Week 10: Progress …?

So I sent my interview questions to the people who agreed to do interviews and am now just waiting for them to send them back. I got one back yesterday from this lovely…

So I sent my interview questions to the people who agreed to do interviews and am now just waiting for them to send them back. I got one back yesterday from this lovely lady who works in the Sonoma County Film department and she was gracious enough to answer questions about local festivals as well as the process for obtaining permits/permission to film in the area and stage events.  Hopefully I’ll get at least two more within the next week or so …!

I also got my press credentials for the Sonoma International Film Festival, and will be attending this Saturday. Pretty excited about that! I’ll get to see a large-scale film festival event complete with after parties and special events such as panels and signings. I haven’t been to this festival so it will be a treat.

My website is all set up and is simply awaiting content. I’ll be tackling my timelines probably next week.

Not much else to report. I’ve been keeping up with my readings and am enjoying the music festival articles.  Some notes I’ve taken (mostly for my own reference):

Branding, Sponsorship and Music Festivals:

  • sponsorship as a vital income stream
  • secure headliner acts to ensure ticket sales
  • loss of sponsorship is one reason why many festivals fail
  • countercultural carnivalesque
  • utopian possibilities, freedom from social norms and expectations, to play, transform, or create new norms.
  • commercialization and sponsorship are negatively linked to other trends such as the increasing regulation, standardization and domestication
  • majority of festivals make use of sponsorship opportunities in order to provide financial support, additional attractions, and assistance in marketing, promo and media coverage.
  • grants, donations, private organizations/individuals,
  • gaining access to certain target markets
  • association of “good times’
  • captive festival audience – making a profit
  • leveraging – badging – logo placement
  • alcohol sponsorships
  • playful, imaginative and memorable multi-sensory experiences associated with the sponsor
  • partners vs sponsorships
  • ideological or ethical decisions about which sponsors to work with
  • ex: sustainability
  • the right “fit”
  • avoidance – without sponsorship support
  • music festivals as consumer commodities and spectacles vs countercultural carnivalesque
  • not real but treated as real (hyperreal)
  • “shallow and manipulative forms of experience that leave little room for truly participatory activity.
  • activities and settings staged for the benefit of the sponsors
  • passive vs active festival-goers
  • financial pressures in promoting festivals
  • brand acceptance/avoidance
  • “something for everyone”

Blues Festivals:

  • House of Blues: study in contrast and irony
  • mostly white clientele
  • “look” joints, bbq shacks
  • decentralized nature of blues tourism
  • territoriality
  • cultural tourism – Blues festivals serve as one means to promote the blues as part of Mississippi’s cultural heritage.
  • “sanitize and repackage” the community in order to attract tourists to the area
  • disappearance of “local color’
  • blues festivals: homecoming/honoring musicians, preservation of blues culture, and integration/racial harmony
  • “vanishing blues culture”
  • abandonment of earlier styles
  • a “temporary integrated” community
  • Black Codes
  • blues as a response to oppressive and violent environments
  • Blues festivals funded by corporate sponsors, local businesses, individual contributors
  • providing financial assistance to elderly, often destitute blues musicians
  • Most audience members still arrive as a member of their respective racially segregated group. While whites and blacks may spark up conversations or even dance together, audience members are still closely connected to their primary group.
  • In many ways, racial integration at blues festivals is limited to spectators simply occupying the same physical space

And that’s my blog for the week! :)

Notes on Writing Field Notes

Just some notes on our recent reading of Emerson’s Writing Field Notes for my own reference (and for anyone else who needs a refresher … )   writing as a construction, a version of…

Just some notes on our recent reading of Emerson’s Writing Field Notes for my own reference (and for anyone else who needs a refresher … )   writing as a construction, a version of the world according to the writer filter vs mirror stylistic  narrative conventions selective and partial asides, commentaries forget and simplify immediacy dictation vs writing internal editor stream-of-conscious fashion what to include and what to leave out include tangential activities and comments “minor” description, dialogue, characterization adjectives and adverbs – color, shape, size, sound, timbre, volume, smell, fragrance, gestures, movements, posture, facial expressions (kinetic) stereotypes – gender, age, race, physical appearance visual cliches avoids evaluative verbs and adjectives tone of voice, attitude of writer – in word choice direct-indirect quotes sketches – brief segments, still life episodes – continuous action or motion asides – brief, reflective bits of analytic writing that clarify explain, interpret, or raise questions about some specific happening or process described in a field note. – tentative hunches commentary – more elaborate reflection, a series of stories portraying slices of life in vivid detail

Week 8: Onward We Go!

