The value that a company creates should be measured not just in terms of short-term profits or paychecks but also in terms of how it sustains the conditions that allow it to flourish over time. These corporate leaders deliver more than just financial returns; they also build enduring institutions.
Harvard Business Review, November 2011
When Jon and KellyAnn Bonnell founded Infinite Spectrum Productions during the worst financial environment since the Great Depression, they knew they were in it for the long the game. If they were going to create a sustainable convergence media company in Arizona, they knew they wouldn’t be just building their company. Arizona is a state without a real infrastructure to support convergence media. Noncompetitive industry incentives and an underpaid workforce are just a few challenges that cannot be addressed over night. They would have to actively participate in creating the kind of environment in which a company such as theirs could be sustainable. In 2011, their efforts took the form of advocacy, education and outreach, arts for social change and civic engagement
…we use the tools of the new millennium to market, promote, and produce the mythologies of a new generation.
Infinite Spectrum is committed to improving the economic climate in Arizona in a manner that will attract and retain the creative class. We work with local and government agencies to advocate for strong economic development policies for business in general and the entertainment in particular. We work with peers both inside and outside the entertainment industry to clearly communicate to policy makers that a strong state infrastructure with an emphasis professional wage employment opportunities and quality public education is vital to a thriving entertainment industry. We build relationships with elected officials and government employees, participate on policy development committees and in town halls, disseminate information from business, entertainment industry and arts advocacy groups.
Education and Outreach
In 1963, John F. Kennedy introduced the nation to the idiom, “A rising tide lifts all boats”. We believe that the success of the entertainment industry in Arizona is dependent on the myriad of production companies, in Arizona, seeing themselves as part of the bigger picture. It is fostering this bigger picture where we believe our education efforts can be most effective.
Production AZ Daily
In June 2011, Infinite Spectrum Productions launched Production AZ Daily, a daily online newspaper dedicated to news and information of interest to those in the entertainment community in Arizona. The online newspaper now receives contributions from industry professionals throughout the Arizona as well as from LA.
I Gotta Do What?!!!!!!
It is to the benefit of the entire Arizona film industry to instill a strong business skill set and therefore help ensure investor and film maker satisfaction and growth. With this awareness in mind we launched our new “I Gotta Do What?!!!!” series for professional filmmakers.
In Q1 and Q2- 2011, ISP President Jon Bonnell presented the first workshop, I Gotta Do What?!!!!!! A Primer for Independent Film Distribution a total of six times at events throughout Arizona including events AZFAME, IFP Phoenix, and Phoenix Comic Con. In Q3, we published the ebook I Gotta Do What?!!!!!! A Primer for Independent Film Distribution by Jon Bonnell available on Kindle and Nook. In Q4, the ebook went international.
AZ Small Business
Arizona’s economy is dependent on the success of all small businesses. Which is why we share the knowledge we’ve gained as business owners with the broader small business community. In Q4 we were at AZPodCamp sharing insights about our experience in Education and Outreach and social media with entrepreneurs interested in learning how to benefit from the Gift Economy.
We define outreach as those initiatives that increase audience and advocacy outside the entertainment industry. These efforts increase media literacy and foster positive relationships within the communities in which we live.
Pop Goes the Classroom
Our first full year of the Pop Goes the Classroom initiative was highly successful. Our blog became available for Kindle subscription in June. We also now have a relationship with USA Teacher Education providing blog posts for their teacher’s lounge. Often posts will run concurrently in both locations.
In July 2011, we had an opportunity to participate in the Comic Arts Conference that runs concurrently with San Diego Comic Con. It was an excellent opportunity to connect with academics in the field of film studies and popular culture.
In November 2011, our Pop Goes the Classroom initiative celebrated its first anniversary. Our biweekly blog , twitter #popchat and Facebook fan page provide formal and informal educators with the skills and knowledge to effectively integrate pop culture into the classroom in meaningful ways. This year we presented workshops at the Arizona Association for Gifted Education Conference, Phoenix Comic Con and the Arizona Afterschool Conference.
Arts for Social Change
We began our corporate social responsibility with Arts for Social Change and are very proud of the work we’ve done over the years. The Faythe Project, our teen dating violence initiative, launched in 2009, found a new home with Arizona based nonprofit Kaity’s Way (http://www.kaitysway.org). We are pleased to see the torch passed to an organization that has been instrumental in passing legislation that expands domestic violence protections to those in dating relationships.
Through our relationships with nonprofit incubator Serendipity Educational Resources, our founders and employees have the opportunity to positively impact the communities in which we live, learn and play. In 2011, Infinite Spectrum Productions donated its time and expertise to a variety of nonprofit organizations selected by our employees through board service and volunteer initiatives.
Building a sustainable entertainment industry in Arizona goes beyond producing the next film project. It is about taking the time to ensure that an infrastructure is put in place that will grow a vibrant creative community. Our commitment to corporate social responsibility is our commitment to building that infrastructure. As we move into 2012, we plan to continue to build strong relationships with industry peers and advocates as well as developing new audiences.