The New Voices debuts; the advanced bioeconomy comes to streamed video

March 22, 2015 |

TNV-VoicesAmong a slew of new programs available via digital streaming — now, one from the world of industrial biotechnology.

The New Voices debuts as part of BioChannel.TV.

In Washington, the advanced bioeconomy takes to the airwaves as The New Voices debuts today as a digital streaming experience — the first three episodes of the program are online today as the regular cast and special guests examine “Celebrity investors”; “Pain at the pump – is it gone forever?” “Gas stations – will they ever change?” “Indirect land use change – what is it?”; “Why make a $2 fuel when you can make a $5 chemical?” “food vs fuel”, “fracking and electric vehicles”, and “the arrival of cellulosic biofuels”.

Each episode runs one half hour and is divided into three segments. and is filmed in Washington DC at the National Press Club studios.

The cast of The New Voices during filming. From left, Ron Cascone, Rebecca Boudreaux, Eric McAfee, Claire Curry and Jim Lane.

The panelists of The New Voices during filming. From left, Ron Cascone, Rebecca Boudreaux, Eric McAfee, Claire Curry and Jim Lane.

View the first episodes

The program is initially available via YouTube, and additional distribution outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, and Netflix! will be unveiled in Q2 2015.

Episode #1 – “Food vs fuel”, “Fracking and electric vehicles”, and “The arrival of cellulosic biofuels” can be streamed for free here.

Episode #2 –  “Celebrity investors”; “Pain at the pump – is it gone forever?” can be streamed for free here.

Episode #3 – “Gas stations – will they ever change?” “Indirect land use change – what is it?”; “Why make a $2 fuel when you can make a $5 chemical?” can be streamed for free here.

Why The New Voices – why streamed digitial content? Who are the bio-curious?

DuPont's Jan Koninckx joined as a special guest for episode #1.

DuPont’s Jan Koninckx joined as a special guest for episode #1.

The New Voices is the first regular program focused on the advanced bioeconomy — and aimed to combine technical expertise and entertainment values, for the industry and the  “bio-curious”, those working in the advanced bioeconomy and those intrigued by the promise of a new industrial and agricultural revolution.

“Frankly, the advanced bioeconomy is going to affect more lives more profoundly than The Oscars,” said Digest editor Jim Lane, “but this sector has only the tiniest fraction of the global audience. It’s time to stop blaming people for watching light entertainment and ‘needing to be educated’, and time to make programming about this sector more appealing and mainstream. That’s what The New Voices is all about. You can be fun and entertaining, but serious in content, if you take time to develop programs with those twin goals in mind, and that’s the journey we have embarked upon.”

Nexant's Ron Cascone joined as a special guest for episodes #2 and #3.

Nexant’s Ron Cascone joined as a special guest for episodes #2 and #3.

First comes entertainment, then engagement, then a deeper curiosity, then knowledge, and then support, And every enterprise and organization in this sector, we believe, can use more support.

Who’s behind The New Voices?

The Digest is producing and distributing The New Voices, as well as Faces, as part of BioChannel.TV. The first 3 episodes were produced sponsor-free (24 minute run time).

The regular panelists

Oberon Fuels president Rebecca Boudreaux

Oberon Fuels president Rebecca Boudreaux

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Advanced Transport Associate Claire Curry.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Advanced Transport Associate Claire Curry.

Aemetis CEO Eric McAfee

Aemetis CEO Eric McAfee

The show features regular panelists Rebecca Boudreaux (president, Oberon Fuels), Claire Curry (Advanced Transport Associate, Bloomberg New Energy Finance), Eric McAfee (CEO, Aemetis), and Paul Woods (CEO, Algenol).

Jan Koninckx (head of biofuels business, DuPont Industrial Biosciences) was a special guest in Episode #1, and Ron Cascone, principal at Nexant, was a special guest in Episodes #2 and #3.

The show is hosted by Digest editor & publisher Jim Lane.

Behind the scenes

A visitor to the studios on the first morning of filming would have noticed a lot more focus on styling and wardrobe than is standard fare for coverage of the advanced bioeconomy. Cast members began filtering in around 8:30am and were immediately whicked into styling, while the crew completed set decoration, lighting and the planned run-sheet for topics for the three-camera show.

Relaxing in the greenroom during the filming of episode #1, from right: Jan Koninckx (DuPont), Wendy Rosen (DuPont), Bill Lundberg (ABLC), Ron Cascone (Nexant)

Relaxing in the greenroom during the filming of episode #1, from right: Jan Koninckx (DuPont), Wendy Rosen (DuPont), Bill Lundberg (ABLC), Ron Cascone (Nexant)

By 10am, prep was completed and the cast was ushered into Studio B for production. While last-minute confusion over the (missing in action) TelePrompTer was worked out, the cast amused itself with a competition over who could complete the fastest sound-check.

Producer Lucas Santucci and stylist Ira Reimann adding some red carpet touches for Rebecca Boudreaux during pre-production, as executive producer Flavia Marples-Lane photographs the action.

Producer Lucas Santucci and stylist Ira Reimann adding some red carpet touches for Rebecca Boudreaux during pre-production, as executive producer Flavia Marples-Lane photographs the action.

After reviewing the topics for the show (however, remarks were not rehearsed, the show is taped live without retakes to ensure authenticity), at 10:05 filiming started on episode #1, and though we missed our fellow cast member Paul Woods, derailed by a travel conflict, the conversation proceeded smoothly as we first addressed “fracking and electric vehicles — is there a need for renewable fuels” and the cast emphasized diversification of the global transport fuel supply, though they had differing takes on range anxiety and infrastructure challenge.

Producer Lucas Santucci, director Charlie Stopak and audio engineer Derek DeShields  in the control room during filming.

Back in the green room, program guests, supporters, stylists, production assistants, and program executives producers were watching the live show mix, while producers and directors worked from the control booth.

The cast preps in the studio for filming.

The cast preps in the studio for filming.

By the beginning of the second segment, the cast quickly developed a rhythm and adapted quickly to the demands of episodic television (though all the regular panelists have had extensive experience with on-camera interviews, most experiences were of the single-segment or interview type, vs the multi-segment approach of The New Voices).

Back in Digestville, Jim Lane  assembles the footage, music and credits into a completed episode.

Back in Digestville, Jim Lane re-cuts and assembles the footage, music and credits into a completed episode.

Following filming, an all-night marathon in post-production resulted in a completed 7-minute “sampler” clip from Episode #1 being screened on the opening day of ABLC, the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference — and it earned a big cheer from the conference delegates.

Next episodes

For the next few weeks, BioChannel.TV will be busy releasing new episodes of Faces, the one-to-one interview program — with nine segements also filmed in DC during ABLC week, in an improvised studio just off the conference floor. We’ll take stock of viewer reaction — and we expect to resume filming in the spring for future episodes.

Meanwhile, we hope you’ll take time to enjoy a program aimed at entertainment but also aimed at this sector — your sector — and give us your support as we begin the long journey to building a larger and more supportive global audience for industrial biotechnology. So: tTweet, Like, Share, and talk it up — we’ll need your help in building a bigger audience for what you do.

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