Megan Sweeney explores Tech Startups and Music

4 Dec

Megan SweeneyGiven 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?

For The Founders, I absolutely love meeting and filming the people.  TechStars attracts some extremely smart, funny, hard working & interesting people.  I learn so much from them and it’s an honor to film a glimpse of their life.
For The Window Seat, I love working with Christy and she introduces me to so much new music.  There are no rules so it’s just having fun with music.

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?

If you don’t try you won’t succeed.  Like the Grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine says “A real loser is someone who’s so afraid of not winning, they don’t even try.”  Easier said than done, I know.

What’s next for you?

I’m continuing to create content with Christy for The Window Seat and there will be new & exciting videos for TechStars TV.

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2 Responses to “Megan Sweeney explores Tech Startups and Music”

  1. Megan December 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm #

    Thanks Derek!

  2. anthonyferreri December 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    “Industrial film”, to me, conjures this image of a guy in a stuffy suit walking in the aisles of some back-of-store warehouse talking to a camera.

    I checked out the first episode of TechStars TV and it’s interesting to see Megan taking the documentary approach not only in terms of applicants and participants but also by showcasing the organization this way. It’s certainly not an “industrial”, nor is it boring. Very cool.

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