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Empowering the Public by Explaining Complicated Issues: Jody Gottlieb on Media That Matters

Jody_GottliebThe 2015 Media That Matters conference is right around the corner, so we decided to let our #MTMDC panelists to introduce themselves and explain in their own words how they engage with media that matters.

Vulcan Productions’ director of development and production Jody Gottlieb will participate in the Stories of Impact panel.

Media and journalism – or the fourth estate – have always been essential ingredients of functioning democracies, political systems and movements for change. The first step toward change is usually identifying and understanding where our challenges as a society lie. And I think that media has the ability to bring truth and information to the masses, empowering people to make informed decisions about the way they live their lives and the way they participate in society, government and humanity as a whole.

Right now there is so much information out there, the public needs trusted voices to help them filter through the noise and to make informed choices. As the director of development and production at Vulcan Productions, I am responsible for the development and production of network series and specials, theatrical productions, feature documentaries, digital content, and social impact campaigns to persuade consumers and viewers to share in Vulcan's vision for positive change.

Vulcan Productions was founded by philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen, we produce compelling feature films, television series, specials and digital content and creates outreach initiatives designed to inspire people to take action on the critical issues of our time. Vulcan Productions is committed to supporting projects of significance that ignite progress and motivate audiences to generate measurable impact on the world.

Most recently, Vulcan Productions and Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan have partnered to produce We The Economy - 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss. Each film is helmed by an acclaimed filmmaker, each with their own creative vision. The series aims to drive awareness and establish a better understanding of the U.S. economy. Told through animation, comedy, musical, non-fiction, and scripted films, We the Economy seeks to demystify a complicated topic while empowering the public to take control of their own economic futures.

Furthermore, as part of a comprehensive relief campaign, through which the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has committed at least $100 million to stop the spread of Ebola, Vulcan Productions is engaged in media partnerships that bring life saving information to populations who are most effected by this global public health crisis. Current media partners in the campaign are BBC Media Action and CNN, with the production of The Unseen Enemy, a feature documentary that explores the global impact of pandemics.

Vulcan Productions projects have won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Emmy Award, the Grammy Award, Wildscreen Panda Award and the Sheffield Doc/Fest Green Award. Acclaimed films and series from the Vulcan Productions group include We The Economy, Pandora’s Promise, Girl Rising, Success at the Core, Hard Candy, The Blues and Racing Extinction.

Prior to joining Vulcan Productions in 2014, I served as the Executive Director of CNN Productions, the long-form programming division of CNN Worldwide and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. I helped create CNN’s  first-ever documentary series, produced and managed TBS Superstation's award-winning natural history series Wild!Life Adventures, managed production of the Peabody-winning Cold War series and the 10-hour Millennium and Oscar-nominated Autism is a World and much more.

At MTM, I welcome the opportunity to meet with other producers and particularly with filmmakers who are working in the impact space. We are always looking for new projects that have the potential to make significant, lasting and positive change with the biggest challenges of our time. The more talent, filmmakers and content creators we can meet and forge relationships with for the long term, the better.

I would add that Vulcan Productions is open to submissions from producers, directors and content creators who have projects that have the potential to make positive change in the world. I would encourage people at the conference to check out our website  and to contact us if they feel there may be an opportunity to work together.

Meet Jody and other innovative media makers at the Media That Matters conference February 19-20. If you haven't signed up yet, visit the registration page.