Mingle Media TV Sponsors 2nd “Audience Choice” Category at Upcoming 3rd New Media Film Festival

MMTVN expands Audience Choice category sponsorship in the New Media Film Festival 2012, for web series, live stream, and trailers. Online voting by fans will create additional buzz to support new media filmmakers and independent content creators.

Online media and live web TV network company; Mingle Media.TV announced today that they will be expanding the categories that they sponsor for the “Audience Choice” category in the New Media Film Festival. The new categories “trailers” and “live stream web shows” will join the “web series” category and will benefit from online promotion, visibility to distributors, prizes totally over $5,000 as well as the opportunity to have their project selected to screen at the 2012 New Media Film Festival.

The New Media Film Festival brings together Industry Professionals and Content Creators across Film, TV, Games, Publishing, Mobile, Web, and Tech. The two-day event features the Best of New Media and includes Short Films, Mobile, Games, Web, iApps, Animation, Music Videos, Digital Comics, Web Series, Live Stream, Technology Platforms, and New Film Technologies. Screenings include Sundance, Cannes, and World Premieres as well as the best talent working in new media.

“We’re excited to support the New Media Film Festival by sponsoring the “Audience Choice” category for these three areas of growth.” Said Stephanie Piche, Executive Producer, Mingle Media TV. “With more and more independent digital film makers creating projects, we wanted to showcase their work through the online voting to help them gain exposure and find new fans.”

Call for Entries: New Media Film Festival
The New Media Film Festival is now accepting entries for the June 2012 Festival including the Mingle Media TV “Audience Choice” sponsorship.

The “Audience Choice” categories invite web series and LIVE stream video creators who have three or more episodes, less than 60 minutes in length to submit their project in the following unscripted and scripted genres: Action/Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Horror, Music/Performing Arts, Mystery, Romance, Sci-Fi, Special Interest, Sport/Fitness, and War. Filmmakers can also submit a pilot or trailer that is under 3 minutes in length to the competition. The audience gets to vote online for their favorite submissions in two rounds of voting before the winners are selected. The Grand Prize winners will be announced at the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, 2012. For more details, please visit: http://www.minglemediatv.com/NMFFAudienceChoice.html.

Mingle Media TV currently broadcasts over 100 live and episodic web TV interactive programs each week. MMTVN has produced over 6,000 hours of live stream interactive talk shows where audience members can interact with hosts and viewers online or via mobile devices. Show sponsors and advertisers benefit from an integrated ad approach, where the hosts talk about products, which later become meta-tagged content on the Internet within social networks as part of their sponsorship.

About New Media Film Festival
The New Media Film Festival brings together Industry Professionals and Content Creators across Film, TV, Games, Publishing, Mobile, Web and Tech. Founded by Independent Filmmaker, Susan Johnston and launching in Los Angeles, June 2010, the three-day event features the Best of New Media and includes Short Film, Mobile, Games, Web, iApps, Animation, Technology Platforms, and New Film Technologies. New Media Film Festival-SF Bay Area is produced in partnership with Producers Guild of America, NATPE, IAWTV, and San Francisco Writers Conference. New Media Film Festival (San Francisco and Los Angeles) are currently accepting submissions athttp://www.NewMediaFilmFestival.com. For more information about the Festival and/or sponsorships, please contact Susan Johnston, the Founder, and Director of the New Media Film Festival, at 310-288-1100 or info@NewMediaFilmFestival.com

About Mingle Media
 TV Network
MMTVN is an online media and interactive web TV network that executive produces, curates, and broadcasts 100 weekly web series shows along with entertainment industry event coverage. Our video coverage, web series and live broadcasts are promoted via Twitter, blog posts, Facebook and other popular social networks; in addition to airing live on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android platforms and syndicated through Blip.TV and over 15 syndication sites including AOL Video, YouTube, Samsung, Vizio, MeeFeedia, Blinkx, Daily Motion, Boxee, Roku and as an iTunes podcast. Our audience reach online is over 250,000 weekly views of our video coverage, web series and live broadcasts and are currently in the top 20,000 websites in the US. MMTVN’s live web TV shows feature lifestyle subject matter experts and social media content providers from celebrities, authors to bloggers including executive producing two shows with Emmy award winners. MMTVN has expanded its curation of web series with a growing number of independently produced shows from science fiction to drama, action to teen soaps now playing on the network. In addition to curating produced webseries, MMTVN is promoting and securing sponsors for INDIE creators. MMTVN also covers Hollywood celebrity and charity events from the red carpet and behind the scenes. MMTVN has covered the Oscars on the Red Carpet along with Golden Globes, IPTVFest, HollyShorts, LA Shorts Fest, AOF Fest, Daytime Emmys, Saturn Awards, Streamy Awards, People’s Choice, NAACP, SAG , plus numerous Web Series Premieres and A-list Celebrity Fundraisers. Mingle Media TV is also sponsoring the Audience Choice Category in the New Media Film Festival for Web Series Creators. For more information, please visithttp://www.minglemediatvnetwork.com.

Funny thing happened along the way to the NMFF Web Series Audience Choice Awards…

It seems like a long time in the making… but when you’re working with a live film festival that has two events a year (Los Angeles and San Francisco) you want to get as much exposure for the content creators as you can… you learn a lot about the community at large and what you can do to make the next round even better.

Our goal originally was to help web series creators showcase their series in an online Festival that was an IMDb qualifier to help them get credits while participating in the festival. We created a specially branded webpage for each series with keywords, branding, contact info and links back to their website, Facebook and Twitter pages right on it and a player that had all their episodes in order. This model is a win-win for the series creators – they get new people to discover their content during the course of the online voting time period, Mingle Media TV promotes them on a regular basis for votes on Twitter, Facebook and their website, the content creators get their fans to support them, they get IMDb credits, exposure in a film festival dedicated to new media, a chance to be screened at the festival, and they get the views on their YouTube channel.

This year we had 57 entries from five countries – not bad for our first year. But we also saw that many entrants just put their series in and really never promoted it for voting. If it is just to get the Laurels for entering – that’s disappointing. We also saw that many creators who are not very Internet savvy, missing out on the benefits of participating in the retweeting and reposting of our promotion. In fact, we even saw some of their fans complaining that we were promoting the series they LIKED on Facebook…

On My Soapbox

Yes, I'm on my Soap Box...

