October 31, 2013 | Brendon Johnson ’16 / Champlain College News
On Saturday, Oct. 19, fifteen teams competed in first annual Vermont Story Hack, a 24 hour competition for a cash prize. In this competition teams had just24 hours to produce an original story based on the theme and transmit it across three or more forms of digital media. A wide variety of mediums were used such as apps, blogs, and videos, and then the completed projects were put online for voting at the end of the 24 hour period. The theme of the Vermont Story Hack competition was “And none of this would have happened if you hadn’t arrived five minutes earlier.”
The Story Hack was created to try to bring as much exposure as possible to those who work in the digital media and storytelling field in Vermont. Creator Nate Herzog initially came up with the idea to start a ‘hackathon’ for the creatives, as there is a technology Vermont Hackathon hosted by MyWebGrocer each year. Story Hack is engineered to combine people’s strengths in different forms of media to come together, form creative teams, and then tell an original story in a unique way. The event also put emphasis on community involvement with the winners being decided via an online vote.
At this year’s Story Hack there were three teams with members of the Champlain College community, including a team made up of students, a team of faculty and staff and a team with an alumnus. Team Kosmoplastique consisted of Champlain faculty and staff Core Associate Professor Erik Esckilsen, Library Assistant Director Andrew Burkhardt, and Division of Communication and Creative Media Associate Professor Joe Manley along with Allan Nicholls and Bill Simmon. They created the story of the Mr.Canada told through forms such as videos, songs, and pictures. The project can be found at www.kosmoplastique.com.
Team Emergence, made up of Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Media students Becky Colley, Erin Barnaby, Jessica Wisloski, and Jeff Turner along with Emily McManamy created a digital platform for former bullies to apologize to victims and tell their bullying stories. The page features a sample video and information on the social media campaign of which users can use to post their own apologies. The page can be found at http://www.sorryspace.com/about–trailer.html.
Finally, team Worksandwich, comprised of Champlain Alumni Craig Winslow ‘10, Liz Millikin, Coberlin Brownell, Justin Kuzma, and Brad Cameron created a new way of telling a story in the form of a mystery explorative Iphone app that involves multiple mediums and engages users in new ways. The app, titled The Delphi Project, brings video games into a more narrative form and puts a strong emphasis on the story as the user completes a number of puzzles to solve a mysterious death. The Delphi Project will be available on the app store in 2014. A trailer and more information can be found at http://worksandwich.com.
Winslow, who graduated from Champlain with a degree is graphic design, created the trailer for his team’s app. Winslow, who also participated in the Vermont Hackathon the week before, said that in comparison “The Story Hack projects had a lot more passion in them because people were pumped to have an event to focus on writing a story and telling it in a different way.”
“The first Story Hack was very successful in involving a lot of the community and getting a lot of exposure outside of Vermont.” Herzog reflected. At the close of voting there were over nine hundred votes coming from 21 countries, 43 states, and only 25% of votes coming from Vermont.
While the event itself was not open to the public, the team presentations afterwards were open to the public and live streamed online. The event was “well received and understandable,” according to Herzog, so much so that he is bringing it back for another year next year. However, Herzog would like to bring it to a whole new scale and ideally take it to other creative hubs of Vermont.
For more information about the Vermont Story Hack visit, http://storyhackvt.com/.