The Seed&Spark Blog

Seed&Spark Updates
Growing to help even more creators build sustainable careers

September 2, 2019

Big news today, as Seed&Spark and writer/director/producer Mark Duplass announce an expansion of our partnership to empower independent filmmakers outside of the traditional Hollywood ecosystem with the Creative Sustainability Summit. The series of free one-day conferences kicks off September 29 in Milwaukee at John Ridley’s Nō Studios...and both Mark and John will be in attendance! Sponsored by Shutterstock and Final Draft, registration for the Milwaukee Creative Sustainability Summit is open now.


“I'm fortunate to be in a position where I'm able to unofficially mentor filmmakers, helping them dial in what's working and what's not on a project. Some of those have launched big careers, but it's limited to my immediate community. Seed&Spark is on the road year-round meeting with filmmakers in every nook and cranny of the U.S., doing the same hard work of empowering independent creators. Working together, we're now able to help people we'd likely never encounter on our own,” Duplass said. 


Subsequent Summits with Mark will take place quarterly through 2019 and 2020 (additional cities have yet to be announced).


As part of his participation in each quarter’s Summit, Duplass will help several local filmmakers crack their project in a live interactive Hometown Heroes panel. Filmmakers will be prompted to submit their project for consideration when they register for the free event, and those selected will be announced live at the beginning of the panel before joining Duplass on stage to work through their project in real-time. Filmmakers of all genres, backgrounds and experience levels are encouraged to submit for the Milwaukee panel by registering before Sept. 25.


The Milwaukee Creative Sustainability Summit will also feature our world-class workshops on film funding and distribution and a conversation on screenwriting between Mark and John, who won an Academy Award for his adapted screenplay for 12 Years A Slave


“I chose Milwaukee as the site for No Studios not only because it’s my hometown but because of the thriving creative community here and the desire to provide a space in the city for the creation and presentation of art,” said Ridley. “When Seed&Spark approached us with the idea to launch their Creative Sustainability Summit series here, we jumped at the opportunity, as our mission is so well aligned with their efforts to encourage artists to find meaningful work and support in their own communities. And of course, it’s going to be terrific to introduce Mark Duplass to all the talented creators in Milwaukee.”


And there's more!


Our education footprint is expanding in the US and Canada with the addition of five new instructors to meet the demands for workshops for filmmakers and storytellers across all media. A huge welcome to Lindy Boustedt, Bri Castellini, Malerie Grady, Maria Maella and Gerry Maravilla — all working filmmakers who have successfully crowdfunded and are primed to share their knowledge and experience with creators all over the country.


In 2018, more than 4,500 creators attended 140 Seed&Spark events. Attendees of those events who went on to launch projects on our platform have raised close to $4M to make their movies and shows. We've already hosted more than 70 events in 2019, with dozens more scheduled throughout the fall and winter. 


“Providing creators the information, tools and inspiration to build sustainable careers has been part of our mission since the very beginning, and we couldn’t have a better partner to do that with than Mark Duplass,” said Emily Best, Seed&Spark founder and CEO. “The Creative Sustainability Summit ties together all the pieces from funding and audience building through production and distribution to give creators anywhere, at any stage of their careers, the ability to leverage the incredible power and talent of their local creative communities. You don’t have to move to LA or New York to have a sustainable creative career — and the old Hollywood business models probably won’t work for you. But there is tremendous opportunity in doing things differently, and Mark is one of the people who has blazed a trail.”


Ready to learn more? Our events calendar is updated weekly, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for announcements, including dates and locations for future Creative Sustainability Summits! 





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