The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

Be Creative for a Cause


If you are a filmmaker, video/motion graphics professional or simply a film enthusiast, International Justice Mission (IJM) wants you to be a part of the At the End of Slavery movement today!

At the End of Slavery is a powerful 30-minute documentary that takes viewers into the dark and dangerous underworld of human trafficking, bringing into the light some of the world’s 27 million slaves. IJM is looking for talented film professionals to participate in a trailer contest that will help us spread the word about the film and start a modern-day abolitionist movement.

Interested individuals should complete the free contest registration online at and receive a toolkit that includes official rules and guidelines, a digital, high-resolution version of ATEOS, and a series of design files, video clips and audio files to be used with their trailer entry as they see fit.

Guest judges include:
• Phil Cooke, a filmmaker, producer, media specialist and consultant whose work focuses on creating personal and organizational (with a specialty in non-profit and faith-based) cultures where real change happens.
• Craig Detweiler, director of the new Center for Entertainment, Media and Culture at Pepperdine University in Malibu. His documentary, “Purple State of Mind”, won Best Spiritual Film at the 2008 Breckenridge Festival of Film and the Audience Award at the 2009 Tallahassee Film Festival.
• Brent Gudgel, film director who co-directed and award-winning documentary “Dear Francis” about the most HIV-infected nation in the world, which has aired on Showtime, and been used by universities and churches around the world. The latest project from him is DEIDOX
• Gregg Helvey, who directed and produced “Kavi,” the winning film of the 2009 Student Academy Award gold medal, about a young boy who is a modern-day slave in a brick kiln in India.
• Dave Mahanes, a partner in the production company Chronicle Project, who has overseen the production of documentaries, promotional videos and film shorts, including “Dear Francis.” The latest project from him is DEIDOX.

The trailer contest officially ends Friday, September 18, 2009 and entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET to be eligible for judges and audience voting.

Here’s the current trailer

At The End Of Slavery – Extended Trailer from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

Grand Prize is:

  • A trip for 2 to Washington DC’s Premiere Event on September 30th
  • A public viewing of your trailer before the event and recognition.
  • The winning trailer becomes the trailer seen by thousands across the country as THE trailer for the film.

Don’t miss out on this chance to play a part in starting a modern-day abolitionist movement! Send in your trailer contest entries, and be a part of the At the End of Slavery movement today!

Sign Up Today


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Post Idea Camp Wrap-Up

We were extremely thrilled to be a part of Idea Camp – Washington, DC last weekend. Anytime there’s an opportunity to share a roster with the likes of charity:water, The ONE Campaign, International Justice Mission, Global Need, and a slew of other incredible organizations – we’re there! The event was

The full event and main sessions are being processed for the web and will be posting as part of their Vimeo profile. Big THANKS to Daniel “DK” & Sadie Kim (the crown she made me was a big hit, plus they may have the cutest kid ever!), Dawn Carter, and Sam Song for their work behind the scenes to pull it all together. Also MASSIVE thanks to Charles Lee for his oversight to the entire project and he banks in relationship capital in ways we haven’t dreamed of yet.

As for the workshop, I was fortunate to be the facilitator of a session called “Augmenting Your Story with Video” – here’s what we talked about:

There was a great mix of people who were interested in film, organizations that were testing the waters with film/video and then there was the guys from Chronicle Project. Everyone who was in the room already understood that film/video was essential to their voice being heard in today’s world. Fortunately for me there were a truck load of videos shown at the main session including Deidox | Lindsay and charity:water’s latest campaign for September Birthday’s.

The best part was that we talked about this short at great length. It had launched just a few days before ICDC and I was so impressed by it that I found out who made it (Upstream Visual from Austin, TX) and sent them an email congratulating them on such great work. It captured a great balance of story (info), great visuals (shots) and left me wanting to take action (connection).

