Act One Flips the Writer's Room on Its Head

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Act One launches an incubator lab designed to inspire the youth of today through stories told on the digital platforms.

This is an exhilarating and challenging time to be in the storytelling business. Here are the facts:

  • 3 billion videos are viewed per day on YouTube (Techcrunch, 2015)
  • 100 million Vine videos are watched per month (Techcrunch, 2015)
  • And “in the space of 4 years, almost one-third of” the teen and young adult age group’s “traditional TV viewing time…migrated to other activities” (Marketing Charts)

The world of storytelling has shifted and Act One has shifted with it.

Launching this August, the Act One Filmmakers Digital Lab—with funding made possible by the John Templeton Foundation and working in conjunction with Fuller Seminary’s Thrive Center—will blend the latest research in positive psychology, technology, and high-quality storytelling to grab the attention of the generations growing up in the digital YouTube age.

“We care about youth,” says Christina Lee Storm, Executive Producer for the Filmmakers Digital Lab and Act One President. “We are weaving technology, science, and story together in a way that is relevant and allows them to discover the power of Gratitude in their lives.”

A team of writers and transmedia/social media producers were selected from a talented pool of Act One alum applicants. As Filmmakers Digital Lab Fellows, they will participate in a one-year, ground-breaking, advanced Lab that will develop, craft, and write online content based on the theme of Gratitude.

Drawing from the latest research, the Fellows will be taught by Gratitude subject matter experts like Dr. Giacomo Bono, author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, Dr. Sarah Schnitker, Associate Professor in the Thrive Center for Human Development at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology, and Dr. Justin Barrett, Director of the Thrive Center for Human Development and Thrive Professor of Developmental Science, Department of Clinical Psychology School of Psychology.

The flagship program will allow the talented team of Act One Fellows to merge the leading research and technology to tell meaningful stories geared for the youth of today. It will also give them the chance to:

  • Collaborate in creating short form content in a creator’s room while honing their interactive storytelling skills
  • Learn from top new media industry professionals and the Lab Advisory Board including Ash Greyson (Ribbow Media), Lindsey Kerns (Funny or Die), Christian McGuigan (Participant Media) - how to best utilize current technology and the most advanced strategies for connecting with and cultivating audiences online
  • Develop the concepts, the characters, and the specific plots for twelve 3-5 minute web series episodes + 1 web series pilot designed primarily for a teen audience
  • Curate, craft, and create content while working in all aspects including development, pre-production, social media, marketing, production, and post-production.

The Filmmakers Digital Lab is spearheaded by Act One President Christina Lee Storm (Producer, Life After Pi ), Act One VP of Programming Lara Sumera, Justin Bell, and Kara Lee Burk.

As the Showrunner, Kara Lee Burk will bring her years of writing experience to the Creator’s Room. Kara has written for the TV shows Peabody & Sherman, King Julien, and Melissa & Joey. She is also a graduate of the Warner Bros. Writer’s Workshop. Justin Bell is a creative feature film and television producer (Elsa & Fred, Full of Grace, A Leading Man) and will head up the transmedia/social media team.

A dynamic organization, Act One has hundreds of its alumni working as producers, writers, executives, and more. Act One Alums meld their faith with their work and their art combining a heart to love and serve Hollywood. Their Alumni are prepared for careers marked by integrity and excellence in writers’ rooms, on sets, and in studio and network offices. Act One’s vision is to see produced cinema, television, and digital media that respects and serves the global audience, combining mastery of craft with depth and substance.

Act One is building a faith-powered community in Hollywood, advancing that community professionally, and going Global. In service of this vision, Act One offers a variety of educational programs including their highly acclaimed Producing and Entertainment Executive Program and Writing for Film & Television Program taught and endorsed by industry professionals both stateside and internationally.

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Christopher Dalton
Act One Inc.
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