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Ford Docs Wrap
Ford Drive One example

Early in the year, Team Detroit asked us to help document the initiatives in quality, safety, technology and the environment underway at Ford Motor Company. The resulting web documentary shorts, part of the Ford Drive One effort, showcase some of the scientists, engineers and product developers working on those solutions. That initial run of shorts are now all available on the Web, so a tip of the hat to the amazing production team involved:

Team Detroit

Executive Creative Director: Toby Barlow
Executive Producer: Sam Walsh
Creative Director: Matthew Jacobson

GMD Studios Production
Creative Direction: Brian Clark
Production Direction: J.D. Ashcraft
Story Producer: Jonny Leahan
Producer: Darren Himebrook
Assistant Producers: Robert Wood, Mike Ferraro
DP/Editors: Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Aion Velie
Camera/Editors: Leigh Jacobson, Jeff Carlson (The Park)
Supervising Editor: Chris Bremer (Element 113)
Editors: Johnna Turiano (Slice Edit), Andres Acosta, Leighanna Rockey (The Park), Diana Gawet (The Park)
Camera Operators: Linda Peters, Steve Witham (Rare Medium)
Sound: Ed Chick (Rare Medium), Burr Huntington (Rare Medium)
Location Support: Doug Netzloff (Rare Medium)
Logistics & Finance: Tammy Kearns, Sue Witham (Rare Medium)
Art Director: Keira Alexandra
Design & Illustration: Jim Rhoades, Chris Campbell

On SnagFilms Acquiring indieWIRE

On Tuesday, our stalwart independent film news site indieWIRE turned 12 years old -- the filmmakers who graduated from film school this spring were about ten years old when we started. It was also the day that we signed the deal to sell indieWIRE to SnagFilms, the new Ted Leonsis venture launched today focused on "filmlanthropy". We've got our reaction to the announcement at indieWIRE and industry press like Variety and Hollywood Reporter (as well as many others) are starting to weigh in as well.

For most of our history, publishing indieWIRE has been part of the regular duties of every GMD Studios staffer. That's going to change, but in every other important way indieWIRE remains exactly the same -- it is just armed with more resources to tackle the issues that face the independent film community. That's the reason why this deal made sense, after so many prior suitors didn't. We're more focused on this as a mid-point, not an ending: the ten-year-olds running around today that decide to go to film school will graduate around 2020, and it is time for the community to start envisioning the independent film movement we want them to inherit from us.

A ton of thanks are in order, though, working backwards from the recent to foundational. We're deeply thankful for the sage advice, counsel and representation of Micah Green of Creative Artists Agency, as well Glenn Adams and John Dierking of Holland & Knight. There have been other critical patrons for indieWIRE through the years that deserve thanks for help making indieWIRE what it is, including the fine folks at Apple Computers, the San Francisco Film Society, the Independent Film Channel, Kodak, the Sundance Institute, Emerging Pictures and BlogAds. There are also a tremendous number of indieWIRE staffers, current and former, who's fingerprints are all over indieWIRE, including folks like Wendy Mitchell, Anthony Kaufmann, Tim LaTorre, Mike Jones, Diane Becker, and Jonny Leahan. At its genesis, though, indieWIRE was a small, passionate and unpaid core of collaborators who spilled their own blood to make it happen: Eugene Hernandez, Mark Rabinowitz, Karol Martesko-Fenster and Ken Tabachnick.

And at the core, the real people to thank are the community that participates in indieWIRE -- indieWIRE's vibrancy is a reflection of the community's passions, and everyone else we thanked are just a subset of that. Collectively, the independent film community can feel proud of indieWIRE's work for the last 12 years and thrilled by what the next 12 might hold. I know we are.

Bahston Bound

Sometimes, trivial things like filmmaking and rebooting and what not must be aside for something really important -- like ARGFest-o-Con-apalooza in Boston! I'm sure you can tell from the conference name that it covers weighty academic and professional matters, but you might mistakeningly think it has something to do with pirates. Instead, I hear that their recipe for awesomeness yet again required no pirates whatsoever. It will be nice to kick back again this weekend with the community of passionate creators and players of alternate reality games.


