In her article “Home Screen” for the Summer 2013 issue of Filmmmaker Magazine, Mary Anderson Casavant takes us inside the IFP “Made in NY” Media Center in DUMBO Brooklyn – due to open October 2013.
I was interviewed for the article, in which I share my thoughts on what it means for New York’s new media community, the challenges the center could face, and how the “Made in NY” Media Center could help establish the business of new media.
Casavant writes “An 18,000-square foot facility at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn, the Media Center will be an incubator for new artists, entrepreneurs and companies working in software development, mobile, gaming and multiplatform storytelling. It will offer educational classes in media and technology, exhibit work in a gallery and screening room and be a hub for new media in New York’s growing DUMBO district. And, significantly, the center will offer residencies for selected transmedia artists, an opportunity that will give the artists ‘a stamp of approval in quality, as well as access to mentors, classes and angel investors,’ says IFP Executive Director Joana Vincent.”
Below is an outtake from my interview with the team at Filmmaker Magazine. You can read Mary Anderson Casavant’s complete article with a paid digital subscription of Filmmaker Magazine, or on the newsstand.
FM: Is there a real need in the tech and transmedia communities for such a center? How important are physical spaces in an age of digital communication when it comes to the bringing together of artists and technologists?
SH: Some creators may find it helpful, but I don’t think it’s necessary to the work. Operating in the digital space, we’ve made an art of making something out of nothing. Working in our bedrooms, our apartments, a cleaned out corner of the garage. We’re a resourceful bunch. And we’re modular by nature. We collaborate online. We shift. We adapt. If we enter a physical space, we do our work and then we’re gone. I don’t know if we need four permanent walls. Maybe. We might not know what to do with them.
SH: In terms of networking, I think the Media Center could do a lot. But it would need to be a diverse and exciting environment. I think the biggest, and maybe the most important thing the Media Center could do is serve as a symbol. A stake in the ground. It’s like Silvercup Studios. We’ve always known movies are made in New York, but it wasn’t until you could see that giant building with the words SILVERCUP STUDIOS did people start thinking of New York as a legitimate movie-making city. Places like this show that we mean business.
FM: What potential opportunities does the center offer New York storytellers and technologists, and what are potential pitfalls the IFP might experience in running it?
SH: I think there are a lot of storytellers working in the classic formats of narrative – film, publishing, TV – that are eager to push themselves into the world of new media because of the opportunities it holds. It helps to have something like the Media Center, because it gives people a concrete place to go and immediately start immersing in the culture. That said, I think spaces like this can fall victim to a few things – 1) Being overrun by a sterile corporate ethos 2) Eliciting an obnoxious start-up incubator vibe 3) Being too expensive for artists/entrepreneurs to use on a regular basis.
FM: With so much innovation occurring at the grass roots, fan level, by users unaffiliated with institutions, what do you think the Media Center must do to properly engage a community?
SH: It needs to showcase good work. And compelling stories. Not just new technology and methodologies. It needs to have good taste.
Read Mary Anderson Casavant full article with a paid digital subscription of Filmmaker Magazine >
Other Articles on the “Made in NY” Media Center:
INDIEWIRE: ‘Made in NY’ Media Center by IFP Prepares for October Opening >
FAST COMPANY: How The “Made In Ny” Media Center Will Connect Filmmakers And Entrepreneurs >
Filmmaker Magazine cover image courtesy of Filmmaker Magazine. All other images courtesy of IFP “Made in NY” Media Center and MESH Architectures.