One of the many benefits of creating indie content online is that you can do what you want…. no restrictions by ratings organizations. Same with film festivals – you meet their criteria, you get exposure and who knows what else. Mingle Media TV is an online, interactive TV Network – yes, I said TV. As a society we are programmed with the terms “Movies & TV” for entertainment. As a marketing expert, you learn that you brand and message to the lowest common denominator – so making up new ways to describe what you’re doing doesn’t work unless people adopt it globally. Think Xerox versus copier, Kleenex versus tissues, Bandaid versus adhesive strip – great examples of how a brand became the thing – and is used as a global term. The world is changing and the convergence of mainstream TV shows streaming through the Internet is happening now.

Indie web series creators have been here for a long time – especially considering the Internet is so new. Creators have had the home field advantage and only a few of them have grasped the reality of the need for audience, marketing, branding and building community. Creating for art or yourself and not caring if you are adopted by the masses or found is totally fine. However, most creators want to have that audience reach and have sponsors and compete with mainstream TV shows. But they lack in the basics of the medium they have chosen to publish to.

In the past several months, I have been working with Rich from Web Series Network to try to help creators with these issues, education. Much to my dismay, many of the complaints on why more creators and producers are not joining in is no time or money. Then why complain about not having an audience – this is not the Field of Dreams, if you build it they will come…. I have also been slammed for not doing it for free? Really? Everything you need to know about SEO, promoting and marketing your content is available with a GOOGLE SEARCH, so why should I give away my time and knowledge if there’s nothing in it for me? On top of all we do at Mingle Media TV for our community members, asking for more free for those who are not members of our community is pretty insulting. We partner with Slebisodes.com to hold a weekly #WebSeriesChat and share ideas and interview hot web series creators to help open up dialog and community, I am a regular participant at the Web Series Network, I am a regular speaker at industry events, sharing my knowledge and we promote webseries at premieres, festivals and yet… there are a few voices who feel that I should not be charging for what I know. (funny cause there are several others out there who do and you don’t seem to be saying anything to them…. wonder why?)

We are on Internet time people, and while you are sitting back and spouting off more excuses why you cannot promote, market or build audience rather than just digging in and setting goals and making it happen… the rest of the world including traditional TV are moving into your HOOD and they are taking YOUR audience. Wonder why no one finds you… you are not doing anything. Personally speaking, when someone tells me I can’t do it or won’t be successful at it… I set my mind to showing them how wrong they are…. what does hearing that do to you??

Business of Web Series Boot Camp

Business of Web Series Boot Camp

Mingle Media TV Network will be offering several boot camps starting the first of June through their newest division: The Business of Web Series. These bootcamps will be offered to the series who are hosted on Mingle Media TV as well as the series who enter the next round of competition for the New Media Film Festival. We also offer our services for a fee –  and guess what, we get paid fees by TV shows and other new media producers to create winning programs for them…. That’s how we survive without trying to make pennies on banner ads (ever wonder why we don’t have “ads on our site”???  - cause we monetize smartly).

With that said – we want to make this next year of competition that much better for new media producers – web series creators and we are going to start with our Business of Web Series Boot Camp program. We are all about positive change and helping the community, but we are also about doing it on our terms and with those who want to participate in a program that will help them secure their place on the Internet.

Don’t forget  - today is the last day to vote for the 21 finalists in the 1st Annual Audience Choice Awards in the New Media Film Festival Sponsored by Mingle Media TV Network… vote 1 time per series… support your community. Winners announced at the festival red carpet on the 20th LIVE streaming on Mingle Media TV.

Finalists in the #AudienceChoice Category: New Media Film Festival Announcement

Okay everyone… as promised, here are the finalists in the 2011 New Media Film Festival‘s Audience Choice Awards category, sponsored by Mingle Media TV Network.

One thing we want to share as you review the finalists is the date they entered the competition for votes – it didn’t matter if it was 2 days before voting ended or six months, they got their fan-base to support them. We did end up with 21 finalists as there was a tie for 20th place.

Congrats to all finalists and to everyone who entered the competition – please be sure to grab your laurels for your site to promote your involvement in this festival.

Finalist Audience Choice Awards 2011

Click here to VOTE for the 21 Finalists in the #AudienceChoice Awards

Webseries Entry Votes Voting Started
Travel Companions 4289  08-Feb-2011
The Unemployment of Danny London 629  24-Sep-2010
Crossing Blood Lines 396  29-Jan-2011
Lien on Me 343  24-Sep-2010
Masculathon 298  27-Mar-2011
Oblivion 239  24-Sep-2010
Illegal 228  24-Sep-2010
Looking at You 224  20-Feb-2011
Secret Millionaires 189  24-Sep-2010
CYPHERS 177  24-Sep-2010
The R.I.P. Files 172  12-Feb-2011
Shes Just Not That Into You 168  12-Mar-2011
Inappropriate Fairy Tales 141  24-Sep-2010
World of Holly Woodlands 136  28-Apr-2011
Miss Behave 133  08-Feb-2011
Asylum Web Series 132  28-Jan-2011
Sweet Tarts Take Away 129  09-Apr-2011
Naomi: The Show 115  28-Jan-2011
McCracken LIVE! 115  04-Jan-2011
The Puzzle Makers Son 113  24-Sep-2010
Cupid and Eros 113  28-Apr-2011

Tips for Final Voting Success:

There are many things that helped the finalists get their fans to vote for them… the following list are a few things that everyone who creates content for the web should be doing – not just for competitions but for views / audience and community building:

Twitter:

  • Follow people back (you don’t have to follow MLM, #TeamFollowBack or other “self-proclaimed Social Media Experts but definitely industry people)
  • Thank people for following you, introduce yourself, start a convo
  • ReTWEET people who promote you (there’s nothing worse than having someone tweet your promo to vote for you and you don’t thank them or RETWEET the message in honor of them)
  • Support your fellow creator – RETWEET their series announcements
  • Links matter – tweet YOUR series link in your tweets – use a shortener to get it all in 140 characters
Facebook:
  • Post your episodes, community activities (other creators) and info related to the industry on your page – it’s not all about you, sharing is caring
  • Link to your content on other sites
  • Embed videos so people can watch while on Facebook
  • LIKE other creator’s pages – help them get the word out and they will respond in kind
Blog Posts:
  • Start a blog and write a post a week telling your fan base what you’re doing
  • Embed an episode and tell the back story about the episode or interesting fact
  • Ask your fans what they liked or didn’t like about it
YouTube
  • Use META TAGS, keywords to keep your content together on the page
  • YouTube will bring up other similar content from other people if you don’t
  • Keep your titles uniform and add a description with links back to your site, twitter, facebook so people can find you
  • Use annotations and create hotspots with links as a call to action
If you are creating for the Interwebs and are NOT building fans or community, ask yourself why not…. are you doing the above? If you are and still not getting anywhere… it’s time to ask a professional how to change things up for you.

