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Santa Cruz Goes Live

santacruzgoselive2Digital Media Factory launches new television show

Some cities keep their cultural evolution on the pause button, but not Santa Cruz. It continues to move in a fast forward motion, especially when it comes to the arts, as is the case with a new invention taking off at the Digital Media Factory (DMF) on the Westside of town.

“It” is a TV/radio show, a la Prairie Home Companion style—called Santa Cruz Live—an ongoing series of eclectic musically dominated performances, which will stream live from the DMF (in the former Wrigley building) onto the Internet. Plans also include for Santa Cruz Live to be screened on television, and to be heard on local radio station KUSP.

SantaCruzgoselive1

The program officially had its public launch on Christmas Day of 2007 when it aired on KUSP. However, it’s been in the gestating stages for some time.

About five years ago, local singer/songwriter Ginny Mitchell and her husband, Marty Collins, transformed a portion of the old Wrigley building into the DMF, which has now become a home for television and film productions. Since then, they have filmed (among other things) a number of concerts and fund-raisers, and the footage that was garnered triggered an idea for the DMF team. Why not take everything one step further?

“We’re now geared up with three high-def cameras, and in the spring we hope to be ready to broadcast live to TV stations,” says Mitchell.

In the meantime, they’ll be gathering up more footage, including a live performance happening on Feb. 2 at the DMF, featuring the newly formed musical group, The Velveteens. Bandmembers include Mitchell and Mary McCaslin, who together create Americana/folk/country music.

“We hope this (Santa Cruz Live) will be a sort of flagship in branding [Santa Cruz] … it has such a rich, musical culture,” Mitchell says. “And I also think it will help promote the digital film industry here as well.”

Additionally, the DMF may serve as another enticing venue for touring and local musicians, and if those artists perform at the DMF, they’ll get an extra perk—face time in front of televised audiences.

The plan is to move Santa Cruz Live into a monthly performance, then ‘fast forward’ into bimonthly and eventually biweekly offerings.

“I think the time has come,” Mitchell says. “I think Santa Cruz is uniquely positioned. I think the town is hungry for another successful industry to rise up. We don’t want to edge anyone out. It’s really about the community. … It’s my dream that it will stand our industry up and help support the musical community and help brand Santa Cruz, help tourism and help other musical artists.”

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