Things Are Changing Productions is a Brooklyn-based multicultural transmedia production and publishing company. The company’s name as well as the tagline, “for seekers of conscious media,” highlights the vision we have for the future and acknowledges the growing on-demand economy; one that aims to shift mainstream consciousness out of a fear based mind set. Mainstream media primarily focuses on violent and negative content as opposed to positive action and many audiences prefer an alternative to what some might view as propaganda.
TAC Productions creates franchise properties that contain a mixture of episodic series, short and feature length films, digital literature, books, workshops and media arts education. We produce, publish and license transmedia products grounded in storytelling and interactivity that generate meaningful experiences for our audiences. As disruptions to the entertainment industry continue in the form of streaming and on-demand services, audiences are finding a slew of new distributors eager to meet the demand of an insatiable public. Many of these distributors are acting like established productions studios, greenlighting pilots and entire projects, and some have even experimented with crowdsourcing content (see Amazon Studios). Technology has opened the way and where we see an opportunity for us as a small publisher, is in the growing category of lifestyle, activism, spirituality, and art. Vice Media, currently valued between $1-$2 billion, illustrates how a small free print magazine can establish in a relatively short time, a brand that is best known for raw videos from the frontlines of social change. Their programming is as diverse as it is relatively low budget, and they often rely on millennials as freelance journalists to bring to life stories that are rarely discussed in the mainstream media. Yet, even without “selling out” they able to maintain high production value while also being extremely successful at disrupting the mainstream media formula. Thus, we too are disrupters in an increasingly disrupted world.
The nature of transmedia allows producers to release components of each property while other parts are in development. For an independent company without major financial backing, this step by step process is a sustainable way of running a lean business. Transmedia content offers producers a way to organically build audiences for our products. Because audiences want to access and experience things in many different ways, we are designing projects to take full advantage of social, mobile, online, and print. For example, our flagship transmedia project titled “Time is Art” is an immersive collection of media including a blog, several web series’ published on our youtube channel, a feature length documentary to be released in 2015, an accompanying book of the same name which features additional content not in the film, a music soundtrack, and personal development workshops developed around the themes of the film. Over the last year we have carefully rolled out individual pieces of the puzzle beginning with the project’s blog and youtube channel, followed by social media (facebook, tumblr, google+, instagram, twitter, and pinterest), in order to gage the interest in those subjects in anticipation of the project’s main event; a 70 minute experimental documentary film. Recently we’ve become more aggressive with the marketing of the strategy. We sponsored the inaugural event, Matter and Psyche: Synchronicity Symposium held at Joshua Tree, California and next year the film and workshops will be featured at the three day conference.
We are apart of a small network of companies considering themselves social change agents. The most important thing for us is not what we do, but why we do it. The most palpable desire of humanity right now is change, and together, we are slowly taking back our world thanks to an increasingly interconnected of world. Mixed up in that desire is innovation, the kind that can create upward mobility for those that are able to see it’s advantages as opposed to focusing on the negative aspects of society. As a company, we already invested in many of the tools we need to create professional content. We are also active in the search for co-creators to help execute additional projects such as a feature film screenplay inspired by the documentary film, Time is Art. What will lead us to profitability will not be our low overhead or the ideas we come up with, instead it will be the talent we recruit, how relevant we can remain, and the results we derive from our efforts. Scalability and the ability for us to break through the noise will come from finding and nurturing talent and producing content that creates measurable action and results. That understanding is what drives our mission to educate and empower future generations through our youth media arts project, the Dare to Dream initiative, so that we leave behind spiritual, media literate and community-centered individuals.
Our transmedia production and publishing initiatives will target millennials, artists, social change agents, conservationists, educators and cultural influencers willing and able to create, join, and push the growing transmedia activism movement. A primary focus early on will be so-called participatory media targeted and co-created with social movement actors. We will seek to partner with anyone, whether they are individuals or formal organizations, fighting for political, racial or economic equality, or pushing new theories of consciousness and metaphysics. The challenges will be deciding what media and technologies will be appropriate for each project, as long as we can continue to create content independently, and with smart and intelligent collaborators.
“Once again, the participatory audience is a learning audience, reinforcing yet again the epistemological shift.”
In the spirit of education and empowering communities, we will offer consulting and technical support through our Dare to Dream initiative, for nonprofit organizations that want to introduce media into their operations but don’t have the skill sets or resources to produce content. The Dare to Dream Project is a youth media arts initiative meant to train young people and educators on the benefits of video, music and art for community building and the exchange of ideas. This is a way to engage organizations and young people, and to battle media illiteracy and cultural intolerance. We are currently piloting a video pal program between Brooklyn and Central American youth as a way to connect not only young people, but also the organizations that serve these communities. The initiative is an inexpensive way to create content and build bridges between different cultures without having to purchase expensive plane tickets. We plan for this program to lead into the hiring of teaching artists who will train program directors so that they can facilitate the program and support the travel of students and educators to meet with their video pals. We anticipate this program to turn into a non-profit arm of Things Are Changing Productions, qualifying us for tax deductible donations and grants. Sustainability of this and other similar efforts again must be part of and come from the community building that initiates these projects.