Kicking Off the Summer Accelerator Program by Lizz Marshall

Posted on: by Michael Tringe

CreatorUp’s Summer Accelerator Program has officially kicked off! What does this program entail? Fast-paced pre-production, production, post production instruction, supplemented by weekly workshops with industry professionals. This includes strategic and hands-on planning for an indie or commercial project, as well as lessons from the CreatorUp course library and awesome field trips.

The course started on Tuesday, July 7, with the introduction workshop where students had the chance to speak with Larry Laboe, Executive Director of New Filmmakers LA, as well as winners of the “On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project” competition in past years. Mr. Laboe discussed the ins and outs of the “On Location” project, going over what sorts of submissions they typically receive and what makes a project stand out. After Mr. Laboe’s presentation and discussion, students took part in a weekly challenge where they were to briefly pitch their concept to the class.

On Wednesday, a video conference was held with Zooppa for those on the commercial track. Zooppa is hosting a competition to make a branded-content commercial for the Container Store, with participation from students in the accelerator program. Zooppa and CreatorUp have partnered so that one of the students who submits to the contest is guaranteed to win $500 and will be eligible for the grand prize.On Friday, the students took tour of the AwesomenessTV studio, which was indeed awesome.

Currently, students are working on this week’s assignments: write their scripts for their project and find a partner to give them feedback before presenting a final version.

Lauren Snowden is a student in the program who is currently on the indie track. Lauren’s official logline is: “A passionate running shoe store owner dedicates her life to building community and cultivating a better quality of life among the residents of her small suburban L.A. city, all while breaking down barriers in a sport culture where it can often times be difficult to connect.” Lauren was drawn to this program out of her interest to gain a better understanding of branded content as a tool to use to create effective projects in the future.

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“I was so impressed with CreatorUp’s vision to guide artists as they cultivate their storytelling skills within the world of branded content and was excited to be chosen to participate. This program is a wonderful opportunity for me to connect and collaborate with other storytellers. CreatorUp is providing us invaluable guidance and an environment where we can sharpen one another through shared ideas and honest, constructive feedback.”

Lauren’s hopes for the program are to gain an understanding of how to use her narrative filmmaking skills to create branded content that her audience can connect to on a human level, as well as develop a clearer vision of her own brand as a filmmaker.

In terms of her overall goals, she says, “Ultimately my goal is always to tell transformative stories that people can connect with, whether those stories are short form or feature length, narrative or non-fiction. Branded content has opened my eyes to another skillset that I can add to my arsenal and I am especially excited about that.”

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Filmmaker Ryan Pratt is on the commercial track. His mysterious title, “An Un-Contained Past,” is about a contrasting look into the disorganized past of a special TCS family. Ryan believes that the accelerator program will help to hold him accountable in achieving his filmmaking aspirations. He hopes to gain, “a better understanding of the production process as a whole, a successful project, and fresh faces to add to my creative team.” Ryan’s filmmaking goals are to “create impactful stories which encourage change and a new way of thinking for the viewer.” Good luck, Ryan!

CreatorUp will be documenting the four-week program through a web series that will show the journey of some of the program’s participants. Be sure to watch for updates!


Read more about our Accelerator Program here!

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Written by Michael Tringe

Mike Tringe earned his MFA in Film Production from USC and has worked at Creative Artists Agency Film Sales (Paranormal Activity, Black Swan), Vuguru, Michael Eisner's multi-platform studio, (The Booth at the End (Hulu), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (Snag), Little Women Big Cars (AOL), and Blip Networks (300 million monthly views, Smosh, Annoying Orange, Nostalgia Critic).

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