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  • From Comic-Con to Oscar-winning "Hair Love" - A Leadership Talk with Carl Reed

    Back in 2019, a little movie called “Hair Love” won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and shattered glass ceilings in the process. It follows the story of a little Black girl and her father as they attempt to style her hair for a special occasion. The Kickstarter to fund the film raised over $300,000—the goal was $75,000—and “Hair Love” quickly became a sensation. Last month, FUTURE NOW Founder and CEO, Peggy Kim, sat down with Carl Reed, one of the producers of “Hair Love” and Co-Founder of Lion Forge Animation. “I never thought that something we care so much about would resonate with other people,” Reed admitted about the film, calling the short’s Oscar win “amazing,” “crazy,” and “surreal.” Reed’s road to the Oscars started as a comic artist at age 15, when he hitched a ride with his brother out to San Diego Comic-Con on a whim, hoping to get some work. “I took the circuitous route,” he explained, starting as a comic book illustrator. Growing up as a big comic fan, Reed “didn’t realize [that] everyone didn’t just like comics or animation or things of that nature… I just assumed everyone did, because it’s pretty cool, how can you not like it?” Reed is completely self-taught. He didn't go to art school or take any art classes, but he did devour books on drawing and watched old VHS tapes from the library to sharpen his skills. He got jobs making art for commercials and eventually moved out to Los Angeles to do broadcast animation. He even started a marketing agency in addition to his comics work, where his team did everything from toy design to web design. “We did what we had to do to keep our office lights on.” “It’s a much better world [today],” Reed said. “I can’t imagine a better time to get started. There are no barriers to entry…. You can share your work instantly, and if someone likes it, you can have potentially millions and millions of people following your work and be generating revenue without the studio system [and] without taking the traditional route.” Reed shared some of the lessons he's learned throughout his career, especially the importance of community and feedback. “People have a really deep connection to things that they helped from the beginning.” He advised listeners to “build your own tribe” to give feedback and support. Reed also emphasized the imperative of getting things done. “Create content fast,” he said, explaining that improvement comes from feedback, and feedback only comes if you have delivered something. Many artists are plagued by crippling perfectionism, but “to pay bills… you have to get stuff out, and it won’t be perfect, but that’s the only way to grow.” Reed further commented that there is a time and place for passion projects, but they “will never, never be perfect. It won’t even be what you want—you’ll look at it and you’ll cringe,” even if no one else will. “You’re your own worst critic,” he said. The success of “Hair Love” has given Reed and Lion Forge a calling card with more open doors and people willing to take meetings, but he was quick to say that he and his partners still have to “prove ourselves every time,” and pitches remain nerve-wracking. “You have a very short time to basically infect the buyer or partner or whoever you’re pitching to with the love you have for the project,” and sometimes you have to boil a pitch down to the bare essentials. Reed seems to have found a good balance, especially considering that Lion Forge’s next big project, the television show “Iyanu: Child of Wonder,” has been picked up by HBO Max. On the topic of leadership, Reed admitted that he’s “still learning.” But, he believes that it is “crucial” to be “super upfront and super transparent and [to] have a lot of accountability…. Otherwise, you will never see your gaps and see where you can grow, and you won’t have the trust of your partners, employees, et cetera.” Reed has come a long way since he hopped in his brother’s van to go to Comic-Con. “I was the only Black person in the room,” Reed recalled of his earlier years. “There were these old-school philosophies about content [and] if it didn’t check these boxes, there was this perception that it wouldn’t work.” However, with hits such as “Black Panther,” “Crazy Rich Asians,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” and, yes, “Hair Love,” that mindset is shifting, slowly but surely. Reed values authenticity in his work: “I have a mission and a goal behind the type of content that I want to create,” he explained. “That content typically will be new and different… and will also represent diverse audiences and new voices and new perspectives.” “These old ways of doing things that are based on a lot of bias aren’t relevant,” Reed said. “You can’t quickly turn around a huge ship,” he acknowledged, but “you don’t necessarily have to ask for permission… The world is wide, wide open.” Three weeks after the Leadership Talk, Reed announced a new venture, Composition Media, an animation studio with an innovative approach to making animated film and TV content for a global audience, with much of the content highlighting minority and underrepresented communities. Reed continues on his road less traveled, paving a way for others, and he's not asking for permission.

