by Andrew Lapin.
Wendy Levy, the director of arts consultancy group New Arts AXIS, called for documentary filmmakers to embrace big data tools as a permanent part of their storytelling process during the keynote address at the Media That Matters Conference, held Feb. 15 in Washington, D.C.
“It’s time to think about data and public media more holistically,” Levy said, calling for “radical new models of collaboration” between filmmaking and the world of data. “A campaign without a data strategy is like the sound of a tree falling in that proverbial empty forest.”
Levy is also a senior consultant with the Sundance Institute and the co-founder of Sparkwise, a MacArthur Foundation-funded free data service for nonprofits. She is working to incorporate data strategy into new films like When I Walk, an autobiographical account of filmmaker Jason DaSilva’s battle with multiple sclerosis and a 2013 Sundance Film Festival entry. The film, which is partially funded through CPB’s Independent Television Service, has not had a theatrical release yet, but is to incorporate an interactive map tracking handicap accessibility in New York City as part of its release campaign.
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