Big event kicks off to bring talent, classes to Salt Lake City for film and TV connoisseurs

3/2/2018 - SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(News4Utah) A big event kicks off today at the University of Utah for people working in music, TV and film. It's called the Lightspark Media Summit, and it's got the stamp of approval from Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, and the Co-Founder of the Lightspark Media Foundation, joined Brian Carlson to talk about why it's so important.

Lightspark is the only professional conference of its kind in the Intermountain West. It's two days of learning and networking in entertainment media designed for creative professionals, lawyers, students, and anyone else who's interested in film and TV, music, augmented and virtual reality, social media, and video games. It includes interactive panel discussions, lively presentations, an unforgettable keynote conversation, and plenty of networking opportunities.

The entertainment media industries are largely based on relationships. Who you know matters a lot for getting projects off the ground. Salt Lake is really good at grooming talent, that we often lose to the coasts, because there's not enough consistent work and infrastructure to keep people employed full-time. If Salt Lake is going to emerge as another epicenter of media production, we have to build a community strategically.

Last year Lightspark had over 350 registrants across a variety of industries. The mix was about one-third creative professionals, one-third lawyers, and one-third students, which is exactly what they were hoping for. People made some great connections. There's a cocktail hour at the end of the day and they had to kick participants out at the end, because several groups had formed and were talking with each other about their projects. The band that played, The Federal Empire, also worked with two other panelists on projects unrelated to Lightspark, because they met there. In addition, they got nearly unanimously positive feedback from the survey that was sent out.

Salt Lake City is a diverse city that's committed to fostering the arts. We've got a full-time symphony orchestra, we've got a state-of-the-art Broadway theatre, we've got a thriving independent film scene, and every great music act--large or small--passes through, because Salt Lake City is the crossroads of the west. Our strength comes from our willingness to engage with each other-with people from different backgrounds and cultures, so that we can learn and enrich our own lives. Where we need to do better is supporting the creative professionals working in the industry and connecting students with job opportunities so they can stay in the city they love and actually work.

While Salt Lake is a great place to live from an arts and culture perspective, entertainment media is also a big business. The Utah Film Commission released a major report last year that examined opportunities for growth, and EDCUtah is also preparing to release an extensive analysis of how we can grow the entertainment media sector to fortify that segment of the economy. Lightspark wants to keep Salt Lake's rising stars here, and attract other cities' best and brightest. In order to do that, the city has to be able to offer interesting work, and not just great culture, affordability, and a good quality of life.

Because this is an interdisciplinary event, Lightspark has speakers representing film/TV, music, AR/VR, social media, and video games. Amy Redford and their keynotes--that will be announced very soon--are from the film/TV industry. There will be music performances from Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees and VadaWave (Quinn Allman from The Used and Megan Joy from American Idol). Three-time Grammy-winning producer Rob Cavallo will also be there. He produced albums with Green Day, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Paramore, and plenty of other multi-platinum-selling artists. 

Lightspark wants everyone who is interested in learning more about entertainment media and the arts. You don't have to work in film or music to get something out of Lightspark. They've got a masterclass on building your social media brand. There's a songwriting workshop, and roundtable discussions at lunch. Whether you're a graphic designer or an accountant who loves video games, you will learn something interesting and hang out with like-minded people.

The event will be held at the University of Utah all day on Friday, March 2nd at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. The hands-on Workshops start with brunch on Saturday, March 3rd at the David Eccles School of Business. Parking is free!

See the complete lineup at www.Lightspark.Media.

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