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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 Kelsey Greene at 11:51AM   |  8 comments

Blog was written by Kelsey Greene, Documentary Studies and Production, '13, FLEFF intern, Buffalo, New York

I am yet again in the third row of seats, but this time in the Park auditorium.  

Dr. Zimmermann is introducing the former Ithaca College alum who used to sit in the class I'm in now: Nonfiction Film Theory!

Laura Deutch says she didn't know what her path would be in college, which makes me feel a little bit better about not knowing my specific path for the future yet.  I love how she is telling us about how she became involved in media and the steps she took to get where she is today.  

The main focus of her presentation is her newest project Messages in Motion, which she started as a grad student senior thesis two years ago.  

She is a very organized and clear presenter.  Her slideshow is very informative and compliments what she is saying well.  I am drawn to her idea of documentary which includes more new media concepts.  

With her project she has individuals make "video postcards" using Flip cameras.  The project activates social relationships and promotes personal expression.  She redid an old cargo van and drives around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania teaching basic filmmaking techniques and helping community members use media in a meaningful way.

The slide that is currently up contains influential mobile media projects for Laura.  While her idea is unique and creative she makes the point that it is not the first of its kind...

She is kindly explaining her process with us and using examples from her different experiences.  She has a neat chart slide up with the following information giving the simple format of her process:

  1. Get community partners and plan with them
  2. Hold workshop sessions- screening and discussion, basic camera and filmmaking techniques, and writing exercises 
  3. Visual metaphors, storyboard, recording of images and voiceover
  4. Editing
  5. Upload and public screening

She is now showing us the homepage of her website that has a crazy map with blue lines marking where her Messages in Motion van has been.  It is very visually appealing!  

One thing I didn't know is she didn't originally plan on working with youth, and generally wanted to work with adults as well, but says she has worked mainly with youth since.  

As what I am doing now, Laura says she has been trying to blog as much as she can.  Her reason for doing so is to make the project and process as transparent as possible.  


She showed some clips of videos individuals have made.

Now, the presentation is coming to an end so I am going to wrap up this blog.  

Laura Deutch is very inspirational to me and I have immensely enjoyed and appreciated this presentation.      


It's so great when someone else blogs about your presentation- Thanks Kelsey! I'm glad the project can be inspiration to you and others... I'm around all week, so happy to hang out and talk more with yourself and other interested students!

Thank you Laura for your kind comment! I greatly appreciate it! I will definitely try to meet up with you at some point this weed to further discuss Messages in Motion.

This project is very interesting to me both because I am from the Philadelphia area and because I love the idea of a mobile studio. The concept of giving the camera to the people who otherwise don't have opportunities to be heard on a wide scale is amazing! I would love to talk to you more about this projects and any ideas you have for furthering the work. I think it would be amazing to see this on a larger scale, bringing the videos together to get a solid message out about the downtown Philly area. What you are doing is amazing, I hope you can continue your work.

This is a great posting Kelsey. I think you summed up everything important from her presentation that day in class. I'm glad that you included her inspirations such as the Kine Trains because they provide a nice context to her work.

This is a great posting Kelsey. I think you summed up everything important from her presentation that day in class. I'm glad that you included her inspirations such as the Kine Trains because they provide a nice context to her work.

I was greatly impressed with Laura's presentation and her revival of Vertov's Kino Train concepts in 21st Century form. Much respect Laura, and continue with the amazing work!
However, film theory aside, the most important thing I took away from this presentation was the reminder that, no matter how small, we are ALL capable of doing something to combat the greed and alienation of modern society.
Props to Laura for being an inspiration to us all!

Kelsey- I appreciated your posting as you vividly described her presentation. I felt like I was sitting in class again watching Laura present her "Messages in Motion." I too appreciated her child subjects. As we have learned, documentaries tend to focus on the ambiguous, unsaid, or repressed. I feel that children often are repressed as they are often taken less seriously or their ideas are considered less important. I think that Laura revealed that children do have an impact and it is important to consider their stories and their histories in order to understand the world in which we live.

I agree with the other students about Laura. Children rarely get to voice their opinion or experiences about their social and economic situations. It's really commemorable that the Messages in Motion project addresses this unheard from dialogue in underprivileged communities. Often times children have the most unbiased point of view, are the most willing to help others, and are more hopeful about their aspirations for the future than adults. This project is a perfect example of their optimism.

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