frame:work’s Laura Frank takes the hot seat

frame:work Founder and Creator Advocate, Laura Frank, shares the mission statement behind the collective, having created a space for ‘live pixel people’

What is frame:work?

“frame:work is a community organisation that seeks to bring together professions related to creative video use in live entertainment. From designers to screen engineers to those who touch the pixels along the way. When frame:work launched in 2019, our mission was to create a conference where we could discuss our common interests, learn more about each others’ practice, and ultimately become better advocates for each other to our shared clients.”

How has the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the direction of the mission?

“The primary goal for the initial founders, Soren West, Luke Malcolm, Elliot Dunwoody and I was to establish an annual conference for media server and screens professionals. We had raised half our funding for a four-day conference in Los Angeles for October of 2020, when we had to cancel those plans. Instead, like many others working in creative video, we made a home online. Ash Nehru, JT Rooney, Matthew Ward, and Trevor Burk joined our efforts to create three virtual conferences in 2020. 

“Another change during the pandemic was the shift to Virtual Production. I wanted to understand how frame:work could support the community that was moving into XR and VP while staying true to our live production roots. I now think of us as ‘live pixel people’. frame:work today is a community platform for creative video used in front of a live audience or generated live as real-time content. This also allows us to engage with professionals in art and installation applications, who’ve been developing interactive and generative content for some time.”

Do you have any personal highlights since forming frame:work?

“I have enjoyed exploring all facets of this community and expanding our international connections. However, the highlights that stand out occur when there is a personal connection made. A great joy for me is the experience of frame:work’s mission resonating with others. That’s what motivates me to keep building this community platform. One internal project that I really value is our New Talent List. Our community has been struggling to fill positions that require complex sets of skills and a comfort with the time pressures of entertainment production. Ben Nicholson, Sharon Huizinga, TJ Donoghue and I have been working with US-based universities to find students interested in creative video production and introduce them to the professional community. We hope to expand internationally in the coming year.”

What can we expect from frame:work:london?  

“As our first in-person event, we are gathering together 250 people in a space dedicated to creative video practice. Our sessions cover topics from design, producing, programming, custom coding, engineering, labor issues, business practices and community wellness. We also have an incredible slate of inaugural sponsors who will be presenting on like-minded topics that support community practice. The mission of frame:work has been growing as a concept for years. Gathering in person at frame:work:london is where we see if our mission benefits the community in a meaningful way. The momentum we started in London will hopefully continue to grow for our next conference in Los Angeles in 2023. From there I plan to host global conferences that celebrate the creative video community, inform and educate our industry partners and inspire new practitioners.”

How do you see this community growing in the coming years?

“A core mission of frame:work is client education. We not only create projects with awesome tools, but we are responsible for guiding our clients through the best practices for the successful use of those tools. In my mind, good client education starts with better understanding of each other and our specific approaches to creative video production. frame:work will offer the community space to nurture the conversations forward. These connections improve our awareness of each other’s process, advance our professional practice, and enrich our client relationships going forward. Ultimately, I envision frame:work as the foundation for the professional society the live pixel community will have one day.”