Since 2012, POV has brought together visionary filmmakers and inventive technologists to “re-imagine the documentary for web” in a single weekend. POV Hackathon 6, the sixth edition of our non-fiction lab, took place May 17 — 18, 2014 in Los Angeles — the first time on the West Coast! We’re excited to share the prototypes from the six teams that participated, and give you the opportunity not only to explore them, but also to learn more about how the team’s created the prototypes under an impossible deadline, including a technology list and source code.
None of these teams had met before coming together on Saturday morning. Find out more about the POV Hackathon process and future calls for participants »
The World In Ten Blocks
Participants’ Choice Award winner
Team: Jack Cody, Stan Dyro, Marc Serpa Francoeur, Hank Knaack, Robinder Uppal.
About the Project: The World In Ten Blocks is a first person point of view experience in which the user explores one of the world’s most diverse neighbourhoods through the stories of immigrant small business owners and their surroundings.
- Adobe Photoshop: Image manipulation, resizing.
- Adobe Premiere Pro: Video/Audio editing.
- Adobe Illustrator: Graphics
- jQuery: Manipulating DOM elements
- CSS3: Positioning elements
- HTML5 Video: Video playback on web
- GitHub: File sharing
Jack Cody (Technologist) is a Developer at Sky MacKai LLC. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in Economics.
Stan Dyro (Technologist) is a web engineer at PK4 Media, a digital media company in the advertising technology industry with a platform that maximizes the value generated by video views across online, tablet and mobile devices. He started his career at Apple Retail, and since then has worked for companies big and small such as JWT, Leaping Brain Labs, and Primary Color.
Originally from Calgary, Serpa Francoeur (Media Maker) studied screenwriting, language and creative non-fiction writing in Vancouver. After several years in Central America, he moved to Toronto to complete an MFA in Documentary Media at Ryerson University with the support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Past projects have covered subjects as varied as agriculture in Punjab and gold mining in Nicaragua.
Hank Knaack (Technologist) is a UX researcher and designer. His background in TV and film production informs his work in creative advertising for nonprofit and community-based organizations.
Robiner Uppal (Media Maker) is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and editor. Uppal holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia and an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, completed with the support of an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. Uppal has shot and produced documentary films in India, Central America, and Canada. Born and raised in Calgary to parents from Punjab, India, his current work builds on a lifelong interest in issues of diversity and multiculturalism.
Team: Gregory Prentice, Kelly Sears, Michael Scherotter.
About the Project: Aerial Viewing is an application that responds to anxieties and possibilities of tracking and surveillance technology. The viewer is embedded in this project through their location and actions. The application enables a ruptured and collective viewing experience – exploring the boundaries of what is known, unknown, visible and accessible.
- After Effects: This program was used to mask, composite and collage layers of video footage.
- Sound Track Pro: This program was used to create sound design for the film and design elements in the project.
- Final Cut Pro: This program was used to compile video footage, voice over, and sound design.
- Windows 8.1 – The application is built to run on the Microsoft Windows operating system to utilize the capabilities inherent in the platform such as: Inclinometer, location, touch, camera, and video playback.
- C# and Xaml – The application was written in the C# programming language for core logic such as interacting with the sensors on the device and communicating with Microsoft Azure Mobile Services for storing locations.
- Bing Maps for satellite imagery and location name services.
- Microsoft Visual Studio and Expression Blend – The primary development tool used to write the code and layout of the application.
- Microsoft Azure Mobile Services – Used to persist the location information that can be shared between users of the applications.
- Node.js – Running in Microsoft Azure Mobile Services to provide cloud-based data validation.
Gregory Prentice (Technologist) currently works as an evangelist in the DX group at Microsoft with a focus in the Media and Social spaces. Most recently, he assisted the Windows Azure Media services and Delta Tre teams in the delivering of the Sochi Olympics Lives video streaming.
Michael Schrotter (Technologist) is a Media Experience Evangelist with Microsoft based in San Francisco. As part of Microsoft’s media evangelism team, he focuses on explaining and demonstrating Microsoft’s developer platforms to companies in media and entertainment. Throughout his 19-year career in software development, Michael has specialized in combining software in innovative ways. Previously, he architected and developed CAD applications for Boise Cascade and managed software development teams and engaged with partners at Mindjet. Michael has a Bachelor’s of Architecture and a Masters of Architecture specializing in Design Tool Development.
Kelly Sears (Media Maker) creates animated essays from appropriated post WWII American media. She reworks discarded magazines, books, orphaned films and other ephemera to investigate contemporary political narratives of power that include expansionist doctrines, occupation, and surveillance. Her work has screened at Sundance, SXSW, LACMA and the Hammer Museum.
