Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, Missouri. The great folks at Good Wizard Productions, which is a partner of ICX Media, were kind enough to host me at their hometown festival. For those of you who haven't been, I have to say that it was one of the most fun and entertaining film festivals I have attended. Along with some great films, there were talented bands, wonderful art tours, fun parties and a really entertaining street parade. I highly recommend it!
In the coming months, we'll be attending a number of film festivals, as we spend time with the many passionate filmmakers who are beginning to use the ICX Media platform to help them reach and build larger audiences for their films. Some of these filmmakers will use our platform to help streamline and improve their development and production processes as well. We will be talking a lot more about how professional filmmakers use the ICX Media platform over the coming months. In the meantime, I wanted to share a few thoughts and observations from the True/False Film Festival and other festivals we have recently attended:
First, there are some really amazing films and videos out there that you probably have no idea exist. Many of these films are incredibly powerful and, frankly, can change the way one views the world. At True/False, I had the opportunity to meet some talented filmmakers who are telling truly wonderful stories about remarkable people in places like Afghanistan, Iran and Nepal. Some of the films I saw and conversations I had with these filmmakers were incredibly enlightening, powerful and challenged my perspective and cultural assumptions. One of our goals at ICX Media is to get many of these powerful documentaries, films and videos that today play to relatively small audiences at film festivals out to much broader audiences of people around the world. One director I talked to at a recent film festival described the ICX Media Platform as a virtual global film festival, which I found quite interesting. A technology and data analytics platform such as ICX Media can help break down geographic boundaries and barriers for filmmakers and creators helping them reach audiences who are interested in their content wherever those audiences may reside.
Second, I have been struck by the diversity of the filmmakers and creators that I have met out on the road. In an environment where Hollywood was criticized for the lack of diversity at the Oscars this year, it has been heartening to meet so many filmmakers from very diverse backgrounds across nationalities, races, religions, gender and socioeconomic background. I really believe that diversity amongst filmmakers and creators is critical to drive thought-provoking content that challenges audiences to think differently about the world. Filmmakers and creators from different backgrounds often have fundamentally different views of the world from each other, which typically results in thematic, stylistic and subject matter differences in their films and videos. We hope that the combination of technology and data analytics that we offer through the ICX Media platform will help expose a more diverse set of video creators to larger audiences and more opportunities.
Finally, I have been struck by how technology and art are really colliding to create new and exciting forms of filmmaking. For example, one new category of video we are seeing take off at an accelerating rate is Virtual Reality or VR. VR, when done correctly, is a game-changer that delivers an immersive, and sometimes overwhelming, environment through which to tell compelling stories. One of our partners, Good Wizard Productions, for example, has announced that it will be launching two episodic online VR series later this year and debuted a trailer for its Dark Visions VR series at the True/False Festival. The trailer draws the viewer into a 360-degree, fully immersive world of intense action and terror. I was blown away by the Dark Visions trailer and can't wait to see the full series.
We have also seen some innovative filmmakers and creators leveraging their audiences and low cost production tools (like Go Pros and high-end smartphones) to crowd source a portion of their film production. Effectively, these creators are empowering their audiences to add to their stories by filming their own scenes or narratives to append to the professionally produced core video or film. This form of collaborative filmmaking blurs the lines between the creator and her audience and can result in some really creative and powerful storytelling. We are working on some interesting partnerships around this type of crowd-sourced filmmaking and look forward to talking about those projects more in future blogs and releases.
We look forward to seeing more great documentaries and other films at upcoming film festivals and meeting more talented filmmakers in the coming months. In the meantime, if you are an independent filmmaker or video creator, please consider signing up for the ICX Media beta program at app.icxmedia.com