docSHIFT: Storytelling & the Interactive Documentary

Saturday, April 8

In recent years, viewer demand for inventive media content has led to the rapid rise of interactive documentary. But bringing your narrative to an interactive platform can be challenging. How do you effectively apply technology and user-centred design to story and character?

Join us for a hands-on creative workshop on mapping out the interactive documentary. During this absorbing, full-day event, we’ll tackle the new narrative possibilities within interactive documentary, explore case studies through the eyes of both the user and designer, and learn to create a highly immersive, highly effective user experience that embodies your narrative goals.

With dedicated coaching, feedback, and insights from interactive storytellers, you’ll create a user flow map for a sample interactive documentary. Working in small groups, you’ll build out the key steps to a successful, user-centric narrative:

  • What is the story and why should it be interactive?
  • Who is the target user and how will they find out about the experience?
  • What is the storytelling format and how will the user experience work?
  • What are the story beats and user actions?
  • How will users exit the experience & share with others?

Don’t miss this intensive, hands-on event where you’ll gain skills in story ideation, user experience, paper prototyping, and interactive workflow – all of which you can apply to your current and future projects.

Suggested Experience Level: Early-Career (interactive), Mid-Career (film/TV)


Date: Saturday, April 8
Time: 10:00am-5:00pm
Location: Art Gallery of Ontario
Price: $100 for DOC and LIFT members, $135 for non-members, $80 for students with valid ID.

Space is limited to 30 participants

Workshop Leader

Since 2008, Heather’s focus has been on producing socially relevant experiences where tech, story and design intersect. As a graduate studies instructor for OCADU’s Digital Futures Master’s stream, she teaches Interactive Production and Creative Techniques.

At Jam3, Heather works closely with broadcasters and brands like Facebook, Ford and CBC to create engaging websites, apps, VR and machine learning experiences, interactive documentaries, prototypes and product education journeys for their audiences.

Their work has been recognized by the Cannes Lions, Emmys, CSAs, Webbys, One Show, Communication Arts, Advertising Age, FWAs, Adobe Cutting Edge, ADCCs and Awwwards.

Over the past 3 years, Heather has raised $2 million+ in public funding to create story-driven content and frameworks with partners like eOne, ABC, NBC, the NFB, CBC and Corus Entertainment.

Workshop Mentors

Pablo believes that if you want to tell stories that move people, every pixel matters. As Partner and Creative Director at Jam3, his creative vision has been key to many highly acclaimed interactive projects. His innovative approach to storytelling integrates complex programming with high-concept creative design to push the limits of the narrative experience.

Pablo’s work has garnered numerous awards, including Cannes Lions’ Gold Cyber Lion, One Show Interactive’s Gold Pencil, D&AD Gold Pencil, over 22 FWAs, and many Communication Arts awards. Pablo has spoken about Jam3’s work at events around the world, like the FITC Toronto, Whistler Summit, the See Conference in Germany, and was part of the Art Directors Jury 2015. Before joining Jam3, Pablo was an Art Director at several Toronto design and print firms, with clients in the US and Canada. Pablo is an alumnus of the Arts Fundamentals program at Sheridan, the International Academy of Design, and Sheridan’s Interactive Multimedia program.

As a concept designer, developer, producer, and team leader Alex has established himself as an internationally-renowned creator of highly innovative, magical and memorable interactive experiences. From multi-award winning Ceremony of Innocence created for Peter Gabriel’s Real World, to Beethovenʼs Hair, and Time Tremors created with Xenophile Media, to his work with MIT and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Alex continues to lead creative, programming and technology teams to innovate category-defining projects across different delivery channels including web, mobile, location-specific, TV, game, book, theatre, film and performance form to make both educational and entertainment-led experiences.

He worked closely with Xenophile Media on a number of projects including the creation, development, financing and production of Time Tremors, a Emmy nominated transmedia project that includes four mobile apps, numerous websites and an international TV series. His current project ReBlink is a mobile-based experience at the Art Gallery of Ontario that refreshes and re-imagines the traditional gallery viewing experience through augmented reality.

Alex has presented his creative and strategic philosophies and work at countless international conferences, festivals, companies, universities, and research institutions. His work has been exhibited, taught and written about both by press and academic institutions worldwide.

In 2017 Alex teamed up with Ian Kelso to co-found Impossible Things, a next-dimension media technology company with a mission: to make imagination real.


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