Team: Chris Cornwell, Stephen Dypinagco, Taylor Ferrari, Vivek Kaliramen, Julia Wells.
About the Project: This interactive family scrapbook offers you a way to connect with your family in a private space, invite select contributors to view and add to your relative’s story, and give your loved ones a personalized keepsake that allows them to see their own lives in new ways and shows them how much they are loved.
- C# .NET to code the back end
- SQL server for the database
- CSS3 for client side with AngularJS for MVVM framework.
Chris Cornwell (Technologist) has only been a developer for a short time, but loves all things tech and has a deep passion for the intersection of technology with media and it’s power to change the world.
Stephen Dypiangco (Media Maker) is a filmmaker and co-founder of the National Film Society, a media company whose brainy and offbeat work has been featured by PBS, The Wall Street Journal, Filmmaker Magazine, Mashable, GigaOM and Indiewire. Stephen is an alum of NYU’s graduate film program.
Taylor Ferrari (Technologist) evaluates human experiences in order to build purposeful products. She specializes in UX Design, Research and Strategy. She has a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA, and UX Design education from General Assembly.
Vivek Kaliraman (Technologist) is an independent contractor, consultant in medical education, pharmaceuticals and biotech competitive intelligence.
Julia Wells is a budding C# .NET developer. She graduated from the 6-month Sabio.LA coding program in February 2014. She was on the teams that won Best Health & Fitness App at the HackForLA hackathon in December 2013 and first place at the Department of Energy hackathon in March 2014.
Launch the demo »
This prototype is best viewed in Google Chrome.
Team: Evan Pavlica, Byron Q, Vincent Scatliffe.
About the Project: Problem Me is a mobile app that uses user generated videos to address a given problem.
- Ruby on Rails 4 – Used to program backend of app.
- Angular JS – used to build the front end of app.
- PostgreSQL – used to build the data base of app.
- Final Cut Pro – used to edit the demo videos.
- Adobe Illustrator – This was used to design and layout the wireframe.
- Adobe Photoshop – This was used to design the logo and the icons used for the app.
Byron Q (Media Maker) is an award winning independent filmmaker based out of Los Angeles and San Francisco. His first feature film, Bang Bang, won the Jury prize for best first feature at the 2011 LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. His 2nd feature, a documentary, RASKAL LOVE won the Directors Choice award at the 2014 Seattle Asian American Film Festival.
Vincent Scatliffe (Technologist) is a visionary with a keen ability for assessing an idea’s potential and bringing it to life. His passion is to build bridges between cultures and unite people by their common thread. This compels him to seek out like minded organizations to partner with through CL Design Group.
Return of the Native: Hawaii
Team: Lucas Allmon, Natasha Florentino, Hugh Hou, Laurie Sumiye.
About the Project: Return of the Native: Hawaii is an immersive iPad documentary about restored, rarely seen native Hawaiian forests on the Island of Hawaii via a coming-of-age fiction adventure story. The project is inspired by true stories of endangered Hawaiian flora and fauna told by the local people of Hawaii.
- KR pano: Our digital narrative was built using KR pano to author interactive panoramas and virtual tour elements.
- HTML5: We used HTML5 for the markup language and platform.
- PTGui Pro: All of the photography for the panoramic images were stitched together using this software.
- Git: We used Git for revision control of the code.
- Github: We used this platform for storing and collaborating on the code.
- XML: The language used to author panoramic multimedia content.
- jQuery: For DOM manipulation.
- Final Cut Pro: All of the video clips were edited in FCP.
- Amadeus Pro: Audio waveform editor used to edit and export all audio.
Lucas Allmon (Technologist) is the Creative Director of AnotherVenue.com, a new media studio in Santa Monica where he spends the majority of his time arguing with his computer, since it clearly hears, but doesn’t listen. He enjoys exploring the relationship between content, context and interaction in differing forms of digital media. When not doing that, he is in the mountains, on his motorcycle or on foot.
Natasha Florentino (Media Maker) is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. She is currently directing Abundant Land, a film about GMO agriculture in Hawaii. In 2008 she co-directed Rezoning Harlem, a documentary about the opposition to the NYC rezoning of 125th street. Natasha received her MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College (CUNY).
Xiaoyu Hugh Hou (Technologist) is the CTO and Art Director of CreatorUp, an e-learning platform to empower everyone to make great video content.
Laurie Sumiye (Media Maker) is a Hawai`i-born filmmaker, artist and designer who uses moving image, digital media and organic materials through the study of natural and manmade environments. Her background in interactive media, journalism and graphic design uniquely informs her films and installations by combining technological, documentary and visual communication practices.
