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Great to know: Anson Williams

My relatively short career as a professional working in episodic television production took a giant leap forward in 1995, when I was hired to assist the Florida-based producers for NBC, Universal Television and Amblin Entertainment’s SeaQuest 2032. The year before, I had worked on a different series for Fox, BBK Productions and Columbia Pictures TV, where the many producers, directors and talents I met became inspirations for me. Nonetheless, I was very surprised to meet – and have lots of opportunities to work with and get to know – director Anson Williams as one of the many all-stars involved with SeaQuest.

Best known for his Golden Globe-nominated role as Potsie Weber on Happy Days – the single greatest TV series of my youth – Anson is also an award-winning television director, as well as being a writer, singer, producer and entrepreneur. By 2014, Anson has directed over 300 hours of television for scores of world-famous TV series, including Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, to name but a few. Read more

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Third Annual “What’s Trending” #Tubeathon

Last week, the daily, live, interactive YouTube show “What’s Trending” presented its Third Annual Tube-a-Thon. For the two-hour program, What’s Trending and the 2015 Ford Focus united the YouTube community and some of Hollywood’s most charitable stars for this next-generation digital social telethon aimed at raising money for Covenant House, a nationwide charity network dedicated to helping homeless kids.

The holiday themed Tube-A-Thon was live-streamed from YouTube Space LA on What’s Trending for two hours of fundraising filled with music, comedy, performances and surprises. For every tweet with the hashtag #Tubeathon or #FiestaMovement, What’s Trending and Ford donated $1 to Covenant House. Read more

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Amy Schatz, HBO and American Museum of Natural History: Thanks for the documentary

On Monday, 15 December, an important new series will debut from HBO Documentary Films, the American Museum of Natural History and producer/director Amy Schatz, starting with a two-part family special about the environment. Entitled “Saving My Tomorrow,” additional credits include executive producer Sheila Nevins, supervising producer Lisa Heller, producer Beth Aala and editor Tom Patterson. “Saving My Tomorrow” will continue in 2015 as a four-part series beginning on Earth Day, 22 April, exclusively on HBO.

From the children who will inherit the planet comes a collection of songs, activism and heartfelt tips for protecting the earth. Kids share their thoughts on subjects ranging from endangered animals to climate change, while exploring stories with the museum’s scientists about the plants and animals that are affected by a changing earth. A lyrical mix of science, animation and music, SAVING MY TOMORROW celebrates the wonders of the natural world and is a call from kids to kids to help take care of the planet. Read more

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The Movember Foundation’s growing effects

The Movember Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. Started with a single conversation 11 years ago, that dialogue has grown into millions of others taking place on the subject of men’s health each November, when men are invited to grow moustaches to spark new discussions and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.

Together with its expanding community, the organization has so far raised over U.S. $550 million and funded over 800 world-class programs in 21 countries, and its commitments to changing the face of men’s health are growing. Read more

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Living artistically: Mary Elizabeth Williams

Welcome to my newest series of blog posts. With “Living artistically,” I plan to shine some light on artists I admire who are living in ways that seem to be lifted to higher levels by creative sensibilities, talent and character. First up, I’m proud to feature NYC-based writer Mary Elizabeth Williams, who brought the awesome video I’m embedding above to my attention a couple of years back and has been on my regular reading list ever since.

On her personal blog, Mary Elizabeth describes herself as a writer, consultant, and radio commentator, “with about a thousand years experience, give or take a century.” On Twitter, she adds even more color: “Melanomaniac. Clinical trial lab rat. Uptowner. Instigator. Caller of shenanigans.” A writer for Salon.com, she has also written for The Nation, Read more

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YouTube insights for fun, inspiration and success

Earlier this year, our 10-year-old son told us his career aspiration: More than anything else, he wants to be a YouTuber. In all honesty, our knee-jerk response was not 100% positive, but as the conversation continues, it’s clear that the boy’s onto something. We actually have two highly active young YouTube aficionados in our household (adding our 13-year-old daughter), and as you can see in the sources listed below for this article, my views on YouTube reference multiple perspectives. For anyone wanting to actively participate in the self-broadcasting revolution, here are some noteworthy insights from my latest research. Feedback is most welcome and very much appreciated. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Film finance and distribution tips from Emily Best

Seed&Spark is a new, LA-based crowdfunding and digital distribution platform for independent films that is already winning major awards and large-scale investments, while rapidly breaking new ground in what founder and chief creative Emily Best calls “fair trade filmmaking.” According to Emily, Seed&Spark selects independent films for fans to back, then helps filmmakers raise funds and distribute their films through partnerships with the likes of the American Express Amex Now cable network. Seed&Spark differs from crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo by handling both funding and distribution. Since launching the company in December, 2012, Emily has raised more than $1 million to help 70 films get made, won the 2013 season of New York Observer blog BetaBeat’s “The Pitch” competition, been named one of Indiewire’s Top 40 Influencers of the past year, and most recently, helped the company close a U.S. $1-million round of seed funding.


Currently touring film and tech festivals around the world (“Sundance and SXSWV2V to Sheffield and Galway”) to educate filmmakers and learn best practices for connecting with audiences, Emily’s background also includes feature film production, strategic consulting for large companies, managing restaurants, and anthropology. Clearly, we all can learn something from this enterprising and hard-working young entrepreneur and her colleagues, right? Read more

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NYC’s Advertising Week begins on 29 September

This year’s annual Advertising Week gathering of marketing and communications leaders is set to begin in New York City on 29 September. Offering over 250 distinct events, “The Week” is a hybrid of thought-leadership seminars presented by some of the industry’s best and brightest, as well as highly engaging special events which aim to unite and galvanize bright and diverse audiences.

Originally established in 2004, The Week draws from all facets of the creative communities and shines the spotlight on key business drivers shaping and influencing these industries worldwide. In the words of its organizers, “Measured by breadth, scope and impact, Advertising Week transcends standard industry conferences and The Week moves the needle on key industry challenges like talent and diversity via GeneratioNext and Advertising Futures.”

Learn more at http://www.advertisingweek.com

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ADCOLOR awards, conference and excitement hit LA this week

This week, the eighth annual ADCOLOR(R) Awards and Industry Conference will rock the Beverly Hilton, uniting leaders and change-makers from the advertising, marketing, media and communications industries to rise up and reach back in countless exciting and vitally important ways. A 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, ADCOLOR proactively champions advertising workforce diversity. This week’s schedule is filled with festive and formal social engagements advancing ADCOLOR’s vibrant FUTURES and University programs, with gala conference events running through Saturday. As highlighted below, many of those are awards-focused, set to honor scores of very impressive individuals. To learn more and register to attend Read more

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Hybrid creative agency ENVOY goes to the movies…

Irvine, California-based ENVOY is the hybrid creative agency that advises bold partners on innovation, taking new products to market and the long term strategic direction of their organizations. In an ever-changing digital world, ENVOY’s team of creators, developers and strategists partners with bold leaders to make experiences and products that define the future.

Today ENVOY is proud to present its latest work: The official website for Frank Miller’s “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” from co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, online at http://sincity-2.com.

Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is the follow-up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, Frank Miller’s “Sin City.” With the film arriving in theaters this Friday, 22 August, you can now visit the site to immerse yourself in what’s to come. The responsive HTML5 website was created by ENVOY in association with Mr. Miller, Dimension Films and The Weinstein Company.

ENVOY is growing at a record pace Read more

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