Here are some of what people are saying about my events and talks. See my LinkedIn for testimonials about different positions. I am slowly adding more here!
Consulting Client – Alain Thys, Brussels – Online – June-July 2020
“I was already a fan of her writing, but after having her consult on a project I’m working on, Christy has instantly become one of my go-to-sparring-partners for storytelling, game and transformative design challenges (yes, that’s a wide range of topics, and yes she can handle them). She is one of those rare people who can look beyond what you show her. Instead, she is able to see what you’re trying to achieve and supports you on that goal, rather than get lost in the mechanics. On top of that, she’s also a very nice person, which makes collaborating not just efficient and effective, but also just good fun.”
Narrative Design, Extended Audience Experiences – Story Hack – Online – June 2020
“And thank you Christy for all your insight.” – P.
“Such great sessions. So much to think about :)” – C.F.
“Thank you so much. These workshops have been awesome!” – R.K.
“Thank you, it was very useful.” – B.
“Loved this workshop – learned LOADS.” – M.S.
“Very inspiring content.” – T.S.
“Thank you for the workshop! It pushed me to think differently about the way we tell our stories” – T.R.
“Really great workshops and one on one Christy” – K.M.
“It was a great experience and one that helped me visualise my whole storyworld. I look forward to introducing this fresh perspective to my script.” – E.S.
“Christy’s materials are generative and brilliant. I’m very happy with what I took away from the keynote and workshops and would welcome the opportunity to participate again sometime.”
“Excellent and engaging presentation by Christy Dena that was applicable to all types of storytelling.”
“Thank you Story Hack for hosting such an amazing workshop series. Christy had so much knowledge to share and I was very grateful to be a part of it. I know my project will be better for it. Thank you!”
Platforms – Australia Council for the Arts – Online – April 2020
“Loved this. What a truly thoughtful look at platforms. Thank you Christy Dena.” T.W.
“This was such a surprisingly wonderful webinar. I expected to learn about digital platforms, and I did. But what I actually learnt was how to use these platforms to connect in a new and vital way. It was really inspiring and I’m now excited about using this medium in my practice. Thanks Christy.” – L.F.
“Love this. I think it’s a great talk. Shared with some colleagues.” M.H.
“This was a most excellent, informative and educational session. I learnt heaps. Thanks you.” S.O.
“I like your intro, how we had to feel connected to our environment…” S.F.
“This was such a helpful and thought-provoking presentation, thank you Christy 🙂 The links and examples are much appreciated!” K.P.
“Thanks you Christy, great content! Very interesting locating us in space and time at start.” F.H.
Interactive Storytelling/Narrative Design – Griffith University – Online – July-Oct 2020 (Undergrad & Postgrad; film, animation, creative industries, & multimedia students) [The following are anonymised from emails and reflection assessments]
“I really love your lectures, I truly get a lot of it.”
“I’ve really enjoyed the content and especially the article lecture format!”
“I enjoyed this course a lot, thanks for everything!”
“I am very satisfied with the course overall and found it a very enjoyable experience.”
“I wanted to say thank you for a delightful course last tri. It was by far my favourite class of the semester.”
“As someone who isn’t very talented at storytelling to begin with, I find all the information I continue to learn from this class very eye-opening and confrontational with how deep storytelling is. It gives me a lot more content to be able to use to refine and buildup my artistic abilities in digital drawing and more.”
“I really love your course. In fact, I was a visual effect designer, but now I am increasingly more interesting in game..you and your course actually helped me a lot.”
“As someone who has questioned their sexuality, gender, self-worth due to mental issues and as someone with various transitioning, transitioned and non-binary/fluid friends, this week’s lecture hit very close to home in a good way. You have been the first teacher I’ve ever met that has properly and thoroughly discussed these topics, and I have to thank you for that from the absolute bottom of my heart.”
“I found it comforting to learn that everyone has their own concepting process and that there isn’t any go to order that people use. I find that my own process can differ drastically from needing more visual, written, or hands on development depending on my understanding of the project.”
