Current TV"s Max Lugavere and Jason Silva answered
a few questions for PCM. Find out what Current TV is all about,
what it is like to work with Al Gore, and why their faces will grace
GAP's new Fall 2008 ICONS ad campaign!
Question: How did we end up as the founding hosts/producers
of Al Gore's Emmy winning Current TV?
Max Lugavere: We made a short documentary together, about 12 minutes
long, during our graduating semester at the University of Miami
where we were best friends. The film was about hedonism and spirituality
- how we were able to reconcile lifestyles of indulgence with the
fact that we're both ultimately seekers at the end of the day. It
was called Textures of Selfhood.
Jason Silva: The name of the film was taken from The Hedonistic
Imperative, an online futuristic philosophical manifesto about ending
all forms of suffering. We completed our short and sent it to the(then
unnamed) television network that Al Gore was co-launching - they
were looking for "passionate storytellers to help transform
television." We figured it was a long shot, but felt that our
film definitely had an irreverent visceral quality to it and that
perhaps it would shine through. A few weeks later we got a call
from Current's wonderful President of Programming, David Neuman,
who subsequently flew us out and offered us full time positions.
Q. What's so cool about Current TV?
Jason Silva: Current is a 24 hour international TV network that
is based around short documentaries, about whatever is going on
in the world of young adults like us. It can be about fashion, spirituality,
politics, music, whatever- so long as the short clips, or "pods"
as we call them, are interesting and you can learn something from
Max Lugavere: Current's coolest feature is what we call VC2 or
Viewer Created Content. It's taking what has made 'user-generated
content' sites like YouTube so popular and bringing it to television,
full time. Current creates its content with the audience as a conversation,
whereas traditional television has long been a sort of one-way rant
from big network conglomerates. On Current, audience members submit
their own 'pods' via the website (www.current.com) where the most
compelling of which - as judged by the online community - are chosen
to go on the TV channel, making Current a totally authentic reflection
of its audience.
Q: What do you do there?
ML: We are the full time hosts, or VJs, stringing all the random
documentaries together- sort of acting like the glue- that brings
you back after each segment with additional info, context, etc.
We are like the anchormen for a generation that doesn't like traditional
JS: We also produce content, because we were hired as filmmakers.
We're given free reign to cover any story we want, and we usually
take that opportunity to go after passion projects- whether it's
a cause that we think is really cool or a musician that we really
Q. How have your lives changed since you became public figures?
JS: We get recognized all the time here in LA and even more so
when we are in New York. NYC is literally where we actually get
stopped in the street. It's great to be able to get into any lounge
or club with minimal fuss. Most importantly, though, it's been amazing
because we're becoming known as sort of "new media trailblazers..."
ML: Yeah, where if you're starting a project in this new media,
cross platform space and you're cool, socially conscious, and are
out there to make the world a better place, we've become the go-to
ambassadors for "faces." Take Pangea Day for example ...
it was incredible- a 4 hour live TV broadcast in front of 500 million
people and 152 countries, with the sole goal of uniting people through
the power of film. It was put together by the TED Conferences and
we hosted the entire thing with Lisa Ling and a Kenyan filmmaker
by the name of June Arunga.
Q. What is it like to work for Al Gore? Do you deal directly with
ML: He's a rock star - a totally charming, funny and warm guy.
We always get the 'double hug' when we see him . "Da boys!"
is the usual greeting, followed by a huge hug.
JS: He is the coolest guy - so smart and generous with his time
and down to earth. He is the chairman and co-founder of Current.
We see him every once in a while, as he travels a lot. The parties
are great, though. The wildest part is being on a first name basis
with the guy.
Q. What does the future hold for Current TV?
JS: Current is the fastest growing network in TV history, more
than tripling its US coverage in barely two years. Today it can
be seen in 58 million TV households as well as on the Internet..
We have also launched in the UK. Against all odds we are a success
story. The future holds more expansion, international reach, etc.
ML: Yeah, I would say just further growth and notoriety. Current
rocks and many more will soon find out. We're just stoked to have
been there since the company had only a handful of employees. It's
family for us at this point.
How did you become two of GAP's new faces for their Fall 2008 ICONS
JS: The opportunity came to us based on our work with Current TV
and Pangea Day. We're really excited!!!
ML: It's incredible exposure for what we do and of course the revolution
that is Current TV. Can't wait!