AFI Digital Content Lab Looking for Mentors

Your chance to get some hands-on experience creating interactive media.

The American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab (AFI DCL, for short) is looking for mentors for some high-profile interactive media projects, including Grey’s Anatomy and PBS’s News Hour. Details – as well as a calendar of upcoming events around North America – are copied below from their recent press release (follow the “more” jump if you’re reading this from a main page). This is a chance to become involved with designing what some hope will be the future face of television.

Whether or not it does turn out to be the future face of television is still out for verdict: I lived through the hopeful times of CD-I and other interactive media when a lot of us thought we were going to help raise the overall level of humanity by making coffee-table books available on an expensive, not entirely easy to use medium. This episode of misspent personal enthusiasm has left me a bit more cautious, thinking the computer is for interacting and the television set is for consuming. But the number of people who vote in response to an American Idol episode (or called in to a toll number during the Shall We Boil Larry the Lobster bit on Saturday Night Live, oh so many years ago) does indicate that at least some like to interact with their mass-consumed entertainment. So here’s your chance to try to design some interactivity that works:

Calling All Mentors

AFI DCL is actively putting together mentor teams for the next two rounds of prototypes. Among the properties at the heart of the new projects are ABC’s GREY’S ANATOMY; PBS’s NEWS HOUR; environmental activists Earth Echo in conjunction with the Warped Tour; and the Von Dutch artist-in-residence program.

This slate of prototypes promises to be the Digital Content Lab’s best yet. If you are interested in learning more about the projects or know someone you’d like to recommend as a mentor, the Lab would love to hear from you. Mentors are top-tier professionals from the production, design, technology and business sectors who volunteer their time and talents across three- or six-month development periods, working in teams to conceive and build prototypes that serve as proofs-of-concept for innovative new approaches to interactive media. Mentors contribute to AFI Digital Content Lab prototype projects for a variety of reasons:

  • exposure to emerging content strategies and technologies;
  • association with industry trend-setters and potential business associates; and
  • the opportunity to explore new solutions in an open and vital environment.

The AFI Digital Content Lab accepts mentor applications from all disciplines. This round, the Lab is particularly interested in hearing from potential mentors with expertise in mobile development, online video, robust social networks, and innovative interface design. If you or an associate is interested in learning more about these projects, please contact Suzanne Stefanac (323.856.8429 or sstefanac @ or Lisa Osborne (323.856.7826 or losborne @ The AFI Digital Content Lab mentor application can be found at here.

AFI Digital Content Lab Calendar

Public Media Conference
Los Angeles, CA
Feb 19-23rd
Suzanne Stefanac – Panel Moderator

Millennials Conference
Toronto, CA
March 5
Lisa Osborne – Panel Moderator

Las Vegas, NV
April 15
Suzanne Stefanac – Super Session Keynote
“The New Hollywood – A New World of Entertainment”

TV of Tomorrow
San Francisco, CA
March 11-12
AFI Digital Content Lab Participation

AFI Digital Content Lab Orientation
LA AFI Campus
March 20

The AFI Digital Content Lab acknowledges the generous support of sponsors CPB, IBM, and Adobe.

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Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS,…

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