On April 23, 2012, TFI and the Ford Foundation brought together leading thinkers and pioneers from the fields of media, entertainment, education and technology to share their insights and inspire content creators at TFI Interactive. In a world where we are all creating content and where technology infuses every aspect of our daily lives, how are individuals and organizations re-shaping themselves to connect with their audiences and stay one step ahead of the digital curve?
TFI Interactive is a one-day event, bringing together big ideas and amazing people to explore the new media ecosystem. Took place at the IAC Building (555 W. 18th St, NYC), this inspired setting housed a day filled with spirited discussion and debate about what leading innovators are doing to rethink entire industries.
Click on each program for additional information, or see the entire schedule at once.
9:30AM DOORS OPEN
9:45AM WELCOMING REMARKS
10:00AM KEYNOTE—BARATUNDE THURSTON:
BEING HUMAN IN A DIGITAL WORLD
Comedian and Onion Director of Digital, Baratunde Thurston pushes the envelope on the latest web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter, treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he's found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. Far beyond delivering comedy and shock value, Baratunde has also delivered results. On his own behalf, for The Onion and others, he has proven an ability to engage communities. This will be an entertaining and insightful journey that explores the limits of your favorite digital platforms and gets at the very heart of what it is to be human. Baratunde performs standup comedy regularly in New York City, resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years experience being black.
10:45AM PANEL—THE FUTURE OF NEWS
Calvin Sims, Andrew DeVigal, Gabriel Dance
From newspapers to broadcast TV, the news industry has had to change the way in which it tells stories. How are news organizations combining popular social tools such as Twitter and interactive storytelling techniques to deliver news in a way that provides value to readers and viewers? This panel brings together the leaders at the forefront of multimedia journalism to explore the changing nature of news.
Moderator: Calvin Sims, Program Officer for New Media and Journalism, Ford Foundation - Calvin manages a portfolio of grants focused on the development of a free and responsible press worldwide. His work helps foster new and innovative models of reporting, disseminating and financing quality news, with a concentration on social justice issues, diversity of voices, standards and ethics, and press freedoms.
Andrew DeVigal, Multimedia Editor, New York Times - Andrew is an innovative leader in digital journalism. As the multimedia editor at The New York Times, he has pioneered efforts to redefine multimedia journalism and pushed the medium in telling and explaining stories by working collaboratively across the newsroom and recruiting top talent from a wide range of industries from interactive programmers to radio broadcast journalists and leading award-winning editorial projects.
Gabriel Dance, Interactive Editor, The Guardian, U.S. - Gabriel is the interactive editor for The Guardian, U.S. Previously he was the art director for news at The Daily and for five years before that he was a multimedia producer at the New York Times.
11:15AM SPOTLIGHT—YOUR INFORMATION DIET
Attention is the new scarce resource in a digital era, putting a premium on new approaches to filtering and curating media. Clay Johnson will share thoughts from his acclaimed book “The Information Diet” on the changing media consumption habits of interactive users. Is it time to change your information diet?
Speaker: Clay Johnson, Author, The Information Diet - Clay Johnson is best known as the co-founder of Blue State Digital, the firm that built and managed Barack Obama’s online campaign for the presidency in 2008. After leaving Blue State, Johnson was the director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation, where he built an army of 2000 developers and designers to build open source tools to give people greater access to government data.
11:30AM EXTENDED SPOTLIGHT—BEAR 71: INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
An interactive case study of the National Film of Board Canada’s Bear 71 from one of the creators of this online experience. The project blurs the line between the wilderness and the wired through an exciting and innovative approach to exploring the story of the grizzly known as Bear 71.
Speaker: Loc Dao, Executive Producer and Creative Technologist at the National Film Board of Canada - As Executive Producer/Creative Technologist, Loc Dao heads up digital content and strategy for English Programming at the National Film Board of Canada. Loc oversees the slate of digital projects and leads the digital team.
1:00PM SPOTLIGHT—IDEO: DESIGNING THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE
You have the story, you have the platforms, you have the budget and you have the team – but have you thought about the experience? UXD is an abbreviation you need to know and understand. How are organizations re-thinking user experience from the perspective of new platforms and technologies and the emergence of the multi-screen experience?
Speaker: Dario Buzzini, Design Director, IDEO NY - Dario Buzzini is a Design Director in IDEO’s New York office. His day-to-day job involves consulting and helping Fortune 500 clients to address complex challenges related to interaction design, from telecommunications and financial services to automotive and consumer electronics products. Over the past eight years, Dario has collaborated with multiple international companies, including Artemide, AT&T, Eli Lilly, Fiat, Ford, Motorola, Novartis, Philips, Prada, Tecno, and Telecom Italia.
