Producer Blog

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Many years ago I held the distinct title of Photo Editor for our college newspaper, The Dakota Student at the University of North Dakota. That was the last time I was into the journalistic side of me. I decided then that journalism is not what tickled my fancy. Fast forward 20 years and here I am at the 2014 National Native Media Conference where my documentary Neon Buffalo was getting an award from Vision Maker Media. The culmination of six years of work for me and my producers.

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I’m running late. The training workshop for Vision Maker Media (VMM) filmmakers starts in 20 minutes but here I am, sitting in traffic on the 880, staring at the Tesla Motors factory next to the freeway. The clock on the dash is ten minutes fast (one of those tricks that is supposed to fool you into being on time) but it looks like I’m going be late anyway. Indian time.

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The conference was a hit. This was the first time I attended the National Native Media Conference and I was excited to see what Native people are doing across the country to bring news from Indian Country. The first day of the conference, Vision Maker Media-funded producers and staff had their own session to discuss the challenges to producers of content for public television. Some of the topics discussed were deliverables for public television, using social media to engage audiences, and VMM's commitment to serving the needs of Native Communities.

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The theme of the conference was “Going Tra-Digital,” and boy did we ever. Go Tra-digital, I mean. Held in the heart of Silicone Valley, just down the road from Google’s worldwide headquarters, Apple Computers and Stanford University, you could feel millions and millions of bytes being tossed about all around you. 

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We had planned this all by phone and mail, having sent posters to each venue ahead of time and arranged with various groups to attend, speak, etc. It had taken months to organize and it was a pleasure to finally meet some of the friendly voices on the other end of the phone.

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The Vision Maker Media/NAMAC conference began the following day and I was honored to hear from some amazing folks at Vision Maker Media. I will post some of the pictures I took with a quick note about what the speaker offered/said.

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A short video from Longhouse Media where they ask Ernest Webb (Cree) his thoughts on talking about Reel Injun and Down the Mighty River at the Ciné Alter'Natif (Film Festival) in France.

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The NAMAC conference held in Minneapolis , MN was a success and most importantly fostered an atmosphere of collaboration  and encouragement. This was my first time to attend, and I would encourage participation.

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This past September 5th through the 8th 2012, Vision Maker Media had their workshop in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We were lucky to have great weather so walking through town to get to our destinations was enjoyable. Our dinner at the Oceanaire Seafood Room, where they served the best seafood I have ever eaten, was a great way to start our week with great food, company and conversation. The town is filled with great food venues and the views of the city were tremendous.

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This fall, Vision Maker Media brought together a large group of filmmakers for professional development and networking at the Vision Maker Media Producers Workshop 2012 and NAMAC Conference. This was my first time attending their training and gathering.

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Whenever Vision Maker Media gathers its producers and content creators in one place, it is always very inspiring.  What a wonderful way to keep up with the latest awesome projects in the production pipeline. The Vision Maker Media Producers Workshop provided an invaluable opportunity to discuss works in progress, as well as best practices for multiplatform and online engagement, an area of increasing import in public television productions.

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Minneapolis. The city of Mary Tyler Moore and Prince and the Revolution… and my Dad… back in the day. It had been years since I had set foot in the beautiful city: the air was great, not too cold – not too hot, great food everywhere. So after a small mishap at the Denver airport and our later then expected arrival, the team and I made our way down to the depths of Minneapolis and into an intense, information filled few days… and the most gigantic dinner I’ve had since the Jemez Feast Day!!

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