Hot off the press! Mingle Media TV Network Announces Expansion into Indie Web Series Productions, Branded Entertainment

MMTVN’s expansion will bring more web series creators together to learn about the business of web series, help produce new series and bring brands in to sponsor shows and build engaging campaigns to new audiences, no matter what screen they watch.

Announcing the Expanded Mingle Media TV Network

Announcing the Expanded Mingle Media TV Network

 

Online media and interactive web TV network, Mingle Media TV, announced today that they have added three new divisions to their Indie entertainment community. The new divisions are focused on production of web series, branded entertainment and red carpet coverage, building awareness of Indie web series with a new weekly screening LIVE broadcast and support for creators, and the business of web series division to support the business side of producing web series. Mingle Media TV is currently the only community that offers live and produced web TV shows along with celebrity reporting with their Red Carpet Report.

Mingle Media TV Network (MMTVN) celebrated its first year in operation on February 8, 2011, and currently broadcasts 70 shows on their site, has produced over 800 video interviews from the red carpet including the Oscars and over 1,500 hour long web TV talk shows. MMTVN distributes their content using social media networks from Facebook to Twitter and syndicates video distribution to the most popular destination sites from YouTube to Daily Motion. They also publish their video content to streaming media set-top boxes such as Boxee and Roku.

The planned expansion will bring the content that is hosted on MMTVN to more platforms such as Google TV, and expanding their current offering for produced content to Apps via Apple, Blackberry and Android formats. MMTVN’s LIVE stream partner, Stickam, has Apps for watching and chatting in real-time which have become quite popular for viewing live web shows along with Facebook and Twitter integration to reach the audience where they are most comfortable watching. Other planned tools will be an integrated program guide with show reminders, check-in and loyalty programs beyond the current Clicker.com integration, and a web series directory and monthly calendar for events, show schedules, premieres and meet-ups around the globe.

MMTVN’s production services expansion will bring the resources together for both creating and marketing Indie projects including bringing together a group of creators, writers, producers and actors who will work together on projects. Red Carpet coverage for hire outside of the traditional events that MMTVN covers will be monetized and the launch of a new daily savings coupon program with a video component called, Daily Savings TV will start across the country.

The Business of Web Series division is both a boot camp and a consulting arm where web series creators can learn how to create business plans and market their projects, how to promote and get publicity along with monetizing their series through sponsorships and product placement deals. MMTVN will offer these services to series that are hosted on their site as part of a partner program being released later this week. Series creators who are not hosted on MMTVN can subscribe to these services through a program fee or hourly consulting fee.

“Mingle Media TV Network is focused on bringing Indie entertainment to the audience, not the screen,” said Stephanie Piche, CEO and Executive Producer of Mingle Media TV. “We support Indie creators by helping them continue to disrupt traditional entertainment and take advantage of the growth of video being watched on all screens. Our goal is to bring in brand sponsors who are looking for niche audiences and want to connect on a more personal level as part of a social TV experience.”

Mingle Media TV has successfully used traditional and social media marketing techniques to build and grow awareness for their community online. Many of the MMTVN shows have national sponsors that benefit from both the live web show audience on Mingle Media TV to the creators own community where daily mentions, blog posts and recommendations are authentic and powerful. Mingle Media TV founder, Stephanie Piche, believes it’s important to bring back sponsorships and use the conversation that social networks offer to build awareness and commerce. Piche has over twenty years experience in bringing startups and products to market and has created and managed branded campaigns with great success and has seen first hand how the power of investing in content not ads builds a brand name authentically and exponentially.

Find out more about these new divisions by going to the Mingle Media TV Network’s new corporate umbrella site at http://www.minglemediatvnetwork.com. If you’re interested in contacting MMTVN for more information, please visit the website and submit a request via email or by phone.

About Mingle Media TV Network

MMTVN is an online media and interactive web TV network that executive produces, curates, and broadcasts 65 weekly web series shows along with entertainment industry event coverage. Our video coverage, web series and live broadcasts are promoted via Twitter, blog posts, Facebook and other popular social networks; in addition to airing live on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android platforms and syndicated through Blip.TV and over 15 syndication sites including AOL Video, YouTube, Samsung, Vizio, MeeFeedia, Blinkx, Daily Motion, Boxee, Roku and as an iTunes podcast. Our audience reach online is over 250,000 weekly views of our video coverage, web series and live broadcasts and is currently in the top 20,000 websites in the US. MMTVN’s live web TV shows feature lifestyle subject matter experts and social media content providers from celebrities, authors to bloggers including executive producing two shows with Emmy award winners. MMTVN has expanded its curation of web series with a growing number of independently produced shows from science fiction to drama, action to teen soaps now playing on the network. In addition to curating produced webseries, MMTVN is promoting and securing sponsors for INDIE creators. MMTVN also covers Hollywood celebrity and charity events from the red carpet and behind the scenes. MMTVN has covered the Oscars, Emmy’s and Golden Globes events; WIN Awards, HollyShorts, LA Shorts Fest, AOF Fest, Saturn Awards, Streamy Awards, People’s Choice, NAACP, SAG, plus numerous Web Series Premieres and A-list Celebrity Fundraisers. Mingle Media TV is also sponsoring the Audience Choice Category in the New Media Film Festival for Web Series Creators. For more information on MMTVN Entertainment, please visit http://www.minglemediatv.com. For the Business of Web Series, visit www.businessofwebseries.com, for MMTVN productions, visit www.mmtvnproductions.com, and for MMTVN Screenings, visit www.mmtvnscreenings.com.

Web Series Creators Need to Get Savvy! Continuation of #WebSeriesChat Conversation

As you may know, I’m the co-host of the weekly #WebSeriesChat on Twitter and each week we chat about the business of “web series” in 140 characters. There seems to be a recurring theme in the chat which is somewhat due to new creators finding our weekly chat and some of the regulars still not figuring out all the pieces. So, I thought I’d share some of my knowledge with you in this post and hopefully inspire you to see the glass half full – not empty.