1:15PM SPOTLIGHT—LOCAL PROJECTS:
DESIGNING FOR THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
Connecting with the world around us. How do you design for physical spaces and participant interaction?
Speaker: Jake Barton, Principal, Local Projects - Jake Barton is founder and principal of Local Projects, an award-winning media design firm for museums and public spaces. Jake is recognized as a leader in the field of interaction design for physical spaces, and in the creation of collaborative storytelling projects where participants generate content.
1:30PM DISCUSSION—GAME OF THRONES: AN INTERACTIVE CASE-STUDY
In today's marketplace, transmedia storytelling is becoming the key to engaging audiences across a proliferating number of digital platforms. When it came to introducing its new television series Game of Thrones, HBO turned to Campfire to create a visceral, multi-sensory fan engagement program that immersed people in the world of the new show, where they could smell, hear, see, touch and taste their way to the premiere. It is not just Hollywood production studios that have embraced transmedia – any digital creator needs to consider how to reach and scale an audience across several platforms simultaneously. Find out how applying old storytelling techniques across new media channels creates experiences that can be shared and amplified.
Speaker: Steve Coulson, Creative Director, Campfire - Steve Coulson is Partner and Creative Director at Campfire, where he leads the creation of marketing solutions that launch products and change perceptions through storytelling. Steve’s award-winning, hands-on immersive brand experiences bridge the physical and digital worlds to ignite the fan cultures and communities that drive the business of clients such as HBO, Discovery Channel, Harley-Davidson, Verizon FiOS, American Eagle Outfitters and Sony Entertainment.
2:15PM PANEL—TAKE YOUR DIGITAL IDEAS TO THE BANK
Ingrid Kopp, Alyce Myatt, Karim Ahmad, Orlando Bagwell
So you have the idea, can find your audience and know you want to make it happen, but you don't have a spare million in the bank? This panel takes three leading funds that are pioneering funding interactive content, giving you an insight into what they are funding, why, and, most crucially, what they are looking for.
Moderator: Ingrid Kopp, Tribeca New Media Fund Consultant - Ingrid Kopp is the New Media Consultant for the TFI New Media Fund at the Tribeca Film Institute. She writes about film, social media and technology for various publications and teaches Digital Bootcamp workshops for filmmakers, focusing on audience engagement and harnessing the web for storytelling. Ingrid is also Editor-in-Chief of Shooting People in the US – an international networking organization for independent filmmakers with over 38,000 members. Ingrid speaks regularly on interactive storytelling and digital media. She loves documentaries and she loves the web.
Alyce Myatt, Media Arts Director, NEA - Alyce Myatt is the Director of Media Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts. She previously served as the founding executive director of Grantmakers in Film + Electronic Media after working as a consultant to independent media organizations and the philanthropic community. As a consultant her clients included the Center for Digital Democracy, the Council on Foundations, Free Speech TV, the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Emerson College, TVE Brasil, the Heinz Endowments, and the Annie E. Casey and Skillman Foundations. Prior to her return to consulting, she was vice president of programming for PBS and was a program officer for media at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Over the years she has provided program development, production and planning services to a variety of clients in television, radio, and digital media. Her production credits include the Smithsonian Institution, Nickelodeon, and the ABC News magazine, "20/20."
Karim Ahmad, Senior Programming Manager, ITVS - Mr. Ahmad oversees several media funding initiatives at ITVS including the Open Call and the innovative web series FUTURESTATES, for which he reviews projects for funding and works with greenlit filmmakers to develop both non-fiction and fiction content from conception to completion. Mr. Ahmad previously served as Feature Development Director at San Francisco production company Momentum Cinema, where he wrote and produced the award-winning narrative feature film Harrison Montgomery, starring Martin Landau. Mr. Ahmad has served as a panelist for numerous film funders and festivals, worked extensively as an independent story consultant, and received his BA from Pomona College.
Orlando Bagwell, Director JustFilms, Ford Foundation - Orlando Bagwell is director of the foundation's JustFilms initiative, a new effort supporting emerging and established filmmakers whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. The initiative focuses on expanding the community of independent filmmakers around the world—talented storytellers who often lack funding to realize their visions or reach broad audiences.
2:45PM COFFEE BREAK
3:00PM PANEL—PROGRAM OR BE PROGRAMED: CODE AND EDUCATION
Chris Lawrence, Marc Lesser, Jess Klein
Reading, writing and arithmetic... and code. The new influential are the tech-savvy who understand programming and how to use it to make their voices heard within a crowded media landscape. This panel looks at interactive literacy in education and what impact that will have on you. Will you learn to work with or stand against the emerging digital natives? Will the next generation have the tools to program rather than be programmed?
