Six months ago I leapt from the last vestiges of any relative security The Oregonian provided and signed on with a start-up production company based in Brooklyn. Today we launch our website: bluechalk.com.
It was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up. It was one of those moments in life when you feel like the stars have aligned and opened a door designed just for you and if you don’t walk through it you’ll always regret it.
Blue Chalk was founded by Greg Moyer, a veteran of numerous leadership positions in the cable television industry. As maybe the most notable one, he was the president of Discovery at the time when it was part of redefining the medium. Throughout his career he’s always passionately cared about nonfiction storytelling, powerful visuals and the communications industry as a whole.
He teamed up with Pam Huling, a friend of mine who I met when I was a professional-in-residence at MediaStorm. Together they formed Blue Chalk as a company that would not only embrace high-quality visual storytelling, but also one that could help explore new business models for a gasping industry. As we took our first steps, we watched the Chicago Sun-Times lay off its entire photo department. That was just one awful example of what seems like the continuous drumbeat of sad moments in the career path I’ve devoted myself to.
Our mission is to try to find a model that is sustainable not only for our company, but that can be adapted and expanded. Visual storytelling cannot be solely an avocation. Frankly put, it must make money. It must sustain people trying to raise families, pay mortgages, plan for retirement.
We don’t claim to have all the answers. Like so many of you, we are exploring a variety of models. But at our core, we know there’s value to a good story, told well. With the launch of the website we are taking our first step in that exploration. At Blue Chalk, we embrace every single one of you out there doing the work, publishing the work, believing in the work. We look forward to collaborating with you. We hope that you will join us on this journey.
(photo above from the Blue Chalk launch party 11.19.13)