First, I have questions for webseries creators – are you creating art or do you want this to be your business? There is no wrong answer to this question. But this blog post is focused on the creators who want this to be a business – to get paid, sponsored, and continue to create.

There are several elements to launching any “product” and as a creator you need to have a plan and work the plan. As a professional marketing strategist, I spend a lot of time watching and reading trends in the industry that I work in. (In my career I have launched over 35 software/mobile products from startups in Silicon Valley to Fortune 500. You can read my resume at LinkedIn if you’d like to see more.) I consult with a lot of different companies including TV Shows about using social and new media marketing to engage with their target audience and getting sponsor love.

When I started pitching web shows over 2.5 years ago, I had to have some research to support the reasons why the brand / advertiser should sponsor my site / and shows. This is what some people refer to as marketing “spin” and it works if done well and in a way that makes YOU the trusted source. With that said – here are some questions and answers that might help you with your quest to build audience and get sponsored.

Question 1 – How many people do you need to have watching YOUR content to be valuable to an advertiser?

I got pretty frustrated seeing some comments today about needing a HUGE audience to get a sponsor. Not true. If you believe you can’t do something – guess what, you won’t. If you have a good product, a good presentation, know your audience potential and USE the Internet then you can get a sponsor. Now this does not mean you should not be building an audience while you are writing, filming, editing and producing your webseries. You should be a social media expert – you’re creating on the web – use it. Facebook, Twitter, connect with bands on Myspace and make a partnership where you promote their music and they promote your series (no more garageband music for your opening).

Here’s what you need to know – the value of a fan is worth something to the brand. You have fans. 100 – 1,000, 10,000. They have value – especially if you are talking to an advertiser who wants to reach YOUR audience. Let’s say your series is in the Teen Horror genre and you have 1,000 Facebook fans and your series gets 5,000 views an episode.

Value of A Facebook Fan

Value of A Facebook Fan

You find a sponsor who wants to reach the teen audience, you share with them your “social media savvy” i.e. community that you’ve built from your blog, press mentions, video, distribution, Twitter and Facebook activity. And you use these channels to post messages about your sponsors even asking your FANS to LIKE the sponsors… what’s that worth to the sponsor? There are a number of studies that show the engagement of a Facebook fan being greater than any other social media platform out there.

Additionally, these fans are also valuable to the brand this graphic shows the value at over $136 per LIKE. If you use your social media marketing arm and ask your fan base to LIKE your sponsors – and they get 1,000 LIKES from your community – that’s a perceived value of $136,000. Imagine getting 10% of that to create your season 1 of your series and then having a guaranteed season II when you double that audience and the fan base for you and your sponsor?

OH – and here are a few other things to think about when you worry about “video views”… If you are engaging an audience online – they don’t have to watch the video to talk about YOU and your project.

- 10,000 views translate to 10,000 people watched all or part of your video

What it doesn’t tell is how many places that video is embedded on (benefit of YouTube being easy to embed in reviews, articles, blog posts, social networking sites). It also doesn’t tell how many links to the video are out there with comments about the video, how many people on Facebook have seen the brand name associated with your project as the sponsor. It does not tell how many people were exposed to the brand and your project without ever watching the video or what the quality or influence of the viewer is on and offline.

This is where I use the marketing spin… the unknown can be a positive thing.

Oh, here’s ONE more fact for you: the entire Internet digital video market (advertising revenue) is around $1.1 Billion. Guess where $500 million of that comes from? The premium TV shows found on Hulu.com and other sites. There is $60 Billion spent on traditional TV advertising. We’re just getting started in tipping the digital advertising dollars towards digital web content. This means that video advertising inventory is scarce – and offering a brand a special social media engagement might net out more value to them as they are investing in content – banner ads are NOT content.

Online Video Viewership Growth Fast Facts:

  • 32% more people watched video online (Dec ’09 to Dec ’10)
  • 12% more time watching video content in Dec ’10 – i.e. 14 hours average
  • Watching TV online at the networks site grew 82% (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox)
  • Multi-Screen Viewing Habits are growing TV, Computer, Mobile with 68.2% of US Internet users watching video each month (158.1 million people)

Why you need to get Internet Savvy? The average number of sites that 70% of consumers visit is 20 and only about 16% of Internet consumers are trying new sites… if there are 158 million people watching video online today, you need to start thinking outside of the box to reach them.

Question 2: What’s your genre? Where do people go on the Internet to chat about it?

Fan forums, communities, search Twitter conversations (that’s what the SEARCH bar is for in Twitter) engage with people who are passionate about what your theme is… Start sharing what you are doing, get people to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, your YouTube channel.

Bottom line – don’t wait until you have produced your series to start engaging with your audience. Use the different social media outlets, post photos, story lines, character info while you’re creating your project – get engagement. You need to get on Internet time… and you need to get savvy about the business of online video.

Question 3: Do you know what a Meta-tag is? Do you use them? Do you ask for comments and Ratings? Do you use Hotspots and Annotations?

I can’t begin to tell you how many videos I have watched on YouTube that just have a name as the title – no description and 2 words in the tags. REALLY? No one will find you in search. Oh and Google is the #1 Search Engine with about 70% of all global searches…. and who is #2? YouTube. No one will find you if no one can find you. Put descriptions and links on your videos – to your website, twitter, facebook – make it easy for people to find you. Use more than 2 keywords in the tags! Use the space in the title to tell people what your video is.

Did you know that 43% of YouTube’s top 100 videos are from YouTube partners? Ray William Johnson has six of the top 20 spots. Do you know how he does this? (1) He asks for comments and ratings with specific questions about what you just watched. ShaneDawsonTV has gotten 70K comments because he asked for them. (2) Incorporate your viewer feedback – you can make your episodes longer, improve sound, lighting or whatever the feedback is and your audience will love you for it – in fact why not do what Ray does and give viewers credit for helping improve his content. (3) Use hotspots and annotations: after a viewer watches your video on YouTube guess what – something “related” comes up and it’s probably NOT something YOU created. When your credits are rolling at the end create an annotation and hotspot to drive people to your website, fan page or twitter. ASK and they will follow you – especially if they liked what you created.

This concludes my blog rant… I hope that it has given you some good food for thought and that next week on #WebSeriesChat you come with some tips for the chat about what you’ve discovered that works for you rather than make blanket statements that you don’t have enough views.

