We have had a great launch of our production studio throughout 2016 and are extremely excited about 2017! Here’s the scoop of what we’ve been up to and what projects we have in production.
Through East Coast Digital’s New Media Division started by Stina Hamlin, we produced, filmed, and are in post production on the US Fund for Unicef’s first venture into the world of 360 and Virtual Reality. For the Unicef Kid Power Band initiative we went to Mozambique, Africa to film a day in the life of a child that is a part of Unicef’s Kid to Kid Radio Program in the Xai Xai province. In collaboration with Caitlin Burns, Nate Hamlin produced, co-directed, and filmed the project and it will start post production soon under the direction of Stina Hamlin who is the Post Producer of all video content for the Unicef Kid Power Band.
As part of the Women at Sundance Initiative, Stina along with Director Kiira Benzing were selected by the Women’s Impact Network of the Producers Guild of America to present and workshop THE WESTBETH STORIES VR project at a one-day Financing and Strategy Intensive or Independent Women Filmmakers. It was an honor to be hand picked and the process was rigorous and an interesting exercise in educating the traditional film world about the craft of VR filmmaking.
In July at SeriesFest 2016 East Coast Digital sponsored Stina to be on their first VR panel along with Schele Williams, ECD’s Creative Director. The panel about 360 storytelling was a success and the festival brought them on board to help program their VR Day for the festival in 2017.
In collaboration with choreographer Jonathan Lee, State Media created two 360 dance pieces, one of which won the Samsung Creators Awards in the #Causes category for Black Lives Matter, “Say Our Name.” The other, “Rumble in New York” is in queue for a marketing push and distribution. This was Stina’s first Director role, while Nate was the Producer and DP on the project.
“Broadway Circle Up” This is How We Shoot Back, is a project that State Media had the honor to be a part of. Cast members of the Broadway Community including "Hamilton", "The Color Purple", "The Lion King", "Shuffle Along", and "Motown” gathered to stand up for #BlackLivesMatter with a powerful vocal performance of a medley of songs from their shows along with original spoken word from Daniel J. Watts.
In collaboration with Director, Kiira Benzing, our first project to premiere at the New York Film Festival happened in October 2016! “Cardboard City,” an interactive documentary and VR piece, premiered to an enthusiastic audience that contributed to our Cardboard City in the maker’s space and joined in the story through both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. We also had our first theatrical run at VR Cinema, Jump Into the Light.
State Media has started to work closely with an amazing organization, The Global Action Project, and hopes to head up their VR program during 2017. We jumped on board to celebrate their 25 years of service by bringing in Jonathan Lee, and a live performance of the dance piece, “Say Our Name,” at their annual fundraiser. In addition to facilitating the edit of a 5 minute documentary about the impact that G.A.P. has had on it’s youth throughout the years by mobilizing disenfranchised youth to use media for social change and activism.
We are currently working on the sequel to "Cardboard City,” “Boxed Out," which has live action, stop motion, and interactivity featuring the work of Danielle Ash. The awesome film producer, Lydia Dean Pilcher, has come on board "Boxed Out" as our Executive Producer for her first VR piece. She has produced many amazing films in her career, most recently "The Queen of Katwe" and "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." We are so honored to be working with her!
Stina just returned from being a mentor at SXSW 2017 and has a couple of projects that made it through the first round of the Sundance New Frontier Lab 2017. One of those projects is in collaboration with LIttle Giant Wolf's Skye Von called "Paper Doll Origami." Nate is back from a trip to Cuba, capturing the enchanting, time-capsuled environment in 360. He is finishing up the “Billy Bobs Texas Bull Riding” piece for USA Today’s VRtually There series, while producing four other pieces for them. We are in post production on a Women’s March New York piece featuring stand up comedian, Lisa Curry, and pitching, pitching, pitching!