About two years ago, Irish-born singer-songwriter Mark Dignam — a father of two who lives in Pittsburgh — took his band, the House of Song, into Treelady Recording Studios together with a live audience primed to sing along. The result was Mark’s latest CD, “Re-Build,” which has gained critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Most demo reels are fast-paced collections of flashy images, cut to dramatic production music, with loads of special effects. In other words, eye candy. That’s not my style. Beautiful pictures are important, to be sure, but so is uniqueness of content. I specialize in finding people and events outside the media spotlight and documenting them with empathy and finesse. Here’s a 20-minute cross-section of recent work that I’m proud of.

You can decide for yourself how well I’m doing at reaching this goal. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m de-emphasizing smaller video jobs (business profiles, song demos and audition videos) in the coming months to put more time into creating marketable, memorable long-form documentaries and concert videos.

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I’m taking a few weeks away from video work to organize my files, my house and my life, and start thinking about priorities for 2015. I’ve been spending a lot of time this past year chasing video jobs and coming up short, both in terms of making money and in terms of artistic satisfaction. My time on this planet being limited, I’ve decided to leave that overpopulated field to others and refocus on creating long-form programs about things I love, namely music and the performing arts. Meanwhile, here’s a short sampler of work I’ve done in the past couple of months.

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FAVORITES AROUND THE WEB

I recently posted my own two cents worth about Net Neutrality and the Small Indie Filmmaker. I’ve been following the issue and I’m surprised at the number of simplistic and misleading opinion pieces I’ve seen on the subject. Here are some good ones.

One huge obstacle to an open internet is the fact that cable operators in most parts of the country are local monopolies with no competition. Wired magazine says local governments and utility companies bear some of the blame for this. Here’s the article.

“Reclassification” of the Internet as a public utility, subject to the same kind of regulation as local phone companies, is the most promising way to keep the Internet competitive. Here’s an article explaining so-called Title II Reclassification in understandable terms.

Yeshiva University law professor Susan Crawford is one of the foremost experts in this field. Here is Crawford’s view of what it takes for communities to build their own broadband networks, open to all carriers.

Community Broadband Networks is an entire site devoted to the idea that the United States could catch up with Sweden, Japan and other countries where broadband service is fast and cheap.

Meanwhile, Tim Wu, the academic who invented the term “net neutrality”, is running for office on a platform heavy on ideas about technology and freedom. Here’s a story about his campaign, which is being crowdfunded.

 


        

Tom Weber Films LLC is a producer and distributor of films about music, including the feature-length documentary Troubadour Blues. We also produce artist profiles, electronic press kits, music videos, multi-camera live concert programs and narrative films. We act as distributor for other filmmakers in the North American and international markets. Welcome to our website.







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