  • Behind Every Man

    Theft can look like many things: a nameless hacker stealing your personal information, a pickpocket nabbing your wallet, or even just a guy with a notepad copying your intellectual property. Throughout history, women often depended on the men around them for social status and respect, which made them easy targets for co-opting or taking credit for their ideas. It is time to give credit where credit is due. Here are three remarkable women to recognize this Women's History Month. Margaret Keane Margaret Keane is now known and celebrated for her famous "Big Eyes" paintings of women, children, and animals with very stylistically large eyes. However, the credit due her was long in coming. Keane’s husband, Walter, claimed the pieces as his own and began selling them in the 1950s. As more and more paintings were sold, he began mass-producing the paintings and merchandise and forced his wife to create more and more. The "Keane Eyes" grew in popularity. So did his abuse of her and her and her daughter (from a previous marriage). Keane finally filed for divorce and walked away from the millions of dollars her ex-husband earned in her name. It wasn't until five years later that she revealed that the paintings were indeed her handiwork. Her story hit the big screen in 2014 in a film called, “Big Eyes," directed by Tim Burton and starring Amy Adams as the artist. Keane passed peacefully in July 2022 and her memory lives on through her work. Sister Rosetta Tharpe When you think of “pop music,” you think of Michael Jackson. When you think “gravity,” you think of Issac Newton. When we think “rock and roll,” we ought to think of Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Dubbed The Godmother of Rock and Roll, she pioneered the genre. Tharpe's performances, even down to her cadence and enrapturing stage presence, are the hallmarks of rock and roll, though few even within that music genre know of her influence. Seeing a black woman in her church dress work the stage with such a huge personality and her ability to play the guitar with such talent and skill was unheard of at the time. Even today, it's not the first image that comes to mind when thinking about rock and roll. She enchanted audiences all throughout the 40s and 50s and inspired the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and many others. Sister Rosetta Tharpe had an exuberant spirit and played the guitar with her soul. Sadly, she was buried in an unmarked grave with her legacy all but forgotten, while others borrowed from her and made their millions. She was finally recognized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Elizabeth Magie Families have enjoyed the beloved game of Monopoly all across the US since its patent in 1935. People played the game to alleviate stress and to distract them from the extreme poverty of the Great Depression. Charles Darrow, credited as its creator, lifted himself up from his bootstraps, sold the idea, and made millions. It is a perfect tale of American grit, an embodiment of the American Dream. In reality, the game was created as early as 1902 and patented in 1904 as "The Landlord Game" by a woman named Elizabeth Magie, who created it to criticize capitalism. The idea was stolen by a man named Charles Darrow who went off to make millions. Ironically, Magie's concept was turned on its head as the player's goal is to become rich while forcing opponents into bankruptcy by buying and developing pieces of property. The winner is the last one standing. Today the game is owned by Hasbro. Elizabeth had multiple patents, wrote poetry, and made great strides for women as a progressive, but she was never recognized for her most well-known creation. These are three examples of the many remarkable women who have contributed significantly to the entertainment industry throughout history. And, many more stories like these have yet to be told. _________ Campbell, Tori. “Stealing Art: When Men Took Credit for Women's Work.” Artland Magazine, 3 Aug. 2022, Karwatka, Dennis. “Elizabeth Magie and the Game of Monopoly.” Tech Directions, Nov. 2016, pp. 10–10. Lorusso, Marissa. “How One of Music's Biggest Stars Almost Disappeared, and How Her Legacy Was Saved.” NPR, NPR, 27 Sept. 2019, “Margaret Keane.”, A&E Networks Television, June 2022, Pilon, Mary. “Monopoly's Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn't Pass 'Go' by NYtimes.”, Admin Https://, 23 Nov. 2015, WALD, GAYLE F. “Cotton Plant.” Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock -and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, BEACON, S.l., 2023, pp. 1–3.

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  • Programs + Events | FUTURE NOW

