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Paul Miller @DJSpooky was wandering around Easter Island this summer, thinking about collapse and the new archeology of technological (over) consumption @Middlebury #cliffordsymposium
Sep 19, 2014

Paul Miller @DJSpooky was wandering around Easter Island this summer, thinking about collapse and the new archeology of technological (over) consumption @Middlebury #cliffordsymposium

Sep 18, 2014 / 1 note

ITVFest Panel: Digital Distribution

Festivals are fun and the parties are great, but the best part about ITVFest is that is has a business purpose too: connecting content creators with content buyers.

Today’s ITVFest spotlight is on Rob Barnett, Founder/CEO, Omnivision Entertainment & My Damn Channel. He’ll be speaking on an ITVFest panel as well as actively screening content for potential greenlight on their digital platform.

More about Rob and Omnivision:

Omnivision Entertainment is a multi-platform, 360° entertainment company launched in 2014, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. It partners with traditional and digital media companies, established and emerging talent, and leading brands, to co-create premium content for screens of all sizes. 

Omnivision Entertainment includes production, talent development and branded entertainment divisions, and a distribution network that empowers cross-promotion across its owned-and-operated online channels, YouTube and other online, mobile and IPTV platforms. 

Founded in 2007 as My Damn Channel by Rob Barnett and Warren Chao, Omnivision Entertainment has produced hundreds of hours of original programming, including comedy, music, unscripted reality and live variety programming. The Company’s investors include Intuitive Venture Partners, Shea Ventures, Okapi Venture Capital and Sunshine Wireless.

Be sure to join us at ITVFest Sept 26th-28th and meet content buyers like Rob! We’ll see you there! 

Sep 17, 2014

On Independence, Creativity and the State

As Scots enter their final hours of individual and community deliberation about the future of their nation, I’d like to draw a connection between that partial island nation and our inland state.

As the move toward political dependence grabs headlines in the days before the votes, another important independence movement is afoot. That is Creative Scotland, which is the county’s 10-year plan to bolster its creative economy. As a write, the board seeks its next Chair.

"Scotland," Creative Scotland’s Chief Executive has written, "will be a creative force to be reckoned with."

What is striking to me about the preface to the ten-year plan, a statement of artistic independence from the forces of globalization and financial pressure for returns, is a commitment to full recognition and support for creativity as an end itself, is a deeply human conviction. Listen to the vault of their aspiration:

Leading the way, as a nation which understands human beings, their drives and their needs and which opens its arms to everyone’s creative potential. Creativity will become the warp and weft of new social connections. Artists and creative people will influence daily life and as a consequence will be regarded as invaluable sources of advice and inspiration for policy makers at local and national levels - operating in spheres such as health, economic growth and education as well as the cultural domain.

Vermont is state that has long benefited from our position at the periphery of the Union. Though there are clear costs to this isolation it has allowed for quiet experimentation. Our distance lends force and clarity when our state leads on national priorities, whether social or political. In turn, a culture of tolerance has grown across these thickly blanketed hills, transforming the state into a haven for artists and creative voices of many kinds. Using conventional measures, data shows that Vermont is home to the highest per capita densities of artists and writers.

What competitive advantage does this provide to the state?

And new forces are at work. Changes in the business environment, the culture of work, and new models of financial flows - many of these “disruptions” driven by the Internet - have created new opportunities for creatives to establish livelihoods and build companies in Vermont.

Scotland, recognizing that these changes are afoot, has saddled up. Their efforts to develop a comprehensive vision for the future of the arts, screen and creative industries is a refreshing distillation of principal and of opportunity. The strategy asserts a philosophic commitment of a government to its people; as a pragmatic document it sets the table for annual planning and progress. Here are the five priorities of the plan:

  1. Excellence and experimentation. There is a recognition of achievement as well as the pathway toward achievement.
  2. Access. Engagement is viewed as essential, and an obligation to foster those opportunities follows directly.
  3. Places. Access and engagement can only be served by infrastructure - for both creation and exhibition.
  4. Leadership and workforce. A commitment to being in the business of partnerships, training and development.
  5. Connected. Recognition that advancement cannot exist in an insular environment; connections must be drawn in and pushed out.

Perhaps most important, Creative Scotland maps its priorities straight across larger national development priorities. While Creative Scotland also advances its own outcomes, three that overlap directly are in education and innovation, reduction in environmental impact, and delivery of responsive and valued public services. Among the major projects that Creative Scotland has underway are:

  • A commitment to advancing creative learning and young people as enshrined, in part, by their creative learning plan.
  • National projects that draw creative communities together and foster momentum behind key sectors.
  • Showcasing Scotland reflects a commitment to ensure that the best Scotland has to offer the world - and in turns markets - is visible.

There is much to learn from this fiercely independent nation, a nation with a strong identity and a legacy of contributions to the world at large. A nation whose characteristics are, in so many ways, mirrored by Vermont - from our once-connected mountain chains to our legacy of innovation to a strong and independent creative spirit. We can learn a lot from Scotland, not least the insights and strategies deployed to advance their creative economy.

