NEWS FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2015... (LAST UPDATED DECEMBER 9, 2015)
1. NMC December 2015 Chair Report
2. Upcoming NMC Events
3. New Media Council Social Media
4. Noteworthy Announcements
5. Member Spotlight: Stacy Burstin
6. New Media Council Board of Delegates
NMC DECEMBER 2015 CHAIR REPORT
I hope this finds you well and excited for the approaching holiday season. There is much to be thankful for and 2016 I'm sure will be an amazing year for all of us.
Earlier this month, the All Boards Meeting was held, which is an opportunity for the entire leadership of the Guild to catch up on the different Councils happenings. Our Vice-Chairperson Emily Barclay Ford presented on my behalf, as I was working in Paris that week (narrowly missing the terror attacks by 18 hours). Emily shared what has been the focus of the Board this year - working better among the other Councils and numerous Committees to better serve the overall Guild membership. It's an important mission for all of us, and there is plenty of opportunity for each of us to get more involved.
This message of involvement is one which I cannot stress enough to each of you. I have had many people come up to me over the years expressing an interest in getting involved, but not knowing where to start. I can tell you now it is easier than ever to find this information out. One can simply email myself or Meera in the office which can connect you with the committee chairs. We are also planning another Committee Open House in February which will be another great place to meet the right people and get the process started.
The NMC Board would also love to hear from you if you are interested in getting involved with our educational master classes. This could include bringing us a great idea or calling out a need for thought leadership we may not have identified as of yet. Maybe you just want to help out. It's all good from our end and again, we hope to hear from you.
One such opportunity on the horizon is the annual PGA OSCAR VIEWING PARTY. This is a wonderful PGA event which is currently in the planning stages and needs your help! Come get involved and embrace your PGA.
Thank you all very much and I hope you have a safe and healthy holiday season.
And I hope to see you at the PGA Christmas Party on Wednesday, December 9 in Los Angeles.
UPCOMING NMC EVENTS
PGA WEST SEMINAR: "VIDEO FOR SOCIAL MEDIA"
How do you create unique, spreadable, best-in-class content for yourself, your brand, and your clients? What are the strategies, tips, and tools that every creator, producer, and studio executive needs to know to optimize performance on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat? How do you take content from new media to traditional formats such as film and television?
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015
Time: Seminar – 10:00am-11:30am (One hour moderated panel and 30 minute audience Q&A) A light breakfast will be provided
Location: CBS Studios Radford
4024 Radford Ave.
Studio City, CA 91604
Fee: FREE to PGA members. Members from all councils are welcome. $50 to the public.
PLEASE EMAIL KYLE@PRODUCERSGUILD.ORG IF YOU WANT TO REGISTER A NON-MEMBER ($50 FEE)
PGA WEST HOLIDAY PARTY AND CASINO NIGHT
Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Time: 7:30pm – 11:00pm
Location: Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel
11461 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049
PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA WORKSHOP: THE SOCIETY OF CAMERA OPERATORS "The Art, Craft and Business of the Camera Operator"
In this half-day workshop, the Society of Camera Operators will present valuable information addressing the role of the Camera Operator in relationship to the Producer. Producers, Directors, Cinematographers, and Operators from all content mediums will join this workshop interactive discussion. Topics key to producing will be presented such as: the role of the Camera Operator on set, time and cost comparisons with and without an Operator, and on-set efficiencies and work flow that can impact your budget. www.soc.org
Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015
Time: 9:00am-9:30am - Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30am-1:00pm - Presentations and Q&A
1:00pm-2:00pm - Networking Luncheon Hosted by the SOC
Location: American Film Institute
2021 North Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Bldg #3 - Mark Goodson Screening Room & HBO Pavilion
Parking on campus lots A or D
Fee: Free for PGA members only! Members from all councils are welcome.
NEW MEDIA COUNCIL SOCIAL MEDIA
Please follow our Twitter feed PGA NMC (New Media) @PGANMCWIRE.
And don't forget to check out the PGA YouTube channel!
Did you miss a PGA event, Master Class, or speaker that you really wanted to see? Chances are it was recorded by our video committee and uploaded to the PGA YouTube channel!
The Wire will be adding noteworthy announcements about work that our members are involved in. If you would like to be included, please submit a brief, 1-2 sentence description of your noteworthy work to be considered.
The MS FACTOR TOOLKIT: The Power of Female Driven Content
Created by the PGA Women's Impact Network and Women and Hollywood to give you the tools to successfully pitch female-driven content.
Market data regarding movies and television dramatically supports the fact that female-driven content is profitable!
* GUIDELINES: If you are speaking at a conference or event, showcasing, opening, or releasing your work, etc., you may submit a 1-2 sentence announcement. These do not need to be PGA events, but must be relevant. No photos may be included at this time.
Send submissions to:
Jenni Ogden – firstname.lastname@example.org
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: STACY BURSTIN
"So many people in the PGA are talking about VR. They want to learn about it, understand how it works with branded content and be ready for the coming shift in opportunities for traditional producers."
Stacy Burstin graduated from UCLA to begin a career as an artist. Her parents are a doctor and a nurse and they voted for something more traditional – a "real" profession like…law. But Burstin was sure about art – until she wasn't. She discovered digital media and has never looked back.
Her first position was with Warner New Media in 1993. "It was innovative for the time. We produced a game called 'Hell Cab', one of the first ever interactive CD-ROM titles. Before long, I was exposed to phenomenal artists in all areas of production." Rather than compete with such talent, Burstin chose to represent artists and became an agent for photographers and directors. A bit later, one of her clients told her that a well-known visual effects company was looking to fill a position with the title of Art Department Manager and she was immediately interested.