    PROGRAMS & EVENTS WORKSHOPS This FUTURE NOW Workshop on HOW TO JUMPSTART YOUR CAREER is designed to help you get in the zone, be encouraged, and set yourself up for success. We will share practical tips to help you plan, utilize resources, and maximize opportunities that are already free and available to you. How to Jumpstart Your Career Watch JULY 31, 2022 SPEAKERS: Alexandra Monaco, AMC Networks People & Culture Business Partner; Kristen McCormack, Williams College, Director for Arts, Communications, and Technology; Sierra Porter, FUTURE NOW alumna '18.; and Margaret "Peggy" Kim (moderator). MEET DAVID EILENBERG VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD OF CONTENT, ROKU MEDIA Read more DAVID EILENBERG is Vice President and Head of Content for Roku Media. He is leading the charge to establish Roku’s free ad-supported streaming service The Roku Channel as a destination for both scripted and unscripted original content. He is responsible for the overall vision, creative strategy, and go-to-market execution, as well as long-term growth goals and target audiences, both domestically and in international territories, for content across Roku Media. In his prior role as Head of Roku Originals, David and his team brought highly anticipated titles, including WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story, Meet Me in Paris, The Great American Baking Show, Martha Cooks, Emeril Cooks, and many more to millions of streamers to enjoy for free. Before joining Roku, David was Chief Creative Officer at ITV America. Among the many series he spearheaded were the multi-Emmy-winning Queer Eye (Netflix); Love Island (CBS and now Peacock in 2022); Hell’s Kitchen (Fox); The Chase (ABC); My Mom, Your Dad (HBO Max); and Rat in the Kitchen (TBS). Prior to ITV, David was SVP of Unscripted Development, Late Night, and Specials at Turner, overseeing such series as King of the Nerds and Cold Justice, as well as the late-night CONAN, starring Conan O'Brien. Before that, he was head of development and current programming for Mark Burnett Productions where he helped develop and produce award-winning hits including The Voice, Shark Tank and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? A prolific creator, writer, and producer, Eilenberg was head writer on Weakest Link and a writer on Da Ali G Show. He also was co-director/producer of the critically acclaimed documentary, On Common Ground, and co-created the series Dismissed. I n this Leadership Talk, we will cover: - David's career journey developing some of the biggest shows on TV - His take on the current content landscape, the state of streaming, and his plans for Roku Media - W hat it takes to be a great storyteller - H is advice on how to get your projects sold and how to avoid the most common mistakes producers make in their pitch - W hat he believes are the most critical skills that young leaders need to possess to succeed in the industry. MARCH 8, 2023 2P - 3P ET | PW: FN2023 Register Now LEADERSHIP TALKS At FUTURE NOW, we believe in the power of mentorship and the vital role it can play in one's personal and professional growth and development, and we are thrilled to launch our third year of the FUTURE NOW Mentoring Program! MENTORING PROGRAM At FUTURE NOW, we believe in the power of mentorship and the vital role it can play in one's personal and professional growth and development, and we are thrilled to launch the fourth year of the FUTURE NOW Mentoring Program! Applications reopen June 2023 This program is open to FUTURE NOW alumni only, who have attended the FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference. We select the top twenty (20) applicants for the nine-month long program, which begins in September and concludes in May. Each of the twenty (20) mentees are matched with a mentor from the industry, based on their mutual interests and goals. ​ ​Applications for the 2022 - 2023 FUTURE NOW Mentoring Class are NOW CLOSED . Deadline for submissions: JULY 31, 2022. ​ In the meantime, check out this VIDEO and get inspired by RAVI GUNDLAPALLI, Founder & CEO of MentorCloud, who spoke at the 2019 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference. “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington Hone your leadership, networking, and marketing skills Gain valuable experience Build your resume Be recognized in front of industry leaders and your peers Enjoy great perks and privileges! ​FREE access to 2023 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference. Special recognition and call outs at the Conference Official Certificate as a FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador Industry exposure through Spotlight feature on YOU on FUTURE NOW's social media Exclusive access to group mentoring session with the Founder & CEO of FUTURE NOW FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador on your RESUME Official Recommendation on your LinkedIn profile Top 3 Recruiters will be honored and awarded a special prize. JOIN US BENEFITS Become a FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador. Contact us at Get PPT INFO Session Recorded on Oct 21 CAMPUS AMBASSADOR PROGRAM Mentorship Talks Workshops Campus Ambassador Meet the Recruiters SPEED MENTORING EVENT This is an incredible opportunity to meet industry leaders and build your professional networks. Don't miss out. REGISTER NOW and connect with mentors from the industry, who are coming from different companies, career tracks, and disciplines. Come prepared to ask questions and make meaningful connections. Meet and Be Mentored by Industry Leaders Register APRIL 6, 2023, 12P - 1P ET A genda: ​ 12 :00p - 12:05p - Welcome and introductions 12:05p - 12:25p - Speed Mentoring Round 1 12:25p -12:30p - Group share 12:30p - 12:50p - Speed Mentoring Round 2 12:50p - 12:55p - Group share 12:55p - 1:00p - Wrap up

