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.