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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Blog posting by Kimberly Capehart, Documentary Studies and Production ’16, FLEFF Blogger, Cherry Hill, New Jersey
March 3rd is only a few days away, which means that in just five days, the Upstate Filmmakers Showcase will be occurring downtown at Ithaca’s local, independent movie theater, Cinemapolis.
For those who don’t know, all profits from the showcase will go to support Cinemapolis in its complete digital conversion. Sadly, the days of 35 mm film projection in theaters are extremely numbered, and every theater that wishes to survive in the modern multiplex business needs to make sure they’re ready to compete in the digital marketplace. For Cinemapolis, this means equipping all five of their theaters with brand new digital projection systems. You can read more about the technological aspect of it here.
As suggested by its name, the Upstate Filmmaker’s Showcase will be featuring work exclusively from filmmakers in Upstate New York. I recently spoke to Carol Jennings, an upstate filmmaker herself, and the director of the Park Media Lab at Ithaca College, about Park Productions’ contribution to the showcase.
Park Productions is a media production company stationed on the IC campus that is staffed exclusively by Park students. The company primarily works on collaborative projects with non-profit organizations within the Ithaca community. Through their client-driven work, Park Productions gives students professional experience in media production.
In 2011, in collaboration with the Visitors Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce, Park Productions produced a series of webisodes that “showcases popular destinations” and “highlights the unique natural beauty of the Finger Lakes Region” in order to promote tourism in the region. Finger Lakes Uncorked! “follows the adventures of a fictional character Craig Vinholtz, a magician and wine enthusiast living in the Finger Lakes region of New York.”
The production team for the project was composed of students, faculty, and alumni who worked closely with the Visitors Bureau and the Finger Lakes Wine Country to produce all nine webisodes. The series, which was intended to be a “social media release,” as Jennings puts it, premiered at FLEFF in 2011 and hit the web shortly after.
Jennings says her favorite part of the festival is seeing the “continuity of students, alumni, and professionals,” much like the combination that worked on Finger Lakes Uncorked! “It’s great to see former students come back as alumni, and then to come back even later on as professionals. Everyone looks at the work of current students and can offer suggestions and talk about their past work at Ithaca.”
Jennings says she is “honored that Park Productions is included in the group of incredibly talented filmmakers” who will be showing their work at the showcase. “We have an amazing pool of talent in the area,” she concludes.
Be sure to come out to Cinemapolis this Sunday, March 3rd to support your fellow Ithacans, Cinemapolis, and Upstate New York art!
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Blog posting written by Brian McCormick, Film, Photo & Visual Arts '12, FLEFF Intern, Wilbraham, MA
What an exciting (and warm!) day to kick off FLEFF 2011!
Today was the premiere of the Uncorked! webisodes at Cinemapolis and the Opening Gala for FLEFF at the Fingers Lakes Wine Center.
I showed up at Cinemapolis around 6:40PM and the theater was PACKED (the premiere scheduled for 7:00PM). There were students, faculty, actors and actresses, members of the community -- a fantastic turn out.
Once there was a "seat" in every seat of the theater, the webseries kicked off with a bang -- the audience was rolling with laughter within a minute. Having personally worked as crew on these webisodes, I was very ecstatic with the warm reception it received. The webseries is certainly a great visual example of the beauty and allure of the Finger Lakes.
After the first five episodes were screened, the cast and crew stood up to do a Q and A with audience, followed by a screening of the remaining four episodes.
I got a real taste of the unique FLEFF experience when supervising director of Uncorked! and Park Productions Carol Jennings announced to the crowd: "This is the only time someone will tell you to do this, but please, take out your cell phones!" By this she meant to get online and go to the webseries' website, and to send that link out to people -- a certain kind of viral, social media approach that we will keep on seeing variants of during this festival.
Following the Uncorked! screening was the FLEFF Opening Gala at the new Wine Center. This was a great hour or two for people to mingle, eat food and drink fine wine. Meanwhile, a large HD monitor set up in the corner of the room projected the number of hits the Finger Lakes Uncorked! website was receiving. I watched as a few children sitting by the screen yelled out the numbers "998 ... 999...1,000!"
Can't wait for tomorrow's events!