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A Look Back at TIVA in 2019

2019 really was a year focused on quality over quantity. While we did not host as many events as we have in years past, we worked to ensure that the panels and events we did host we memorable and beneficial to the TIVA membership. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the past year’s highlights.

TIVA/WIFV/SAG-AFTRA/PGA/Actors’ Center Winter Holiday Party

January 25 | Sidney Harman Hall

This year’s winter celebration was bigger than ever, with partnerships from not only longtime past co-host Women in Film and Video, but also SAG-AFTRA, the Producers Guild of America, and The Actors’ Center. Attendees mixed and mingled with friends, family, co-workers, and past and future collaborators at this traditional blow-out gala event.

Show Us Your Reel

March 7 | Interface Media Group

Show Us Your ReelThis year’s Show Us Your Reel event (emceed by TIVA Executive Director Todd Clark) was (as we’ve become fond of saying) like an open mic night — but with more talent on display than most. Attendees brought either their reel, a sample of their music or announcing skills, or just came and told us why they should be hired! As always, this event was packed with talent — attendees talked or presented for about one to two minutes before their reels were shown, with accomapnying Q&A and networking both before and after (though time afterward was limited as we crammed in every possible bit of content we could in the time available).

Getting Started in Your Media Career

March 9 | DC Independent Film Festival

A fast-paced “speed-meeting,” where questions were answered on all things media and career in a workshop format where small groups had a chance to learn from the experts and each other. Participants talked with a producer, director, post-production expert and cinematographer.


Sam Cascells, cinematographer, is the Founder of Castle Ward Media, with experience on professional video/film productions ranging from feature length narratives to commercial advertising to music videos, corporate events, micro-budget short films, and everything in between.

Todd Clark, Executive Director of TIVA and Founding Director at ONANON Productions, an independent video production and gala event production company in Washington, D.C. Client list includes nonprofit CBOs; local, federal and International governments; state and county health departments; national trade associations; and a wide range of renowned arts organizations, local businesses, and government agencies.

Conrad Weaver, a producer and director of documentary and feature films, and the owner of Conjostudios, LLC, a video production company based in Emmitsburg, Maryland. His work includes the documentaries Great American Wheat Harvest, Thirsty Land and Heroin’s Grip. Conrad is also the executive producer on the feature film Scars of an Orphan.

Stonehenge Auditions

April 17 | Interface Media Group

Stonehenge AuditionsPhoto by Bill Coughlan

In conjunction with Team Jabberwocky, TIVA co-hosted the final of three sessions for this year’s Spring Stonehenge Auditions! This special event is for the benefit of our members and the larger production community, and as such was a bit different from our usual meeting fare. Stonehenge Auditions is a mass audition where actors are videotaped delivering 90-second film and TV monologues — in rapid succession, in front of dozens of filmmakers and casting directors who need talent for upcoming projects. Producers and actors have reported over 1,500 roles in over 600 projects being cast starting with auditions at Stonehenge since it started in 2005. Over 30 actors registered and auditioned in a fast-paced afternoon of creative expression, career building and fun.

Video Kit Hands-On Showcase

June 3 | DC Camera

Video Kit Hands-On ShowcaseA fantastic gear panel (moderated by TIVA Executive Director Todd Clark) and hands-on demonstration was held on Thursday, June 6th, at DC Camera! This was the first time that TIVA has partnered with DC Camera — attendees checked out the latest in equipment, and submitted their names for a discount DC Camera rental package giveaway. DC Camera is Washington DC‘s premier motion picture and photography equipment rental facility, providing exceptional service to professional filmmakers and photographers in the Washington DC Metro area.


Dennis Boni, who for more than three decades has filmed Presidents and rock stars, ordinary people and extraordinary animals, filmed underwater and in the air, for feature films, commercials, documentaries and corporate clients. In 2008 he was nominated for a National Emmy for his DP/Steadicam work on the Smithsonian project Remembering Vietnam: The Wall at 25, and in 2016 he was awarded an Emmy for Cinematography for the PBS documentary Jeremiah.

Nate Clapp, a freelance cameraman/Director of Photography in the Washington DC area and whereever work takes him. Nate has freelanced in film and video production since 1993 and also writes his own blog on how to operate and work with vintage, cutting edge and every other camera in between at Nomad Productions, Inc.

Erich Roland of DC Camera, known for his work on Murder at 1600, Double Jeopardy and Driving Miss Daisy.

Sheila Smith, a DP/Steadicam owner operator in the DC area with extensive experience in filming commercials, television, documentaries, independent features, sporting events and dance videos.

