New Media Narratives

One-Year Certificate Program
Currently accepting applications for Fall 2016.

ICP's One-Year Certificate Programs provide advanced students with an intensive yearlong course of study to strengthen personal vision, teach professional practices, and explore the many disciplines informing media and art today.

About the Program

New Media Narratives is the first program of its kind at ICP, drawing on our history of progressive, engaged, experimental photography in the pursuit of telling the most important stories. The curriculum includes an exploration of experimental media from the days of the Surrealists to today, multimedia and transmedia options for engagement, mobile distribution platforms, and coding fundamentals.

Students pursue subjects of interest and are encouraged to explore connections between traditional and emerging practices. Contemporary storytellers must mediate the complex digital interactions of the current media landscape to produce a desired narrative experience. This program provides the tools to do that within a collaborative learning environment.

"New Media Narratives is a dynamic one-year program that ensures that our students will be leaders in devising new forms of expression for the digital age. Chair Elizabeth Kilroy is a highly gifted, inspiring professional with many years of experience who is uniquely suited to lead this new programs." — Fred Ritchin, ICP Dean of School

Advisory Board

  • Ulli Barta
  • Liana Brazil
  • Mike Knowlton
  • Teru Kuwayama
  • Lynn Hershman Leeson
  • Benjamin Lowy
  • Fabrice Nadjari
  • Hank Willis Thomas
  • Adnaan Wasey

The Curriculum

New Media Narratives explores the technology and mechanisms used in storytelling. Over three semesters, students take a mix of required and elective courses in photography, data visualization, storytelling, game mechanics, UX design, and design thinking. In the first semester, students delve into the available media for storytelling and develop technical and critical thinking skills. Weekly assignments are designed to help students identify a self-directed project to be continued in future semesters. In semester two, the emphasis is on consolidating ideas and beginning to work on the final project. Courses in this semester further develop new technical skills with focus on design. In the final semester, students complete self-directed final projects in a collaborative format. The final semester’s seminar explores the relationship between content creators and audiences.

Seminar 1: Future Storytelling

Instructor: Elizabeth Kilroy

This seminar class explores a variety of emerging media for storytelling at the intersection between digital interactive technology and documentary practice, fueled by user engagement. Weekly assignments are designed to help students identify a self-directed project to be continued in terms two and three. We look at how to create content for and engage in this ever-changing digital landscape of ubiquitous computing as photographers, artists, documentary makers, curators, and consumers of content.

Introduction to Multimedia: Narrative Storytelling for the Screen

Instructor: John Benton

This course explores the ingredients for making powerful multimedia stories. Learn how to engage audiences using a combination of text, audio, photography, animation, video, motion graphics, visual effects, and interactive elements. Through the creative use of media formats, smart storytelling techniques, and interactivity, students learn how to create rich experiences for audiences that increase impact. Students plan ahead and come up with a vision of what they are building and then implement it.

  • Make individual short productions using video and audio
  • Explore two major multimedia formats; going from one point to another and working through time, as in film and video; and interactive where users navigate through a story
  • Gain practical, hands-on experience shooting video and recording audio and editing, using software, including Adobe Premiere, Audacity and After Effects
  • Develop skills in story development, interviewing, and editing; make storyboards and develop outlines
  • Learn skills and techniques needed to create professional-looking videos, visual effects, motion graphics, and animation
  • Explore interactivity through online tools and QR codes
  • Explore mapping, panorama images, and time-lapse movies (using Google Street View and other materials)
  • Add inline audio to your story using SoundCite and SoundCloud
  • Learn how to save HTML 5 video and audio file types for the web

Multimedia 2: Narrative Storytelling for Podcasting, Mobile, and Social Media

Instructor: Bob Sacha

This class will continue where Introduction to Multimedia left off. Students will continue to work on personal projects; this class aids and assist them in developing their skills and ideas. New skills learned in this class focus on mobile journalism, photography, and storytelling, and introduce students to podcasting. A digital-first approach nowadays sees storytellers and journalists sharing information to social and mobile platforms first, particularly during breaking news situations. Many times citizen journalists can record events faster and better than traditional media can. To stay nimble, media outlets and storytellers are experimenting with Instagram, Vine, and Tout videos. Short video with tight time limits challenge storytellers to be efficient with image and text and to be mindful of their audience’s time.

  • Create professional video packages with their smartphone, both short-form apps and longer video stories
  • Learn direct and punchy storytelling for photo and short video formats
  • Explore efficient image and text combinations
  • Explore the impact of social media, and how they can enhance the practice of storytelling and multimedia journalism
  • Make podcast and audio packages; learn how to host both audio and video podcasts on Google Drive and iTunes
  • Learn how to record streaming audio
  • Shoot events as they happen using Periscope and other live streaming tools
  • Explore video teases and engaging visual tweets and Instagram feeds
  • Explore Instagram and Twitter as platforms for producing interactive and user-engaged stories

Audio Workshop

Instructor: Bob Sacha

To flourish in our wired world, photographers must be able to tell stories on multiple platforms. Audio is the backbone of strong multimedia, and photographing stories for multimedia (or video) means thinking about capturing images in a new way. Discussion topics include how to record clean audio and ambient sounds, how to shoot compelling visuals for a multimedia story, and how to conduct an effective interview that yields emotional content. Students record interviews and ambient sound, learn to mix tracks and edit interviews, and then mix their tracks into a compelling multimedia piece. This workshop focuses on story, not software, so a basic understanding of Adobe Premiere Pro is required.

