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Get a peek at Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge Of Recorded Music: Episode 7 – Sound & Vision


Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge Of Recorded Music, an 8-part series for PBS, charts a century’s worth of innovation and experimentation, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. The episode “Sound and Vision” chronicles the era in which MTV forged the link between recorded music and the newly emergent music video — considering what it means to see music as well as hear it. Offering unprecedented exposure to artists with a knack for the form– Michael Jackson, Madonna, Billy Idol, the Eurythmics– MTV turned singles into smash hits and musical performers into international celebrities. It also created new expectations of musical entertainment and imposed new burdens on recording artists. Tracking the music video from MTV to the internet, “Sound and Vision” tells the story of how a marketing tool became a powerful mediator between artist and audience, and illuminates the music video’s essential role in the popular music of today.

Soundbreaking aired on PBS.

Maro Chermayeff’s documentaries have toured the world in prestigious festivals, played theatrically, and been broadcast on PBS, HBO, A&E, TLC, Bravo, Discovery, France 2 and Channel Four UK—garnering scores of honors and significant critical acclaim. Maro is Series Producer and Director of Soundbreaking: Stories From The Cutting Edge of Recorded Music. Previously, she and her producing partner Jeff Dupre produced A Path Appears and Half The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide which both follow Pulitzer prize-winning reporters Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn around the world as they explore gender-based oppression and human rights violations, as well as the effective solutions to combat them. Maro is also producer of the award-winning feature documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, and co-creator, executive producer and director of Carrier, among many others. Maro is the Founder and Department Chair of SVA’s MFA Social Documentary Film program.

Donna Shepherd is an award-winning editor whose work has appeared on A&E, Bravo, VH1, MSNBC, PBS, and HBO. She has been editing films for 20 years, including the Emmy-winning 10-part series Carrier for PBS; the six-part series Circus for PBS; and the Emmy-winning Bravo series Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Her other credits include the forthcomingSoundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music; multi-part series Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide and its follow-up series A Path Appears, as well as the Emmy-winning and Peabody Award-winning film Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present. She is on the editing faculty of SVA’s MFA Social Documentary Film program.

Vashtie Kola is a New York-based model, director, filmmaker, artist, designer, creative consultant and DJ. She has cultivated the Downtown New York City scene for over a decade as a style icon, but her curatorial influence spans worldwide. She moves easily between fashion, film and music; she has emerged as “a role model for young tastemakers,” as a The New York TimesStyle section profile described. Black Enterprise coined her “Vashtie Kola: Curator of Cool.” Vashtie has directed music videos for Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Kid Cudi, Gym Class Heroes, Theophilus London, Solange & Jadakiss. She directed Bieber’s first music video, which featured Usher. Vashtie started her own fashion brand, Violette New York, which is carried in boutiques such as Colette in Paris. Violette New York has collaborated with various companies on custom lines & products, such as Brand Jordan, Puma Premium, Beats by Dre, G-Shock, Kiehl’s & more.  Vashtie became the first woman in history to design a Brand Jordan Sneaker. Vashtie is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts where she studied film. She grew up in Albany, NY as a first generation American of Trinidadian heritage.

Rob Barnett (Moderator) is founder of Rob Barnett Media, a strategic content partner delivering talent, development & audience to networks, producers & brands. He was previously VP of Programming & Planning for MTV/VH1, delivering record-breaking ratings from 1996-2000, and creating & producing original VH1 shows with Oprah Winfrey, RuPaul & Johnny Rotten. He was also the founder of My Damn Channel, anticipating the rise of original digital series.


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