Cross Disciplinary Filmmaking in the Digital Age

New York Foundation for the Arts Cross Disciplinary Filmmaking Panel Thursday February 23, 6:00PM

On Thursday, February 23rd, theNew York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) hosted a panel discussion on cross-disciplinary filmmaking, featuring four media artists who create and tell stories using multiple platforms (also known as transmedia). The panel was moderated by Brian Newman, former CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute and featured artists Volker Goetze (, Jon Cohrs (, Candace Thompson ( and Judy Lieff ( After a brief introduction of the artists and their work, Newman led a panel discussion on how the participants choose which disciplines to include in their projects, how to use cross-disciplinary projects to obtain larger audiences for an artist’s work and how to monetize individual projects. Some of the artists on the panel voiced their frustration with sometimes having to include additional platforms (that they might not originally have chosen to include) just so that the final work could be considered for additional festivals or grants. Lieff stressed the importance of focusing on the individual needs of a project, as opposed to forcing a particular form onto a work. For the most part, the panelists were not recognizing financial gain from their current projects, but instead were focused on how individual works could enhance their careers on a larger scale. The artists made reference to online resources they’ve used in the past to help them save money including an open source subtitling movement ( and an online service that explains how to code your own website ( After a question and answer session from the audience, Newman thanked NYFA for hosting the event and concluded the panel. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I found each of the panelists’ stories to be quite encouraging. Although the projects weren’t providing any financial gains, I was impressed by the artists’ ability to create transmedia projects while supporting themselves with other jobs, and was inspired to continue my own cross-disciplinary endeavors. As told by Erich Rettstadt Filmmaker working in New York City and graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television
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