March 6, 2010

Week 132


In an attempt to be a little less opaque, and inspired by Matt Webb's efforts at Berg, we're going to start writing weekly updates of what we've been up to at smallpower.

Kinshasa has been baking hot since we returned in February, and whether it's caused by Chinese road machinery or new construction blocking the breeze, even a short walk to the corner store can be exhausting.

So it's a mixed blessing that we're in a production lull at the moment, while some bureaucratic red tape untangles. In the meantime, we've got plenty to keep us occupied. I (Tomas) spent most of the week working with my friend Dave in San Francisco on the redesign of, which went live on Tuesday. Otherwise I was occupied with coding a video game, which I'll talk about more as it matures.

Ben has been working hard on several fronts, unsnarling some of that afore-mentioned red tape, planning logistics for an upcoming documentary and live concert project, pitching new work, and keeping our donors happy. In the few hours left to him, he's doing post-production work on season two episodes.

Eric's doing an amazing job as our new CEO, working with Becky in London to get our work entered in competitions around the world, and with Mimi in South Africa to drum up media interest in what we're doing here. He's also making it possible for JAMA—the Congolese non-profit we produce our show with—to get work covering government and corporate media events while we're not in production. He wrote a 10-page training manual, started running workshops with the crew, wrote a brochure for potential clients and had it translated into french and chinese, and set JAMA up with email and a website. They've got two clients already. On top of all that, he's documenting the whole process on this blog.

Lara has been managing finances and the office here in Kinshasa, and working with Mette in San Francisco to keep our books in order. She's also been taking inventory of all our equipment, a long and arduous process. Nicole was helping with the inventory, writing for this blog, and getting all our footage in order, until she was struck ill mid-week. She's feeling much better now.

Finally, Ian and Kathryn are in San Francisco, eagerly waiting for production to start again so they can come join us here. And Owen is on leave in Los Angeles, working on a short film until fall.



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