Given my background as a tech entrepreneur and my day gig working at a TechStars company, Megan Sweeney was at the top of my list of interview subjects. Video has become a must-have tool for practically all companies with a significant web presence, and it’s great to see people like Megan bringing an artful sensibility to an area that has historically been, well, just plain dull. (I mean come on, what does the phrase “industrial film” bring to mind for you?) Fortunately Megan is out there rethinking what’s possible and bringing the passion of a devoted filmmaker to an equally passionate group of entrepreneurs and musicians.
Briefly tell us your background
I’m originally from outside Philadelphia, PA but headed west as soon as I graduated high school. I studied Cinema/TV with an emphasis in Production at the University of Southern California and loved it. Since then I moved to Colorado where I continue to shoot & edit all sorts of videos. I’m very appreciative that I can do what I love.
What current or recent project are you working on, and what is your role?
I work for TechStars, a startup accelerator program with mentorship from hundreds of the best entrepreneurs in the world, and am finishing up a project I shot all summer and am currently editing, a documentary web series called The Founders. It follows the adventures of startups as they go through TechStars and pursue their dreams. I’m also working with Christy Kruzick on a music web series called The Window Seat, which is basically our love letter to music. The Window Seat is a variety of videos all around music
How much time would you estimate you’ve devoted to this project?
For The Founders web series, shooting started in early May 2012 and there was a little time before to prepare. The program I was documenting ended August 10th 2012 but I’ve continued to film some interviews and the last episode will be posted December 13th.
What was the most difficult challenge you had in bringing this project to fruition?
I ended up with about 700 GB/1,900 minutes/31 hours of footage which wasn’t too much considering I was working on another big project while filming. It was challenging but fun & rewarding to organize the footage into 11 (5-6) minute episodes.
What was the best part of the project for you personally?
What’s the biggest thing or things you learned from doing this project?
The Founders web series has been very time consuming and tiring at moments. I’m filming people that are working on their own projects and taking major risks, working extremely long hours while keeping a positive outlook. Attitude is important. Even if something isn’t going well or is simply hard, have a sense of humor and a good attitude.
What’s one piece of advice would you give to someone considering a project like this and/or a career like yours?
What’s next for you?