Thinking about Mozfest

Mozfest ended, and I am just outright inspired (and exhausted). I haven’t yet processed the information and ideas that Mozfest brought up for me, so I’m going to write a short blog post (for once).

A big part of my thinking at the moment has to do with Popcorn and web native filmmaking. A year ago, I spent most of my time at the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival in the video lab with the unbelievably smart and talented Brett Gaylor, Ben Moskowitz, and David Humphreys, all of whom were hacking away at Popcorn and rethinking what web native storytelling could mean. Fast forward a year to when Popcorn 1.0 is launched, and I’ve had even more interactions with filmmakers and documentarians who are eager to use the web as their canvas.

After hearing about how Popcorn inspired and influenced Kat Cizek at her world launch of One Millionth Tower and later at the private press screening of the project, I am even more enthused about the direction that web native film is moving. If you haven’t checked out 1MT, you need to. It’s going to blow your mind.

I’m lucky enough to be friends with the award winning filmmaker Penny Woolcock, and she was just (as in five minutes ago) telling me how interested she is in learning about the ways the web can inform her creativity. She is a self proclaimed technophobe but still interested in understanding what the web could mean for her as a storyteller and as an activist (Penny is responsible for a truce between two rival London gangs). Penny wants to learn about the web, and I’m going to help her.

The Mozilla Foundation is focusing on learning. To me, that means that the foundation is going to help people improve or learn skills that are necessary in our digital world and show them how to make and invent new ways to be creative on the web. It also means that Mozilla is going to continue spreading maker culture, and those of us that are part of this culture have a responsibility to share our values with the world at large.

I’ll admit it: I am a total Mofo junky (if you read my blog regularly, you already know this), and it’s not just because it’s staffed by wickedly smart and awesome people. It’s because the new direction of the foundation will create bridges between technology and culture and inspire cross disciplinary learning. These connections inspire cultural, social, and institutional change, and I think that we’re at a point in history where all of that is pretty desperately needed.

Mozfest was rad, I’ll have more to say about it soon, but at the moment I’m just happy exhausted.

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