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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Gabriella Sophir at 12:09AM   |  8 comments

Blog posting written by Abby Sophir, Television/Radio '14, FLEFF Intern, St. Louis, Missouri.

A big thanks to Lindsay Harrop for the Live Blog of the "How to Get Your Break" panel! And of course to Karin Chien, Tina Mabry, Rodrigo Bellott and Rodrigo Brandao for a very down-to-earth, fun and informational panel. While I highly suggest reading Lindsay's blog if you have the time, for those of you in a hurry, here's a more pithy version of the advice these professionals had to give.

1. It takes determination, focus and self-motivation to move up in the industry. Even if you’re working for free printing scripts and getting coffee, don’t take the easy way out. 

2. Don’t ASK for favors, MAKE favors. In other words, make people owe you favors.

3. Going into the television industry we are told NETWORK. NETWORK. NETWORK. But this does not mean waving your business card in everyone’s face. It is about making genuine connections. 

4. Be knowledgeable about the industry, films, directors, etc. Know what’s going on. 

5. Don’t underestimate the importance of the business aspect of film and TV. 

Tiny Mabry's film Mississippi Damned will be showing for a second time tomorrow at 4:10 PM. I saw a showing tonight and it was fabulous! Rodrigo Bellott's film Even the Rain about water wars in Bolivia will also show for a second time tomorrow at 7:30 PM. Make sure to get to Cinemapolis early, it sold on on Thursday night! Karin Chien's award-winning film Disorder will also show tomorrow at 2:10! 

Don't miss out on these great opportunities to watch provoking films followed by intimate discussions with the directors!



Thanks for the shout out Abby! Great summary of the panel. It was seriously awesome.
I'm about to go to the screening of Mississippi Damned and have to say that Even the Rain is DEFINITELY one to see.

Although I didn't go to the event, I found this blog very helpful in understanding "how to get your break." Some of these points that Gabriella outlines are actually things I wouldn't have guessed--but they make sense. For example, being knowledgeable about the industry, films, directors, etc is important because you don't want to seem ignorant to the market and the content that comes from it when talking to someone. This is something that I definitely need to work on. Also, the point about MAKING favors instead of ASKING for them makes a lot of sense. It's just something that wouldn't have occurred to me without this prompting.
Thanks for this great blog!

Thank you so much for the blog.. Unfortunately, I was so disappointed I could not attend the panel, so thank you so much for sharing!

Thank you for posting this! I wasn't able to attend the panel so this was immensely helpful. I never thought about point number 2 or 5. It makes sense to help other people help you out and you will receive help in return. As for number 5, I never really consider the fact that the film industry in based in business corporations and that is something that's important to remember.

I love looking at how similar and different the film industry and the theater industry are. It looks like the opportunities in film are slightly more ample, though no less vying for those. But it seems like interning scripts and coffee is something that stays pretty consistent. Thank you for this inside view!

Another lesson that I gathered from this panel discussion is that it is important to know what you want. All of the panelists seemed to have moved between different areas of the industry. Whether it be from producing to casting to distributing, independently or commercially. Though developing these different skill sets and knowledge proved beneficial to all of them, they also emphasized the importance of finding your niche and leaving or rejecting something that isn't right. As a soon to be graduate, I have been obsessively considering my avenues, and will be sure to take these words as guidance.

a lot of people just need that break! too bad I missed this panel and networking opportunity. In the mean time, students can get their math mark better by studying for college algebra or business calculus
while waiting for that break - we can always improve.

defining your "why" is the most important thing for students to think about.. why are you sacrificing so much time and energy? what's your motivation? I've found these to big the biggest hurdles to student success.

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