Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jeff Gomez and Starlight Runner

Jeff Gomez is one of leading experts at transmedia storytelling in the world will be talking to class today.  His childhood was spent in the housing projects on Manhattan’s Lower East Side graduating from Queens College in 1985.

Jeff is the CEO of Starlight Runner Entertainment and has worked on such projects as Pirates of the Caribbean, Microsoft's Halo, Avatar, Transformers and Mattel's Hot Wheels.  Gomez’s company was launched in 2000 with partner and Vice President Mark Pensavalle. They focus on turning intellectual property/story into transmedia successes. They also work on the story and create a book of worlds for each, so when the story moves from movie to video game, the video game creators can follow the same story and learn all there is to know about the story world.

Today he will talk about his "Never Surrender" philopshy and his life in the business of transmedia storytelling.  He has given his "Never Surrender" motivational speech to more than 120,000 students in over 1,000 venues.

His bio on Starlight Runner reads, Prior to launching Starlight Runner with partner Mark Pensavalle in 2000, Jeff Gomez was a prominent figure in the adventure game and video game industries serving as a producer for Acclaim Entertainment’s comic book division. He helped create the Acclaim Comics super hero universe, in addition to adapting Valiant Comics super heroes into videogames for Nintendo and PlayStation consoles. Characters, concepts and game-play Jeff conceived, wrote and produced for Acclaim’s Turok, Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil helped that franchise to gross over $420 million. Turok was recently revived as a new videogame franchise from Disney Interactive and as an animated feature from Starz Entertainment.

In addition to serving as a brand extension consultant to such corporations as Disney, Microsoft, 20th Century Fox, Coca-Cola, Scholastic, Wieden+Kennedy, Mattel, Showtime, Konami and Hasbro, Jeff has also delivered his seminar, Creating Blockbuster Worlds: Developing Highly Successful Transmedia Franchises, to the MITFutures of Entertainment Conference, Game Developers Conference, International Game Developers Association, the NewTeeVee Conference, the New York State Bar Association and the Producers Guild of America.  A board member of the Producers Guild of America with over 20 years experience developing, writing and producing content, Jeff has been featured and quoted in such periodicals as Forbes, Business Week, Los Angeles Times, Variety, Investors Business Daily, Publishers Weekly, Produced By, Wizard, and Animation, and he has been profiled on MTV News and American Latino.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

IFP Media Center Road Trip

The IFP Media Center opened in September  in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The Made in NY Media Center by IFP is a multi-disciplinary creative space with over 20,000 square feet at 30 John Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The space was until recently a split-level shipping/receiving/truck parking area.  The space is sliced into several sections wi th the lower area acting as a large incubator and the upper area a short-term open workspace for creatives in the media fields.  The space includes classrooms, conference rooms, editing rooms as well as a screening room, library, cafe, and rest rooms.  The Media Center website tells:

DUMBO has long been home to individuals and companies with equal parts creativity and business acumen. The combined density and diversity of the neighborhood, and New York City as a whole, allows us to tap into an abundant wealth of knowledge and industry – from Madison Avenue to Wall Street and the Tech Triangle to independent content creators all over our bustling city.  Historically, 30 John Street has been home to creative types. Starting with Arbuckles Ariosa Coffee in the late 1800s, the building was originally home to a growing coffee factory. The Arbuckle Brothers, inventors in their own right, designed a machine that efficiently roasted, ground and packaged coffee for mass distribution. In later years, the space had subsequent incarnations as a whiskey storehouse for the Kinsey Distilling Company and a warehouse for A&S, Brooklyn’s leading department store. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the space was repurposed for offices and studios for creative professionals.  As home of the Media Center, the space will return to its original function as a site for manufacturing—but this time around, the incubator at 30 John Street will brew stories and ideas. And instead of products leaving the doors via railway car or ship, these digital creations will be beamed around the world to be uploaded, downloaded, streamed—and perhaps even shown on a local screen near you.

To learn more read this article from Fast Company

The space is intended to give media projects and media creatives a chance to work indepently and creatively in a community.  Check out the Color Project:

The Color Project at IFP Media Center from MPC Digital on Vimeo.

Black Girls Code

Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code wrote,

When I was first introduced to computer programming, as a freshman in Electrical Engineering, Fortran and Pascal were the popular languages for newbies in computing and the Apple Macintosh was the new kid on the block. I remember being excited by the prospects, and looked forward to embarking on a rich and rewarding career after college.

But I also recall, as I pursued my studies, feeling culturally isolated: few of my classmates looked like me. While we shared similar aspirations and many good times, there’s much to be said for making any challenging journey with people of the same cultural background.  Much has changed since my college days, but there’s still a dearth of African-American women in science, technology, engineering and math professions, an absence that cannot be explained by, say, a lack of interest in these fields. Lack of access and lack of exposure to STEM topics are the likelier culprits.  By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up.  That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.  Imagine the impact that these curious, creative minds could have on the world with the guidance and encouragement others take for granted. I have, and I can’t wait! 

You can find out more about Black Girls Code on their blog.