Moderator: Chris Lawrence, Project Director of The Hive NYC, Mozilla Foundation - Chris Lawrence is the Director of Hive Learning Network, New York City. Hive NYC is a consortium of non-profit organizations working together to create and connect learning opportunities for local middle and high school-aged youth in New York City. Chris directs Hive NYC for the Mozilla Foundation with funding from the Digital Media and Learning Initiative at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Chris previously participated in Hive NYC as a charter member in his former position of Director of Formal and Informal Teaching and Learning at the New York Hall of Science where he conceived and managed educational programs that utilize digital and web-based tools for both on-site and distance learning opportunities. Chris has a Master's in Museum Education from the Bank Street College of Education.
Marc Lesser, Education Director, Mouse - Marc Lesser, Education Director at MOUSE, is a specialist in the field of Educational Technology and digital media for learning with broad experience designing programming and learning environments for an array of local and national education programs. Marc directs the design and development of web-based and live learning for MOUSE’s national program network. His experience building creative learning environments is shaped by previous roles as an educator, trainer, and specialist in educational media and technology. Marc holds a Master’s degree from NYU’s Digital Media Design for Learning program and B.S. in Cinema from Ithaca College. In 2012, Marc was named a National School Boards Association “20-to-Watch” in the field of education technology.
Jess Klein, Hackasaurus Design and Learning Lead, Mozilla Foundation - Jess Klein is dedicated to connecting people and ideas through analog and digital technologies and experiences. A community-based designer, Jess is the Mozilla Learning Design Lead, working to embed hacker habits into webmaking educational resources. Prior to Mozilla, Jess was the Creative Director of the Hive NYC Learning Network, which focuses on promoting openness and creativitiy in formal and informal learning environments. Jess began her career in the curatorial department of Prints, Drawings and Photos at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Over the last decade, she has worked at a variety of institutions dedicated to learning including the Museum of Arts and Design, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Institute of Play, Startl, and Sesame Workshop. She founded OceanLab NYC, a project which asked parents, teachers and kids in the NYC community to investigate their urban coastal environment through casual interaction and play. Avid tweeter, Jess can be found @iamjessklein.
3:30PM SPOTLIGHT—WALKING WITH HIPSTER DINOSAURS:
DEVELOPING A TRANSMEDIA PRODUCTION
Nothing ruins a good party like a Velociraptor attack. And when a group of urban hipsters gets caught up in a whirlwind of Mesozoic fury, it’ll take more than PBR and vinyl records to get them out of Brooklyn alive. Many projects are daunting enough with just a film to make, so how can expanding content across different media really be achieved? Walking through the interactive live-action and digital components of Jurassic Park Slope, Caitlin Burns will discuss the successes and pitfalls of developing an interactive production on a modest budget.
Speaker: Caitlin Burns, Transmedia Producer, Starlight Runner Entertainment - As a Transmedia Producer with Starlight Runner Entertainment a New York-based entertainment studio that specializes in transmedia development and production, Caitlin creates and influences fictional universes that are familiar to millions worldwide including: Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tron Legacy for Disney, James Cameron’s Avatar, Halo for Microsoft, The Happiness Factory for Coca-Cola, and Transformers for Hasbro. She has also worked on Transmedia Productions with Showtime, Sony, Nickelodeon, Scholastic, Nelvana, and Wieden+Kennedy. Caitlin is also a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and the TFI New Media Fund Advisory Board.
3:45PM PANEL—PUTTING PLAY IN PLACE: GAMES AND STORYTELLING
Jamin Warren, Margaret Robertson, Nick Fortugno, Michelle Byrd
We all want to engage with the story but what mechanisms can we use to do it? How can we play with what is presented to us? And who is creating play that is fun, engaging, part of the story world and in multiple places (both digital and physical). This panel brings together social impact, gaming and the story into one melting pot of creativity and fun.
Moderator: Jamin Warren, Killscreen - Jamin Warren is the co-founder of videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen, which publishes a website, produces a magazine, and runs a store.
Margaret Robertson, Development Director at Hide & Seek - Margaret Robertson is development director for Hide&Seek, a game design studio which uses public spaces and digital platforms to make interesting games for interesting people.
Nick Fortugno, game designer and educator - Nick Fortugno is a game designer and entrepreneur of digital and real-world games based in New York City, and a founder of Playmatics, a NYC game development company.
Michelle Byrd, Co-President at Games for Change - Games for Change facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts - as Co-President, Michelle leads on institutional relationship and partnership efforts, along with fundraising, business affairs, financial management, and communications strategy.
[Photo: Keynote speech by Baratunde Thurston at the 2012 TFI Interactive day. Photo by Pamela J. Gillin/Bulldog Photography]
Here's a wrap-up of the day through Storify. See the full TFI Interactive schedule below.
IAC Building (555 W. 18th St, NYC)