So … today is St. Patrick’s Day … and also the start of the 9th Annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival! This event goes on until Sunday. I plan to attend at least one…

So … today is St. Patrick’s Day … and also the start of the 9th Annual Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival! This event goes on until Sunday. I plan to attend at least one day here to observe the crowd! I’ve revised my original plan to cover three local film festivals ( I couldn’t stick to just one …!) I wanted to be able to research some longer-running film festivals such as the Sonoma International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 19th year this month. I chose a genre-based film festival (Silver Scream Fest), a documentary-style film festival, and a general film festival with some serious history to focus on. A little information on each: The Silver Scream Film Festival is a genre-based event that is celebrating its very first year in Sonoma County.  The event was inspired by a long-running magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland which was established in 1958 as “a way to celebrate genre films and unite fans around the world.” This magazine, founded by Forest “Forrie” Ackerman, is said to be the world’s first monster fan magazine.  The magazine’s new owner, Philip Kim, paired up with CULT Film Series founder Neil Pearlmutter to bring the Silver Scream Film Festival to life. The small but wildly popular festival successfully debuted earlier this month, with about 2-3,000 people in attendance. Several local businesses were also involved and set up tables celebrating horror, sci-fi and comic book genres. The Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival is celebrating it’s 9th year this month and is presented by the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, a grassroots, nonprofit arts center created in 1988 by “a coalition of art, business and community members to provide art programs and services for all sectors of the community.” Eliza Hemenway founded the film festival in 2007 with “a vision to showcase strong, independent documentary films in West Sonoma County, and to network the local film community.” More information about the event will be forthcoming. The Sonoma International Film Festival is the county’s biggest film event.  Now in it’s 19th year, this festival will feature more than 90 films that include independent features, documentaries, world cinema, and short films. The festival boasts itself as “one of the top 10 destination festivals in the world.” This is a community-wide event that includes the participation of many local businesses offering food, wine and services. SIFF is also dedicated to the financial support of the visual arts educational programs in Sonoma Valley schools and community outreach programs. Taken from the SIFF website: “The festival originated by Sonoma locals and friends Carolyn Stolman and Jerry Seltzer.  The first two festivals were produced under the fiscal sponsorship of Sonoma’s Sister Cities Program and held in the early fall (1997 and 1998).  They included participation by industry luminaries (and regional residents) Danny Glover, Francis Ford Coppola and John Lasseter.” I’m hoping to interview one person from each festival. I just got my IRB approval, so I can now go ahead and solicit! There are many options, however, so I am not really worried about finding people willing to be interviewed. I’m also planning to attend the Sonoma International Film Festival at the end of the month. I applied for press credentials (since I do have a registered media website …) and am hoping to be accepted! What better way to attend a festival than as a member of the press? A busy month! I’m looking forward to compiling my research.

Week 7: My Progress

I attended the Silver Scream Film Festival this weekend and it was so much fun! The event occupied the second floor of the Roxy 14 Stadium, which isn’t very big at all, so…

