By Lance Weiler, October 21st, 2009

We’re less than four weeks away from DIY DAYS LA. On Thursday November 19th, DIY DAYS returns to LA for an evening of talks and networking. Plus the night will end with a rooftop party. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

DIY DAYS LA is FREE but requires you to REGISTER in advance of the event. Space is limited and is on a first come first serve basis.

The following is the current program listing. There are two very special guests who we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks. And as always if you’re interested in lending a hand we’re always looking for volunteers work [@] workbookproject [dot] com. It’s the volunteers who help to make the events possible and also allow us to make them FREE.


The following speakers are confirmed for DIY DAYS LA.

Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost, Day One) :: Elan Lee (4th Wall Studios) :: Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma, HiM) :: Scott Macaulay (producer of Gumo, Raising Victor Vargas, editor of Filmmaker Magazine) :: Jon Reiss (Bomb it! and author of Thinking Outside the Box(office) ):: Jerry Paffendorf (artist, futurist, entrepreneur) :: Dan Mirvish (Omha the movie, Open House, The Eisenstadt Experience) ***CHECK BACK we’ll be adding more speakers in the coming weeks.


As we continue our series of discussions around the evolution of storytelling we’re joined by two pioneers in the space who are extending the experiences that surrounds the stories they tell. From massive global gaming experiences to hit TV shows Jesse Alexander (Heroes, Lost, Day One) and Elan Lee (Co-Founder and Chief Designer at Fourth Wall Studios) share the art and craft of how they design and develop transmedia experiences that create rich media franchises and engage audiences in new and interesting ways.

With the advent of new technologies, devices and the emerging real-time aspects of the web, stories can travel and build audiences in new and exciting ways. The confines of a single format are replaced with the ability to move audiences from one experience to another — from one screen or device to another. There has been a lot of hype around the concept of social media but what does it really mean for storytellers? How can you use free tools and services to tell stories, engage an audience and most importantly, extend the life of your project? Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma, HiM) walks you through the process of getting up and running, understanding how to staff, how to budget, how to engage an audience and how to set realistic goals whilst determining measurements of success.

Dan Mirvish (Omaha the movie, Open House) charts his course from short film to web series to political scandals to an eventual book deal that is now leading to the whole story being optioned and turned into a film. “I Am Martin Eisenstadt: One Man’s (wildly inappropriate) Adventures with the Last Republicans,” is a mix of political intrigue, campaign-trail escapades, and cyberspace detective work. Desperate to rise through the ranks of Washington’s media punditocracy, Eisenstadt insinuates himself into the last 30 years of American politics – from losing his virginity to Fawn Hall, to interning on the Willie Horton ad campaign, to buying Sarah Palin’s wardrobe. Mirvish shares how his work has evolved beyond a single medium and the liberation that working within one’s limitations can bring.

As content creators of all kinds strive to build fan bases and cultivate audiences for their work, many are finding that their best promotional vehicle is themselves. Panelists will discuss the benefits and pitfalls of creating an online cult of personality. How to develop an online persona, issues of privacy, and extending your own persona to work by others will all be discussed by a diverse group from different content industries.

The world of discovery and distribution is changing by the moment. DIY and hybrid distribution is becoming the A option for many filmmakers. But how do you find the strategy that’s going to work best for you? How do you reach and engage audiences while achieving a degree of sustainability? Join Jon Reiss, award winning filmmaker and DIY distribution expert as he shares stories from the frontlines, much of which can be applied to those wishing to connect their creative efforts with an audience in meaningfully ways.

Loveland is a collaborative art meets urban revitalization meets social ownership experiment that is attempting to sell off a million square inches of Detroit off at a $1 each. Jerry Paffendorf (artist, futurist, and entrepreneur) shares his vision for the project and how he is crowdsourcing the funding of his start-up while taking a creative approach to the design of not only the concept behind the project but also the way in which it is funded. Rooted within a hook that some might consider a novelty (million dollar homepage pops to mind), Paffendorf is embracing the playfulness of LOVELAND’s actual and virtual inches by documenting the process as if it was a natural history / storytelling project. The approach appears to be paying off as inchvestors are preparing all kinds of creative things around their plots. In the process LOVELAND could prove to be an interesting revitalization project that turns areas of Detroit and other cities into collaborative social art that is self-sustaining.

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Lance Weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects.

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  • Wow...wish I would have gone to the LA DIY days when they were here. I want to do something similiar to get the San Diego artistic community interested and active. Have fun guys and thanks for clearing a path.

  • wow great collection of people!

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