Cinematic Interactions

Storytelling through multi-media

Workshop Dates: July 3 – 7, 2017

video, film, film design, storytelling, prototyping, experiential spaces, conference spaces, media, cinematic, experiential design, digital installation, brand, installation


Create short films, images, and audio that tell a cohesive story around a product or idea. Make a mini-gallery exhibit to display this story in a physical environment.

In this course we will explore a mix of filmmaking, experiential space design, photography, sound design, writing, and how to pitch a new idea or product. At the heart of the class is storytelling — and the goal for the week will be to learn the basic principles of storytelling that span mediums — and which medium serves which story best. Moreover, the process of creating these stories can serve as a way to prototype, validate, and enrich products and ideas.

Now, more than ever, people need more expressive, more exciting ways to communicate their ideas. Why? Because the ideas that we’re generating as both designers and business people are more complex, abstract, and expansive than ever before. And simultaneously people’s capacity for attention is lower than ever before.

In this class, we turn the lens on different types of media to show simple principles that will help you interact with your audience. From ideation to creation, we will teach you ways to use the rules of storytelling and media to make connections, guide the eye and create delightful interactions and experiences with your audience. We will introduce the tenants of storytelling (act building, hero’s journey, character design etc.) as well as how to analyze stories. Then we’ll dive into the craft of several mediums — film, photography, space design, and audio design. An emphasis will be placed on quick trial-and-error, improv, and “sketching” out of a story. We will do a number of quick exercises to gain comfort in these mediums.

For the final project, participants will start by taking an idea or product related to one of the UN Sustainability Goals and then will create key messages based on the emotion they want their audience to feel. They’ll work through the best way to convey these messages through video, photography, imagery, and/or audio. We will fully script, storyboard, capture, and edit the media, taking into account best practices around camera angles, casting, and tone. The participants will create a mini-gallery exhibit to communicate their final project.

A little about me. I’m a filmmaker by trade and in my early career I got to explore a wide range of genres and mediums within film, television, and video. Six years ago I came to frog, a design and strategy consultancy, and was tasked with the role of building a video practice. What I’ve found over time is that our designers and our clients don’t usually need just “a video” — they need more. They need a thoughtful way of thinking about and communicating the story of whatever they’re trying to sell. And rather than a single video, they usually need a few videos, a great tagline, and one great hero photo. And all of those need to work together.

For example, last year I helped drive two Kickstarter campaigns past $1,000,000 (only 0.02% of Kickstarter campaigns exceed $1MM). These each had dozens of photographs, multiple videos, a wealth of headlines and copy, media appearances, and verbal pitches — disseminated over the course of months. Those Kickstarter campaigns are very similar to the storytelling work needed for big companies, NGOs, non-profits, and schools.

My co-teacher, Nathan, is a Creative Director at a creative consultancy and someone with whom I’ve collaborated on personal and professional projects. Beyond video, Nathan (and his colleagues at work) specialize in creating larger conference experiences. So if you’ve ever seen those grand presentations by a tech-firm CEO — with giant screens playing cool animations, lighting design, and a variety of films playing — that’s what he does really well. And Nathan will bring his expertise to teach you how to create large spaces and small exhibits that entertain and inform.

I’m looking forward to sharing everything I know with you all and helping you tell your next story! Taylor

Learning expectations:
Prototype story elements through a variety of media types — including film, photography, audio design, copy, voiceover, and music.

Develop an approach to creating emotional stories for products and concepts
Learn basic video and editing skills
Develop an film approach to creating emotional artwork and concepts
Learn how to assess and critique film work that covers abstract concepts
Learn practical idea generation and critical thinking methods
Understand the role of storytelling in the development of products
Use research and study to create more impactful art.
Learn how to pitch your idea

Basic familiarity with iMovie or editing software. You must bring your own high definition camera (could be an iPhone) and a laptop.

Taylor Hamilton
Nathan Hackett