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Live, work and play better via PSFK 2015

Beginning in the afternoon on Thursday, 16 April, and running on through mid-day on Saturday the 18th, you are invited to join the thought leaders behind daily news site PSFK.com and PSFK Labs in a dazzling array of events designed to present better ways to live, work and play. With programming featuring special tours and workshops, the core experience is Friday’s full day of eye-opening talks from a carefully curated lineup of designers, artists, entrepreneurs and business leaders. Thematically centered around PSFK’s new Live, Work, Play Better report, the assembled experts will reveal emerging trends while immersing the audience in new ideas focused on driving meaningful change. Read more

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Durham readies for 18th annual documentary film festival

Preparing its April 9-12 return to historic downtown Durham, North Carolina, The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival recently released its full schedule, all of which is dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Showcasing more than 100 films from established and emerging filmmakers, as well as numerous discussions and panels, this intimate Southern setting will once again immerse attendees in essential conversations and interactions between filmmakers, the film and television industries and film-loving members of the public.

Presented by Duke University, Full Frame is a key program of the Center for Documentary Studies non-profit organization. Serving the documentary form and its community, this festival enhances public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its significance each and every year, making non-fiction films more accessible to a wider audience. Read more

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Deadline approaches for 2015 Chip Shop Awards

About a dozen years ago, the UK’s most visited marketing news publication The Drum launched a very special awards program which has done much more than just stand up over time; with each passing year, it is proving to be of increasing importance. Well known as the only creative awards scheme with neither rules nor boundaries, the submission window for the 2015 Chip Shop Awards will close on April 2. Here’s what you should know. Read more

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On-the-go with my hero and mentor Randy Baker

I had some very good luck in my budding career about 22 years ago, when many disparate activities started leading in some positive directions for me. One of those new avenues was my first gig as a television writer, which came about because of prolific producer, director and videographer Randy Baker. Although that project never quite made it on the air, it led to a lot of collaborations with Randy over the next several years, all of which impacted me profoundly.

Before any of that happened, back when I was still a student at the University of Central Florida and president of the film club, Randy was one of the esteemed guest speakers I’d invited in. Already well known for his career achievements and knowledge, Randy’s knack for stepping forward as a local industry leader was in many ways just getting started. So all those years later when I was concepting shows, writing business plans, grant proposals and news releases and doing audio for him on shoots, he was also teaching me what it meant to be productive, to be a leader, to earn money, and to live as a freelance business professional. Read more

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Sharing secrets: Venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell

I love finding people who are so successful in business that I learn great deals and become inspired just by reading their blogs and following them on social media. A few years ago when I was getting up-to-speed for a new client based in Brooklyn, I learned about venture capitalist Charlie O’Donnell, who founded the seed-stage investment firm Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in 2012. I’ve been doing my best to keep up with Charlie ever since! Here’s an introduction to his background from his personal This Is Going to be Big blog, where he’s been writing about sales, hiring, the venture business, startup communities and New York in his very straightforward, no-BS style for over 10 years.

Charlie is a partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures working on very early stage investments in the Greater Brooklyn area, which also includes Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York City. He was previously with First Round Capital, where he sourced the firm’s investments in GroupMe (sold to Skype), Backupify, chloe + isabel, Refinery29, Docracy, Singleplatform, and Salescrunch. Read more

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“Off Camera” enters year three of the best conversations

It’s been a year since I last spoke with the acclaimed photographer and director Sam Jones, who is the publisher, host and editor-in-chief of the Off Camera website, magazine, TV show and podcast. Sam launched his on-camera interview series in 2013 with these words: “…as much as I have tried to create a multi-platform technologically relevant episodic blogpodzine, I am really just using new tools to do the same thing I have always done; which is follow my interests, and try to get in the room with some really interesting people.” Last February, I published a story about Off Camera’s first anniversary, and Sam surprised me with a call to touch-base. That connection with such a respected and accomplished artist inspires me every day.

Over the past 12 months, new print/iPod issues and episodes of Off Camera have appeared with these fascinating guests… all sharing insights from in-depth conversations with Sam, who is their trusted friend: Michael B. Jordan, Sarah Silverman, Matt Damon, Ed Helms, Jackson Browne, Judy Greer, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Goldsmith, Laird Hamilton and Jon Brion. Sam’s thoughtful Off Camera theme builds on his experiences working with high-profile luminaries… where they would regularly discuss various subjects, including their work. The best conversations were happening off-camera, Sam observed… and this passion project is the result. Read more

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Killer Reels: Flavor

Esteemed DWA client company Flavor is a global collective of designers and visual artists with studios in Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, New York City and Tokyo. Last August, the group celebrated its first birthday, and in the November issue of SHOOT Magazine, Cutters Studios CEO Tim McGuire discussed the strategy behind the new venture and some of the exciting developments shaping-up around its principals.

In McGuire’s words: “A little more than a year ago, together with my Cutters Studios colleagues, we recognized that something new and exciting was happening in the design industry, and we decided to refocus our talent and effort to make a statement. Together, after a lot of brainstorming we decided to relaunch our VFX and design brand as Flavor. That rebranding effort fit perfectly with the addition of executive producer Darren Jaffe and executive creative director Brad Tucker [both formerly of Superfad], and helped us create some considerable buzz across the industry at-large.” Read more

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F5 creativity festival returns to NYC

On 17-18 April, F5 will return to New York City, the epicenter of global creativity… convening in Terminal 5, one of the city’s premier venues. Uniting filmmakers, writers, digital artists, game designers, interactive artists, motionographers, graphic designers, visual effects experts, musicians, industry visionaries and many others (including yours truly), F5 2015 promises to foster artistic breakthroughs of the highest order.

Founded on the ideal that true insight and lasting inspiration come from unexpected places, F5 is the cutting-edge creativity festival exploring the intersection of design, art and technology. Created by Motionographer in 2009 as an essential meeting point for future-minded individuals, F5 has proven power in creating lasting change. Read more

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Reasons to Pause in 2015


Set to run 9-15 Feb. in Melbourne, Australia, Pause Fest is the premier annual digital event aimed at supporting and showcasing the best in creative and tech from Australia and all around the world. For the past several years, each Pause festival has told a story through a unique theme. For this year, the theme is Pure: Simple ideas that will change world.

From its humble beginnings in 2011, Pause has rapidly grown to become one of the most anticipated events on the bustling Australian festival calendar. Attracting a powerful mix of industry professionals, startups and early adopters from a broad range of digital disciplines, each year Pause offers a wealth of exciting opportunities for locals to connect, collaborate and launch projects alongside global leaders and visionary brands. In 2014, the festival lit up Federation Square, with more than 6,000 people flocking to Australia’s innovation capital. Read more

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Join Robert Redford, George Lucas and friends at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival is set to run Jan. 22 to Feb. 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah, and last week, The Sundance Institute announced an especially exciting series of offscreen programming events.

Reportedly, Art of Film Weekend (Jan. 29-31) will highlight the unique roles of writers, directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, editors, production designers, art directors, costume designers, casting directors, sound designers, composers and the countless others who bring stories to life on screen. The series will kick off with Robert Redford and George Lucas discussing their careers and creative process with Leonard Maltin, and continue throughout the second half of the Festival with additional panels on topics including artistry in film music, virtual reality, visual design, editing and documentary.

“Exploring cinema, body and soul, Art of Film Weekend will take aspiring filmmakers and film-loving audiences behind the scenes to see the creative, collaborative spirit of artists at every stage of the independent filmmaking process that is so core to our Festival,” said Sundance Film Festival director John Cooper. Read more

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