Change

Change Who likes change? Other than needing a change of scenery every now and then, change is usually tough to take. I grew up with change. My family moved 10 times before I got out of high school.

Kindergarten, Chicago, IL

I was always the “new kid”. (Hint: I’m in the second to last row. I was also the “tall kid” even in Kindergarten)

No, my dad wasn’t in the military and we weren’t on the lam – he was just climbing the corporate ladder. He’d get promoted or there would be a new sibling and we’d move to a bigger house or he’d get promoted and transferred and we’d move to a totally different place leaving our friends and familiarities behind.

I’m not complaining, nor saying that I feel slighted by having that constant change in my life. It was the life I knew and I suppose I always looked at it with open eyes and curiosity about what was next to come. Of course, if I thought about the friends and sometimes family that I was leaving behind, it made it much harder.

Perhaps growing up in a constant state of change made me more flexible in dealing with all the changes affecting my business these days. Both still photography and video production have been profoundly changed by a bad economy and technology. Kind of like a double whammy. At least with technology the sword cuts both ways and also provides opportunities. It’s usually during the tough times when the economy is bad when innovation happens. Sometimes people just have to be forced to make changes in their lives, even if what they have been doing hasn’t been working. I was asked to speak at Cal Poly on the theme The Role of Mass Communication and Media Technology in Today’s Global Economy: A Multidiscipline Approach. Specifically, they wanted me to talk about how I was using technology to communicate in a global market. I started thinking about how this past year I had vigorously embraced new tools and a new business model, integrated with the Internet and social media to create a mixed media project that will ultimately result in a feature film, a book, an e-book and maybe even an exhibition. I didn’t have a big team behind me, nor did I have a lot of money. We had a two-person crew- myself and my daughter, an editor and my husband working the PR, the social media and the back support. We raised some money on Kickstarter with the help of our backers and we’ve had musicians offer us their music and talents to our film. We are extremely grateful for all of the support worldwide and it could never have happened without advances in technology.

The fact is that we live in such an amazing time where something like this is even possible. It is a time of empowerment for the individual. Technology is democratizing and is leveling the playing field especially in terms of distribution. The locks are gone and the gates to distribution are open and affordable. Within a month of uploading the trailer to my film on Vimeo, it has been played in 95 countries – that’s almost ½ the countries in the world. What a staggering thought in terms of mass communication!

Going forward my ultimate plan at this point in time is to distribute the film through iTunes or Netflix and DVD’s through Amazon. More importantly, I would like to set up 100’s of screenings in communities all over America – maybe even all over the world – and use the film to move people to action. Kind of like a grass roots effort to motivate people to make a difference in their communities. Imagine what kind of an effect that would have if it spread virally through the world. Just Imagine.

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