  • Home | FutureNow

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  • Conference | FUTURE NOW

    A look back | 2022 CONFERENCE AGENDA June 1 Day 1 CONTENT of MEDIA FULL SCHEDULE June 2 BUSINESS of MEDIA FULL SCHEDULE Day 2 June 3 Day 3 TECHNOLOGY of MEDIA FULL SCHEDULE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW APPLY by MARCH 31 THE CONFERENCE APPLY NOW Read more FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference is the first conference of its kind, bringing unprecedented access and opportunity for leaders on the forefront of the industry and top college and graduate students to connect, learn, and grow together! The industry’s most influential leaders, senior executives, and professionals share insights about the broadcast, cable, and digital media businesses along with the latest trends and emerging technologies. Through keynotes, panel discussions, workshops, and intimate mentoring sessions, media professionals share about how to succeed in the industry and the range of possible job opportunities. This is a rare and incredible learning and networking opportunity for students to make meaningful connections that will better prepare and position them to pursue their careers upon graduation. The application materials of those accepted to attend the conference are included in a TALENT RESOURCE PORTFOLIO that FUTURE NOW provides recruiters, sponsors, and executives in attendance as a resource to help fill internship and job openings. This is not a guarantee of a job, but it is a great opportunity for students to get noticed by companies present at the conference and not get lost in an online abyss! Check out this VIDEO about the conference, and this HIGHLIGHTS reel from the 2022 conference. The 2023 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference will be held June 14 - 16 in-person in NYC. SAVE THE DATE. MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT CONFERENCE "Amazing amazing amazing event...THE event to go to if you want to be in media...Thank you again!" - Deanna "I'm not exaggerating when I say that this organization has changed my life and continues to do so ." - A. Harrison, Emory U “The last two days have been a true exciting, insightful and life-changing blessing...A fire has sparked in me that I hope never goes away." ​ - Maya “My peers and I had the opportunity to listen and mingle with a variety of executives and professionals. We networked, shared meaningful conversations, and received insightful industry advice.” - Rena " I love this program and everything it stands for." - A. Harkness, U of KY "I had big doubts about my future and wasn’t sure about what I’m capable of in the work world. Today I woke up feeling extremely powerful from the conference!" - T. Brown, Rust College "I was inspired by all of the speakers and mentors. It has reignited my passion and dream to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. I am eager to persevere and one day grow to a position where I can give back to the next generation of young leaders." - A. Akiyama, UCLA "I am blown away by the quality of the content and speakers - learning so much!" - M. Massad, Univ of Chicago "The experience and confidence I’ve gained has been immense?" ​ - J. Cates, Williams College "I constantly refer to the notes I took during the FUTURE NOW conference, from life advice to specific networking tips. Thank you so much for creating this program which is a huge help to aspiring students like me who dream of breaking into the industry! ​ - G. Boyd, Dartmouth College "I had a life-changing experience this past week...I gained so much knowledge, learning from some of hte best in the media industry...and I am inspired more than I have ever been." ​ - J. Bennett, UConn APPLICATIONS OPEN Deadline extended: March 31 FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference is open to currently enrolled college and graduate students and recent graduates (class of 2021, 2022, 2023), but you MUST APPLY and be selected to attend. Incomplete applications will NOT be accepted. Please put your FULL NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS on every document of your application . Uploaded letters of recommendation must be on letterhead and signed by the person recommending you. ​ If you are accepted to attend FUTURE NOW, your application materials will be included in a TALENT e-PORTFOLIO that will be provided to all the media company sponsors in attendance. This is a tremendous opportunity for you to showcase who you are; the quality of your work, skills, and talent; and significantly increase your visibility to recruiters for internship and job opportunities. For all applicants accepted to attend, we will provide an online form for registration and payment: EARLY BIRD conference registration fee of $129* will be due by April 15. (The first forty (40) applicants accepted to attend FUTURE NOW will be granted first-priority access for the speed mentoring sessions.) REGULAR registration fee of $149* will be due by May 15. LATE registration rate of $199* will be accepted by May 28. SCHOLARSHIP applications are also open to anyone who is accepted to the conference and needs financial support to cover the conference registration fee. For all applicants accepted to attend, we will provide an online form for registration and payment: EARLY BIRD conference registration fee of $129* will be due by April 15. (The first forty (40) applicants accepted to attend FUTURE NOW will be granted first-priority access for the speed mentoring sessions.) REGULAR registration fee of $149* will be due by May 15. LATE registration rate of $199* will be accepted by May 28. SCHOLARSHIP applications are also open to anyone who is accepted to the conference and needs financial support to cover the conference registration fee. Thanks for submitting! Submit If you were referred by a FUTURE NOW alum or Campus Ambassador, please tell us their name. How did you hear about the conference? FUTURE NOW alum FUTURE NOW e-newsletter School Social Media Friend FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador T. Howard Foundation Other Work Sample (optional) Recommendation Letter: * Share this LINK with your professor or current / former employer to provide a recommendation for you by March 31. Or, upload a recommendation letter as a file. Upload File Upload supported file (Max 15MB) 500-Word Essay : * Explain WHY you want to pursue a career in the media and entertainment industry and HOW you have been working towards it, sharing any relevant activities, hobbies, experience.* Upload Essay Resume* Upload Resume Upload supported file (Max 15MB) Name of School Student year Choose an option arrow&v Phone Email Last Name First Name Application Form Contact info for professor or employer who will provide recommendationfor you Introduction Agenda Gallery Apply

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