POV Hackathon mentors play a critical role in providing feedback, project management, therapeutic counselling… whatever is needed at any time to help the teams get their prototypes presentation-ready over the course of the weekend. At POV Hackathon 5, five mentors shared their expertise with the teams, and we can’t thank them enough for their time and for sharing their wisdom.
Steph Belsky is an engagement and content strategist, specializing in video for web and YouTube optimization. She has more than eight years experience in entertainment, digital marketing, and social media. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies, including Proctor & Gamble, Motorola, and Pepsico as well as some of the top advertising and public relations agencies.
Manish Goyal is the CEO at Friendbuy, which delivers engaging, organic and viral social media marketing for high-end
brands in apparel, accessories, home and health & beauty. He is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Kel O’Neill and Eline Jongsma work at the intersection of art, documentary and journalism. Their immersive documentary project Empire (IDFA 2012, NYFF 2013, SXSW 2014) was filmed in ten countries over four years, and
won the 2nd POV Hackathon’s Participants Choice Award.
Steve Kleiman jumps between film and tech. He is currently CEO of Prodhub.com, an online project management platform for film and TV projects (launches July 2014) and was previously Director of Technology & Operations for AOL’s West Coast Entertainment Division.
Ami Mariscal is currently starting up the marketing and media company Good+WOW. They create WOW experiences that result in more sales and/or more investors for their clients. Good+WOW’s clients include businesses and filmmakers that are doing GOOD in the world. In 2013 Ami created Howhap, as in “how to make it happen.” She has also traveled the world creating art and exhibiting across the country and working on camera crews for movies and television.
Taylor McPartland graduated from Whittier College and dove into the entertainment space as a producer and screenwriter. Today he is the Forbes featured Co-Founder and President of FilmBreak.
Rain Breaw Michaels is the principal Project Manager and User Experience Designer with The Cherry Hill Company. With Cherry Hill, her primary focus has been producing digital tools for public libraries, higher education and non-profits. She holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic-Arts film production program.
Sophia Viklund is the Founder and Head of Strategic Relations of backCODE, a Pasadena based creative studio transforming education and engagement through entertainment that specializes in immersive games, interactive simulations, and premium digital educational content with clients like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and IARPA. Sophia is a serial technology entrepreneur since founding her first technology company in 1997.
Sophia was named in Forbes in July 2012 as one of a select group of “Female Founders to Watch” and in March 2013 as part of a group of “Women in Gaming to Watch.”
The prototypes were presented to a public audience and judges who represent a cross-section of the documentary and technology industries. POV Hackathon 6’s judges consisted of David Craig (USC Annenberg), Lyn Goldfarb (Lyn Goldfarb Productions), Cooper Harris (Klickly) and Lori Kozlowski (Forbes) .
If you missed any of them, here are links for quick access to the POV Hackathon 6 prototypes:
About POV Digital
Since 1994, POV Digital has driven new storytelling initiatives and interactive production for POV. The department created PBS’s first program website and its first web-based documentary (POV’s Borders) and has won major awards, including a Webby Award (and six nominations) and an Online News Association Award. POV Digital continues to explore the future of independent nonfiction media through its digital productions and the POV Hackathon lab, where media makers and technologists collaborate to re-invent storytelling forms.
pbs.org/pov | @povdocs
CreatorUp! is the premier online video school where anyone can learn to make great video content. Like a film school in the cloud – the platform offers on demand courses taught by top digital entertainment pros. Co-founders Mike Tringe and Sara Akhteh graduated from USC Film School during the digital revolution. They were the first class to work in the digital media world and wanted to share their knowledge to make it accessible to everyone else who wanted to learn how to tell their stories online, without charging the expensive price tag that film school charges. Their mission is to give everyone a voice with video content.
creatorup.com | @creatorup
About The Hub LA
Hub LA is a new kind of membership club dedicated to the individuals and teams building the local, sustainable economy in Los Angeles and beyond. The Hub offers members access to creative industrial space to work, meet, learn, collaborate, and play; a curated community of values-aligned individuals and companies; and custom programming and events focused on personal and professional development. We combine the best of a cafe, innovation lab, business accelerator, serviced office, and community center to create a place for meaningful encounters, productive work sessions, exchange and inspiration all with the ambition to spur social innovation.
thehubla.com | @TheHubLA
About International Documentary Association (IDA)
Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes nonfiction filmmakers, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness for the documentary genre. Through its programs, IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists, and journalists.
documentary.org | @IDAorg