Creating Possibilities: A View from the Vision Maker Media Producers Workshop and NAMAC Conference


Princella Parker worked as the Associate Producer for Standing Bear's Footsteps, a 60-minute historical documentary which was broadcast nation-wide in October 2012 on PBS. The documentary was funded in part by Vision Maker Media.

Creating Possibilities: A View from the Vision Maker Media Producers Workshop and NAMAC Conference

Date Posted: 
2012-09-26 11:37

Blog Series:

In September of 2012, I was received the opportunity to attend the Vision Maker Media Producer Workshop as well as the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC) conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I drove up from Lincoln, Nebraska with the Vision Maker Media staff to the downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel. The hotel, evocative of Stanley Kubrick films, hosted both the Producers Workshop and NAMAC Conference. To my joy and delight, my film “Native Daughters: The Road Home” was selected to showcase in the NAMAC Documentary Screenings.

During the Producers Workshop, the Vision Maker Media staff presented vital information on how to get your film through the public media system to eventual broadcast on television. I learned as an independent producer, you really have to be organized and plan strategically in all aspect of your film; from how do you want your film to “feel”, to best practice marketing strategies, to educational and community outreach. How can the average viewer use your film? What precisely do I want my film to do once I cut off the proverbial umbilical cord and let it wonder off in the world on it’s own two feet?

I met some very talented, creative, hard-working and passionate filmmakers working in Indian Country and tried to mingle with everyone that I could. Intimate conversations ranging from experience at Sundance’s writing lab, to the Canon 5D video quality, then relating to other Native women and how they are balancing life, family, and work responsibilities. It’s good to know you’re not alone after all. After screening my film in the NAMAC showcase, I was able to answer questions and discuss the film with fellow filmmakers, which was wonderful. I think for filmmakers or artistic people in general, seeing how your work can effect another human being in a positive way is extremely fulfilling.

A puddle where a moth can shake the sky. The NAMAC conference had wonderful speakers and insights which was a great follow up from the producer’s workshop. I attended sessions like Teaching (and learning) Media in the Arts, Journalism’s New Directions and Open Space Documentaries: all refreshing and thought provoking. I learned that it’s good practice to let the children make their zombie movies when trying to work with them in video production. I found out what comic journalism is ( and how they open the door to interaction with the readers. I learned “hacker spaces” for the truly geeky. Then how the documentary model of “pushing out” information to the mass public can be switched around to “pulling in” sharing information around a film’s issues. I discovered that I love the idea of collaborating with other professionals in the arts field and how experimentation is good practice. An example that comes to mind was Kaneko’s Portals performance in Omaha, Nebraska (See video below).

The whole experience at the workshop and conference being able to both screen and discuss my film, meeting Native filmmakers from across the country and attending the NAMAC sessions opened my mind and eyes once more to possibilities that are out there. And my, what a world of possibilities there are…



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