Hackathons have become a big draw in the tech world over the past decade. These sometimes weekend-long events are where teams of coders get together to stand up a prototype piece of software, aiming to create a “minimum viable product”. If a piece of beta software is a painting, then a hackathon product is a quick sketch.
Last year Mike Knowlton of New York’s StoryCode took that idea and applied it to storytelling. Specifically he applied it to transmedia storytelling, in what he called a Story Hackathon. This week he announced his next event–which will be held this August in Los Angeles–along with an explanation of how the hacker approach applies to stories.
So what does hacking have to do with storytelling and entertainment? Quite a lot, actually. A number of us talk about the idea of “Story as Software”. Software is complicated to create. So is telling a good story. But they each can be broken down into component parts: wireframes, prototypes, story treatments, a character matrix, etc. By focusing on the components parts creators can follow a hackathon approach—and the results can be amazing.
The next StoryCode Story Hackathon is scheduled during the “TransVergence Summit” in Los Angeles, August 7th and 8th.