Media Room

Workshop: Inventing New Forms of Storytelling

Thu, May 3 10:00am - 1:00pm | Emmanuel College, Room 108, 93 Charles Street West

Access: Industry Pass holders. Capacity is strictly limited. Applications for this workshop have now closed. Rush seats may be available for this session. Rush seating lines start at the venue approximately 30 minutes before the session.

Join Zeega’s experienced team of journalists, documentary artists and interactive designers as they experiment with new forms of storytelling and immersive narrative. Participants will receive free logins to Zeega’s new web-based editor, a sort of Final Cut Pro for authoring interactive experiences, that enables anyone to create interactive documentaries without having to code.

To participate in this workshop you will need apply via Hot Docs Online Community and describe yourself, your interactive documentary project, and how you imagine pulling it off (1 page). Projects will be preselected by Zeega and Hot Docs staff.

Please bring the following to the workshop:
• Links to audio, video or images online that you would like to use in your project
• Storyboard of an interactive experience (this can be a napkin drawing)
• Laptop with Google Chrome installed

Additional Resources:
Inventing New Forms of Storytelling pdf


Jesse Shapins - Co-Founder/Chief Strategy Architect, Zeega

Jesse Shapins is a media theorist, digital humanist, documentary artist, and social entrepreneur. Through a hybrid practice of interactive design, public intervention, architectural theory, and experimental pedagogy, his work experiments in mapping the imagination and perception of place between physical, virtual and social space.

He is also the co-creator of: Zeega, a 2011 Knight News Challenge winner that is an open-source HTML5 platform for creating interactive documentaries and inventing new forms of storytelling; Yellow Arrow, a seminal project in locative media that involved cities, stickers, mobile phones, and participants in over 450 cities in 39 countries, transforming the urban landscape into a “deep map” that expresses the personal histories and hidden secrets that live within our everyday spaces; Mapping Main Street, a collaborative documentary with NPR that creates a new map of the country through stories, photos and videos recorded on actual Main Streets; Stadtblind, a gallery and urban research studio focused upon challenging the urban imaginaries of Berlin; and the UnionDocs Collaborative, a laboratory for documentary research and production in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.


Joseph Bergen - Lead Interaction Designer + Developer

Joseph Bergen is Zeega’s Lead Interaction Designer + Developer. He is an engineer and designer whose interests revolve around technology, data, and art in relation to physical place. A self-taught programmer, he enjoys the challenge presented by large, complex, and dynamic data sets and teasing out otherwise hidden relationships with interactive visualizations. His work has been featured on FastCoDesign, the Wall Street Journal blog, and and has received top awards from Google.

James Burns - Co-Founder/Chief Strategy Architect, Zeega

James Burns is Zeega’s Chief Technology Officer. He built the API-driven website Mapping Main Street, constructing a system that automatically interrelates media feeds from across the web into thematic and geographic pathways. He holds a PhD in Economics from Harvard University. More at

Luís Filipe Brandão - Lead Database Designer + Developer, Zeega

Luís Filipe Brandão is Zeega’s Lead Database Designer/Developer. He is a software engineer specialized in machine learning. He recently moved to Cambridge from Amsterdam, where he completed his MSc. in Artificial Intelligence. Previously, he has worked as a programmer for Textkernel and the Berkman Center at Harvard through the Google Summer of Code program, among others, as well as developed an interactive installation for Mediamatic, a media arts institute in Amsterdam. More at

Kara Oehler - Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Zeega

Kara Oehler is a radio documentary producer, media artist, and interactive designer. Her work over the past decade has focused upon pushing the boundaries of narrative journalism both on the air and across multiple platforms, combining investigative storytelling with participatory media, building new systems and opportunities for education and artistic practice, and consulting others on imagining new futures of digital media. Kara is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Zeega, an open-source HTML5 platform for creating interactive documentaries and winner of the 2011 Knight News Challenge. During 2012, she is a Radcliffe/Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University and a Rockefeller Fellow with United States Artists. She is also the co-creator of Mapping Main Street, a collaborative documentary created with AIR’s MQ2 initiative, NPR, the CPB and the Berkman Center at Harvard. She is co-founder of metaLAB (at) Harvard, where she is the Documentary Arts and Media Innovation Fellow.

Lindsey Wagner - Director of Product + User Experience, Zeega

Lindsey Wagner is Zeega’s Director of Projects + User Experience. She is an artist who loves working with others to produce inspiring and valuable experiences. Previously, she worked in a Los Angeles woodshop before founding a user experience design division at a leading interactive agency, responsible for projects such as She frequently curates late-night bikes around Boston.