Win this Amazing Gift Basket from New Media Film Festival Sponsors

Nothing more fun than a giveaway from the wonderful people who sponsor New Media Film Festival events. We got wind of this basket of essentials for anyone in the Entertainment industry and thought we’d share it with you – our viewers. It’s easy to enter to win … really! Just follow @NewMediaFF on Twitter! One lucky follower will be selected on December 20th 2010.

New Media Film Festival Gift Basket Giveaway

New Media Film Festival Gift Basket Giveaway - Follow @NewMediaFF to enter to win today!

San Francisco – New Media Film Festival Starts Friday 11/5 (Discount Code Ends Tonight 30% Savings)

New Media Film Festival - San Francisco Event

New Media Film Festival - San Francisco Event November 5-6 2010

The New Media Film Festival, Forum & Market brings you the Best In New Media

What’s New, What’s Next… Honoring Stories Worth Telling

TWO DAYS ONLY: Friday, November 5 & Sat. 6 2010  Viz Cinema 1746 Post Rd. San Francisco CA

Schedule: http://bit.ly/dtvA14Program Guide: http://bit.ly/akHLWuTickets: http://ow.ly/2xHIl

Join us in San Francisco This Weekend! Save 30% on Passes until Midnight tonight! Discount Code: GoldenGate30 at checkout here http://ow.ly/2xHIl

Full Schedule Online & Ticket Information:

http://www.newmediafilmfestival.com/newmediatickets.php

New Media Film Festival San Francisco Area : November 5-6, 2010

FRIDAY, November 5th, 2010

TRACK ONE

9:15AM Welcome Address

9:30AM Coffee Chat with Keynote Steve Perlman, CEO, OnLive.com: Honoring Stories Worth Telling From Multiple Directions We live in a conflux space where traditional Hollywood, Publishing, Games and Media are all intersecting at a faster rate aided by technology, media professionals & consumer adoption.  No matter how diverse our backgrounds or interests are, what we all share and need are great stories.

Steve Perlman, CEO, Onlive.com

11:00AM            New Dialogue, Voices & Avenues: Finding Where You Fit In

Within the buzzwords, “New Media”, “Transmedia” & “Cross-Platform” there are a lot of new opportunities for content creators.  Hear what some of Hollywood’s leading Guilds have to say about their involvement & outreach in New Media.  See how storytellers, producers & performers are finding new avenues & opportunities.

  • Philippa Burgess, Co-Director of New Media Film Festival-SF Bay Area & Partner at Creative Convergence (Moderator)
  • Larry Schlessinger, Industry Outreach Chair, Producers Guild of America-Northwest (PGA-NW)
  • Melodie Shaw, Lead Organizer, WGA, West
  • Michael Ajakwe Jr., Founder & Executive Director-Los Angeles Web Series Festival, WGA, Member
  • Alejandro Franchesci, President, Tempest Digital Inc.

12:30PM            Challenges & Victories of Producing Content That Can Change the World

Socially Responsible Content (SRC) & Green Production.  What is it? Why are people creating it?  What are the challenges?  What are the benefits?  How do you get the audience to care?  Where are we seeing a difference? How do we know that our efforts are making an impact?

  • Susan Johnston, Founder/Director of New Media Film Festival & President, Select Services Films Inc. (Moderator)
  • Amy Jacobson Kurokawa, President, Producers Guild of America-Northwest (PGA-NW)
  • Sophia Kim, Chair of Events Committee, Producer Guild of America-Northwest (PGA-NW)
  • Mary Knipple, Board Member of Women’s National Book Association San Francisco Chapter
  • Michael Larsen, Literary Agent, Larsen Pomada Literary & Co-Founder of San Francisco Writing Conference | SF Writing For Change Conference
  • Erica Priggen, Executive Producer, Free Range Studios

2:00PM            Television Academy of Arts & Sciences Presents: The Future of TV

Is broadcast TV dead? Are the days of cable/ satellite providers numbered? What do consumers want? How in the world will they pay for it all?  Find out what’s happening as TV & entertainment are transformed by the power and intelligence of computers – Discover what that means for you as a content creator or industry professional.

  • John Gilles, VP/GM, Code & Theory, co-Chair 2011 Interactive Media Primetime Emmy Awards Working Group (Moderator)
  • Ashwin Navin, CEO, Flingo.tv
  • Amber J. Lawson, Head of Comedy Programming, Babelgum
  • Jaime Wilkinson, Producer, Star Wars: Uncut (2010 Primetime Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media – Fiction)
  • Scott Maddux, SVP, Product Development, The Nielsen Company
  • Will Wright, Creator – Bar Karma, Current TV

3:00PM            Monetizing The Crowd: Crowd Sourcing, Crowd Funding & Fan Building

Technology has changed our lives and connected our world.  Now it gives us an opportunity to tap the crowd, use their wisdom & their wallets to support artists & entrepreneurs.  Learn how these leading edge resources are empowering creative professionals & building bridges into advertisers & audiences.

  • Dan Contento, VP of Sales, DIGG (Moderator)
  • Danae Ringelmann, Founder, IndieGoGo
  • James DeJulio, Co-Founder, Tongal
  • Colleen Nystedt, CEO, MovieSet.com
  • Simone Nelson, President, Bay Area Women in Film & Media

4:00PM            Cross-Platform Content Development: Separate Paths, Common Destination

Each silo has it’s own culture, rules & contracts. The merging worlds pose many challenges for artists, producers & business affairs. Get a multi-industry perspective on the content development process & the challenges to succeed on an individual platform as well as that of taking stories across platforms. We also explore how creators & companies can think strategically from the inception of an idea.

  • Brad Kushner, Co-Director of New Media Film Festival-SF Bay Area & Partner at Creative Convergence (Moderator)
  • Jan Johnson, Publisher, Red Wheel/Weiser Books/Conari Press
  • Jennifer Joseph, Publisher, Manic D Press
  • Brian Morrisroe, Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder of Booyah!
  • Rob Tobin, Screenwriter & Author

5:00PM            Storytellers & Coders Unite: Creating Content for Mobile, ePublishing, iApps, iPad, Games, Interactive TV & Web

Who in our world can translate between those who speak the language of story & those who speak the language of code? Join us as we bring together those who write in code & in mythical structures to get the conversation started on how to unlock the untold possibilities that can come from working together.

