How and why did you get involved in creating this project?
Jim: We were looking at some old issues of NoHo Magazine when we realized that we were coming up on the 20th anniversary of the NoHo Arts District. Then we thought we should do something to mark the occasion, and one thing led to another and we decided this is a terrific opportunity to tell the story of NoHo Magazine and the beginning of the NoHo Arts District.
What do you find most interesting about NoHo?
Jim: The interesting thing about NoHo, both today and 20 years ago, is that there is a definite creative energy in the area. There's also something ill-defined about NoHo which is actually really interesting. What is this place? What is happening here? Why is it happening? Is it real? The very name "NoHo" adds to this curiosity. Of course it is some kind of reference to the NoHo's of New York and London, but that seems kind of absurd here in North Hollywood. In fact, it seems kind of absurd in Los Angeles. The whole thing raises a lot of questions for which there are no definite answers. Hopefully our film will be able to tap into the substance of NoHo. It will either help people answer questions about NoHo, or it will add to the curiosity. Probably both.
Will people be surprised about what they see in this film?
Jim: We think that people will be very surprised about what they see in this film. In some ways it's a very intimate film about the journey of Jim Berg, the publisher of NoHo Magazine, into some very dark places. It is also an intimate film about a creative community, almost like a family, that doesn't always like each other or themselves, but find they are nonetheless bound to each other in this great experiment of community building that is the NoHo Arts District. People will be surprised that this is not just a historical documentary. NoHo Magazine wasn't just a news publication about what was happening in NoHo. It was a creative product of NoHo. The same is true of this film -- it is a creative product of the NoHo Arts District.
Tell me about the NoHo20 documentary. Who is the director?
Jim: We are very excited to have Ester Brym on board to direct the documentary. Ester is a perfect fit for this project on several levels. She has successfully produced her first feature documentary, Butterflies, which was selected by Arclight Cinemas for their film festival and was screened last month. Her film is about YouTube celebrity, so Ester has unique experience and insight into new media and social media. She is currently editing her second film, Autumn of Route 66, which is about that classic highway from Chicago to L.A. She knows how to tell a compelling story on the screen. And the clincher, of course, is that she lives in the NoHo Arts District.
How are you raising funds to do this project?
Jim: Our budget right now is set at $100,000. We anticipate that about half the funding will come from private individuals and organizations who are interested in NoHo and would like to see its story told to an audience that goes far beyond North Hollywood. This film will ultimately find a regional and national audience. The other half of the funding will come "crowd-sourcing" -- contributions from $10 to $1,000 that will be generated from several fundraising activities that we are planning. We are planning an Indie Go Go campaign in February to raise $10,000 to kick off the project. We are also planning a series of staged readings from NoHo Magazine to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the NoHo Arts District and raise funds for the film. We are using NoHo Magazine cover art to create products that can be sold to raise funds. Our NoHo Christmas cards, coffee mugs, note cards is a perfect example.
Check it out... http://noho20.com/merchandise/
How can people who love NoHo play a part in this project?
We need people to subscribe to our mailing list and Like us on Facebook -- this is very, very important! This will help us in fundraising today and help us to distribute the film when it's done. Besides fundraising, the most important key to the success of this project is audience-building.
NoHo20 Introduction Video
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