By Nick DeMartino
Should there be an incubator for start-ups in the entertainment industry? It’s a question brought into focus by a recent post from IndieWire editor Dana Harris: “8 Film Startups You Should Know from SXSW.”
“Film, to put it mildly, is not a priority for tech people,” says Ms. Harris, reporting from the floor of Austin’s interactive conference. Eight film start-ups in a sea of technology suggested that more could be done to address the needs of our industry.
By Samantha Yu, 2012 CAAM Student Delegate
After living in NYC for more than a decade, it’s funny that I would begin my journey in Asian American Media on the other side of the country. As a part of the student delegate program, we have the privilege of flashing our badges to awkwardly begin a conversation with filmmakers and industry workers, through some of these meetings, I have gained a new perspective on the role Asian American Media plays in my life.
For 12 hours a day, over the course of 5 days, we attend 4 scheduled screenings. Now you might think, “Half a day watching movies? How hard can that be?” Well, let me tell first hand that it’s actually quite exhausting. Partially due to jetlag, by the time we reach the last screening of the day, I am ready to check out and hit the hay. When so many films are watched back to back, we don’t receive a lot of opportunities to reflect on everything we’ve just taken in. But at the end of the day, when I really absorb and think about all of the screenings, it only brings me to further appreciate the diversity within the Asian American culture.
WongFu & Ana Serrano at Present/Future / photo by Jain Thapa
Yesterday during our breaks in between screenings, myself and another delegate had an opportunity to attend parts of the Present/Future panel, a conversation about Asian American Media. We received the opportunity to hear many different speakers present, including the guys from WongFu Productions, about where they feel the Asian American media should be headed towards. Phil Wang of WongFu was quick to point out that in the room full of audience, there weren’t many “young people” present, referring to high school students. In fact, since I am the youngest of the student delegates, I am pretty sure I was the youngest one at the presentation. Phil raised a concern that in the midst of trying to reach the younger generation of media consumers, it is incredibly important to begin engaging them at a young age, and the age demographic of the room reflected such concern. It isn’t so much that young Asian Americans aren’t consuming media, because they sure are, but when it comes to caring about the matter and actively participating in and seeking it out, there is still much room for growth.’
Packed room at Present/Future Summit. Photo by Jain Thapa
For reasons unknown to me, I have always kept my Taiwanese identity separate from my American identity, it wasn’t until this past winter when I visited family in Taiwan and realized through my aging grandparents that I could no longer live in the States without embracing my Taiwanese self. Soon after, “Linsanity” hit the Big Apple and the globe, and for the first time ever, it became relevant to talk about Asian American presentation on national television. I have encountered so many people who feel that the conversation is long overdue, but the fact is that it has begun nonetheless. We can’t predict where Asian American Media will end up in the next few years, but these months of relevant conversations are extremely important, and I am grateful to be a part of SFIAAFF this year and participate in some of these conversations. These past few days have led me to a world I never much about, and the fact that I was able to do so through engaging myself in the film medium only adds on to its impact on me.
The combination of low costs, cheap capital and relatively free access to markets has created an unprecedented era of decentralized, emergent, start-up innovation. By creating novel new services and dramatically reducing the cost of existing services, that innovation has unlocked value for consumers, that they are now redeploying in other new services.
But at the same time, that process, the classic creative destruction of free market capitalism, has created new challenges for incumbent industrial companies.” —The Freedom to Innovate by Brad Burnham (via garychou)
Everything is so much clearer once a world is framed. Maybe it sounds crazy, but with writing it’s infinity that is limiting, and the limited that allows for the truly infinite. Once all those elements are in place in a story, the brain is truly freed up to imagine without end.
…most of the people whose writing I believe will be read in a hundred years are plagued with extreme self-doubt, constant suffering and self-loathing, and are, at their most relaxed, generally fraught and worried.
What I’m trying to say is that a lot that lies behind being able to live the writing life is psychological, and wrapped up in ideas of self-definition. So after you’ve trained yourself to do the work, that is, once you’ve got the sitzfleisch, and the focus, and the skills, and a sharpened pencil, and you’ve pushed a cabinet up against the fridge, and thrown your cell phone out the window, and yanked your router from the wall, there is the issue—and, I promise you, more than any other writing issue, this is the one—of engaging with the work and all that floods into your head that is related to that work, but not truly of the work.” —Nathan Englander on creating constraints when writing (in the New Yorker)
btw, Nathan has a Tumblr now.
Is there really something holding us back? Is there some imaginary finish line somewhere in Hollywood that we’re all looking to cross? Web video has this inferiority complex, as if we have to explain away why we’re not television. Meanwhile, we forget that television had the same exact anxiety, going 30-plus years before TV stars were held in the same regard as film stars.
We sit in this space between advertisers and Hollywood on one end, who want to measure web video as if it’s television, and technologists and content creators on the other who expect web video to evolve at the same pace as the web proper. It’s a lot to live up to. We tend to forget how long it took for other mediums to hit their groove. I like to think that we’re all smart enough and brash enough to get over these anxieties faster than TV or radio did.” —
Present Future speaker Kenyatta Cheese on the challenges facing web video as a creative medium.
Kenyatta’s own tumblr is Final Boss Form. Here’s a description of what Kenyatta does, in his own words, taken from his blog:I co-founded Know Your Meme with Jamie, Ellie, and Drew. I made Unmediated back when the web still seemed shiny.
Right now I’m working with fan culture online.