For some students, the transition from graduation to having all their dreams come true in the real world is a slow process. For Jason Silva and Max Lugavere, alumni from the University’s film program and producers and hosts of Current TV, it practically happened overnight.
Silva and Lugavere, both 23, met while studying film at UM and soon became best friends. As they neared graduation, they made a short film together, entitled Textures of Selfhood.
“Textures of Selfhood was a short film that we made to give closure to our lives as students in Miami,” Silva said. “It was our way of encapsulating all our experiences in South Beach, trying to reconcile hedonism with our own philosophical and spiritual pursuits.”
The creation of their personal cinematic masterpiece was one of the keys to their future success, although they weren’t aware of it at the time.
“Our final film, an independent study documentary, was being created for none other than ourselves,” Lugavere said. “We proposed a democratization, one based around subjective experience, creativity and, interestingly enough, capturing peak life moments on film.”
While they were nearing the end of production, Current TV, an independent cable and satellite TV network created by former Vice President Al Gore, was touring the country looking for potential talent.
“[Current TV] came to UM and gave an amazing speech,” Silva said. “They were looking for passionate, irreverent storytellers who were willing to get out there and document their journey. That was all it took. We sent in [our film] to complement our more traditional application.”
And they were hired. Both Silva and Lugavere now work as producers and on-air hosts for a network created for, by and with a young, cutting-edge audience, without the pressures of large media conglomerates.
“What makes Current so special is that its mission from the very beginning has been to empower storytellers and to harness this unique time in history when the price of creating content is so cheap,” Silva said. “With Current, every watcher is a potential viewer-creator. Everyone can tell their story.”
“One of the most rewarding things about our job here is getting to present to the world the stories and passions of our Viewer Created Content, which is all of the content that our audience submits through our website,” Lugavere said.
Silva and Lugavere watch and write introductions to all of the viewer-submitted content that is used on the show.
“Hosting and presenting these wonderful pieces is rewarding in and of itself,” Lugavere said. “But then we get to go off camera and take some of the narrative and stylistic techniques that our audience has taught us and use it in our own pods.”
Although being producers and television hosts is hard work, both Lugavere and Silva feel that it’s worth every second.
“We are a part of the birth of something new and revolutionary and empowering,” Silva said. “To have the honor of representing such a cool way for so many people to tell their stories [is fantastic].”
Watch Current TV on DirecTV channel 366 and Comcast channel 125 or find them online at www.current.tv.
Christine Dominguez can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.