“Dig South, the Charleston-based interactive festival that attracts participants from across the Southeast, is adding a new component to its interactive lineup: Dig Create. “Art is innovation,” says founder Stanfield Gray. “I think that’s a false construct to draw this clear distinction between the two. From the beginning, Dig South has always had panels on design, marketing, and video, but we decided to focus this year on three main things: on technology, on creative, and on business. Each of those are the umbrellas, or the pillars so to speak, of the festival, and then we have a ton of topics underneath those three.”
Dig Create will encompass digital arts, media arts, viral videos, advertising, and all other channels of technology that help to create creative projects. It’s also meant to explore the business of art, covering topics like the use of Kickstarter or other alternative sources of funding.
Gray has brought on two filmmakers, Kayla Morrisey and Jenny Kleiman, to curate the new Create branch of the festival. Both are young, and both have had successful and varied careers in the industry — not just in Charleston, but in Los Angeles as well, where both lived for several years before moving back to the Holy City. Morrisey has produced and directed three original shorts and has also performed as an actor with the Upright Citizens Brigade, as well as in films. The Charleston-based Kleiman is the founder of the production company Limelight Lens and has worked on editorial, creative, and commercial projects for clients like BMW and Adidas.
The two directors were already working together on a feature film,Tuer Les Fleurs — Kleiman describes it as a “genre-bending dark comedy-psychological thriller” — when Gray approached them about heading up the Dig Create track for this year’s festival. “Kayla and I wanted to flex our muscles together, so we created a series of super fun and short commercials for Dig South … that will be released as quick YouTube ads,” Kleiman says. “This crossover is what Dig Create is all about. You inherently know that the film industry needs technology and that tech businesses need creatives, but how do you draw a direct line when we are talking about completely different fields? That gray area is why Dig Create is so important: so that the industries stop being seen as separate entities, and there’s more of a give and take.”
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