NEWS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2015... (LAST UPDATED AUGUST 12, 2015)
1. NMC August 2015 Chair Report
2. Upcoming NMC Events
3. New Media Council Social Media
4. Noteworthy Announcements
5. Member Spotlight: Jenni Ogden
6. New Media Council Board of Delegates
NMC AUGUST 2015 CHAIR REPORT
I am happy to report this month that your NMC Board is hard at work developing a wide range of events and educational opportunities for this year. Earlier this month we held our annual Board Retreat, which proved to be a wonderful and inspiring exchange of thoughts and ideas as to how to bring make the NMC more RELEVANT in our industry and bring greater value to each and every member. To reach this goal we will need your help.
It is very important that every PGA (not just NMC) member know that there is both opportunity and genuine need for them to get involved. Earlier this year we held our first Committee Open House, which proved to be a good venue to make those connections for those who want to start giving back to the Guild. A second Open House is being panned now for November,so please email me if you are interested in helping out.
On August 1st, we held our Transmedia Master Class at Lotus Post in Santa Monica. It was our first event of its kind this year, and we are planning more educational classes. Have an idea for a class? We'd love to know your thoughts!
Another area of need is access to new venues to hold classes and networking events. If you have access to a venue or would like your company to "host" an event, we'd love to get you involved.
CTIA - In September, CTIA's Super Mobility Week is coming to the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas (September 9th through 11th). For over five years, the PGA has worked with CTIA to provide opportunities for Guild members to make contacts and gain knowledge about the mobile space. Please note that again this year, all PGA Members can attend CTIA for FREE. Details below.
Finally, please note that going forward you should use the following email address when contacting me (include NMC in the subject line) - email@example.com.
Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
UPCOMING NMC EVENTS
1. CTIA: Super Mobility Week
September 9-11, 2015
Sands Convention Center - Las Vegas, NV
FREE for ALL PGA Members!
Click here to register and use the code PGAXP15 at checkout to receive a FREE exhibits pass. Includes Show Floor, Keynotes, and Partner Sessions.
2. PGA Women's Impact Network Salon
Saturday, August 22, 10:30am - 12:30pm
Inside the Vortex Dome at LA Center Studios
Think 360! Immersive Filmmaking – The Next Step
If you would like to attend they can accept the first 40 RSVPs. Please email Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full legal name for security by August 19th. She will give you additional information.
NEW MEDIA COUNCIL SOCIAL MEDIA
Please follow our Twitter feed PGA NMC (New Media) @PGANMCWIRE.
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 NMC Board Retreat was well attended and provided the opportunity for the current board to meet with past board members for a review of the past decade and to discuss the direction and vision for the next decade of the New Media Council. Some key topics included:
• The role of the producer
• Transmedia producer credits, compensation, and recognition
• Producers mark and best practices
• VR and immersive technologies
• The role of the Guild
• The Vanguard Awards
• Membership expansion and how we can best serve the current membership
• Changes in the way that brands are being developed across formats and how to address this as one Guild
The retreat was a great success with several new committees in the works and refreshed focus. "Relevance" was a key take away for the day. Be on the lookout for a survey in the coming weeks!
The Transmedia Master Class on August 1st was a huge success with speakers Houston Howard, Steven Mitchel, John Heinsen, and Kate McCallum followed by a deep dive Q&A and discussion. This master class was recorded and will be available for viewing shortly on the Producers Guild YouTube channel:
PGA Producers Join Forces and Work Together Bi-Coastally to Produce a Major Healthcare Brand Commercial - Stacy Burstin and Laticia Headings are two PGA producers who recently met bi-coastally after being introduced by a mutual colleague. Headings was working with iStrategy Labs, a DC-based digital agency that invents ways to engage communities online and off, and who was commissioned by popular motion sickness company, Dramamine, to create an original commercial campaign. Headings, based in Washington, D.C., acted as producer on the commercial and hired Burstin’s company Eevolver, an LA based animation and VFX production studio, to design and create five-fully GC environments, simulating an immersive VR experience. Environments included a roller coaster, boat race, car race, city fly-through, and fighter jets.
Over the month-long production, Eevolver and Headings, along with their respective teams, worked together to meet a quick deadline, combining their many years of production experience, film know-how, and CG/VR savvy.
Using innovative technologies, along with humor, to address the common plight of motion sickness was no small feat. The imagery was integrated when motion sickness participants were harnessed and hoisted into the air, equipped with VR oculus glasses and "taken for a ride" through these environs to test Dramamine.
The goal of this commercial was to reach not only a wide demographic, but also a younger audience, thus the widespread Facebook distribution. The well-received spot has reached over 134K hits on Facebook and can be found here:
PGA NMC Board Member Jesse Albert is helping to program the Vancouver International Film Festival's Industry Exchange, which is the only Canadian marketplace of its kind devoted specifically to digital online content. They are currently looking for distributors. If you work for a major distributor or buyer they will fly them up to do one-on-ones, particularly looking for women! For more information email Jesse: email@example.com. September 30 - October 1.
