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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Blog post by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, NJ
Ms. Jenny Stockdale is a long way from home in Ithaca, New York. But that doesn’t stop her from feeling right at home with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
Hailing from Southern California, Stockdale made the move to Ithaca last January, where she assumed the title of Marketing Communications Manager in the Ithaca College Office of Marketing Communications. Her clients primarily include the James J. Whalen School of Music and the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
“I help with everything from music admissions, promotional material, communication strategies, to printing posters and other items for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, and for [the Handwerker Gallery],” says Stockdale of her multifaceted position, “It’s been a very different world, but a very enveloping and wonderful one.”
Though she spends most of her time marketing the 350+ events that occur every year in the Music School, Stockdale also manages to juggle the responsibilities of marketing and promotion for FLEFF.
“It’s a whirlwind,” she says.
Stockdale notes that her role as Marketing Communications Manager in the festival begins shortly after Dr. Thomas Shevory and Dr. Patricia Zimmermann decide on a theme for the festival.
“Typically, they deliver the theme towards the end of the [academic] year: right around the end of the previous year’s festival,” says Stockdale. “They always come up with a long list of what that theme represents and then a further description about what the theme doesn’t represent and maybe a few ideas abut how they would like to arrive at a design. I transfer that information to the freelance designer [who is responsible for the design and scheme] and she comes up with a couple of ideas.”
Though the festival isn’t until the end of March, Stockdale says that she and the freelance designer had decided on a concrete design by the end of August. From there, she uses the design to start marketing the festival.
“The first marketing push is more of a logo and theme awareness campaign and it starts right in the beginning of the academic year,” she adds. “And then before Christmas, we try to get most of the collateral materials done: so the posters, the postcards, the festival passes, etc.”
By this time of year, Stockdale says that her primary focus is pushing handbill production and making sure that individual events are getting the publicity that they require and deserve.
“The production really never stops; it’s kind of a yearlong planning process,” she notes.
Stockdale’s affinity to the Music School is also evident in her interpretation of the theme that she has worked so hard to market thus far.
“In music, Dissonance is a clashing of notes within a chord. When you have a harmony there are certain notes within a chord that line up and resonate within the wave that’s making that sound, and you hear it. It’s almost mellifluent – it’s an appealing noise when you hear people harmonizing or music in harmony. But when you hear music in disharmony, in dissonance, it’s enough to almost make your spine hurt. It’s a very abrasive and almost violent audible disagreement, but it can sometimes be very powerful,” she says.
Though she claims that her interpretation is “rather biased,” she emphasizes that “anyone can really take something of value from the theme every year.”
“It’s art, at the end of the day. If you go to a gallery and you’re viewing a painting you will take something away from that painting that maybe the person next to you won’t. Maybe they’ll interpret it differently, but it doesn’t make it any more or less valuable: it’s still a very powerful thing that pushes us all forward,” she concludes metaphorically.
Keep your eyes peeled on campus and downtown in the Commons for posters and handbills that Ms. Stockdale worked on for this year’s Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.
What is your favorite FLEFF event?
Friday, March 25, 2011
Blog posting written by Peter Keahey, Film, Photography and Visual Arts, '12, FLEFF Intern, Yellow Springs, Ohio
I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with former director of marketing for FLEFF, Tom Torello.
Mr. Torello is an Ithaca college, Roy H. Park school alum, who majored in television and radio, and minored in religion and philosophy. He is currently the vice president of University Relations at Pace University. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Marketing for Ithaca Collage. Mr. Torello has over 14 years of marketing experience in higher education, working in numerous positions including Media Planner, Account Executive and Senior Account Manager.
I was able to ask Mr. Torello a few questions about his previous experience with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, as well as his experience as a Television Radio student at Ithaca College.
Peter: As a former TVR student, what were your interests at Ithaca?
Tom: I worked in the TV and radio stations. On the radio, I was a DJ on an AM station and hosted my own talk show. On TV, I hosted Panorama and was in the comedy show Nothing Special. I worked the camera or reported the weather or whatever needed to be done. As a weatherman I got some recognition around town. There is an IC TV jacket in the student union that was mine.
Peter: Did you have any interest in marketing at the time?
Tom: No, my goal was to by on-air talent as an anchorman, but when I arrived there were already incredibly talented people and I didn’t have that talent. I had a little interest in ads and decided to go in that direction.
Peter: When did you become involved with FLEFF?
Tom: Patty and Tom brought it to Ithaca and wanted help marketing it; I was in the marketing department. That was 4-5 years ago. Together, we came up with a marketing plan.
Peter: What were your responsibilities with FLEFF?
Tom: We took care of all the brochures, ads, website content, media relations and public relations, basically the branding of the college. For FLEFF, we decided what it should look like, its graphic identity, and how to build an audience. Each year, we had different goals and we built communication strategies specifically for those goals.
Peter: Are you still involved with FLEFF?
Tom: Yes, but not as much. I am on the advisory board. I still keep in touch with Patty and Tom. I give strategic input and this will be my first year attending as a guest.
Peter: How is FLEFF important to Ithaca and to the film community?
Tom: For Ithaca College, FLEFF creates and international presence and reputation, in addition to those already made by their academic programs. In India, FLEFF helps curate a project on water. International films come in through FLEFF. 10,000 people will see FLEFF films.
FLEFF creates an awareness of the city of Ithaca, too. through the film festival.
For the film community, FLEFF is not like Sundance or other festivals with traditional environmental agendas. FLEFF creates a broader awareness of environmental problems and creates more opportunity for film makers.
For example, once I met a couple who made films on polar bears. They had one film that other film festivals turned down because in their film, they said that global warming won’t kill the polar bears--because the change will be so gradual over time---but oil drilling will. Traditional environmentalists don’t want that message in their festivals, but FLEFF doesn’t have that agenda.
Also, FLEFF is incredibly entertaining, a great venue for artists.
Peter: What are you looking forward to at FLEFF this year?
Tom: The silent films and the parties and seeing people from Ithaca: Patty and Tom and other people I’ve connected with through FLEFF. Also, the musicians are amazing!