Culture Hacker

Bridging the gap between storytelling and technology. by Lance Weiler

  • Turning the Tables

    Nervous laughter fills the air as a box of surgical masks is passed. Everyone is instructed to take one and place it over their mouths. With masks in position, the group of 12 is quickly ushered into an elevator. After a few moments there is a jolt — the doors open and everyone slowly funnels out. The seventh floor of the New School has been transformed into a sci-fi world. Debris covers the ground, and strange sounds echo down the halls. A lone girl staggers forward, her face concealed by a long mane of black hair. With head hung down…  Read more

    On Jul 18, 2013
    By on Jul 18, 2013 Columns
  • Pod Wants to Know You

    Cinematic innovation is often driven by creative needs. The desire to help viewers connect to stories has resulted in the development of new camera systems, visual effects processes and advancements in audio capture and presentation. Stanley Kubrick’s determination to shoot by candlelight, in order to be authentic to the 18th-century setting of Barry Lyndon, birthed the Zeiss high-speed prime lens. A frustration with the state of theatrical sound in the early 1980s inspired George Lucas to develop THX to ensure pristine audio playback in theaters. When James Cameron wanted a realistic look for Pandora in Avatar, he innovated “performance capture”…  Read more

    On Apr 23, 2013
    By on Apr 23, 2013 Columns
  • Story as Software

    We are swimming in a sea of data. In 2012, Facebook passed the one billion-user mark, 48 hours worth of new video was uploaded to YouTube every minute and Apple received their one-millionth app submission while the Android store listed more than 600,000 apps with more than 20 billion installs. These stats represent an incredible amount of online activity with a decent percentage attributed to a rise in smartphone and tablet usage. Fame and riches await those who can effectively capture and monetize even a small percentage of this activity. In April, Facebook announced that they were acquiring Instagram, a…  Read more

    On Jan 29, 2013
    By on Jan 29, 2013 Columns
  • Creative Code

    Developing an understanding of code is a valuable skill. In fact its now a 21st century storytelling reality. While it’s not critical for you to rush off and learn how to code, it wouldn’t hurt to become more familiar with the terminology, process and realities of producing digital / interactive projects. As filmmakers expand their work beyond a single screen new roles such as creative technologists are emerging to bridge the gap between tech and story. The role has been adapted within ad agencies, interactive firms and media companies as a way to plan and execute digital strategies. At the…  Read more

    On Jan 8, 2013
    By on Jan 8, 2013 Filmmaking
  • Twine Unboxing

    Last year I wrote about Twine, an easy-to-use sensor kit that broke out on Kickstarter by raising 1,500% over their initial ask. The interest in Twine was so strong that their goal of $35k ended up bringing in over $500k. The concept taps directly into the “internet of things,” where interactions involving everyday objects are given a voice. Since contributing to the project, I’ve been waiting anxiously for my Twine to arrive. In December, it finally came and I immediately put it to work in a storytelling context with my students at Columbia University. Listen to your world talk to…  Read more

    On Jan 2, 2013
    By on Jan 2, 2013 Columns
  • Culture Hacker: Is Story Simply a Utility?

    Ext: Night – Suburban Cul-De-Sac – In the not-so-distant future  Welcome to the quintessential suburban neighborhood — manicured lawns, two cars in each driveway and a bluish hue flickering from each window. Inside, families watch screens in a state of entertainment bliss, enjoying vast catalogs of content as they shop to their hearts content inspired by what they see onscreen. For well over a decade, this has been the dream of cable, telcos and satellite companies. The promise of merging the best of what the Internet and TV have to offer has been attempted by players big and small — as…  Read more

    On Nov 1, 2012
    By on Nov 1, 2012 Columns
  • Culture Hacker: Scarcity and Abundance in the Digital World

    Scarcity and Abundance in the Digital World By Lance Weiler.

    On Jul 19, 2012
    By on Jul 19, 2012 Columns
  • Culture Hacker: Igniting the Imagination of Many

    On Apr 17, 2012
    By on Apr 17, 2012 Columns
  • Listen as Your Story Talks to the Internet

    Without a doubt, this is an amazing time to be a storyteller. We have moved beyond the simple democratization of storytelling and production tools. Funding, marketing and distribution solutions are commoditized, providing filmmakers numerous opportunities to bring their work to an audience. And now a new phase is arriving, one that merges technology with the creative process. Filmmakers will soon be able to take advantage of a world of connected objects in what has been termed the “Internet of things.” And in this environment, as always, there will be a need for good storytelling to provide a level of understanding,…  Read more

    On Jan 15, 2012
    By on Jan 15, 2012 Columns
  • Culture Hacker: What if 5th Graders Ruled Your Storyworld?

    What If 5th Graders Ruled Your Storyworld? By Lance Weiler

    On Oct 23, 2011
    By on Oct 23, 2011 Columns
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