The Filmmakers

Benjamin Franzen and Kembrew McLeod

What keeps them motivated as independent filmmakers:

The love of working with many of our favorite artists to create collaborative media.

Their three favorite films:

The films of Hitchcock, Godard and Jarmusch, as well as Orson Welles’s F for Fake, and X’s The Unheard Music.

Their advice for aspiring filmmakers:

Even in the darkest hour in the editing room, stay up and remind yourself that if you are passionate about your art and make good work, it will resonate with others.

Their most inspirational food for making an independent film:

Breakfast, often served three times a day. Coffee, eggs, potatoes and meat; although, vegetarian protein is a good option to have on hand.

Filmmaker Bios

Benjamin Franzen

Ben Franzen is an Atlanta-based photographer and video producer. He owns and operates an independent production company, Changing Images, which provides a variety of media expertise ranging from large format photography to HD video production. Franzen earned a BFA in photography and a BA in the communication studies production program at the University of Iowa. His specialty is providing solutions for media needs — from the production of interactive web videos for the National Library of Medicine’s Diabetes Project to editing the show Squidbillies for Cartoon Network. Clients such as BlackBerry, Home Depot, Oracle and Symantec have hired Franzen’s production company, and his reputation has drawn video commissions from artists such as jazz musician Bobby Previte. Most recently, he produced a big-budget, three-screen, hi-def industrial video for 24 Hour Fitness. Franzen’s personal work has been shown in film festivals, and he has received awards and grants from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Kembrew McLeod
Executive Producer/Writer/Music Supervisor

Kembrew McLeod is an independent documentary filmmaker and an associate professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa. His books and films focus on both popular music and the cultural impact of intellectual property law, such as Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, which received a book award from the American Library Association in 2006. He co-authored a book with Peter DiCola, Creative License: The Law and Culture of Digital Sampling, and co-edited a book with Rudolf Kuenzli, Cutting Across Media: Interventionist Collage, Appropriation Art, and Copyright Law; both will be published by Duke University Press mid-2010. McLeod’s documentary, Money For Nothing: Behind the Business of Pop Music, was programmed at the 2002 South by Southwest Film Festival and the 2002 New England Film and Video Festival, where it received the Rosa Luxemburg Award for Social Consciousness. His second documentary, titled Freedom of Expression®: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property, is a companion to the book of the same name. McLeod is an occasional music journalist whose pieces have appeared in Rolling Stone, Mojo, Spin, the Village Voice and the New Rolling Stone Album Guide.

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