  • Ben Parr, Co-Editor, Mashable (Moderator)
  • Daniel Steiny, Senior Manager, Market Development, Motorola
  • Haseeb Chaudhry, Founder & Director, Magnicode
  • Hung Nguyen, Director of Client Services, Sharethrough
  • Brett Seyler, VP of Strategy, Unity Technologies
  • Jason Matthews, Writer/Author

TRACK TWO

11:30AM Get Published! Your Story as a Book for the Writer or Non-Writer

If you’ve always wanted to write a book & haven’t gotten past the blank page, or have roughhewn notes on your hard-drive or a manuscript in your closet this will give you the inspiration & action plan you need to get it done.

  • Mahesh Grossman, CEO, AuthorsTeam
  • Ralph Scott, Owner & Freelance Editor, Credit the Edit

12:30PM Ask an Expert: Open Forum with Gaming Executive

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion

1:30PM Leading Edge Technology Platforms in Action

Tom Higgins, Product Evangelist, Unity Technology

2:30PM Ask an Expert: Open Forum with Publishing Professionals

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion.

3:30PM Ask an Expert: Filmmaking & Production

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion.

OPENING NIGHT FILM & VIP AFTER PARTY (VIP PASSES)

7:00PM            Opening Night Film

RIP: A Remix Manifesto: Web activist & filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century & shattering the wall between users and producers

9:00PM            VIP After Party

SATURDAY, November 6th, 2010

9:30AM Coffee Chat: Make the Perfect Pitch to Silicon Valley & Hollywood

Exchanging Different Perspectives & Gleaning Lessons from Lean Start Ups & Filmed Media Pilots

  • Neil Vasant, Technology Venture Capital & Investment Professional
  • John Adcox, Author, Screenwriter & Integrated Marketing Specialist

10:30 AM Web Series with Q&A

1) Alpha Planet: Episode 2

2010 | USA | 6:34 | Dir. Mike Darling

World Premiere

The year is 2256. For 200 years the entire human civilization has lived on the A.R.C. refuge ship & supplies are running short. Four explorers have been sent back to Earth in search of signs of new life.

2) Little Hollywood: Episode 1

2010 | USA | 6:54 | Dir. Steve Condon

Northern California Premiere

Two failing writers (D-Squared and Pati-O) are posing as Big Time Hollywood producers in Nashville, Tennessee, conning a major network into producing their script.

3) FCU – Fact Checkers Unit: Episode 8

2010 | USA | 6:48 | Dir. Dan Beers

World Premiere

FCU: Fact Checkers Unit follows the antics of two enthusiastic celebrity fact checkers who work at Dictum Magazine. In this episode: Does Alex Trebek, the true fact master, shave against the grain? Russell & Dylan search out their hero to get to the bottom of his facial hair.

4) Growing Up Guide Pup – Episode: Pier 39

2010 | USA | 5:30 | Dir. Matt & Amie Chapman

World Premiere

Growing Up Guide Pup is a weekly video series that documents the process of raising guide dogs for the blind. The first season focuses on the Chapmans’ 10th dog Ricki who is well on her way to success. * The creators, hosts & Guide Pups live in the San Francisco Bay Area

5) Keeping Up With The Downs

2010 | USA | 14:48 | Dir. Andrew Spieler

World Premiere

Keeping Up With The Downs follows three brothers forced to coexist, after years of  separation, amidst the harsh realities of life in Los Angeles. *One of the producers is from the San Francisco Bay Area

6) Cartera, Episode 2

2009 | USA | 4:37 | Dir. David O’Brien

World Premiere

Cartera is the web’s first gay and lesbian interactive superhero webseries. It’s the story of a group of gay & lesbian college students who discover their inner super human strengths.

7) The_Source

2010 | USA | 1 Minute | Dir. Marc D’Agostino

In this world, the ragged people at Survivor Post 332 must learn to trust one another & discover the secrets that can bring humanity together to save the world.

*The executive producer of The_Source lives in San Francisco.

12:00PM Documentary Feature

Second Bodies

2009 | Canada | 46 Minutes | Dir. Sandra Danilovic

World Premiere

Second Bodies features the personal stories, reflections & explorations of three women and their respective avatars in the virtual reality world of ‘Second Life’. Sandra Danilovic, the filmmaker, is the first subject and narrator framing the other two stories of her Second Life real life friends, Michele & Annette. This film poetically self-reflects on what it means to be human, a woman, an avatar, a person with a disability, someone who suffers from bipolar disorder & depression & a woman in unrequited love. *The Second Life Headquarters are located in the San Francisco Bay Area

1:00PM Shorts with Q&A

1) TELEPHONEME

2010 | USA | 2:49 | MK12

Northern California Premiere

Charts, diagrams, never-before-seen footage & accurate historical & scientific context  play on letters & phrases previously thought to be benign.

2) Red Princess Blues

2010 | USA | 11 Minutes | Dir. Alex Ferrari

Northern California Premiere-Shot on RED

In this twisted modern day fairy tale, a young teenage girl is lured into an after hours carnival tent by the sleazy rock n’ roll carnie Rimo, where she gets more than she bargained for. It is up to the mysterious Princess, the star of the new knife show at the carnival, to pull her out of the wolf’s den that she has fallen into. (not in competition) *Lead Actor, Richard Tyson is partner in a Sacramento Company

3) The Lifter Upper

2009 | USA | 11 Minutes | Dir. Micah Chambers-Goldberg

Northern California Premiere

Due to an absurd series of family tragedies, Olive is depressed. Jack, a concerned neighbor calls a Professional Lifter Upper of Spirits to remedy the situation. The Lifter Upper finds that Olive may be his toughest case yet.

4) Skip Listening

2010 | USA |11 Minutes| Dir. Christopher Shawn Shaw

What is the difference between Skip Stonewall & a room full of Deaf people? The Deaf people can hear better! However, due to a providential mishap, Skip is forced to hear like he never thought possible, with special thanks to the Deaf Community.

*Producer/Director Christopher Shaw lives in the North Bay Area.

5) Martha & Dee Visit the 5th Dimension

2010 | USA | 9:30 | Dir. Noelle Foster

World Premiere

When Martha runs away from home, she brings her invisible friend, Dee, along.  The two girls discover answers to life & the universe, including the nature of the Fifth Dimension. *This film was made in Sacramento with local crew.

