By Sahil Patel
Melissa Jun Rowley, the first social media correspondent for the YouTube-based talk show “What’s Trending,” is looking to launch a new series in 2014. The journalist and longtime social activism advocate hopes to produce “Magic Makers,” a show that will spotlight “the most innovative young minds changing the world.”
To get the project off the ground, Rowley and the team behind “Magic Makers” are seeking to raise $75,000 on the Memeni crowdfunding platform. This money would go toward initial costs for production, expenses, and post-production work for the pilot, which Rowley hopes to begin filming in March 2014. The plan is to have the pilot completed and set for release within the calendar year. We’re told that Rowley will make the pilot available online, with the hopes of finding additional digital and linear distribution for future episodes.
As described earlier, the point of “Magic Makers” is to feature innovators and entrepreneurs who are looking to solve big societal challenges. The show will be centered on how STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math) can benefit humanity, and will be filmed inside the New York Public School District.
Rowley, who will host the show, has already locked up stars for the pilot episode, including: Jack Andraka (2012 Intel Science & Engineering Fair Gordon E. Moore Award winner, who has appeared on “The Colbert Report” and “60 Minutes”); Abigail Harrison (who dreams of being the first human to go to Mars); TED Talk speakers Adora Svitak and Birke Baehr; robot engineer Easton LaChappelle; and Girls Who Code hacker Nikita Rau.
The Memeni campaign went live this morning.