I attended the Silver Scream Film Festival this weekend and it was so much fun! The event occupied the second floor of the Roxy 14 Stadium, which isn’t very big at all, so the event seemed rather modest in comparison to larger film festivals. However, there were plenty of people there, and many in costume! I would estimate the event drew a crowd of 2 to 3,000 people altogether. The most popular costume I noticed on Saturday was the iconic red and black striped shirt worn by Nightmare on Elm Street‘s unforgettable Freddy Krueger (who happened to be there as well!).
One of the many creatures in attendance at the 2016 Silver Scream Festival.
One of the many creatures in attendance at the 2016 Silver Scream Festival.
I volunteered for the event, so my job was to walk around and take pictures, collecting video, and helping where I’m needed. Philip Kim, the man behind the festival, was there all day, and proved to be a charismatic fellow who was fully involved with the event. I also met actor David Naughton (who I embarrassingly did not recognize from his role in An American Werewolf in London … he made fun of me for that), makeup effects artist Rick Baker, and several other famous artists and directors of horror flicks. I also attended a panel with Nightmare‘s own Robert Englund and Heather Langenkamp after catching a few minutes of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare on the big screen. I adored the atmosphere and the crowd. You have to be a certain kind of person to gravitate towards horror movies and comics! There were hordes of fanboys (a new term for me) and plenty of fangirls dressed to the nines as slasher chicks, vampires and/or werewolves. Everyone was super-friendly, animated and talkative. It’s too bad I did not get my IRB approvals before the festival, so that I could interview these amazing people! I did get plenty of video and pictures to use for my site.
IMG_1646
An alien finds himself looking for a ride home from a night at the movies.
One thing I learned is that this is the festival’s very first year in Santa Rosa, CA. This raises a bit of anxiety in me as I realize there will be very little history to draw from on the actual festival itself (since this is its first year). Most of its history comes from the magazine that inspired it, Famous Monsters in Filmland, which is now run by Philip Kim. What I know is that he paired up with CULT Film Series founder Neil Pearlmutter (this is the Roxy’s own cult film series, which occurs every Thursday) and they came up with the 2016 Silver Scream Film Festival.  I’m wondering if I will need to shift gears and focus on other film festivals in the area that have more history involved, such as the 19th Annual Sonoma Film Festival, which is scheduled for March 30 – April 3 this year. I am still awaiting word on this. I did apply as a volunteer for this event, although I haven’t yet decided if I’ll actually attend. Next Monday, they have a “call for volunteers” event, which might be a good idea to attend as this festival’s admission tickets can be super pricey depending on what you want to do. Overall, I’m happy I got to be a part of the Silver Scream Film Festival. I learned they are trying to gain enough attention to make this festival a permanent annual fixture in Sonoma. I would absolutely return every year for this event!  

Silver Scream Film Festival Links

Just a few links to information and news particles I’ve found recently so that I can reference them quickly here: Press Democrat: Santa Rosa hosts Silver Scream Film Festival Famous Monsters in Filmland…

Just a few links to information and news particles I’ve found recently so that I can reference them quickly here: Press Democrat: Santa Rosa hosts Silver Scream Film Festival Famous Monsters in Filmland – Official Website Famous Monsters in Filmland – Facebook Famous Monsters – Wikipedia Through Time and Space with Forry Ackerman LA Times Article on Forry Ackerman I am excited to be volunteering for the event tomorrow night! It’s going to be an amazing experience.

Project Contract

Mission Statement: My project seeks to help generate an awareness and a historical archive of how film and moviegoing traditions are approached, supported  and celebrated in Sonoma County. I plan to use the 2016 Silver…

Mission Statement: My project seeks to help generate an awareness and a historical archive of how film and moviegoing traditions are approached, supported  and celebrated in Sonoma County. I plan to use the 2016 Silver Scream Film Festival as a main focus of study and will perform extensive research on the festival and the publication it was inspired by. I will include a timeline of its history, notable moments and annual gatherings. I will research the motives and ideas behind the festival and also compare it to other film festivals in the Sonoma County area. I will also provide a link to interesting pages and relevant sites that pertain to the festival. In addition, I will also compile an interactive map showing notable film sites in Sonoma that will tidbits of historic and/or interesting information. I will include a page with a list linking to other local film festivals and so that a moviegoers might have an up-to-date and user-friendly website to find and research local film events. My goal is to keep the website simple, elegant and informative. Tools Used:
  • interactive timeline
  • interactive map
  • video and audio equipment
  • pictures and websites as approved by site owners
  • editing software for pictures and video
  • music composed by Magic Spiral
Tentative Timeline:
  • March 2:  Submit interview questions to IRB
  • March 4-6:  Attend Silver Scream Festival to gather footage, observations, and other data
  • March 21: Timeline for film festivals in Sonoma County completed
  • March 28: Interactive map for notable film history in Sonoma County completed
  • March 31: Interviews completed and transcribed
  • April 1: Interview transcripts submitted to festival coordinators for approval
  • April 4: Timeline for  Silver Scream Film Festival completed
  • April 11:  All research completed and compiled onto website
  • April 13: Final edit of video/audio footage compiled from festival
  • April 14: Video/audio footage submitted to festival coordinators for approval.
  • April 21: First draft of website completed
  • May 5: Final revision of website completed
 

Questions to Ask

Just posting a few preliminary questions I’m looking to ask individuals involved with my selected festival. I don’t know much about the festival itself, so I’m hoping to learn more from asking general,…