2:30PM Panel Discussion: Social Media, Alternative Distribution…Trials & Tribulations of Releasing Independent Films

Get the inside story on successful festival circuit film “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” & recently released independent film “Get Low”

  • Ron Merk, President, Premiere Pictures International Inc. (Moderator)
  • Joey Rappa, Executive Producers of “Get Low” starring Bill Murray, Robert Duvall, Lucas Black, Sissy Spacek & Bill Cobbs
  • Chris Meltzer, Director of “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” & “Plagues & Pleasures of the Salton Sea”.  Director/Executive Producer at Tilapia Film

 

3:30PM SRC – Socially Responsible Content & Animation with Q&A

1) Fear Itself

2010 | USA | 6 Minutes | Dir. William Wonders

After a year in sabbatical, a pastor returns to the same pulpit where he was shot by a young man. Fear has made a home in this man’s life, affecting both he & his family. The pastor will have to face his fear as he takes to the pulpit once again.

2) Please

2010 | Philippines | 9:32 | Dir. Ngoc Phuong Vu

World Premiere

Please tells the story of two beggars living a harsh life on the street. When one of them falls ill and passes out, the other has nothing to do but ask for help from people passing by. Based on the true story.

3) The Journey Home

2010 | USA | 9 minutes | Dir. James Gambone

Northern California Premiere

The Journey Home presents a provocative & controversial vision of elder care in the future. Shot primarily in black & white, (with a surprise color montage) the viewer will enter a world of gray scale––a world where one can exist, but not fully live. It is a place where technology replaces a strong social & personal network. *Idea for this project came to being while traveling through SF Bay Area

Animation Program

1) Bot

2010 | USA | 3:35 | Dir. Mustafa Lazkani

World Premiere

In a world where all is good, a wicked 19th century scientist (Dr. Leonardo Van Uitvinding) brings Evil. After bringing life to his 19-foot tall robot invention (Bot), Dr. Leo readies himself to take over the world. He has brought life to metal in order to have metal destroy life. But Dr. Leo soon realizes that his newly born robot has no evil but rather an innocence that must be taught evil. In an unlikely tale of spirit & soul, an evil genius struggles with his very own creation of good. *Director Mustafa Lazkani lives & works in San Jose.

2) Swing

2010 | Taiwan | 4 Minutes | Dir. Yen-Ting Kuo

This story is about how living people influence the perspectives of people on the brink of death. If there was a choice for unconscious patients to decide to live or die, how would their surroundings influence that impossible choice?

5:00 PM Best of LA 2010/2011: Best of LA 2010/2011 Screening Program

1) Video Magnet Poetry

2010 | USA | 1 Minute | Dir. Amanda Poore

Video Poetry Magnets is a short film made with an iPhone at the Univer sity of Texas at Arlington. People said a single word into the camera and then their words were arranged like magnet poetry.

2) When Lynch Met Lucas

2010 | USA | 2 Minutes | Dir. Sascha Ciezata

In this hilarious animated short shot entirely with an iPhone 3G, director David Lynch recollects the time he met with George Lucas about directing Return of The Jedi.

3) The Ballad of Mary & Ernie

2010 | USA | 5 Minutes | Dir. Robert Stadd

About a full-sized sheriff in a miniature Western town. All of his friends are roughly 8 inches high, including the woman he’s going to marry. But then he meets a full-sized woman…

4) The Final Breaths of a Main Character

2010 | USA | 5 Minutes | Dir. Raul B. Fernandez

After being swept out to sea, surrounded by vultures, divers & the blaz ing sun, a boy finds himself hallucinating through what could be the final moments of his life.

5) Superstitious

2010 | UK | 4 Minutes | David Magnier

Set in a pop-up book world, this is the story of Ted, a lonely & isolat ed man, who becomes obsessed with changing his luck after break ing a mirror.

6) The Rise

2010 | USA | 17 Minutes | Garret Williams

The Rise is a story in the not-so-distant future about a generation letting go of the American Dream & a new generation adapting to life on the edge.

7) Beautifully Esther

2009 | USA | 23 Minutes | Dir. Ricardo Korda

Esther’s (85) lifeless routine is disrupted when her husband collaps es, sparking a journey that will change her attitude towards old age. Esther must decide how she wants to spend the rest of her days.

8) Goodbye Shanghai

2010 | China / USA | 13 Minutes | Dir. Adam Christian Clark

After embezzling $14 billion for the US Government, two Western bankers must survive one last night in Shanghai. Goodbye Shang hai explores the effects of Western imperialism on modern Chinese culture.

TRACK TWO

11:00AM Media Brand Workshop for Content Creators

Want to Build Your Media Platform?  Ready to Work Cross-Platform?  Learn tools & discuss strategies for telling your stories & working successfully across Hollywood, Publishing & Media

Philippa Burgess, Co-Director of New Media Film Festival-SF Bay Area & Partner, Creative Convergence Inc.

12:30PM Ask an Expert: Open Forum with Master Storytellers

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion.

2:00PM Ask an Expert: More Buzz with Community Building & PR Strategies

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion.

3:00PM Ask an Expert: Open Forum with Representation in Hollywood & Publishing

Connect with experts in an informal Q&A discussion.

4:00PM Experts in New Media Technology & Filmmaking share the Who, What, Why & How

Get the latest insight into working in animation, 2D, 3D, RED, 5d/7d & visual effects. Learn what filmmakers are doing now to maximize available resources & technology.

  • Cindy Rangel, Chief Operating Officer & Producer, Red Giant Studios
  • Michele Turnure-Salleo, Director of Filmmaker Services at San Francisco Film Society

CLOSING NIGHT FILM & VIP AFTER PARTY (VIP PASSES)

7:00 PM Narrative Feature with Q&A

God’s Ears

2008 | USA | 111 Minutes | Dir. Michael Worth

Northern California Premiere

An autistic boxer and a nomadic stripper form a tenuous friendship that helps them both to better understand the world that appears to have left them both behind. Noah Connelly (Michael Worth) is an aspiring boxer from Oakland, California. Most of Noah’s days are spent cleaning the floors at his local gym, patiently waiting for the perfect moment when he’ll finally step into the ring and his future will come into focus. To the casual observer, Noah leads an entirely unremarkable existence, but exotic dancer Alexia (Margot Farley) is far from the casual observer. One day, after crossing paths seemingly by chance, Noah begins to affect the way Alexia views the opposite sex. To this point in her life, Alexia has taken a somewhat transient approach to relationships. Now, as her friendship with Noah begins to show signs of becoming something more serious, Alexis discovers that her approach to love may hint at a deeper pain that she isn’t sure she possesses the power to confront. Encouraged by the owner of the gym (John Saxon) to introduce Alexia to his family, Noah invites her on a journey that will take her out of her comfort zone while challenging her entire perception of love. Perhaps if Alexia can find the courage to confront her deepest fears, Noah can summon the self-confidence to strap on the gloves and prove himself as a true pugilist.

