Sunday, December 20, 2015

Climate Change Treaty Activities COP 21 Paris

Interlock Media goes on-location for historic treaty negotiations.

Director Jonathan Schwartz, “Fixer” Carla Diamond, and videographer Walter Hergt were in Paris for the dramatic last days of the climate treaty negotiations.  In addition, they captured the grand finale, a massive victory celebration at the foot of the Eiffel Tower.  Reporting on impacts of global warming and human rights since the 1980s it is fitting that Interlock Media was able to participate in this historic occasion.  

The team  took a deep look as well at the alternative activist movements that converged on Paris in December, including direct action militants, non-violent protesters, indigenous leaders, and members of  “Makers” collectives.  The Makers represent some of the best and brightest young entrepreneurs and engineers in Europe and the States. They stoutly believe that the devices that they are making together, such as self-cleansing showers and a dollar a year water filters, can, if developed and shared in an open-source and collective , can reduce poverty and the carbon footprint, especially in the lesser developed world.

They in turn looked at the activities of their national statesmen at COP 21 with appreciation, compassion and yes, a measure of salty disagreement.
While Parisian politicians were garnering world praise for their pivotal role in creating a tangible outcome out of COP 21, local French farmers, environmentalists, and militant back-to-the land occupiers were continuing to fight government attempts to build a second international airport to serve as a gateway West of Paris. 

 The Interlock team joined them as they energetically demonstrated, far removed from the official goings on that made up COP 21.  At the proposed airport  site in Nanders, their fellows were staging a permanent occupation, living in hobbit  style straw bale houses, occupying abandoned homes , even living in tree houses. Today, they were taking their mission to Stalingrad Plaza.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

St. Lucia and Diabetes

The breathtaking Caribbean island of St. Lucia has one of the highest rates of diabetes per capita in the world. Among his numerous humanitarian efforts, internationally acclaimed musician Taj Weekes — founder of the non-profit organization TOCO — seeks to remedy the epidemic. From local clinics to state government, the mission is to improve the lives of St. Lucians through public health, education, food security, conservation and the arts.

Watch the trailer: 
Password: saintlucia


Monday, August 3, 2015

A Documentary on Kent Hovind aka Doctor Dino

Kent Hovind is best known as an evangelist of the idea that the earth is only 6,000 years old, also known as “young earth creationism” (YEC).  To promote this idea, Hovind crisscrossed the country and preached in churches hundreds of times a year.  In 2001, he also opened a small amusement park called Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, Florida, to promote YEC beliefs. Hovind gathered a small but enthusiastic following of believers who have uploaded his videos to YouTube over and over again, in hopes that someone may stumble across them and become converted to YEC.  

However, Hovind himself generally disappeared from the YEC evangelistic scene in late 2006 after he was convicted on federal charges of failing to pay income and Social Security taxes for his employees, along with structuring and obstruction of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Eight years after his incarceration began, some of his followers, calling themselves Hovindicators, began agitating for Hovind’s release because they were convinced he was being persecuted for his religious beliefs and not for his tax crimes. This acquired particular urgency as Kent and a co-conspirator, Paul John Hansen, were set to go on trial in March 2015 on contempt of court and mail fraud charges arising out of Hovind’s original 2006 trial.  Jonathan Schwartz and Interlock Media were on hand in March 2015 when the second trial took place in Pensacola, Florida, and interviewed a number of Hovind’s followers, Pensacola locals and others.  Ultimately the jury was hung on the mail fraud charges and Hovind and Hansen were only convicted of contempt of court. 

The government decided to prosecute Hovind and Hansen again on the mail fraud charges and trial was set for May 18. Interlock Media again went down to cover the trial, but the remaining charges were dropped at the last minute.  However, Interlock was able to conduct interviews with two jurors, including the juror who hung the jury on the mail fraud counts at the March trial. The Interlock team also secured interviews with Hansen’s attorney, more Hovind followers and longtime observers of the Hovind scene.  

Hovind was acquitted on the contempt of court charge on May 18 due to a technical issue. His co-defendant, Hansen, faces sentencing for contempt of court on August 21. Hovind was released from prison to house arrest on July 9 and will be on three years’ probation beginningAugust 11. He is currently getting used to the “new” YouTube technology, recording videos and planning the return of Dinosaur Adventure Land.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

News from the Edit Bay

We are proud to announce the release of our most recent film, “Faith in the Big House”, to NETA / PBS! Stay tuned for more announcements, but it will air on select PBS stations starting November 25, 2014. Here’s the synopsis:
At a maximum security prison farm in Louisiana, a group of Christian evangelicals conduct a carefully-scripted religious retreat.  Five felons, misfits handpicked by the Warden, join other inmates in this "Encounter with Christ".

