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Media That Matters 2014 Agenda

Media That Matters 2014


Community Partners
Happy Hour
StoryCode DC



Active Voice


StoryCode DC





Community Partners

Benevolent Media
Community Cinema DC
Docs In Progress
Meridian Hill Pictures
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program
Sunlight Foundation
Tribeca Film Institute
Working Films



Workshop Options

Locations Vary: Mary Graydon Center
(Rooms confirmed via email)
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

*Choose fom 1 of 3 exciting pre-conference workshops! (Additional fee applies - registration required.)

3:00 - 5:00pm FAIR USE--the right to use copyrighted material without permission or payment, under some circumstances, has saved many filmmakers money, without jeopardizing their own royalties. How does it work? Spend an afternoon learning how to make a fair use decision without a lawyer; finding out the latest news on employing fair use, and on DMCA exemptions that allow you to break encryption on a DVD; and testing out your fair use talents. Led by the Center's director, Patricia Aufderheide.

3:00 - 5:00pm DESIGNING FOR IMPACT--As contemporary documentary producers and media makers know, the success of a documentary story is not just determined by the narrative itself, but around the outreach and marketing of the project, as well as its social impact. Too often, the "publicity model" for outreach and promotion around a documentary model is still used -- the idea that the film production and the communication around it are separate and very distinct activities. But the concept of "designing media for impact" uses a different strategic model, taking into account production, impact, and communication about the film even at the beginning stages of story development and production. This workshop delves deeply into a "designing for impact" approach to building strategic communication and impact strategies into the production cycle itself, using case studies and discussion to engage workshop participants into this model. Directed by the Center's creative director, Caty Borum Chattoo, who works at the intersection of documentary production, strategic communication, and impact design and evaluation. 

3:00 - 5:00pm INCORPORATING TRANSMEDIA THEORY INTO YOUR MEDIA PROJECT--Transmedia is quickly emerging as the go-to buzz word. But what is it really and how can it be used by media makers to strengthen their projects? In this workshop, participants will  delve into how media makers can incorporate transmedia theory—research & development, worldbuilding, cross-platform engagement, participation/co-creation, and immersion—to better engage audiences and extend the reach and life of your story. Led by the Center's media fellow, Felicia Pride. 


Networking Happy Hour

Location: Chef Geoff's
3201 New Mexico Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016

5:00pm Happy Hour

Debrief on your workshop experiences and get a head start on networking! Meet Center staff just two blocks south of campus for happy hour at Chef Geoff's before heading to a FREE StoryCode DC discussion. Excellent specials on drinks and appetizers at a longtime Center meeting place!


StoryCode DC: The Story Experience - FREE!

*Free #MTMDC event, register on Eventbrite to reserve your spot.

Location: TBA
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

6:00pm StoryCode DC Panel Discussion

In conjunction with #MTMDC, StoryCode DC's first event of 2014 will showcase media projects that offer unique story experiences for audiences. Founded in New York as a transmedia meetup, StoryCode has evolved into an open-source, global community for emerging and established cross-platform and immersive storytellers. StoryCode DC is is a community of emerging and established storytellers who are exploring the ever-growing possibilities of narrative.



Building the Story Experience

Location: Katzen Arts Center
Abramson Family Recital Hall
American University
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016

8:15am Conference check-in and registration open / Bagels & Coffee

9:15am Welcome and Announcements

9:30 - 10:15am Keynote Address

SpeakerAlden E. Stoner, Vice President, Social Action Film Campaigns, Participant Media
ModeratorCaty Borum Chattoo, Center for Media & Social Impact

How can media makers take advantage of innovative storytelling platforms and strategies to effect meaningful change? Participant Media's Alden Stoner talks with the Center's Caty Borum Chattoo about the process of running a successful social action campaign, the importance of independent media, and the challenges that face future makers.

10:15 - 11:30am First Talk

Radio Matters: How sound carries a story and other takeaways
SpeakersErika Lantz, PRX RemixRob Rosenthal, Transom Story WorkshopRebecca Sheir, Metro Connection
ModeratorRussell Williams, American University

The first thing we learn in film school is there are no second chances to get the audio! Strategic sound design can create an intimate and powerful storytelling experience and is an essential tool in social impact media. In Radio Matters we talk to the audio experts: radio producers who rely exclusively on sound to carry the story. How can you leverage your audio to build a better story experience?

11:30 - 11:45am Shout Outs

Step up to the mic and introduce yourself! We set aside this time to help facilitate networking - find your next program partner and grab lunch together.

11:45am - 12:45pm Lunch

12:45 - 1:15pm

Festival Matters with David Holbrooke, Mountainfilm

The Netflix Original Documentary "Mitt" began streaming just days after it premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. In an age of video on demand and digital distribution, are film festivals still relevant for distribution? Join a conversation with CMSI Director Pat Aufderheide and David Holdbrooke, festival director with Mountainfilm in Telluride, on festivals strategies in the digital age. How important are festivals for social impact documentary? What's unique about Mountainfilm, and how are festivals like it evolving?

1:15 - 2:30pm Second Talk

Digital Games: Using persuasive play for social impact
SpeakersKunal Gupta, Babycastles and Silent BarnColleen MacklinParsons The New School for Design; Meghan Ventura, Games For Change
ModeratorLindsay Grace, American University

Why should social impact media makers pay attention to games? Professor Lindsay Grace--game designer, researcher and purveyor of play--introduces persuasive gaming and constructing digital experiences that lead to social impact. Grace will lead a discussion on the status of public purpose gaming, its potential for future impact, the capacity of the new AU gaming lab, and how strategies for social impact documentary relate to gaming.

2:30 - 3:00pm Networking Break

We know that's why you're here! Refresh your coffee cup and collect some emails.

3:00 - 4:15pm Third talk 

Image Matters: Graphic ways to visualize policy, history, news and more
SpeakersDaniel Burwen, Cognito ComicsGreg Pak, comic book writer; Marissa Valeri, Common Cause
ModeratorAndrew Lih, American University

The right combination of aesthetics can take your social impact media to the next level. From traditional journalism to iPad apps, comics and creative graphics can be an exciting new way to build an emotional connection with audiences. How can these graphics help build your social impact story? Where can you find the artists, and what are the keys to a successful collaboration? 

4:15pm Raffle and Closing