For the last few months, we've found ourselves up to our armpits in engineers, scientists, developers and designers from Ford Motor Company. It is part of a larger initiative launched recently called Ford Drive One, a part intended to help find some of the interesting stories among the fascinating teams at Ford Motor Company. Now the auto and mainstream press are starting to weigh in on the first of that larger series of web videos. We're fortunate to be working again with friends at Team Detroit (including Toby Barlow, Sam Walsh, Matthew Jacobson and Rick Todd), some of our dearest collaborators (including Jonny Leahan, Darren Himebrook and Miguel Drake-McLaughlin), and a number of new faces (including editor Chris Bremer and the Detroit crews from Rare Medium), all for a client we've worked with before. Our brains are spinning with science ... in a good way. More of those collective labors forthcoming.

Upcoming Apple Store Events

It is time again for the Tribeca Film Festival, which means the kick-off of our annual Filmmaker Talks at the Apple Store in SoHo. We're flattered to have an amazing collection of guests again, this year including actor Clive Owen (4/25), screenwriter Tony Gilroy and comedienne Amy Poehler (4/26), filmmaker Guy Maddin (4/27), documentarian Morgan Spurlock (4/28), screenwriter/producer Tom Kalin and legendary actress Isabella Rossellini (4/29), director Greg Mottola (4/30), screenwriter/director Harmony Korine (5/1), director and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (5/2), screenwriter Paul Haggis (4/3) and actor/filmmaker Matthew Modine (4/4). All of the events are free, but have limited room and have been known to fill up. Meanwhile, indieWIRE's in-depth coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival starts ramping up next week as well.

There Are Stranger Ducks Than Us

Sometimes, we're kinda pleased with how odd we are. Then our next door neighbors scare the crap out of us by blowing something up Mad Max style. Today, they went after the mailman's truck with a rocket launcher, as this truly unretouched picture from our parking lot proves:

Fortunately, the mailman is on to their tricks, and so are we.

The Long Tail of Eldritch

Back in April, we mentioned there was this game called Eldritch Errors but that we didn't want to spoil any surprises. In December, a Wired article about alternate reality gaming hinted at what we've been aiming at with the project. As an immersive horror story playing out in real-time on the Web and everywhere else, Eldritch Errors places the participants in the center of the story as the protagonists. They might also find themselves starring in future graphic novels, television shows and films re-telling their adventures for broader audiences. It is an independent media model that collaborates more deeply with participants than just thinking of them as the "target audience". As the events of Book Three start to stumble into view, the curious might keep their eyes on EldritchErrors.com and the Sentry Outpost forums ... but then, we all remember what curiosity did to the cat, right?

Be Kind, Rewind to Sundance

January is always a busy month for indieWIRE. Last week, we teamed up with New Line Cinema and Apple to bring filmmaker Michel Gondry to huge crowds at the San Francisco, Chicago and New York City Apple Stores, talking about his new film "Be Kind Rewind". This week, the editorial team is already embedded in the slopes of Park City to cover the 2008 Sundance & Slamdance Film Festivals (in part through the support of "Be Kind Rewind"), including interviews with each of the first-time filmmakers at Sundance (and there are a lot of them this year.) The latest news from Sundance & Slamdance can always be found at http://www.indiewire.com/parkcity/.

2007 Undiscovered Gems Winner

This year, Emerging Pictures and indieWIRE bring you a year-long series intended to discover some of the best films from the previous year that never found a distributor. This year, the winner of the audience award for Undiscovered Gems included a $50,000 broadcast license from The Sundance Channel and a $50,000 distribution fund with Emerging Pictures -- David Muno, Director of "Full Grown Men", looked downright surprised at the award luncheon yesterday. Congratulations, and keep your eyes open for "Full Grown Men" in your area (including your cable box.)

iW Critics' Poll Reactions

With the full-list of film picks from 106 film critics' now up on indieWIRE ("There Will Be Blood" was the runaway favorite) , the reactions are starting to roll in. GreenCine called it "one of the major events of the cinematic year," the Sun-Times said "this is going to be a Netflix list," and SlashFilm is asking "WTF?" about critics (we all do sometimes.) Our own analysis of the poll continues today at indieWIRE.

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