Can religion keep convicts from almost inevitably returning to lock-up?

People’s Climate March

On September 21st, 2014 the largest gathering of climate change supporters descended on New York City. 400,000 bodies marched from central park to the lower west side protesting against greenhouse gas emitting industry. Interlock’s director Jonathan Schwartz and Toronto-based videographer/photographer Caitlin McManus took hundreds of pictures for Thomas Watkins, who was heading up the UN’s press effort that day, starting at dawn with the caucus of indigenous peoples. Watkins, who has traveled as a reporter for Interlock and was a top newsman at CNN for fifteen years, interviewed marchers from all backgrounds, trying to understand why they were marching and what they wanted this march to accomplish. Check out a couple of images from the march below!


The pilot for Interlock's new mini series, Sustainable Industry Television, is just about ready for primetime! We look at the greenest manufacturing companies in America, many of whom have had charismatic leaders, and the tremendous amount of self scrutiny it takes to effectively lower their carbon footprint. For the first program, we travel to the manufacturing headquarters of InterfaceFLOR, the world's largest producer of commercial carpet tile. Spearheaded by the late great visionary Ray Anderson, who appeared in the film “The Corporation”, Interface changed its business model on the single idea that you can help fight climate change by making carpet out of carpet. This green endeavor, known as “Mission Zero”, has the ultimate goal of completely erasing the company’s carbon footprint by the year 2020. How close are they to success, and will they be able to get there without Anderson at the helm?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Interlock Spotlight : Creative Director Omar Cruz

Omar Cruz is Creative Director here at Interlock Media. Himself the product of a lifetime devotion to the arts, Omar is amongst our most visionary and skilled staff members. When he’s not illustrating (see picture below), playing guitar, or working on his own film projects, Omar tackles Interlock’s numerous creative tasks in the other sixty hours a week that he has left.
            After getting his start as a CG operator on Puerto Rico’s channel 6 PBS affiliate, Omar went on to work as a cameraman, director, motion graphics specialist and college instructor, before coming to Interlock.
            As well as being an extremely well rounded individual and skateboarding veteran, Omar is a recent emigrant of Puerto Rico and a brand new Bostonian. After being in the USA for about a month, he found his way into our world and has been one our MVPs ever since.
Artwork by Omar Cruz
We sat Omar down for a quick Q & A:

Q: What do you do here at Interlock?

A: I’m the creative director at Interlock Media. Most of my job involves designing and implementing most of the web-related content. I also serve as the motion graphics artist and in-house colorist. 

Q: What got you interested in working for Interlock?

A: Well, I had moved from Puerto Rico and was looking for a job. There was an opening for an editing internship at Interlock Media, which I applied for because I had just gotten into Boston and didn’t know anyone, and I thought it would be a good place to start. Since, my duties have increased considerably.

Q: What got you interested in film/graphic design?

A: My family is very big on film. We used to spend most of our nights huddled in front of the TV. I’ve drawn since I was very little; I used to draw Looney Toons. I draw, I play guitar, I take pictures and I write. Film is mixed media. It allows me to explore my interests in many different artforms. Be it music, photography, writing, acting and even drawing. I enjoy the experience. 

Q: What was the transition from Puerto Rico to America like?

I guess you have to get used to a couple of things. Weather patterns are something I have a lot more in mind now, there’s not a lot of seasonal changes in Puerto Rico. I still hold that Puerto Rican food is the best, and I miss it like crazy.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for Interlock?

A: I like the idea of working for a non-profit environmental organization. I think that we have projects that are worthwhile. As a motion graphics artist, you run across jobs that don’t make you feel very proud of yourself, but working for a non-profit like Interlock is very gratifying. It’s very hard most of the time to find a film industry job that’s helping the world.

Q: Are you where you imagined you would be now, back when you were 18?

A: I’m certainly following the right direction that I had in mind. I have a very elaborate plan with what I want to do and where I want to go. I’ve already finished my first feature, and I’m working on my second.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators/film makers?

A: You really have to know that this is what you want to do. It’s a very misunderstood line of work. People think it’s a very glamorous job, but it involves a lot of sacrifice. I think there's people who like the film industry and then there's people who honestly feel a need to be a part of it and truthfully believe the have something to contribute. If you're passionate about it, it might not be worth the effort. I’ve been known to live where I work. I didn’t think of that as hardship, I loved the idea of living in a studio, and I think that only people who want to live that way should pursue this career. That and always charge half up-front.

Q: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

A: If I could have a superpower, I think being able to read minds would be the most useful power in the world. Either being able to read minds or controlling people’s minds would be awesome.