2019 Mega Tech DMV Gear Sale/Exchange

June 29 | Barbizon Lighting

Mega Tech DMV Gear Sale & ExchangeTogether with our co-sponsor, the Virginia Production Alliance, and marketing sponsors DMV Gear Exchange and Hurlbut Academy, TIVA coordinated a massive Gear Sale on the grounds of Barbizon Lighting with over 20 separate vendors and close to 50 buyers/visitors. This was a great opportunity for folks to unload gear that was in need of a new home, be it production gear, post-production gear, or any flotsam related to the film/video/audio industry. For folks who needed gear, it was a chance to see that gear in person, talk to the owner, and make some handy purchases!

And as if that weren't enough incentive, at the event TIVA members renewed their membership for a flat $75! New members joined TIVA for just $60, a 50% savings! Both specials were available only if you attended in person! We also fired up the grill and cooked up some delicious food, with drinks and dessert! The ticket price included food and drink, and all sellers were provided a table. Many wonderful items were raffled off — including one lucky winner of a free entry to the 23rd Annual Peer Awards.

The Future of Learning in Extended Realities

September 12 | Mind & Media

The Future of Learning in Extended RealitiesThis fascinating and trend-observing panel (moderated by Todd Clark) asked and answered the questions What is gamification and how can it help your business? Is now the time to look at gamification as a business tool? Does it really represent a whole new direction for achieving the goals you have set for your company? How can gamification help a small business compete with large brands? How can you start using gamification to introduce game design elements into non-game applications and make them more fun and engaging — and profitable — for your business?


Aldo Bello of Mind & Media, an Emmy award-winning documentary film director, television producer and co-owner of Mind & Media, Inc., and Bright Box, a performance space located in Winchester, Virginia.

J.J. Ruscella, Executive Director at Shenandoah University and leader of the Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCIL).

Callen Shaw of callenshaw indiegames, Lead Game Developer at Media Rez, researching games for health and addiction prevention, VR evangelist and pioneer, gamedev community organizer, and creator of VR Party Club.

Boris Willis, founder of Black Russian Games, Chief Artistic Officer of Boris Willis Moves and an Associate Professor of Experimental Game Design at George Mason University.

VPA State of the Industry Expo

September 19 | Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center

VPA State of the Industry ExpoThis annual event — produced by the Virginia Production Alliance (VPA) and supported by the Virginia Film Office — celebrates film, television, advertising, and video production. The SOI is designed to spark economic activity in Virginia as a whole, and more specifically in each region where the gatherings are held (Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads). These events have maintained their popularity over the years and routinely draw 200 or more attendees in each location.

Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds gave the keynote address, and TIVA was recognized from the stage as a key sponsor and partner, and at our information table dozens of visitors learned more about our programming, panels, the Peer Awards and the value of becoming a TIVA member.

Podcasting Q&A and Audio Equipment Insights

October 24 | Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center

Podcasting Q&APhoto by Bill Coughlan

Attendees at this Todd Clark-moderated panel found out more about the latest in podcasting and how it might be a great opportunity. Hosted by Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, the audience heard about the rise in narrative storytelling in podcast form, as well as opportunities available to everyone (and some of the gear required). The panel explored the booming interest and likely content delivery of podcasts and answered questions such as: Is this a path to boost your brand? What makes a podcast successful? What equipment and set-up is required? How do you build an audience?

We also held the 2nd annual VOG auditions for the 23rd Annual TIVA Peer Awards — look for your chance to vote on your favorite talent soon!


Bill Coughlan, Associate Artistic Director for Jabberwocky Audio Theater, producer of adventure-themed narrative tales broadcasting weekly on WERA FM and podcasting at jabberaudio.com. Inspired by the classic shows of Radio’s Golden Age, JAT aims to create well-crafted tales to entertain and engross modern audiences.

Adam Levin of Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, the D.C. region’s premier musical instrument and equipment retailer, a D.C. institution since 1958. In 2019, Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center, in partnership with Heartcast Media, launched Podcast Outfitters, a dedicated resource for podcast equipment.

Molly Ruland of Heartcast Media, a dedicated full-service studio in Washington, D.C. that works with clients to create high quality, authentic podcast content that inspires, educates and connects. Heartcast specializes in working with entrepreneurs, visionaries, and businesses of all sizes who have an impactful point of view. Created by D.C. entrepreneur Molly Ruland, Heartcast Media is a sister company to One Love Massive, the innovative D.C.-based company dedicated to creating positive art and music experiences for the community.

All in all, an impressive array of activities and opportunities for our members. And the year’s not over yet! Check out the special showcase article in this newsletter to see the amazing things TIVA will be up to at The Video Show just next week!

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