2014 marked an ambitious turning point for the DC-based Collective organization. Originally formed in 2008, the Collective began when Co-Founders Charles Paret and Clark Seydel started to invite their friends in the tech and entrepreneur worlds to the Sundance Film Festival. They were able to provide their friends with access to private events and dinners as they gained entry through their own network of publicists, celebrities, filmmakers and brand representatives. This year the Collective welcomed over 350 members with rooming at the Lodges at Deer Valley resort and hosted four days of panels and special event programming on Main St. - the beating pulse of the annual Film Festival's happenings.
By day the Collective housed the Quaker Good Energy lodge with a private chef preparing artisan specialty oatmeal dishes and lured A-list celebrity attendees such as Aaron Paul and Kristin Stewart to the venue's Associated Press portrait studio lounge.
But the real point of interest in the Collective during the Festival for most was the debut of a panel series titled Collective Conversations and covering subject matter related to the film industry such as New Methods of Distribution, Development & Financing, Social Impact Filmmaking and Sound + Vision: Music in Film. The series, presented by Twitter and Southwest Airlines, welcomed participants from all sides of the film industry such as Scilla Andreen, Founder of Indieflix, Mike Farah of Funny or Die, Fabien Cousteau, Alex Ebert of Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes who, a few days before he participated, won a Gold Globe for his scoring of All is Lost starring (Sundance Founder!) actor Robert Redford, and many more.
The Collective's ability to gather a crowd and provide unique experiences for attendees - the cast of William H. Macy's directorial debut Rudderless (Billy Crudup, Selena Gomez) showed up for an impromptu performance using the venue's Gibson gear; Jermaine Clement, of Flight of the Conchords fame, cut a serious rug in a dance circle during the premiere party of What we do in the shadows; Rock the Vote and Dubspot welcomed Chloe Moretz at a private performance late-night event featuring Alex Burkat, DJ Codes and Mica Levi; Nelson Mandela's grandson Kweku Mandela presented clips from the film Beyond Right and Wrong with Director Lekha Singh - has truly set the organization apart from other swag heavy lounges and solidified their position as a leading force at the Sundance festival.
But star studded parties aside, the Collective seeks to stand for more than open bars and table top dancing. Its annual Social Impact Film award provides $100,000 in grant money to a film accepted into the festival that is provided by the PVBLIC Foundation. During the annual award dinner, Rachel Gerrol of the PVBLIC Foundation announced this year's recipient - Fed Up co-produced by Laurie David and Katie Couric. The film explores the issue of how food is produced in the US and what role politics play in the process.
The Collective also maintained a strong focus on its health and wellness programming in 2014 providing free back and full body massages, core work out training with celebrity fitness instructors, daily yoga sessions with a Lululemon Ambassador and morning runs from Deer Valley to Main St. hosted by Saucony and Runner's World Magazine. Participants included the magazine's Editor-in-Chief and Publisher along with the CEO of Skullcandy.