I had the experience over the weekend of participating in the third hackathon sponsored by POV. It was a pleasure meeting and working with many talented people, foremost of which were my team.
A brief note on what a hackathon is (or skip this paragraph if you know): it brings together computer programers, designers, project managers, and other creative types to collaborte together on a software project (usually over 36 hours). The goal of the POV hackathon is to imagine new, interactive models for documentary filmmaking.
I was assigned to work on Therese Shechter’s film, “How to Lose Your Virginity,” teamed with Ms. Shecter, the film’s producer Elice Litwak, and expert developer Steven Melendez. They were an amazing group of people and I thank them for welcoming and integrating me into their group.
— Cori S (@CoriSchattner) April 14, 2013
The film is “about the myth and meaning of virginity in American culture.” You can find out more about it here: http://www.virginitymovie.com/.
What we created was the V-Card Experience Engine, an interactive storytelling project that empowers the audience to anonymously chart their sexual milestones (ultimately reconsidering the definition of virginity). After inputting information through a playful interface, they can access data visualizations of the information already collected from the online community. By considering a series of experiences, rather than a one-time virginity loss, the project presents a more diverse and nuanced idea of becoming sexual.
It was so much fun to design visualizations, write playful copy that made the topic accessible, forward the message of this film, and ultimately: create a prototype/proof-of-concept/MVP in such a short period of time.
I also encourage you to check out the other prototypes that were created over the weekend. They were truly impressive. I look forward to following how they evolve and also to observing what projects come out of POV’s next hackathon.