Original Webseries Recap
The Bloom webseries launched in 2012 and released 3 full-length episodes, several short videos and 4 soundtrack albums over a two-year run. The documentary series was conceived as a follow-up to director Jeet-Kei Leung’s talk on “Transformational Festivals”, which was first presented on the west coast festival circuit in 2009 and subsequently led to a TEDxVancouver talk which went viral in 2011.
The talk synthesized a decade of experience within west coast festival culture and combined it with research connecting the vibrant movement to historical traditions. It was widely shared as the first cohesive articulation of this countercultural breed of festivals. The term became adopted, leading to coverage in media outlets such as the New York Times, The Guardian, Vice, Rolling Stone, as well as music and EDM-related websites & blogs.
Director Jeet-Kei Leung’s TEDx talk was the precursor to The Bloom Series
The webseries launched with a Kickstarter campaign to produce four 20-minute episodes exploring a dozen themes in festival culture. Thus began a journey around the world by Jeet-Kei, webseries co-creator Akira Chan and their production team, known as The Bloom Squad. The first episode was released in March 2013 online at TheBloom.TV, as well as premiering in over 80 cities globally through a network of community-based screening partners coordinated by Keyframe Entertainment.
Festivals featured in the webseries include: Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, Beloved, Lucidity, Sonic Bloom, Rootwire, Shambhala, Bass Coast, Faerieworlds among other events. In all, The Bloom team filmed 30 festivals on 5 continents, talking with festival producers, artists, and participants through the journey.
Left to Right: Filming at Beloved Festival (Oregon); Faerieworlds (Oregon); Lucidity (California)
The second episode, released in summer of 2013, saw the run-time expand to 50 minutes to encompass the material filmed. Several “Culture Spotlight” shorts were also released, highlighting aspects like visionary art—the art genre which has developed in tandem with transformational festivals.
Four albums of soundtrack music were released with San Francisco-based record label Muti Music featuring contributions by 50 music artists, including The Polish Ambassador, Ayla Nereo, Nahko and Medicine For The People and Kalya Scintilla among the talented artists.
The series featured artwork – recorded in time-lapse over the duration of their creation – as theme introductions by Android Jones, Autumn Skye Morrison, Luke Brown, and Dave Zaboski among the luminary painters.
The third episode—now feature-length at 71 minutes—was released in Fall 2013, premiering at the Twin Cities Film Festival in Minneapolis, alongside numerous international community screenings. The episode was selected (with Episode Two) by Films For Action to their lists of Top 100 Films For Action & 90 Visionary Films That Will Change How You See The World.
L to R: Envision Festival (Costa Rica); Burning Man (Nevada); Bass Coast (BC)
Shortly after the episode’s release unexpected personal events led to the end of this initial run of The Bloom. The journey was far from over, however. A new phase started which would lead to our current mission: produce a definitive version of the documentary series for television—and share this true story of transformational inspiration with a worldwide audience.
Did the original webseries have an impact on you?
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