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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 Shawn Steiner at 2:21PM   |  4 comments
The "Disco Lounge" with a plethora of New Media

Blog posting written by Shawn Steiner, Film, Photography, and Visual Arts '14, FLEFF Intern, Elkridge, MD

Coming to you straight from Park 220, a.k.a. the "Disco Lounge," is a party of new media artists. Right now we have Helen De Michiel, Laura Deutch, and Phillip Mallory Jones all sitting here talking with students and each other.

Their comments from the industry are enlightening. They talk about the industry, their own work, independence, and unemployment. It's hard to track when each one has such interesting things to say, but here we go.

Dr. Zimmermann provided the introductions and a short conversation before fellow blogger Shea Lynch started a long discussion about the artists' favorite subjects. Which is all you need to get these brilliant minds rolling.

Helen provided us with some insight into the industry and how to get started working in this difficult field. Laura was able to talk about working in the documentary field and building up trust with who she works with. Then, with some support from both Laura and Helen, Phil began his discourse.

Phillip started with, "It's internal." A great point from which to dive in. "It has to do with getting something out... What I'm always doing is getting something out of here. It's a signature." An amazing look into the mind of the artist.

Helen continued with "Art does not refer to a particular set of rules or forms or materials as it once did." It is a "sensorium that is different than domination." She urges the students to do what we want to do. However, we should know that it may not allow us to live indefinitely. We still should do it! Especially in such a fluid world. We just need to accept that "today you may be drinking wine. But, tomorrow you may be picking grapes."

Laura jumped in on the conversation to talk about how we are working in new organizational formats. The consumer based world is something that we need to work and live in. We need to take on a new form of life.

We come back to Helen. She says that we will be able to live off of the skills that we know. Even though, as Phil alerted us, we will most likely become unemployed. Working in this industry is pushing the pain boundaries. Phil even asks us, "Where do you want to take the pain? What matters?"

The conversation continued, delving deeper and deeper into everyone. All of the students are on the edge of their seats, taking in every piece of information.

It is impressive what these intellectuals are working on right now.

Laura is working on Messages in Motion, a project in which she works to create and produce the short form documentary. Helen is working on Lunch Love Community, a web series in which she documents the development of food in California public schools. Phil also explained how he is working is Second Life to help work with the qualifications of elementary school teachers through a module. All impressive pieces of work.

They continued with how everything is such a collective space. Dr. Zimmermann then educated us on Singapore and how it is a different experience from the U.S. The work more on a flat, fluid scale than the pyramid employed here.

New media is becoming the way of the future. The people themselves are becoming the market, you must learn skills and use them in order to market yourself in order to get a break. Also, leadership skills are vital to success.

Collaboration is perhaps the most important method of creating projects. They pressed the necessity of education and personal growth in this fluid world. Everything is always moving and you have to go with the flow.

Now, we have the final words of advice from each one:

Helen stuck with what she has been saying the whole time, market yourself, learn, and get leadership skills.

Phil went philosophical and said "Take your show on the road." Work with a group and get out into the world.

Laura said, just go out into the world and talk to people! Get out of your comfort zone.

I wish I could've gone even more in depth, but I myself was enthralled by the conversation. Luckily, the guests will be here for another few days and there are many opportunities to see them. Soon, I will post up a few key events that should be seen. Come back soon! We have many bloggers around doing this everywhere. FLEFF is everywhere!

Helen's screening will be Saturday at noon at Cinemapolis. She will be presenting Lunch Love Community.

Phillip is actually presenting at 4 p.m. in Studio A. So if you can go check it out!


Thurs 4/14 at 7:20
Sat 4/16 7:10

More here:

Spread the word....the Friday screening is CANCELLED.

I had the privilege to listen to Laura Deutch speak in my Non-Fiction Film Theory class earlier this week. Her project, Messages in Motion, which is similar to other heteronomic and multi-platform projects such as Precious Places, is one that is devoted to letting everyday people tell their story in a cheep, quick, and efficient way. Though not originally the desire, the project seems to be more focused now on youth produced media, rather than adults. Laura spoke a lot about the process of creating Messages in Motion and I found the whole concept really interesting and extremely rewarding. The short stories, or "postcards", are roughly put together, but say a tremendous amount about those who created them in a very short period of time. The most interesting aspect of the project to me was actually the website, which was designed so that anyone can go on and look at where the Messages in Motion bus has been on a map. You can then watch videos from different parts of the city. I think this could be a really useful educational tool if you want kids from a particular neighborhood to learn about kids in a different area. Laura spoke that often the kids live very isolated lives and rarely get out to other parts of the city. Her whole platform offers a unique and relatively accessibly way for people all over to get to know a little bit about each other. Really wonderful stuff!

I also enjoyed Laura's presentations. Her project is a very interesting one in that the filmmakers of the short clips are kids. The whole idea of handing children, ranging from elementary school to high school ages, a camera and letting them shoot whatever they want is a very unique one. I enjoyed seeing how different groups saw their environment differently.

It is so wonderful to have the blog posts at hand, unfortunately I was unable to go to this event, but being able to read about it gives me insight as to what went on and highlights some key talking points, thank you! I agree with what has been said earlier about Laura Deutch, the website's ability to track the van is great. I like that is places these documentaries in their environment. You can move through documentaries via the map and understand them with the added context of their location. The website also creates a space for these collaborative projects to live which is essential. Having a place online allows us to engage in any of the multiple dialogue going on and bring in our own perspective.

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