Just posting a few preliminary questions I’m looking to ask individuals involved with my selected festival. I don’t know much about the festival itself, so I’m hoping to learn more from asking general, open-ended questions. Classmates and professors: if you’ve feedback on how I can improve, please comment!!  
  1. What is the purpose of the Silver Scream Festival? How did it begin?
  2. What can you tell me about the festival’s founding fathers, Forrest J Ackerman and James Warren?
  3. What is your role in the festival? How long have you been involved? What does this festival mean to you personally?
  4. Is this the first time the festival has been hosted at the Roxy Theatre in Santa Rosa, CA? If not, how long has it been coming here? What other locations host this particular festival?
  5. What is your favorite thing about the festival?
  6. How do you select your special guests? What is the process for selection like?
  7. How is the festival funded? What kind of support does it receive, remotely and locally?
  8. How many people traditionally attend this festival?
  9. In what ways has the Silver Scream Film Festival influenced and/or impacted the film industry?
  10. What kind of goals does Famous Monsters of Filmland hope to achieve with this festival?
  11. What kind of future does Famous Monsters of Filmland envision for this festival?
  12. Do you have any festival stories, anecdotes, or memories you would like to share?
  For festival goers:  
  1. Is this your first time attending the Silver Scream Film Festival?
  2. What are your reasons/expectations for attending this festival?
  3. What is your favorite part of the festival so far?
  4. What are your favorite films?
  5. Did you submit a particular work to be considered for the festival? What was the process like?
  6. Are there any special guests you hope to meet today?
  7. Would you attend this festival again?
  8. Do you have anything you’d like to share about your experiences here?

Assignment: My Festival Prospectus

As I stated earlier, I’ll be doing research on the Silent Scream Festival which will be happening at the Roxy 14 Theatre in downtown Santa Rosa on March 4-6. I’ve made contact with some very accommodating people who are willing to arrange interviews and possible volunteer positions that will allow me and a partner to … Continue reading Assignment: My Festival Prospectus

As I stated earlier, I’ll be doing research on the Silent Scream Festival which will be happening at the Roxy 14 Theatre in downtown Santa Rosa on March 4-6. I’ve made contact with some very accommodating people who are willing to arrange interviews and possiblScreenshot from the Silver Scream Fest websitee volunteer positions that will allow me and a partner to actually be part of the crew. My next step is to get together the interview questions and find the appropriate individuals to interview. I would like to interview someone who knows in depth the history of the festival, and can tell me how the event actually morphed into one. From the website, I see that the festival originated from a magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, which was established in 1958 “as a way to celebrate genre films and unite fans around the world.” This magazine was established by editor Forrest J. Ackerman and publisher James Warren. The aim for this magazine was to “celebrate the classic films of Universal’s golden horror age.” I want to find out what brought this festival out of Hollywood and into Sonoma. I know that the Roxy has its own Cult Film Series  that occurs every Thursday, and so it seems to be a perfect place to host this kind 54f70385a4ca50cae750b669846d0e53of gathering. Seems there’s already an audience in place. The aim of this festival is to “find the next generation of storytellers,” according to their mission statement. This festival aims to blend genres and invite storytellers and artists from all over to submit short and feature films, graphic novels, comic books and animation, and awards prizes and screening to the winners. Some questions I’d like to answer:
  1. What types of people attend this sort of specialized film festival?
  2. How many people typically attend?
  3. How do they gather? Do they stick to their own groups, or do they openly socialize with others outside of their groups?
  4. How do the attendees dress? Do people dress up in costume? If so, why? What exactly are they celebrating?
  5. What is the general mood of the festival? How does this mood influence how people act and react to stimulus?
  6. What is the festival’s background? How did it start? What factors caused it to migrate to Sonoma County?
  7. What exactly fuels the festival and keeps people coming back year after year?
  8. What kind of groups offer financial support to the festival and make it possible in the first place?
  9. What is the festival’s future? What challenges/obstacles might prevent future festivals from occurring?
  10. How does this festival contribute to cultural norms, if at all?
I’m excited about attending the festival itself. I’m hoping to capture some of it on video and possibly interview some of the attendees. I’d like to ask them what the appeal is, and what they like best about the festival. I’m also hoping to meet some of the special guests who are slated to appear: David Naughton, Rob Prior, Bela Lugosi, Jr, and the original Freddy, Robert Englund. It would be a dream come true to interview one of these special guests! We will see what the festival brings. I’m hoping to build a website that’s a tribute not only to this film festival, but also to cult film festivals all over. I’m hoping my research will yield rich results and help connect our little town with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.