August 05, 2008
ReelChanges.org’s homepage already has a full roster of high-quality documentary projects! The response has been pretty overwhelming. One thing I’ve discovered over the past few weeks, though, is that if I have to explain what we are doing I am usually talking to the wrong people. The right people, and by that I mean the folks who are eager to participate, get it right away. I don’t have to finish my sentences. There is another, and I am sure much larger group, who don’t yet get it, who just can’t imagine a commercial form of media where regular people would have real decision-making power. I suppose I will have to figure out how to connect with that larger group at some stage. But at present I’m just too busy for that. It’s all I can do to keep up with the avalanche of ReelChanges-related email pouring in. Throw in an overdue manuscript to one of my most cherished publishers/funders and most of my days are a real pant, including today, so I will have to keep this long overdue blog update short.
The major news on the ReelChanges front, in addition to the growing number of high-quality projects on the site, revolves around promising new alliances and joint ventures. We’re now working with Maryland Public Television (MPT) on a collaboration that will, I hope, make real inroads in using the Internet to strengthen the publics’ link with public television. We’ve been fortunate to find a visionary public television pioneer to work with, MPT president Rob Shuman, whose credits include helping found the Learning Channel. Rob and his talented crew come to us by way of my old friend and mentor, Jim Russell, who has recently taken on a role as ReelChanges’ Consulting Executive Producer. Jim was the first Executive Producer of All Things Considered and also created public radio’s long running business news program, Marketplace, where I toiled for a time in the late 1980’s. It’s fun to be working with him again. Another key development: a growing alliance with new media visionary David Cohn, whose www.Spot.us project recently won major support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. David and I are close to a fiscal sponsorship agreement that will make www.Spot.us a project of the Center for Media Change, Inc., the 501c3 I run that also operates ReelChanges. Even better, David and I have started to talk about the ways ReelChanges and Spot.us can collaborate to build out the people powered media space. And finally, I’m also pleased to note that well-respected open source lawyer Larry Rosen has agreed to serve as general counsel for the Center for Media Change, Inc. and ReelChanges.org. As I mentioned, it’s been a busy few weeks. And I’ve left more things out than I have time now to list. All very exciting.
Thanks again to J.D. Lasica, whose early blog posts and articles about ReelChanges led to many of the emails I mentioned above. Thanks also to Jonathan Shradar, FreePress, Leonard Witt, DocumentaryFilms.net, GreenScreenCinema, Media Giraffe, Wayne’s Brain Dump, Global Mojo, Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media and too many others to mention here for all the help in spreading the word. Just do a “google” on ReelChanges and see what turns up. Weeks ago nothing, now it would take all day to follow all the links with positive mentions. Deep thanks to all. Oh, also, a special word of thanks to Arden Pennell, the terrific young journalist at the Palo Alto Weekly who did a very nice story about ReelChanges that I continue to circulate to great effect. Arden, who seems certain to emerge as her own Silicon Valley brand, has a new blog, ArdentNews, that you’ll want to check out.
More when I next come up for air…
In the meantime, please visit ReelChanges and make a contribution to a project on the site or to the site itself. We need your support and you’ll feel good when you do it. I promise. Or your money back.