Design and Code 2: Javascript and Front End Web Interactivity

Instructor: Rich Harris

In this course, students become active content producers for the web, with a focus on interactivity and simple dynamic pages. JavaScript is a dynamic programming language and the most popular programming language in the world and is the key technology used here. The course balances two approaches: the first emphasizes multimedia storytelling and interactive charts in the service of a narrative, and the second a more critical, experimental approach to the use and misuse of web technologies. Discussion topics cover the software development cycle and cultures of software, particularly those of open licenses, open-source technologies, and platforms (e.g. GitHub). Students are expected to complete a final project, with a smaller project halfway through the semester.

Storytelling with Video and Creative Video Editing

Instructor: Stefanie Dworkin

This two-weekend workshop takes students from introductory principles through advanced techniques of video editing. Using Adobe Premiere Pro, students learn to incorporate video into their creative practices, beginning with understanding the program’s interface before moving on to the nonlinear editing process and workflow. Concepts addressed in the first weekend include setting up a project, importing and organizing media, essentials of the video editing process, working with video clips and markers, adding transitions, and creating titles. During the second weekend, students add motion to clips; edit and mix audio; and learn about video effects, color correction, compositing, and exporting frames, clips, and sequences. Students should arrive at the workshop with a video already shot on an SD card or on a hard drive.

New Forms for Digital Narratives

Instructor: Phil Bicker

Platforms for long-form narratives have moved far beyond the slideshow and Snowfall. Data-driven responses, geotagging, video, information graphics, and social media offer a new palette to extend linear storytelling in the digital age. As mobile rather than desktop becomes the predominant means to receive and view content, and new hardware technologies combine with augmented reality and 3D virtual reality to expand the horizons, how do image makers create work and tell stories that embrace the possibilities at hand in creative, relevant, and compelling ways? By working with code, developers and partners from disparate disciplines explore solutions. In this project-based course, photographers/videographers work collaboratively in teams with a journalist/writer, a programmer/developer, and a designer/art director to develop editorial and creative modular systems and responses. The teams break down statistics, put faces to real-world issues, and connect individual stories through an ecosystem that leverages social media and communities both physical and digital, bringing together and contextualizing personal stories within a larger framework. Comparisons of old and new media forms draw lessons in editorializing a story and finding the creative means to deliver it. The focus is on experimenting with contemporary tools to find new experiences through which to tell stories and relevant forms/platforms through which to disseminate the work effectively.

Author and Audience: The Collaborative Author—You and Me as Data Points

Instructor: Lam Thuy Vo

Data can seem like a dry subject void of humans, emotions, and empathy. But it's a hugely powerful tool we can use to quantify the success of our stories, tailor our stories to each viewer, and allow the viewer to participate and modify the story. This class explores the relationship between the content creator and the user as new technologies transform media audiences. What is the future of storytelling in a participatory culture with multiple possibilities for user-generated content?

Visual Storytelling with Social Media

Instructor: Caroline Sinders

This weekend workshop investigates social media as platforms for activism, art, and the creation of new media forms and narratives. We look at Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat, and Sina Weibo, among others. The class explores narrative techniques and media experiments such as Twitter bots; self-portraiture and storytelling through Snapchat and Instagram; Tinder used as a platform for domestic abuse campaigns; and new citizen journalism stories told through Twitter and Sina Weibo. We look at the work of Jenni Holzer, Ai Weiwei, Allison Parish, Darius Kazemi, Amalia Ullman, DrinkQT, Michael George, Lauren McCarthy, Kyle McDonald, and many more.

Narrative Nonfiction Writing for the Screen

Instructor: Elizabeth Spiers

This weekend workshop provides an overview of narrative structure in nonfiction online storytelling with an emphasis on integrating text and imagery. Students explore hypertext plus the basic elements of story and guidelines for writing clear, evocative copy that engages the reader/viewer with the intended topic. Discussion topics include ancillary elements and tools used to convey story and information, such as caption and headline writing, use of pull quotes, and other presentational elements.

Producing Participatory and Community-Based Stories

Instructor: Bayeté Ross Smith

The community narrative process is based on a dedication to empowering community members to tell the stories that are most meaningful to them and share control, authority, and ownership equitably. Students explore community-based stories and help facilitate and develop that story, finding the best frameworks and technologies to spread the word.

Machine Learning on Social Networks

Instructor: Mike Williams

This workshop is a tutorial introduction to machine learning, in general, and predictive modeling on social networks, in particular. If you code, great! We'll build a simple machine learning system that is able to automatically identify the kinds of tweets or images you're interested in. If you don't code, that’s ok! You'll develop an intuition for how machine learning does what it does; what goes wrong when it goes wrong; and how it can embed biases, enhance privilege, or be used as a tool of control.

Projection Mapping

Instructor: Claudia Sohrens

This course explores projection mapping using MadMapper and Modul8. Students learn to manipulate digital media in real time as well as projection mapping techniques to project video art onto 2D and 3D surfaces in order to create original art, video installations, and other performance pieces. Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of media including photography, video, sound, and computer generated images to create original compositions.

Introduction to Making Images with New Technologies

Instructor: Andrew Buckland

Students are introduced to nontraditional tools for producing image-based works. Go Pro, drones, and Processing are the core technologies engaged here, and cameras for VR, HoloLens, Oculus, and Lytro are discussed. In addition, we address the role of media and technology in art and society. To create artwork electronically, the artist must consider the implications of his/her tools in the larger media landscape. In this course, students are asked not simply to be proficient technicians but thoughtful critics of media.

The Chair
Elizabeth Kilroy is an award-winning interactive designer and educator, who is passionately interested in the future of storytelling. Since 2000, ElizabethK Studio has helped a wide variety of clients create engaging content that harnesses the ever-changing possibilities of the web. In 2013, Kilroy founded Callan Design Media, which aims to bring important nonfiction stories to a new generation through design, technology, and emergent storytelling. Kilroy's teaching experience includes course offerings at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in the Photography & Imaging Department and the NYU/Magnum Foundation Summer Human Rights Program.