Other thoughts/issues/solutions that came out of the session:

  • Be able to tell me your goal/what you do in a sentence. (Stop Modern Day Slavery, Give Clean Water to the World) If you can’t tell someone don’t expect your promo to fix that.
  • Everyone has a friend who has a camera – that doesn’t make them storytellers. You get what you pay for.
  • Do research on the company you’re hiring – check their previous projects. The work that they’ve done is likely to be the work that they’d continue to do. Make sure you like the look and the feel of it.
  • Animation = crazy cash. It’s gorgeous but it’s time intensive.
  • HD is a must

What have you seen lately that you’ve liked? What do you think of charity:water’s latest campaign video?


Join Us At Idea Camp


This blog excerpt is taken from Dan’s Blog at In addition to the “Augmenting Your Story With Video” workshop being facilitated by Dan, many of our friends will be represented. Including Tim Grahl from Out:Think Group, Justin, Justin and Won from Abandon Films and Brent Gudgel and Dave Mahanes from Chronicle Project.

It’s just a few weeks away and I’m literally counting the days to Idea Camp. I think this whole idea has been a bit of a phenomenon. Idea Camp wasn’t even a glimmer of an “Idea” a year ago and to be already posting it’s second event – it’s really unheard of.

Here’s why I like it:

The distance between the facilitators/presenters and attendees is tiny.
This is a lot like the Blog World Expo in Vegas. The guys/gals at the front of the room are talking to relative equals not newbies vs experts. As a result it keeps presenters from giving bad info because they’d be called on the carpet. It also guarantees that with so many good brains in the room everyone leaves with some new knowledge.

The networking is amazing
If there has been one event that has been paramount in making connections during the last year and a half in California – it’s idea Camp. I met organizations, non profits and thought leaders that I would never meet otherwise. On top of that I got to share meals with them and got to have my socks knocked off. This is also a good place to tell you my most embarrassing moment. The very lovely Cynthia Ware (The Digital Sanctuary) lead the Facilitators luncheon, it was going great until she gave some small instructions: “We’re going to go around the room and tell us a little bit about yourself, why your here and really take your time.”

She then looked to her right and I went first… and as it turned out I followed her directions exactly but, in fact, too well. I took the lions share of that time… Looking back I was mortified at my actions and thankfully a few different presenters didn’t let me forget it (You know who you are!!)

The attitude is so different
The best part about the luncheon (and the weekend) was that just about every person was surprised to be counted in the same group with people at the table. It was great servant leadership and I was thrilled to be a part of it. It also doesn’t hurt to be helmed by Charles Lee, if you’ve met him, you know what I mean. He’s so humble and he’s brilliant – so it’s tough to buck that trend.

Workshops, workshops, workshops!!
At the first event the workshops were varied and it was easy to navigate which ones interested me. But for DC, I’m already seeing the lineup and I’m going to have a tough time making choices. The amount of guys who are coming into DC on their own dime to share their expertise in really unheard of.

You get out what you put in
The whole ethos of the 2 day “un-conference” is to hear ideas. Ideas come and go – the genius is there.. and then it’s gone. The beauty about Idea Camp is that if you’re coming to the table with some ideas – there are a lot of people at the Idea Camp who will give your idea a whack and see if it holds up.

Looking back – I would’ve paid at least $50 for the first Idea Camp, but you don’t have to!

So Dan, what are you doing with it?

So glad you asked! I’ve got the fortunate pleasure of talking about video/film as a device to tell stories better. You know it’s done, you know it’s obvious. The wild thing to me is that although it’s simple.. it’s not easy to do it well. I’ll be sharing some examples I’ve found that show both success and failure.

And the best part about it – I get to set the table. I already know some serious digital storytellers will be in the room and they’ll be bringing a ton of great info. I hope you can make it!

The Idea Camp is taking place in Arlington on August 28th and 29th – Click here to register This installment is all about compassion and social justice and already over 40 organizations will be represented. See you there!