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Women in Media Project profiles influential, decision making and visionary women in the new media business. Our first profile is Kathryn Velvel Jones, from For Your Imagination. Why is she on the list? Read to find out.

  Kathryn Velvel Jones.jpgWho Are You and What do you do? My name is Kathryn Velvel Jones and I am currently the Vice President of Branded and Sponsored Entertainment at For Your Imagination, a leading online media studio which develops, markets and distributes high-quality original Internet TV and web video series.

Tell us a bit about your background and history: At the core I am an actor. The most misunderstood thing about being an actor in NYC is that the hard part is getting the job- the hardest part is getting the audition. Despite reviews like “spectacular” and “excellent”, despite a strong resume and a relatively prestigious education, there were some years I sent out over 1000 pictures and resumes only to get one audition and after ten years of struggling just to get auditions. Therefore I decided it was time to take charge of my own career and create my own opportunities. This new found sense of inspiration and purpose quickly led me to web video, a medium in which for a small amount of money and a great deal of focus and passion, I could greenlight my own projects. In 2006 I began producing and co-hosting a video podcast and quickly became immersed in the world of online video and social media, including serving as a co-organizer for Podcamp NYC. But it was in April of 2007 that I had my real aha! moment. One morning as I perused my twitter stream I saw a tweet by Chris Brogan announcing a live streamed talk show that afternoon with Chris and Jeff Pulver. Chris and Jeff’s show was a revelation. The immediacy of the technology was simply amazing to me, and the sense of community that live streaming created was palpable. As I watched Chris and Jeff respond to viewers calls and chat messages in real time my heart began to pound,and I knew that there was something about this specific technology that spoke to me. 5 months later my company, premiered the first scripted web drama to stream live on the internet. Utilizing three cameras mixed in real time and streamed live to uStream my cast and crew of 20 produced ten, 10 minute episodes of the original drama “35”. Although we streamed all all ten episodes on the absolutely tiniest of budgets, “35” was covered by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mashable, Truemors, numerous blogs, and was a featured podcast in iTunes. It’s hard to say who has inspired me most in the online world of self-starting entrepreneurs, but it was undoubtedly Jeff and Chris’ first live broadcast that changed my life.
Most recently, along with my producing partner Charlie Oliver, I produced an unprecedented Live Webathon, Real Women Respond to Palin. This 8 hour online live event attracted over 17,000 unique viewers to the live stream and was covered in The Huffington Post among many other blogs.

What is your current position? What is your day to day work? As VP of Branded and Sponsored Entertainment at For Your Imagination I spend my days communicating with media buyers, brands and artists in pursuit of both sponsorships for our series as well as creating product integration and branded series opportunities for advertisers. What I love most about my job is the incredible team of people I get to work with.

Why did you chose new media as your field? Above and beyond my job at FYI, one of my greatest passions is to help build a much stronger and more accurate voice for women online, especially in online video. To that end I am currently working on a new series, Value Proposition, about an all female, all redheaded tech startup. This funny, moving, smart series chronicles a driven group or female entrepreneurs as they wade through diminishing budgets, unexpected law suits, unscrupulous VC’s and ever changing expectations in pursuit of their dreams of IPO success. The series is comprised of both edited and live episodes, is aimed at the extremely lucrative and currently underserved female market as well as at the first adopter/technology crowd, and is currently seeking sponsorships.

Where will you be in 5 years? In five years I hope I have succeeded in more fully harnessing the accessibility and creative possibilities that social media and the web have to offer. I hope that my work will have inspired other women to enter careers in technology and online video, and that I will have participated in making online video more daring, more creative, more community based and more interactive.

How can our readers contact you? If you wish to get in touch with me please contact me at Kathryn at .

Why is she a part of the list? Kathryn brings with her passion, innovative storytelling, and extraordinary execution capabilities. As part of For Your Imagination, she also have the ability to execute bigger projects than before. We are looking forward to see what’s next on her project list.

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