The Deborah Hill committee is getting ready to shoot a mini-documentary and will be looking for volunteers. Stay tuned for details!
* 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 your NMC board secretaries:
Jenni Ogden – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deb Todd – email@example.com
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: JENNI OGDEN
"I'm absolutely enchanted with 360 Immersive Theatre, it breaks the fourth wall in theater in really creative ways. It affects people profoundly."
Designing for live venues challenges producers to create more intimate, immersive, and interactive places. Creative Producer Jenni Ogden has the experience and passion required to challenge her audience to experience spaces and feelings they might not otherwise know.
Ogden first learned about live performance by marketing music events and producing live performances. During those eight years, Ogden also created and ran an indie record label called Strap On Records. "At a certain point, the music industry burned me out and I quit. My last job was for an independent label that went out of business and didn't pay most people. They held artists to a contract and tried to sell the contracts. Their policies destroyed artist careers. After that, I was done with the industry."
In 2002, Ogden began working with an artist who wanted to start a new non-profit called the Raven Drum Foundation. It was founded by Rick Allen and Lauren Monroe to bring healing and empowerment through the arts to people with disabilities.
Shifting perspective in this way felt perfect and continues to influence all of her project choices. Eventually, she worked practically full time with the foundation, while also writing for live venue projects including a tour of the Kodak Theater.
As she began working with immersive digital media, Ogden was inspired to produce live and full dome format theater presentations. A recent success is the visual design and animation for Disney's 'Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular', playing aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and winner of Live Design's 2013 Excellence award for theater. She also is responsible for producing the visual design & projection mapping for 'Dreams', launched in June aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship. "We added projection to the stage, proscenium, and theater walls to make it almost completely immersive. Of course, it's based on the 'Frozen' and 'Lion King' stories. When Elsa enters, everything freezes and magic is all around you. We had great fun with rehearsals on a trans-Atlantic crossing from Florida to Copenhagen."
"I love doing large scale projection projects. When they are finished, you see the most massive moving art installation you can imagine."
Ogden's company, Eye Q Productions, specializes in architectural projection mapping and traditional theater as well as immersive design, along with designing for successful special venue attractions. In addition to the projects for Disney, she's produced shows, events and spectaculars for clients such as NBC, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Nokia Theater, Interscope Records, Sub Pop Records, and Warner Music Group.
"Sometimes we are given the theme, but, depending on the client, we can also create everything from our own idea. We focus on projection design and content technology. When it's our idea, we write the story. Sometimes I am a creator/writer and producer, as well as content designer."
"We recently started to work with VR by pursuing creative concepts for new experiences. VR is the latest wild, wild west of special venue attractions and an obvious next step in the immersive world. No format or consumer product is the standard yet. We do know that the technology is only as cool as the content. We're learning what captures people's attention and imagination. What will they want to watch? How long? Will they wear a headset? What if you get motion sickness? Today's VR is mostly snack-size. Will a full-length movie be feasible?"
"Eye Q Productions wants to be in the forefront of how to design for this technology because I believe the future of entertainment is in immersive experiences. We specialize in theatre, 360 full dome, 3D projection mapping, outdoor spectaculars, augmented reality, new show development, and theatrical media design. As the next advance in our skills, I've begun creating cinematic VR experiences of live performance. We will bring in an immersive camera rig and shoot the experience live for those who can't be there."
These tools are also great for theme park planning. There is new software that utilizes VR instead of expensive mockups to re-create a planned experience. Her team knows how to design with animatics as the basis of the model. Adding immersive capabilities will help to visualize the larger concept.
Ogden first became involved with the PGA when working with producers Kate McCallum and Stacey Burstin. Given her deep experience with producing, they couldn't believe she wasn't already a member. After working on a full dome project for ‘Constantine' at Comic-Con in 2014, she joined. Today, she is on the Board as the current Secretary.
Question of the Month: What is the best way to combine your technical and live venue experience to improve people's lives?
"We're currently producing a 360 Immersive Theatre production about the roots of Latino culture told through music, dance, and 360 visual design. By telling stories of different cultures in innovative ways, you can bring people together in a celebratory experience. We're celebrating differences rather than letting them separate us."
"Another passion project is a children's transmedia concept about a foster mother with a melting pot of kids. The objective is to visualize a positive portrayal of foster families. I adopted a foster child myself, so the subject is personal. 'Lilly's Light' is a live action musical children's show with a TV series, a live immersive theatrical experience, VR experiences, and multiple books. The TV pilot script is finished and we're pitching it for financing and we will be workshopping the 360 Immersive Theatre production this fall for a presentation."
"I want to continue to develop my own projects. I love all the work I do; working on other people's projects pays the bills and I'm really inspired to produce one of my own shows."
"A defining focus of our work should be the power that media has on the culture and people. Trying to bring people together is important. Being more conscious of what we put out into the world to improve lives is the best motivation to excel."
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