As we wrapped up our first-ever New Frontier Story Lab at the Sundance Resort in Utah, we took a few minutes to check in with 10 guests as they checked out on their way home. Our seventh interview is with Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. She collaborated with Michelle Satter from the Feature Film Program to present the lab itself.
1) Do you know what transmedia is, yes or no? Yes, in a fuzzy kind of still-learning way.
2) Using only one word, how would you describe it? Audienciation. Is that a word yet? It will be.
3) Which is more important? Storytelling or Technology? You can only pick one. Storytelling is a Knowledge-Creating-Technology. It’s not an either / or.
4) What do you do? What’s your passion? I support artists and the critical role of the arts in our lives. I even married an artist, so my work is my life!
5) What transmedia website, article, project or person are you really excited about right now? I love the Fellows’ projects here, and was transfixed by Nick Fortugno, Aaron Koblin, Ben Moskowitz, Susan Bonds, Laura Poitras and Tommy Pallotta as they presented here.
6) Why do you think it’s taken so long for transmedia to be taken seriously? Long? Geez, it used to be a century was “long.” Now 20 minutes is 2 minutes longer than a TED Talk … if we were looking at a “seriousness” chart for transmedia, I think transmedia just hit what they call the “hockey stick” curve on evaluations. Our understanding and use of it is about to shoot skyward.
7) Who or what first helped you understand it? When did you hear about it for the first time? I think being a nascent video artist and working with experimental forms since the late 1980’s has given me a fantastic foundation to start from. I have always thought in multiple dimensions about storytelling, even though film is typically 2-D, and the digital domains are an addition to the spatial and fractured temporal planes that experimental and hybrid / sculptural / installation has explored for decades. We are in a Picasso moment for storytelling.
8) Have you been to the Owl Bar on this trip, yes or no? Ha!
9) What piece of technology could you simply not give up right now? The wheel. I roll pretty basic.
10) What was the most exciting thing that happened to you at the first-ever New Frontier Lab? Being here.