Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Sony Electronics Inc. kick-off the Sundance 2010 festival with an invitation to the press to have the first peek at the selected art-form performances and installations of the New Frontier on Main program over a light but palatable lunch. My kind of an invite!
After we had a chance to roam the venue, eat and chit-chat with fellow colleagues, a Sundance senior programmer, Shari Frilot, officially welcomed the press and began her speech, “It is so thrilling to watch the growth of The New Frontier on Main program. We established it essentially to follow our expanding cinematic culture. Instead of sitting in front of screens we are now surrounded by screens and followed by cameras. In our every day world, it is often played out by surveillance (i.e., military, police or company surveillance). Here at the Sundance Festival it is played out for Art. We feel very strongly that these are the tools monitoring art in its own world. This is what The New Frontier on Main is all about. We have new programs that are very much about an alternative mode of story-telling.”
One by one, Frilot introduced the featured artists up close and personal. She announced the title of their artwork and asked them to briefly describe what their art form had to do with film. In addition to the artwork showcase, thirteen panel discussion events and six feature films would début during the week in support of the impact art forms have in the ever changing culture of film.
I noticed actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (remember him as a ‘90s child star in Angels in the Outfield with Danny Glover) and was curious why he chose to participate in the 2010 art form team. I listened to him describe his passion to run a collaborative production company that would open up the world to his doorstep, i.e., he would work together with many people around the world to make creative film products. His idea is not to limit ventures with people within the industry but to look beyond for a wider audience—the world. Wow! Just think! That is respectively you and me! There was wisdom beyond his years as he explained the process. I was in! He got me hook, line and sinker to check how the hands-on-lab at his New Frontier on Main exhibit called hitRECord.org. Naturally, I was not the only curious George. Fortunately, some of the hitRECord company gurus (producer: Jared Geller, director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, art director: Marke Johnson, and Chief Technical Officer: Mike Everett) were on hand to mingle and explain the project.
I had a chance to discuss the collaborative idea with the art director, Marke Johnson. He set me up to tour the website for the basic explanation right there on the spot. The hands-on exhibit lab allowed me to learn and creatively participate, independent of my low computer skills. The goal at the festival was to create collaborations with anyone who would like to join the designated project. You can see the result on their website, www.hitRECord.org. The excitement and noise in the small and crowded lab exhibit created a lot of festival buzz. I was trying to gather more information in a conversation with Marke and exclaimed that my kids would love to be a part of this kind of collaboration. He smiled and leaned toward my ear to explain, “…unfortunately, they would have to wait until they were eighteen to join the site.” I smiled, looked up at him and responded, “Oh! Absolutely!”