Make Your Mark Stresses DIY Ethic

by Christopher Walsh New York, NY (October 17, 2007)--The Avid- and Microsoft-sponsored Make Your Mark tour landed in New York City on October 13 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel.
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by Christopher Walsh
Caption: (l-r) producer Carmen Rizzo, SXSW's Jarod Neece, music industry consultant Tim Sweeney, animation director Chris Johnson, and moderator Scott Campbell of Broad Street Digital.New York, NY (October 17, 2007)--The Avid- and Microsoft-sponsored Make Your Mark tour landed in New York City on October 13 at the Millennium Broadway Hotel.

Featuring a panel of talented producers, engineers and executives in the music and film industries, followed by several breakout sessions with additional audio and video professionals, Make Your Mark stressed the do-it-yourself theme of digital audio workstation-created recordings, home or personal studios, and old-fashioned networking.

Manufacturers, including Digidesign, Avid, M-Audio, Pinnacle, Sibelius and Softimage, exhibited equipment throughout the event, which opened with a short film in which producers Ed Cherney and George Massenburg, among others, attested to the viability of mixing "in the box." In brief remarks, Nancy Hawthorne, interim CEO of Avid, then told the audience that "We are here to listen to you," and that the manufacturers present are "making ways for you to be creative and make your mark."

The panel "Making It: Inside Advice on How to Stand Out and Get Noticed," moderated by Scott Campbell of Broad Street Digital, focused on creating a buzz about one's self and art. Producer/composer Carmen Rizzo noted the importance of independent artists' direct contact with fans and media, explaining that many spend hours each day answering fan e-mail and updating websites and myspace pages. Fans, he said, take note of this attention. "Because the [music] industry has crashed and burned," he added, "you have the same shot as everybody else" on a now-level playing field.

"You have to create your own opportunities," added music industry consultant Tim Sweeney, who advised indie artists to send monthly updates to media, not simply a single press kit. Sweeney also recommended that indie artist to attend conferences for locating film and television licensing opportunities for their music, and to concentrate on their particular market and others in proximity, always working the media in said markets. He also suggested artists begin videotaping live shows to sell on DVD.

There is no such thing as failure, said moderator Campbell, only feedback. "You have to treat everyone seriously," Rizzo added, "because the next big thing could be anyone."

The "Making It" panel was followed by smaller sessions featuring film editor Shelly Westerman, production/remix team the Rondo Brothers, 3D artist/filmmaker Youngwoong Jang, Softimage's Mark Schoennagel, and Rizzo, who led "Redefining the Studio" with M-Powered and M-Audio interfaces.

Make Your Mark
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