“This lecture helped me to realise the sheer number of ways to approach idea conceptualisation and pre-vis work. I’ve often struggled getting stuck into work because I just didn’t really know what I want to do and any attempts at conceptualising I did that weren’t quite up to the standard I wanted killed my motivation for the project. This has been an issue that I have been trying to work on for years now. But, knowing now the amount of options that I could use for conceptualising ideas that I hadn’t even considered has sort of reinvigorated me into wanting to try out more things to express the concepts and ideas I have before doing anything more substantial with them.I did use to work with clay a few years ago to try and flesh out concepts and I’m definitely interested in getting back into it, as well as trying out some other techniques because of this lecture.”
“Within the lecture content, the concept of action and theme alignment is completely new to me. The concept makes me wonder – how can I implement this within my practise in order to allow the internal actions and themes featured within projects can be seen and understood by the user. This might be integrated by finding an action which the player-character repeats and alter it, so it has increased importance and greater meaning within the work. The sheer applications and implementations of this concept shows immense worth to the quality and nature of the projects I make. By amplifying the importance of an action and providing it increased importance – simple actions within an interactive narrative could become as emotionally power as the narrative itself.”
“Previously, I had thought interactions in games were somewhat random and were just used so that the game could be called a game, or purely to provide entertainment rather than to create meaning. The idea that even the mechanics could be meaningful was new to me and I am excited to look for it in the games I play and apply it in the interactive stories I make.”
“I was taught early in my education as a screenwriter that I can write queer films with diverse casts but that they belong in art house cinema and that the Almighty Box Office will never allow for more than token diversity. I let my instructor’s cynicism influence me to the point I no longer believed I could push for change. However, this lecture (and course) has retaught me what I once preached, representation in writers’ room and on screen is vital in combating negative stereotypes. I intend to apply this ‘new’ knowledge and understanding to all of my creative work going forward, I have a renewed vigour and motivation to champion diverse stories. […] For too long I have been flexible in showcasing representation and challenging stereotypes as an independent filmmaker. I believe the time for flexibility is over and I should integrate a tougher approach to representation in my creative works and start reaching out to other diverse storyteller and collaborate on diverse stories.”
“After this lecture the main point that stuck out to me was “all actions have meaning”, whether they are intended or not. This has made me reconsider my entire approach to anything I create, and honestly how I should be interacting with the world in my daily life. […] I will channel my own experiences and feelings into interactions of the characters/the setting in my creations and look forward to improving both creatively and personally because of it. As I grow, so should my work, which then helps me grow, and so on. A loop of interacting with my own work and learning from it.”
“The importance of creating a protagonist where a kid can point at the screen and say “that’s me” has just been at the forefront of my brain for the last couple of weeks. I have to be more proactive, the privilege i have in my life is not intersubjective and there’s so much more i can learn. It’s really put into focus how much I want everyone to be able to experience the work. Accessibility really has the power to connect.”
“This entire lecture has been greatly illuminating to me and the follow up resources is helping me become more educated and knowledgeable about how damaging and prevalent stereotyping is.”
“The lecture has shown me that rewriting is ok and even good. It is expected that after completing the first pass of a project I go back and rewrite for subtext. I think I used to believe that all writers included subtext and foreshadowing from the get-go and learning that I should go back and add layers of meaning was sort of a “wait, I can do that?”moment. Sort of like being a young artist and realising that all the professionals had been using references all along.”
“I remember watching the cartoon Steven Universe and how excited I was when I found out that the character Lars was Filipino, it was cool to see him interact with characters naturally and not just be an ‘Asian’ character. I want to capture that same excitement I had and make other people with ethnic backgrounds feel heard or included in everyday shows, it’s a simple thing but if I can make people feel that same way I did, then why not?”
“I have learned about how to use audio description, closed caption, transcription and sign language. To be honest, I have never thought of this idea before. I can utilize these technologies and sign language in my project to get my message across to all types of audience. This idea of accessibility has remarkably changed my way of thinking about future animation videos.”
“I’m well aware of my failings as a perfectionist, and if not seeking feedback stems from my own insecurities then I must be more self aware about it in future. I will therefore seek out more varied forms of feedback about my work:interactive or otherwise. Though it will require me to be more vulnerable with my creative process; I believe it will help me create more impactful and tailored work in future.”
“I have learnt a lot from these lectures, I find how they are delivered and how they always have a lens of social commentary applied to be very captivating and effective.”
“I have studied screenwriting and creative storytelling multiple times however this course has resonated with me on many levels that others have not. I have found all of these lectures to explore innovative perspectives on storytelling, that inspire and invite me to have a flexible approach to storytelling.”
