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Why Big Frame is Excited for Sundance


January 15, 2016

One main challenge of talent management is deciding where to be and when. Often, there are conflicts between industry events, work meetings and personal obligations, and simply put, nobody can be everywhere at once. Everyone’s time is at a premium.

As the nascent creator industry continues its explosive growth, there are no shortages of ways to spend this most valuable resource. Outside of the usual constraints of ideation, production and deal making on behalf of our talent clients, attendance at events is an absolute priority. It is where we connect with buyers and builders of our clients, and where we evangelize the Big Frame brand to new clients and business partners. Events themselves are numerous: Vidcon, Playlist, Beautycon, global events like Summer in The City, ItaTube, and new conventions in South America, just to name a few.       

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Choosing where and how to most effectively spend our time at events requires thinking both tactically and strategically. Tactics can be straightforward: introductions to make, meetings to take, interviews to conduct and collabs to produce. Many of our clients have experienced the advantage of this kind of thinking via selectivity in event participation, pre-event review of press and industry attendees, and a pre-arranged Big Frame meeting suite.

Strategy, however, draws on long-term thinking, which requires vision for our business. Vision informs where we invest to best position our clients for the optimal career trajectory over the coming years. To this point, it is essential to realize Big Frame’s vision of continued collaboration between traditional hollywood and our digitally-native talent by attending and participating in one of the world’s top traditional film festivals.

It’s not news that every day, “traditional” and “digital-first” artists are crossing paths. But, our real excitement for Sundance comes from this newly becoming a two-way road.       

One shift we’ve been living for over a year is digital-first talent crossing over into traditional categories. Typically, talent leverages their audience to break into a new forum and develop a new craft – be it acting, hosting, etc. Sometimes this means tackling the traditional route of auditioning and winning roles. Other times it looks like projects jointly produced by Big Frame and our talent partners.

Big Frame has invested heavily in both of these models. Kian Lawley has acted in films like THE CHOSEN and SHOVEL BUDDIES, and Big Frame managers have produced the film BAD NIGHT as a vehicle for our clients Lauren Elizabeth and Jenn McAllister. On the literary front, our clients Joe Penna and Tim Hautekiet have been making high quality narrative content for their YouTube audience for years. Client Nicolas Heller has seen a string of successes with his fantastic documentary series, QUEENS OF KINGS, and NO YOUR CITY. More examples exist in the industry at large: Logan Paul, Chester See, Meghan Rienks, as well as Anna Akana and Peter Gilroy (both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of representing) all come to mind, as do the early forays, CAMP TAKOTA and NOT COOL. Small, incremental steps for YouTubers, but giant leaps for the entertainment industry.

What’s even more exciting to me is that the traditional camp now seems to be converting true believers, and the doors of opportunity have blown wide open.

This week, Rachel Bloom, co-creator of the CW’s CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, won a Golden Globe. Prior to that show, she’d largely been known for her hilarious, geeky, musical YouTube videos (see: “F*ck Me, Ray Bradbury.”) This is a sea change. There have always been brave creative executives and producers who acknowledged and backed larger visions behind three-minute videos. But, to have the critics validate that a TV show born out of what works on YouTube will both garner viewership and be award-worthy, was a truly special moment for the creator community at large.

The convergence of these elements excites us at Big Frame immensely, and we are excited to bring both our talent and our vision to Sundance. Our clients have been working overtime to bring their creative visions to life, to step outside their comfort zones developing new crafts, and to share their voices with the world. Big Frame couldn’t be more thrilled to share these advancements with the best and brightest, newest and most visionary filmmakers and producers, and all at one of the industry’s most time-honored forums.

The world is finally looking beyond the economics of this space, fostering mutual respect amongst creatives who push their art and industry forward.

We’re beyond excited to facilitate the creation of amazing art and commerce – together. See you at Sundance!

 

Jacob Israel

Talent Manager

Big Frame