Burstin's high expectations were exceeded when, in her first week, the company won the Oscar for 'Babe'. Then – reality. "As soon as I was hired, I was instructed to lay off 80% of my department." It was devastating losing such great talent. When I was an agent, value was measured by how much money I could bring in, so I used that experience to plan my next steps. In 1999, I launched the Design Division and brought in additional revenue to the company. I was able to use that money to pay for and retain a core group of designers, art directors, and artists, expanding the division from 3 to 60 people to support the entire studio. As Executive Producer, I oversaw the Art Directors, Animation Directors, Concept Designers, and the creative development teams. I also setup and oversaw the matte/environment and texture departments. It was more than fun working with people who became life-long friends."
Burstin also helped launch the innovative production company Blockade. This venture resulted in her first independent EP credit, adapting the Sony Game property 'Heavenly Sword' to a film.
In 2000, she co-founded a Los Angeles based company called Eevolver, Inc. a toy & merchandise company that created original toys distributed at Toys R Us, Walmart, and other major stores. "It satisfied my entrepreneurial passion and wasn't competitive with the VFX company I was working for."
In 2013 the VFX company declared bankruptcy. It was during the time when more and more effects and animation work was being outsourced overseas. "We then shifted Eevolver's focus to follow my Design Division business model. Eevolver provides creative services for feature films, commercials, VR, and special venue films. Our success is due greatly to the relationships we built over the years and the relationships we are part of today."
Eevolver's creative teams collaborate closely with directors, writers, and studios to develop and produce projects. "My company is a creative resource that cost effectively integrates high level creative, VFX, and animation to optimize story, staging, design, layout/pre-vis and production. We just finished character development work for 'Woody Woodpecker' with Alex Zamm directing for NBC/Universal and worked on 'Alvin And The Chipmunks 4' for Fox. Eevolver also has projects that will be seen in multiple 2016 Super Bowl 50 spots this year. With our expansion into animated features, we have developed projects for Vanguard Animation and Original Force."
Burstin continues to expand the potential for her company by branching out again with her own co-productions. "We had our first animated film green-lit this week. It's called 'The Land of Sometimes' and is an international co-production with Nottage Productions, Inc. and Ewan MacGregor and Terry Jones attached. We have another Nottage Productions, Inc. film with Universal distribution titled 'Reds & Grays'. R&G's is close to being green-lit and has an Academy and Emmy award winning cast attached with Leon Joosen as the Director. We're committed to owning content and co-producing projects that work for us. It's been great to start with a fresh slate of new IP."
There is also growing opportunity in special venue and augmented reality productions. Eevolver co-produced 'CONSTANTINE' for NBC Universal at Comic Con with PGA member Jenni Ogden - Eye Q Productions and Vortex, which won best Full Dome Experience at Digital Hollywood 2015. Another recent project was a 4K stereoscopic Dome film, opening in Qatar, with PGA members and friends Alison Savitch and Daniel Flannery.
Burstin knows that the VR evolution is going to be similar to the rest of the industry – it's the content creators that really make a difference and make the money. "Today, VR is most often part of an overall cross-branding package. One of my favorite projects was the ReelFX VR 'Book of Life' experience. We feel the urgency to figure out what VR is and how to integrate it effectively and cost efficiently."
In the last but not the least category, together with her Eevolver co-founder and business partner, David Keller, a thirty-year veteran in the VFX industry, Burstin launched EevolveIT, which successfully works with small and mid-range companies around the world on IT architecture, support, maintenance, and infrastructure services.
"I started with the PGA on the recommendation of Dina Benadon, another Board member. She also suggested I run for the Board and I'm glad I did. It's been fantastic. We produced the exciting and successful YouTube event and are planning a big VR event in March. It will spotlight awesome speakers, including Robert Stromberg, who started VR Company and worked on 'Alice In Wonderland' and 'Avatar' (he won an Oscar for both). Other key speakers include Epic, The Void, NBA/NextVR and GE."
In addition to her involvement with the PGA and the NMC, Burstin is on the Board of Women in Animation, a group recently re-established to bring female created and produced talent to the forefront in the animation industry.
Question of the Month: Where can we see Eevolver's work next?
"We're finishing up our latest Special Venue project, a Mermaid animation installation that you can see at LAX Bradley International airport. An innovative, themed entertainment award-winner, the Bradley International Environmental Media Experience will open in about two weeks. It's immersive and displayed on four enormous eighty-foot high LED screens in the middle of the international terminal. The project was developed by JCDecaux, and envisioned by Warren Noronha (Artist Media Publishing Founder & Creative), VFX veteran and VES board member Richard Taylor and Jon9, CEO of Holonyne Corporation. An amazing group to work with and an exciting project."
"We have a consistent flow of advertising projects for companies like Bank of America, Emirates, Birds Eye, and the recent Dramamine/Oculus commercials."
"And, there are now over ten films we're co-producing and attached to. Like most features, they won't be finished for at least two years."
"By combining my experience in film, games, and special venue, we can leverage the newest technologies for creating totally new experiences."
NEW MEDIA COUNCIL BOARD OF DELEGATES
John Heinsen – Chair, National Board of Directors
Emily Barclay Ford – Vice Chair
Caitlin Burns – Vice Chair, PGA East NMC Liaison
Gary Bryman – National Board of Directors
Kate McCallum – National Board of Directors
Felicia Wong – National Board of Directors
Jenni Ogden – Secretary
Deb Todd – Secretary
Sophia Kim – PGA Northwest NMC Liaison