Teens launch Be Heard! in Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Teens launch Be Heard! in Aspen

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Eighteen local teens will roll across America this summer to aim an inde­pendent lens at the presidential election.

Fulfillment of the long-time dream of local TV producer and videographer Chris Tribble, Be Heard! is a campaign to launch a mobile Internet video production studio run entirely by teens ages 12 to 19.

Tribble’s True Media Foundation is the nonprofit arm his video company, Versa­tile Productions, and Tribble and the group of teens will launch the Be Heard! campaign at the Aspen Institute’s Envi­ronment Forum beginning March 26.

But Wednesday’s event is just the shake­down cruise for a cross-country odyssey and experiment in new web-based tech­nologies and mobile media, Tribble said.

The group will take to the road this sum­mer in a tricked out media-mobile com­plete with director’s switcher, video edit­ing and uploading capabilities.

Tribble plans to lead the group on a summer tour to the West Coast, then to Denver for the Democratic National Con­vention on Aug. 25 to 28 and on to Min­neapolis, Minn. for the Republican National Convention on Sept. 1 to 4.

The all-youth crew will conduct inter­views, shooting and editing video for instantaneous upload to web television at http://www.beheardtv.com.

The 1991 Thomas Built biodiesel bus still is being outfitted, and in the end will be shrink-wrapped and decorated, Trib­ble said.

But the inside is “what’s cool,” Tribble said, as the vehicle will be decked out with three edit computers and one machine that can upload online content, Tribble said.

In the future, Tribble hopes to outfit the bus with solar panels.

“It has to do with youth and giving youth a voice,” Tribble said. ” The idea is that kids will be able to shoot, edit and upload.”

In today’s ever-changing media land­scape, Tribble hopes the mobile Internet production experiment catches on.

And while the production will be a true grassroots movement and puts kids in charge behind the camera and unre­hearsed in front of the camera, Tribble said there will be nothing grassroots about the product.

“I don’t want it to look like YouTube,” Tribble said. “It should be looking like you are watching television.”

The teen crew will not just cover the campaign, either.

“We’ll be able to stop anywhere and do stories,” Tribble said. “We’ve got to keep the content fresh.”

Tribble is funding the trip through his company Versatile Productions, he said.

Tribble created the True Media Foun­dation as the nonprofit arm of his business as a way to give youth a chance to voice their ideas, he said.

A recent trademark deal with national shoe chain Finish Line for use of the “Be Heard!” name helped with initial funding, but Tribble also is looking for other rev­enue for the project, he said.

The kids ” Tribble has two teenagers of his own who will join the crew ” are now testing and getting familiar with the equipment and will make a small tour around the valley and visit local events in coming weeks, Tribble said.