*Director Michael Worth was raised in the Bay Area, and over half of the film was shot locally.

The closing night after party for VIP pass holders will follow the screening.

Opening & Closing Parties Loop

1) A Fairy’s Tale

2010 | USA | 21:30 | Dir. James Higgins

World Premiere

A film like no other, shot entirely with a 35mm still camera and featuring a multi-ethnic cast, A Fairy’s Tale redefines the traditional fairy tale for the modern age. Using digital still cameras to create a high definition flip book that gives the illusion of movement from a series of photographs, the technique produces a compelling black and white movie with a 1950′s film noir feel.

2) Day in the Life

2010 | USA | 36:08 | Dir. Steven McGuire

A surreal look at a day in the life of outsourcing (sperm, McDonald’s orders, executive dictation); telemarketers/telemarketed; adult diapers in casinos; the buy button in the human skull; the implanting of digital chips in willing humans.

Please note schedule is subject to change. Please call Hotel Kabuki 415-922-3200 and ask for the New Media Film Festival discount rate. Thanks.

“You are part of the New Media Film Festival Family. This is your creative sandbox.

Play-Meet-Do-Learn-Create…  Always moving forward.”

30% DISCOUNT TIL MIDNIGHT use goldengate30at checkout http://ow.ly/2xHIl

Venue: VizCinema, 1746 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94115

For Sponsor Info/Press Passes, please email info@newmediafilmfestival.com


New Media Film Festival Starts Today! Honoring the Art of Story Telling

In case you missed it and are looking for something fun to do this weekend, be sure to check out the New Media Film Festival starting today in Downtown Los Angeles. From film making to mobile consumption, there is something for everyone looking to create and find new cool ways to tell their stories – and be entertained!

Oh yeah – don’t miss the 3D webseries premiere from Safety Geeks SVI!! Tell them, Stephanie from Mingle Media TV sent you!

FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010

07:00pm – Opening Night Film – RiP: A Remix Manifesto – 09:30pm – Opening Night VIP Party

SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2010

09:45am – Webseries Program 11:00am – Panel: Experts in New Media Technology and Filmmaking share the Who, What, Why and How 01:00pm – Documentary Screening #1 – Orgasm, Inc. 03:00pm – Documentary Screening #2 – 2012:Time For Change + Site/Light 05:00pm – Shorts Program #1 07:00pm – Double Take Screening & Panel Discussion 10:00pm – Superhero Pajama Party Screening

SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010

11:00am – Panel: Social media, alternative distribution…the trials and tribulations of releasing independent films 01:00pm – Web & Mobile Content Program 02:30pm – Memories of Overdevelopment Feature Film Screening & Panel 05:00pm – Shorts Program # 2

07:00pm – Closing Night Program and Awards Ceremony – New Media & HerpesBoy 10:00pm – VIP Rooftop After Party

Located at the Downtown Independent251 S. Main Street, LA, CA 90012 (Located between W. 2nd St. & W. 3rd St.)

This event is open to All Ages-All Cultures-All New Media apply. This Film Festival is for you: Artist, Filmmaker, Producer, Director, Above and Below the line Crew, Thought Maker, Implementer that bring stories worth telling to life.

Categories for the Festival:

MOBILE - media content created with your cell phone

MOBISODE - media content created for your cell phone

WEBISODE - online media stand alone

WEBSERIES - online media multiple (series of 3 or more)

SHORTS - Media under 30 minutes

DOCUMENTARIES - Media that is non fiction

3D - Media of moving images in 3D (any length)

RED - Media shot on the RED camera (any length)

FEATURE LENGTH - Media over 30 minutes

Mingle Media TV Network to Air New Web TV Talk Show Series: In Bed With…Jeff and Melissa Debuts with Mark Gantt!

MMTVN is excited to be executive producing and broadcasting a New Web TV Series from New Media Correspondents Jeff Rago and Melissa Jun Rowley – taking an intimate look at the most interesting people making headlines today with their show “In Bed With…”

The “In Bed With…” web series is the brainchild of hosts Jeff Rago (entertainment reporter and producer) and Melissa Jun Rowley (TV and online journalist). Jeff and Melissa are the shows under-the-cover agents getting the latest scoop from some of the most interesting and influential celebrities, entrepreneurs, and activists making headlines today in both traditional and social media. The show is intelligent, fun and disarming, its pillow talk, as you’ve never seen before. The audience will be surprised what they uncover, as you never really know what’s going to come up in bed.

In the debut webisode of “In Bed With…” Jeff and Melissa interview actor, producer, writer, Mark Gantt, winner of the 2010 Best Actor Streamy Award in his starring role in the Sony Pictures Television hit series, The Bannen Way. Gantt has also written, directed, produced and edited over a dozen short films (including the award-winning Martine), as well as acted opposite Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven, Burt Reynolds in The Hollywood Sign, as well as in many other films and TV shows.

About the show hosts:

Jeff Rago is a freelance entertainment reporter and producer who has contributed to both national (Extra) and international (CNN International) l news programs as well as entertainment websites (ComingSoon.net). From red carpets to one-on-one rooms to intimate sit-downs, Jeff has gotten up close and personal with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Johnny Depp, Zach Braff, and Beyonce. Prior to his entertainment news life, Jeff spent 13 years working in the meetings and events industry sleeping in some of the most comfortable beds both nationally and internationally. Learn more about Jeff at www.jeffrago.com

Melissa Jun Rowley is a television and online journalist who has covered business news from the New York Stock Exchange for CNN Business News, red carpet glamour from the Oscars for CNN Entertainment and social action movements for Causecast. She has also produced and reported for Associated Press Television News, AMC, TV Guide Channel, E! , Entertainment and TechTV. She blogs about behind-the-scenes happenings at Hollywood events, activism, social entrepreneurship, family, love, and self-evolution. Melissa writes for the social media guide Mashable and for the LA Weekly. Melissa rarely sleeps, and she has moved around the country so much throughout her career that she has yet to invest in the kind of decadent bed she’s always dreamed of having. Perhaps, the time has come. Learn more about Melissa at www.melissajunrowley.com.