About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Phil Wilde, vice president of Insights International, Inc. fell in love when he was a college student at Cornell University in 1970. That year, he picked up a Portapak camera for the first time and began recording everything. Film became his addiction.
Since 1970, Wilde has helped develop small video organizations in Ithaca, has worked at Insights International Inc., and has worked for Ithaca College several times as lecturer. His most recent collaboration with the college has been through his involvement with Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
EG: How did you first discover film?
PW: It’s an addiction. Honestly, it’s just like heroin. I had my first hit of video in 1970. I borrowed a Portapak, it was the first thing that I could get my hands on where I could actually have the freedom of expression in television. Film was too expensive to produce. I was a student; I couldn’t afford film to run through a camera, but I could to borrow a video camera from Cornell University’s library, and go out for the very first time — these were the first portable cameras that ever existed — and go out and film something that was a subject I was interested in. So I got an addiction to being able to tell my story with video and I was lucky enough to come along at the time when it was first invented. I was a sophomore in college, I was just 18.
EG: Why is it important to have festivals like FLEFF somewhere like Ithaca, a college town?
PW: The problem with most film festivals is that they are mostly involved in selling the films. In other words, the film festival is a place where the filmmaker comes and presents his or her work. They bring their stuff here and try to get a distributor or whatever it might be, that is the typical film festival. Or a film festival is meant to try to promote a certain place. The first film festivals where Paris and Italy and Rome and they were meant to promote Rome and not necessarily the film, but what Ithaca College brings to it is a third way. It’s not just about the film, it’s not just about the place, it’s about the intellectual experience of the expression of film and the audience. The intellectual perspective that a college town and a college — and specifically Ithaca College — brings to it is to allow a dialogue that is an examination of the film not just a celebration.
EG: How are you involved behind the scenes at FLEFF?
PW: I teach people how to schmooze, how to go up to people and have a conversation and come out of it with something more than a pleasant conversation. In other words you never learn anything if you are talking, so I teach people how to listen to the people who come to FLEFF: the presenters, the people who bring their films, the people who are interested in film.
An awful lot of the [interns in FLEFF are] people who were in film or television or theater or parts of Ithaca College that are the performing and television radio arts and the best thing that you can do if you are a person like that is to learn how to talk to other people. So I showed people the ways to get the most out of that kind of experience at FLEFF. To enhance the students’ intellectual dialogue. Thats exactly what we do.
EG: What about FLEFF do you like the most?
PW: I just love the idea of having this experience right in my backyard. I travel all over to other festivals. I’ve got some favorite little ones that I always try to go to, but here it’s coming to me, and the other side of it too is an chance to offer what I’ve got inside me to this intellectual community. I’ve always thought of the educational side of video and film.
EG: What advice do you give students attending the festival?
PW: I think everyone should take the time to go up to the artists who are there and engage in a personal dialogue. I think that is the most incredible thing about FLEFF. Everybody should approach a filmmaker or a producer or somebody who has brought a film or somebody who speaks on a film at FLEFF, or somebody who’s been at FLEFF. Everyone, engage in a dialogue.
I know it’s as hard as asking a girl out. It’s just as hard to go up to most people and start a conversation, but it’s so worth it.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Blog posting written by Matthew Reis, Cinema and Photography, '13, FLEFF Intern
Hello FLEFF sponsors, participants and guests. My name is Matthew R. Reis. I want to welcome you to the “Intern Voices” blog.
So, a little bit about me: I am a sophomore Cinema & Photography major with a minor in Art History. I write for “The Ithacan,” Ithaca College’s award winning newspaper. I specialize in reviewing films, art installations, and previewing upcoming plays. I also am involved with Ithaca College Television and the Art History Society here on campus. When I am not working with groups on campus, I enjoy promoting media literacy, following current events, reading, and playing video games on campus.
Getting off campus is even better.
There are some things I really enjoy doing in town. I love going to the movies. Ithaca has a large amount of movie theaters existing in a relatively small area. Cinemapolis the home of FLEFF, Cornell Cinema and Regal Cinemas are all great places to go and enjoy film.
Here are a few more things I like about Ithaca: its acceptance of alternative lifestyles, the wealth of community owned businesses, and an vibrant, engaging art scene.
So why did I want to work with FLEFF?
I find that all forms of media have the potential to be more than just commodities a person rents or buys. Media is transformative and can bring small issues to the forefront of today’s complex world.
So the simple answer is this: I became an intern to prove that media can change lives. Additionally, being a part of FLEFF is an exciting experience. So many people from all walks of life, in places all around the world, are effected by what takes place at FLEFF.
I am honored and proud to be a small part of this festival's continued growth and success.
When I applied to be a FLEFF intern, I had two goals: to learn more about the nuts-and-bolts of the film industry and to network.
I met both of these goals in just over a month--and discovered new goals to strive for.
The vast array of networking opportunities available to interns is another substantial perk of FLEFF. So far, I have met and talked to a variety of artists, including documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles and emerging media artist/college professor Evan Meaney, a 2007 IC graduate.
Plus: I enjoy collaborating with my fellow interns and working together towards a much better future.
Ithaca and the greater Central New York region are lucky to have a plethora of artists, activists, and hard working people contributing FLEFF. Without these people, FLEFF would have a decidedly weaker foundation. And, my college experience would be much less fulfilling.
Along with fellow interns, I have already helped with FLEFF’s ad campaign. On February 6, 2011, also known as Super Bowl Sunday, we held our first event. We managed to sell out a screening of Gimme Shelter. Mr. Maysles, one of the directors of the film, was on hand to answer any questions the audience had about his 41-year-old classic. Hopefully, this strong start will carry over into FLEFF week.
It only takes one person to go to a festival and come away with a variety of new ideas, opinions, and stories to share.
So why not come out to Ithaca, New York in April and experience FLEEF, a different environment for yourself?
Just be sure to dress warmly.