Mashing it up at the Science Media Awards & Summit in the Hub

Interlock Media produced the opening night extravaganza for the much anticipated Science Media Awards & Summit in the Hub (SMASH) 2018 hosted by WGBH, Jackson Hole WILD, and Terra Mater.

It was a confab of the world’s best environmental and natural history filmmakers, scientists, and producers. At a time when anti-science and anti-truth rhetoric is rife in the political atmosphere, promoting science and the spread of scientific education is integral. This conference addresses this importance, a message that is at the core of Interlock’s mission for climate action.

Connecting with like-minded environmental mediamakers and advocates, Director Jonathan Schwartz shared aspects of The Extraordinary Passage and Climate Media Engine with select attendees. He had substantive discussions with individuals from the Smithsonian Network, Netflix, and Sunny Side of the Doc. It was a pleasure to meet Chris O’Leary, Executive Producer from the World Wildlife Fund, as well as Graham Townsley, a twice Emmy nominated natural history filmmaker and the CEO of Shining Red Films.

Director Jonathan Schwartz attended “EUREKA: Science Saves the Planet (And At Least Some of Us Living on It) sponsored by The Nature Conservancy. The event was produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Emre Izat, of the Emmy-nominated film “Naledi: One Little Elephant” and headlined by Alex Dehgan, of Conservation X Labs (CXL). At the heart of this conversation was how tech and media can do their bit for global climate action.

In recognition of Terra Mater’s upcoming doc on PTScientists’ 2019 lunar voyage, the evening fete was space-themed down to every last detail, making for an unforgettable evening of music, dance, intergalactic lighting, and interplanetary food.

Interlock staff members Rachel Sharer, Josh Dube, and Mike Stockdale sourced area musicians and dancers who shared their talents to support public media and promote scientifically based conservation and public health programming.

Live music for the evening began in WGBH’s acoustically magical Fraser Performance Studio, featuring Emi Nishida and Takumi Kakimoto’s on piano as The Perigean Tides Duo. Both were trained at Berklee College of Music. Following this performance was The Celestes, a jazz band featuring Dan Sartorius on the saxophone, Marko Deperalto on the piano, Savannah Marshall on the drums, and Marcel Damiano on the bass. The band was accompanied by Kate Shepard and Danielle Pastuszak from local modern dance group, Urbanity Dance. Kate has trained with the Arts Umbrella Dance Company based in Vancouver, and Danielle with the American Ballet Theatre. 

The beautifully lit WGBH atrium served as the stage for the avant-garde classical group The Aphelion String Quartet, performing Space Time, composed by Richard Carrick, conductor, pianist, and Chair of Composition at Berklee College of Music. This was followed by Andromeda, a piece by Berklee student Christian-Frederic Bloquert featuring Shaun Chen and Nisa Taufic on the violin, Dylan Fafard on the viola, and Lukasz Pawlikowski on the cello. 

Local indie pop band Phil Cambra and the Space Cadets wrapped the music in Fraser Performance Studio, before DJs Ray Doanand Interlock alum Brenton Stokes spun ethereal, transnational, and upbeat mixes together in the famed WGBH Studio, Calderwood 

Additional highlights of the evening included a presentation by STEM for young women advocate and former NASA Astronaut Cady Coleman, roaming virtual reality demos, and dinner from Johnny Burke Catering, with space-themed treats such as “Celestial Churros” and a “Buzzed Aldrin” cocktail. Stephen Matter, Max Goldberg, and Susan Dong assisted with videography and photography. 

SMASH 2018 was truly a night to remember. Filmmakers largely work independently, and a chance to join together with a passionate, diverse group to advocate for scientific veracity and relevant mediawork was a wonderful opportunity. We celebrate Interlock’s participation in this conference dedicated to bold independent media, and global collaboration on combating climate change.