Extended Experiences Lab – Screen Queensland – Brisbane – Oct 2018
“Thanks for a really informative and inspiring two days, and thanks for the book. This isn’t just lip service – it was one of the best delivered screen industries labs/workshops I’ve been to.”
“It was a very interesting and thought provoking two days.”
“It was an inspiring couple of days and yes, I found the framework I was looking for!”
Forward Slash Story – 2015-2018
“I recently had the honor and privilege of joining an awesomely impressive group of storytellers in Costa Rica for Forward/Story (“Forward Slash Story”), a residential lab for sharing our work and creative process with like-minded practitioners from across media and genre boundaries. We forged new friendships, built the foundation for future collaborations, and left inspired and transformed. […] Our co-hosts Christy Dena and Lance Weiler, as well as producer Julia Pontecorvo and the local Costa Rican team, crafted an incredible experience for sharing and community building.” —Lee-Sean Huang, Foossa (USA) [LINK]
“You hear about narrative landscapes, story worlds, interactive design, production processes, empathy, impact, robots, anarchy, hero journeys, poetry, augmented reality, emotional beats, social innovation… There is a projector and there are powerpoint slides, but also howler monkeys in the background. Post-it notes and flip-chart paper, but also an infinity pool surrounded by palm trees. Everything makes sense. Nothing is trouble. You take a long walk on a beach that never ends, talk about what you are having to let go.” —Fan Sissoko, Innovation Unit (UK) [LINK]
I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of anything quite as meaningful to me in quite so particular a way as Forward Slash Story. It was an emotional theme park ride for me, like something you’d hear about on a movie poster’s pull quote reviews.” – Trevor Haldenby, The Mission Business (Canada) [LINK]
“I’ve found my crew. We are a crew of story pirates united under a banner of reimagining narrative, and we are out to disrupt, inspire and reinvent the world.” – Rosie Poebright, Splash & Ripple (UK) [LINK]
“One of the most powerful aspects of the event, were these magical moments designed to foster connectivity. Some of these were more structured than others, some more intimate than others. But overall, these moments provided conditions that encouraged a kind of intimate collaboration. Not in the whiteboard sense, but in the quiet, reflective conversation-sense. In the busy pirate-life of pitching and hustling and satisfying clients, it’s going to be important to our creativity to remember this. How can we create magical moments, not only for our clients and in our own projects, but also in the processes of creating these projects?” – Mark Harris, Murmur (USA) [LINK]
“Lastly, Christy and Lance, designed an itinerary that included talks from all the participants spread over the two days. There were design challenges, idea workshops, and exercises that encouraged participants to find deep and profound links to their artistic or scholarly practice. We also explored the obstacles or discoveries we encountered.” – Hank Blumenthal, Georgia Institute of Technology [LINK]
Remote Practice for Studio Facilitators – SAE – 2018-2019
“This was massively helpful in clarifying exactly what remote practice entails, and the myriad amount of ways I could approach implementation for my students. If there’s one recommendation I would make to colleagues looking for a hot tip on techniques, it would be to design project briefs that start facilitating remote thinking from the first second (eg. our brief was ‘Distance’), so that there’s an immediate invitation for different perspectives and walks of life to integrate into the conceptual process.”
“There were many useful ideas discussed throughout the Remote Practice Training course. The ideas on structuring feedback were great and I’d like to try those out with students next trimester.”
“The ideas and tasks presented in the Remote Practice Module (RPT) I have found to be really insightful, and at some points really quite challenging. […] Ideation, ideation, ideation. The constant ideation was really eye-opening. I shouldn’t be shocked by this, I tend to do the same sorts of techniques in my own practice, but having so many different options offered was boggling. […] Reflecting on my own studio module facilitation, I have come to realise that I have not given enough space to allow students multiple ideation strategies. In a very real way, this has likely hindered the potential of many student projects. Revisiting the ideation process within studio modules will be a focus for me going into 19T1. These ideation strategies have worked their way into my own practice [too].”
Extended Experiences Lab – Screen Queensland & WEFF – Brisbane – May-June 2018
“A great learning opportunity, Christy is an excellent presenter and very knowledgeable. A useful exercise in opening your mind and seeing craft in a different way.”
