Kent Bye Biography

Kent Bye
Kent Bye is a documentary filmmaker who is working on The Echo Chamber Project, which is about the failures of the mainstream media leading up to the war in Iraq. How he collaboratively produces the film could provide some alternatives for creating a more inclusive media.

Bye graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1998, and worked as a radar systems engineer within the military industrial complex for 4 1/2 years.

While working as an engineer, Bye produced two narrative 16mm films, and directed his first feature documentary called Handicamp. Bye has worked with the Maryland Film Festival, Silverdocs Film Festival, MicroCineFest, and Johns Hopkins Film Festival as a film screener and photojournalist. He has also covered the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and IFP Market for

Bye lives in Winterport, ME with his wife Jennifer Gouvea, who helped produce and shoot The Echo Chamber. The Baltimore City Paper did a cover story on Bye & Gouvea's pre-production work on The Echo Chamber documentary in June of 2004 featured here:

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Echo Chamber Project's Collaborative Editing Demonstration at Vloggercon

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Watch Quicktime Video | Watch Flash Video

This is my demonstration of the collaborative editing workflow for The Echo Chamber Project during the Politics and Social Change Session during the first day of Vloggercon. Total run time is 9:15.

This software demonstration is at the prototype phase, and I'm transitioning to a private alpha and then a public beta over the next couple of months.

Please sign up as a user if you're interested in getting more involved with the project as it evolves.

More background information can be found in this post: Iterative Media: Treating Collaborative Media Like Open Source Code

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Community Audio: Kent Bye Interview by Robin Good

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New Media trendspotter Robin Good conducted a 24-minute interview with me last week talking about pre-war US media, the collaborative aspects of The Echo Chamber Project, and the Open Source Intelligence Conference that I attended.

Good has put together the most comprehensive launching pad to The Echo Chamber Project so far filling by his post with a lot of good pointers and graphics. He introduces me and the project by saying:

Kent Bye, is the author of a unique film documentary in progress that may become a future model for grassroots citizen journalism, while showing how to invest filmmaking skills and ideas in a production that has some real informative values and developing the first web-based collaborative video editing approach to build open-source movies and documentaries.

Check out the rest of the post, and the complete transcript for the interview here.

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Community Audio: Yeast Radio Interview with Kent Bye

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Madge Weinstein interviewed me last week about the Echo Chamber Project, and I thought I'd send it down the Community Feed since it is a great encapsulation of the project so far.

Wired featured Madge's Yeast Radio show, which was picked up by Podshow Network that is broadcast on SIRIUS radio.

(53:00 / 34.6 / Subscribe to Community & Technology Audio)

Click here to listen to the MP3

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Why I Want to Help Innovate Open Media

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I asked some of my volunteer transcribers to tell me some of the reasons why they're helping with this project, and a lot of their responses shows that they are largely driven their concerns about the state of US politics and the mainstream media -- as well as a number of other personal reasons as well.

I originally started the film with an advocacy goal trying to convince people that they should adopt my progressive worldview after I laid all of the facts out on the table. I was really pissed off with everything that's going on in this country both with politics and the media and the war, and I just wanted to provide information so that people could think just like I did -- Then all the world's problems would be solved, right?

But then I went through quite an evolution after interviewing so many different perspectives last July. I decided to put my focus and energy on how I could use this documentary project to create more inclusive and collaborative journalistic paradigm that could help solve a lot of the problems with the press that were identified by these insiders.

I intend to help create a media that promotes dialogue and understanding and not one showcases people screaming ideology at each other for the sake having a dramatic debate that scores big ratings....

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Timelines for the Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production Phases

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I aggregated the timelines for the Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production Phases of The Echo Chamber Project for a paper that Dr. Cline's is working on.

Below is an overview of how the film came about and where it has been so far. It also traces the evolution of the collaborative aspects of the post-production.

More details about the pre-production phases can be found in The Origins of The Echo Chamber Project as well in the Baltimore City Paper cover story written by Charles Cohen.

More details about the actual production can be found by reading the interviews that have been transcribed.

There are links to blog entries covering the big post-production highlights in the timeline, and more details can be found by sifting through the blog archives...

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The Origins of The Echo Chamber Project

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Dr. Cline asked me to give him some more background information as to the events leading up to why I decided to start The Echo Chamber documentary project for a paper he's working on.

I told a lot of this same information to Charles Cohen when he was profiling my wife and I for the cover story on this project that was published in the Baltimore City Paper a year ago. But not all of it made it into the final story, and so I thought I'd share it here as well.

At what point did you say to yourself: "I have to do something."
Going back to April 20th, 2002, I had attended one of the first anti-war rallies in DC before the Bush Administration kicked off their PR campaign to sell the Iraq war 4 months later. This is where I heard Phyllis Bennis from the Institute of Policy Studies speak for the first time.

After this, I saw Scott Ritter's name come up a number of times online and that's why I went to go hear him talk on August 22nd when he came through Baltimore. Ritter accurately predicted that the Bush Administration was going to go to war in Iraq, and that they were going to use WMD to sell it to the American public.

Four days later, I was on vacation when I saw highlights of Cheney launching the PR campaign to sell the war in Iraq. Ritter was so eerily correct in predicting what was going to happen that I started recording C-SPAN when I returned home in September and October of 2002. I had a very strong hunch from Ritter that the Bush Administration was going to sell the war based upon questionable intelligence...

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Interviewed by Personal Democracy Forum Podcast

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I pitched my project to Brian Reich, the official Personal Democracy Forum podcaster, and we sat down for a quick 11-minute chat about the state of the Press and how I plan on applying emerging new media trends to the production of The Echo Chamber documentary.

They're technically unsyndicated MP3s as opposed to RSS-embedded podcasts, but here are links to the interview & MP3 files:
Kent Bye.mp3 (10.29 MB)

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Attending Personal Democracy Forum

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I'm planning on taking a bus or train up to New York City next Sunday night in order to attend the Personal Democracy Forum. The tagline is "Technology is Changing Politics."

It's only one day, and there are going to be a ton of movers and shakers there.

I had a chance to met a number of these speakers at SXSW Interactive, and I have a little bit clearer vision of where I'm at and where I'm going.

I'm there to network and get the word out on my project, but to learn as well.

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Networking at SXSW Interactive

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I was able to get the word out about The Echo Chamber to a lot of people who have "social capital" in the blogosphere. My primary audience was the panelist participants, but I also found myself in many engaging conversations with people in the hallways and parties.

I was able to met a lot of great people out at SxSW, and I'm still digesting all of the different panels and post-conference Activist Technology discussion that I was invited to attend. It was a day-long gathering of activist digerati designed to build community and bridge the gap between Activists and Technologists.

I took a ton of written notes throughout the week, and I am trying to figure out the most efficient and quickest way to manage this knowledge for myself -- as well as disseminate it if possible. I'm hoping to go over my notes, make some audio recordings, and then some do some blog posts about it.

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