathon.
(This prototype is best viewed in Chrome.)

Launch the demo »

Team: Whitney Dow, Chithra Jeyaram, John Kudos, Sumit Paul, and Dante Chinni (mentor). Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: The Whiteness Project is a cross-platform investigation into how white Americans experience their ethnicity. It will live primarily on the Internet and will also have film and art-installation components.

Technology:

  • A custom fullscreen video player made from scratch using the Vimeo API. This player shows videos fullscreen and can trigger content to be displayed based on markers we manually set.
  • jQuery, jQuery UI and CSS3 animations.
  • The font FF Chartwell to expedite generation of the infographics.

Cpm-703

Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Cpm-703 prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Launch the demo »

Team: Visakh Menon, Jake Price. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: A Fukushima-born artist journeys into Japan’s nuclear winter, revealing the warmth and strength of survivors coping with the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Technology:

  • Jquery UI: Javascript UI plugin for animation and effects
  • Web typefaces from typekit.com. Fonts used were Brandon-grotesque & Chaparral Pro.
  • Google maps API (V3) to display open source data on radiation levels and custom content.
  • Data set on radiation levels by safecast.org.
  • Google Fusion table API for data interpolation, customization and display based on the data set from safest. Integration with Google Maps API.
  • Google Docs to share wireframes, text and content. Also used as a project management tool.
  • infobox.js for display of custom information boxes to embed videos and slideshows and styling for Google maps.
  • video-js: HTML5 video framework with custom skinned video player.
  • Popcorn.js plugin to display additional video content and customized instapoppin.js to streamline content.
  • maximage.js to display full screen background videos and images.
  • Galleria.js for full screen slideshows and image display.

Data Docs

A screenshot from the Data Docs prototype developeed at the POV Hackathon

Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Data Docs prototype developed at POV Hackathon 2.
(This prototype is best viewed in Chrome.)

Launch the demo »

Team: Susan E. McGregor, Joe Posner, Lam Thuy Vo. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: The Data Docs project aims to spread data literacy by telling short stories about the most important datasets in the world. Each is a meld of linear storytelling and animation with live, evergreen data and choice interactive elements.

Technology:

  • Cinema 4D, After Effects, Final Cut Pro for animation.
  • JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, popcorn.js (+custom-written plugin), CSS3 rotation transforms for programming.
  • FRED API feeds for US Bureau of Labor statistics data.
  • Animated GIFs used for font and charts.
  • Skype and a call recorder for interview recordings.

Feed Me A Story

Watch a demo of the Feed Me A Story iPad app prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

View the demo »

Team: Steve Bussetti, Adam Chromicz, Pam Jue, Theresa Loong, Laura Nova, and Shana Cohen (mentor). Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: 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.

Technology:

  • Django web framework used for administrative interface, URL routing and business logic.
  • HTML5 Boilerplate to create a base for the user interface.
  • Wordnet to create a lexical database for fuzzy emotion matching.
  • GitHub, used as a repository for collaborating on and development of assets.

Faith in the Five Boroughs

Click on the image to interact with a demo of the Faith in the Five Boroughs prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Launch the demo »

Team: Scott Elliott, Tim Nabzdyk, Matt Ozug, Timothy Stegner. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: Faith in the Five Boroughs documents the role that faith and religious communities play in the lives of immigrants and their children in New York.

Technology:

  • jQuery to traverse the HTML Document, handle events, and make AJAX requests.
  • Google Web Fonts, an open web font to enhance the visual design.
  • DropBox to share documents, images, and to use as a means for version control.
  • Google Maps API to display a map of NYC and place geo-tagged images.
  • Google Maps Style Wizard to desaturate and simplify the map.
  • Flickr API to acquire crowd sourced images based on specific tags.
  • Google Places API to acquire community identified religious places.
  • Twitter API to acquire crowd sourced tweets based on specific tags.
  • Note: all are free and open source tools.

How to Lose Your Virginity

Click on the image to interact with a demo of the How to Lose Your Virginity prototype developed at POV Hackathon.

Launch the demo »

Team: Vanessa Joho, Ellice Litwak, Steve Melendez, Therese Shechter. Bios and Q&A »

About the Project: How to Lose Your Virginity is an eye-opening feature documentary about the myth and meaning of virginity in American culture. Bridging the chasm between what we’re told our first times should be‚ and what they’re really like‚ will be a digital crowd-sourced storytelling project.

Submit your story »
Official Film Website »

Technology:

  • Django web framework to maintain the database of stories and tags and organize our web pages.
  • Google Docs to share presentation scripts and spreadsheets of stories and tags.
  • D3.js, a Javascript data visualization library, to create the visualization of relationships between stories and tags.
  • jQueryUI, a set of Javascript user interface plugins, to animate the text on the front page.
  • Free services from Github to store source code and let the designer and developer share version-controlled files.
  • Free cloud-based web hosting from Heroku to serve our webpages and database.
  • BeautifulSoup, a Python web-scraping library, to help transfer the stories from an XML-format output by WordPress to our Django database.
  • Note: all are free and open source tools.


Have any thoughts about these prototypes? Let us know in the comments.

(You can also view the prototypes from POV Hackathon 1!)

Quick links to the prototype pages:

Empire (Participants’ Choice)
The Human Experiment (Best Prototype)
The Whiteness Project (Best Pitch)
Cpm-703
Data Docs
Feed Me A Story
Faith in the Five Boroughs
How To Lose Your Virginity

POV Hackathon 3 will be held the weekend of April 13-14, 2013, in New York City. The Call for Participants is now open at pov.org/hackathon. Applications are due by midnight on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

Get more documentary film news and features: Subscribe to POV’s documentary blog, like POV on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @povdocs!