“The Extended Experiences Lab is an awesome crash course in providing a holistic understanding for the film experience and a great event to facilitate collaboration with indie film makers.”
“The Lab was very useful in terms of framing your ideas in order to write a film for a particular genre and to market it creatively.”
“The Extended Experience Lab is an opportunity for you to not only network with like minded creatives on a personal and professional level, but to be given insight into what an extended experience is and how it can value add to your creative process and product.”
“The Lab presents techniques and examples that can be used to extend any kind of media. It can be used to emphasise specific points or expose more of the in world or behind the scenes information. A lot of information is presented, but it’s well worth the time and money.”
“Film making is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to engaging audiences today. This course helps expand your ideas of what is possible and why it’s worth pursuing.”
“I felt Christy was articulate, clear and presented her workshop well. You will benefit from this course if you are working in multi media and are wanting to create an extended experience of your creative project.”
“Extended Experiences Lab is an enlightening opportunity to learn and think outside the box as a filmmaker. As a screenwriter, I only think about the writing process. Yet, after attending the lab, I will take into account other experiences and possibilities to promote my work and reach a wider audience.”
“It’s difficult to describe the lab other than to say that it has changed my creative practice and perspective going forward. On reflection, it’s hard to pinpoint what was so stand-out for me but I would urge anyone curious about the event to go along and check it out — I doubt you’ll be sorry!”
“The Extended Experience Lab was a way of clarifying the variety of ways we can extend our audience’s experience of a film or art installation. I felt as though I went from a fuzzy understanding to a clear laser like appreciation of all the potential ways I can market and focus my audience and the audiences of other creatives.”
“A workshop that explores how to extend a piece of artwork through other formats as well as extended the experience before and after the event or primary product/ art piece. Extending the work can also be used as an audience building and marketing tool for indies who don’t have big budgets.”
“The workbook is a fantastic resource, the presenter Christy is very knowledgeable, and you’re bound to meet kindred spirits during the course.”
“A well-crafted and excellent experience! Incredibly valuable insights into the process of extending experiences.”
“A great opportunity to expand your thinking around your work and its audiences!”
“Christy Dena’s extended experience lab was a mind opening experience which made me feel less alone in the world knowing that others where not only thinking along the same lines as i was but were even running courses on the subject.”
Game Developers Conference – “The Secrets to Creating an Indie Game Franchise” – San Fran – Feb 2018
“This is so dammed good, Christy. Thanks for sharing. Fantastic thinking.”
“Great talk! Found it super valuable.”
“As someone who attend almost every GDC since 2005 – it’s hard to continue to find content that is meaningful to me. Christy’s talk was just that, great take aways, great presentation and slide deck.” “Fantastic content!”
“Even though this is for “Indie Games”, the topics are also relevant to Games Development education as well. This is especially important as more educational programs are encouraging students to consider start-ups and take ownership of their game development projects.”
“Fantastically applicable advice.”
“I’ll be sharing this with my start up team.”
“Totally dug the style and vibe of this speaker.”
“I’m pretty sure I’m working on a webcomic now? I certainly wasn’t expecting that going into this!”
“Great talk on an underdiscussed aspect of fan engagement. Filled to the brim with great examples and well-delivered information, this is a talk I look forward to going back and watching again.”
“This presentation was filled with mind blowing useful information that was clear and easy to understand. Love the art from the slides. Speaker knew what she was talking about. Definitely invite back!”
“Interesting talk presented in a cool way, presented some great ways to think about expanding your game beyond the game.”
Remote Practice Studios – Masters of Creative Industries, SAE Creative Media Institute – 2017-2019
“Being able to collaborate with colleagues that are not necessarily involved directly with the project content has been a win. The level of feedback received is different and really beneficial and definitely leads to better outcomes through the differing perspectives.”
“Another aspect […] to be repeated in the future is the peer feedback and analysis. This played a vital part in determining the direction of my EP. Given that this is a Master’s degree, it was beneficial having people from many different disciplines give feedback. Having opinions from film and design students, as well as audio students gave me a whole of range of strengths and weaknesses. They were able to pick up on things that perhaps I wasn’t able to see myself. I think this is a crucial element in the process of my project.”
“I have definitely changed in many aspects throughout the duration of the trimester. I have learnt so much about what I am capable of, as well as what my strengths and weaknesses are.”