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For Immediate Release

Contact: Lisa Carparelli, 917-743-4537; landm113@peoplepc.com

Leading Independent Film and New Media Minds Collaborate at Crossover to Unite Powerful Content with Interactive Technologies

Web Lab Selects 42 Participants for Intensive Retreat Designed to Create "Next-Generation" Projects that Merge Media, Technology, Storytelling and Interactivity

NEW YORK, February 7, 2002--- Web Lab, a non-profit new media think tank, announced today the launch of Crossover, a unique initiative that will bring together independent film and videomakers with new media producers in a series of intensive labs and retreats to create innovative projects that turn viewing audiences into participants, or even creators. The first workshop, Studio A, will take place from February 20-25 at White Oak Plantation in Yulee, Florida, where 32 participants and ten guest artists will develop ideas for projects that combine the story telling skills of independent filmmaking with new kinds of interactivity made possible by emerging technology.

"We've seen great Web sites draw people in, get them involved, and change the way they think about themselves and the world," said Marc N. Weiss, founder of Web Lab."If that's possible with text and a few images, how much more powerful might it be to build new environments ---on the Web or elsewhere ---that combine sound and moving images with innovative uses of interactive technologies? Crossover is designed to find out."

Studio A participants were selected from a pool of over 400 applicants and represent a diverse group of individuals with some of the brightest and most innovative minds in film and new media. Collectively, Studio A participants have written, produced, directed, edited, programmed, recorded, animated, sculpted, photographed, reported, taught and had their critically acclaimed and award-winning work showcased all over the world. Bios of the participants can be found at www.weblab.org/crossover.

By combining case studies, games, discussions, presentations, brainstorms and collaborative experimentation, Studio A will inspire participants to explore the rich capabilities of new media and develop concepts for 100 new projects that engage audiences as active participants and creative partners, rather than passive consumers.

"When we talk about interactivity, we don't mean a mouse click," said Mr. Weiss."We don't mean selecting A, B, or C for the ending to a story. The kind of interactivity we're looking to explore is much more intricate and daring than that. It means changing the relationship between artist and audience. It means getting people involved, giving them the opportunity to make an impact and potentially being changed as a result. It's the difference between having your media streamed to you and getting right there inside of it."

Throughout the week, Studio A participants will upload project ideas, storyboards, conceptual diagrams and visual prototypes onto a Studio A Web site. At the end of the retreat, the site will serve as a resource to expand thinking in the field about new forms of work and may eventually become available to the public.

Shortly after Studio A ends, participants will be invited to submit proposals for projects they would like to produce. Working with entertainment and media companies, Web Lab will select five to ten projects for further development at Studio B, an intensive seven-day lab planned for later this year. Web Lab is also talking with finance and co-production partners about post-Studio B production and marketing. A limited number of non-commercial showcase projects may also be produced.

Studio A participants and guest artists include: Romy Achituv, Jorge Aguirre, Rachel Baker, Henry Bean, Alan Berliner, Carroll Parrott Blue, Linda Goode Bryant, Liz Canner, Adam Chapman, Pratap Chatarjee, Brian Clark, Brad deGraf, Sharon Denning, DJ Spooky, Toni Dove, Sidney Fels, Franz Fischnaller, Adam Frank, Ze Frank, Ryan Gibson, Jacqueline Goss, Sarah Gray, Chris Hackett, David Kaplan, Andruid Kerne, Victoria Mapplebeck, Paul Marino, John Cameron Mitchell, Hajoe Moderegger, Lynn Phillips, Josh Portway, Julia Reichert, Jeff Stark, Peter Stein, Daniel Torop, Tara Veneruso, Peggy Weil, Virgil Wong, and Adrianne Wortzel.

Crossover is a project of Web Lab in association with a Core Advisory Group comprised of the Sundance Institute, the Directors Guild of America and the Banff New Media Institute. Funding for the project is being provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the AOL Time Warner Foundation and The Howard Gilman Foundation, which is hosting Studio A.

In addition, the Crossover Advisory Committee, which consists of Allison Anders, Michael Apted, Barbara Kopple, David Lynch, John Cameron Mitchell, Rob Nilsson, Douglas Rushkoff, Penelope Spheeris, Robert Townsend and Eric Zimmerman, has been providing input at strategic points in the planning and development process.

About Web Lab

Founded in 1997 by Marc Weiss, a long-time leader in the independent film community and the creator of the celebrated public TV series "P.O.V.," Web Lab is a non-profit New York think tank dedicated to creating innovative, interactive techniques and projects that expand the potential of new media to make a positive, lasting impact on society.

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