What are your thoughts on the nexus of creativity, independence and the state? Follow us on Tumblr and post a reply or send a Tweet hashtag #vtcreates.

Creative Scotland is financed by the Scottish government and by the National Lottery.

Sep 17, 2014 / 3 notes

Writers Guild Covers Webseries and Digital Content Creators

From the ITVFest Spotlight, focused on the Writers Guild of America - East and the great work they’re doing to support webseries and digital content creators. We’ll let them explain:

Did you know that as the writer of an original web series you are potentially eligible for membership in the Writers Guild of America? The WGA is currently covering digital content - including independently produced web series - under the extremely flexible conditions of our New Media Agreement. There are no budget or salary minimums for most projects and anyone working on a serious project for new media is potentially eligible.

Becoming a Guild member is an important step in the career of any writer and means community, protection and a voice in the as yet unruly world of digital entertainment. Writers of new media may also qualify for health and pension coverage through the WGA.

Additionally, web series produced under a WGA agreement and released online between December 1, 2013, and November 30, 2014 are eligible to be entered for prestigious WGA awards. New media honors are presented on both coasts simultaneously at the same ceremony as feature screenplay and tv awards. If you are interested in entering your project for WGA award this year please contact Ursula Lawrence ASAP about covering your project and joining the Guild.

If you are any of the following:

  • A writer of an original web series and interested in joining the WGA
  • A producer who wants to hire professional writers and be eligible for WGA awards for new media
  • A member of the digital media community interested in learning more about the WGA’s work in this area

Please contact Ursula Lawrence at 212-767 7836 or or come see her in person at ITVFest September 26th-28th!

Digital creators in the WGA are working to develop fair standards for writers of new media and to increase the quality and legitimacy of web-based entertainment — join us! 

Sep 10, 2014

This just in from Sara/VPL via RAMP. Not to miss if you love dance and community engagement!

At Vermont Performance Lab we have been busy as the bees working with two amazing dance artists from San Francisco to develop No Hero Vermont.

I hope you can join this Thursday, September 11th at 7pm at the Bellows Falls Opera House for this work-in-progress showing — a culmination of a 4-week research and development residency with choreographer Alex Ketley and dancer Sarah Woods who have been exploring our rural communities and discovering what dance means to Vermonters.

This promises to be a special evening combining dance, video and beautiful stories.

Read Richard Hencke beautiful piece about Alex and the project in this week’s Commons - available here or the feature in last weeks edition of The Vulture.

Complete information about the project at Tickets are $5 available online or at the door.

See you Thursday!
Sara Coffey, founding director

Sep 9, 2014

Two Funding Opps: Film and Art

Tribeca All Access: Five narrative filmmakers and five documentary filmmakers whose teams include a U.S.-based director or screenwriter from a community that is statistically underrepresented in the film industry will each receive a grant of $15,000 to use toward the development, production, post-production, or marketing of their film project….

More here:

Clark Hulings Fund: Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to professional artists who have secured tangible prospects for advancing their careers but lack the financial resources to capitalize on those opportunities….

More here:

Sep 9, 2014 / 3 notes
TEDx Battenkill is shaping up to be an outstanding day. The Agency of Commerce, Office of the Creative Economy is thrilled to be a sponsor. Hope to see you there!
Sep 9, 2014

TEDx Battenkill is shaping up to be an outstanding day. The Agency of Commerce, Office of the Creative Economy is thrilled to be a sponsor. Hope to see you there!

Sep 8, 2014

Adventures in Mime and Space

Theatre Kavanah, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue, and Temple Sinai present The Legacy of Marcel Marceau, with Rob Mermin

Sunday, September 28th
7:00 p.m.
North End Studios
294 North Winooski Ave.
$18 / $15 students and seniors

Movement artist. Teacher. Holocaust survivor. Humanitarian.

Marcel Marceau was a gifted and multifaceted man who almost single-handedly revived the art of pantomime. Join us as Rob Mermin, clown extraordinaire and founder of Vermont’s own Circus Smirkus, recounts his experiences studying under the maestro.

Rob will show rare film footage, share personal stories, and demonstrate mime techniques.

Rob will be conducting a separate mime workshop from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at North End Studios. The fee for the workshop is $25. Reservations are required. Please make your reservation by September 21.

Questions? Contact us at
or call/text 802-503-1132.

Sep 8, 2014

Call for Entries: Portsmouth Short Film Night

The next Portsmouth Short Film Night is happening in Thursday October 30 at Portsmouth Public Media, 280 Marcy Street, Portsmouth, NH and we want to show your film! We’re looking for shorts of any genre (or un-genre) from independent filmmakers interested in screening their film to an audience. That’s why you made it, right? We are particularly looking for films with a spooky feel for our Hallowe’en Special! The night is a free event, open to anyone who enjoys watching shorts and talking film. It’s all about getting filmmakers together to show off their work, have fun, meet like-minded people, and maybe even be inspired. If that sounds like your cup of tea, why not send us your film? To submit, or for more details, head to: Deadline is October 10. You can like us at or follow us @PSFN