Hazel Wolf Films Internship
Reflections/ Experience / Learning
I am really enjoying this internship and I even plan to continue the project into the spring semester of 2003. I have had an incredible experience: I am meeting all of the people behind scheduling and learning how to create events and contact speakers. I love working with Judith, my internship sponsor, because she really wants me to learn things and allows me to make a lot of the decisions for the project and film events. We have also have had wonderful communication due to telephones, e-mail, and our nearby living proximities; we are direct and get things accomplished. Already being an intern for the Whitman College Outdoor Program, I was already accustomed to advertising events at Whitman. However, I now realize how advertising is vital for the attendance of the film events. The actual film events were the most rewarding and what I learned most from. At the events I learned that the surrounding Walla Walla, Washington community is very interested in environmental issues as half of the attendees were outside of the Whitman community. I say that the events were rewarding because I saw people learning from the films we were showing and engaging in thoughtful conversation with the speakers after the film. Attendees and guest speakers thanked me for putting together the event and I felt fulfilled having spread a little bit of environmental awareness. I have also been considering the creation of an “Environmental Studies-Film” major as a result of the Hazel Wolf Environmental Films reminding me how much I appreciate films and knowing how powerful film can be as a persuasive and educational medium.
Goals/ Objectives / Logistics / Successful Parts
Our goal is to share environmental education and awareness to Whitman College and the Walla Walla, Washington community by showing one to two Hazel Wolf Environmental films per month that are accompanied with a post film discussion lead by guest speakers who are experts or involved in the particular environmental issue and the audience. Logistics of reaching our goal and objectives were quite varied. I met with Judith once a week for an hour or two in order to discuss how things were going and make a plan for what needed to be done. I first tackled scheduling by working with Barbara Preas to find dates for the entire school year(good to book as far in advance as possible!) in which no other big events were already scheduled and that the Kimball theater could be reserved from 7-9pm for the events. I then reserved projectionists for the confirmed dates. From there, Judith and I chose films, speakers to go with the films, and dates that speakers could make in order to decide when a film would be shown. In order to supplement our opinion on which films would be good to show, I created a survey asking Whitman students to rate their interest in certain films on environmental topics and on different environmental issues themselves. A major part of this internship was contacting people for the things we needed. I had to contact speakers to come to the event, send special invitations, e-mail professors for funding and their support, asking that they give students extra credit in exchange for attending the film events, and contacting the people behind advertising such as the Walla Walla Audubon Society and the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. Once the film and speakers of film events were confirmed I turned my energy to advertising. I sent out e-mails to the student listserv, gave advertisers such as Shirley Muse and Patti Moss the event information, distributed paper fliers all around campus, asked certain clubs to help publicize the events (AIA and the Organic Garden), and made sure to make plenty of class announcements. The first two film events were complete successes! The first one was on Wednesday, November 20th, 2002 and featured films “Terminator Tomatoes” [Suzanne Twining, 2001] and “Beyond Organic” [John de Graaf, Bullfrog Films, 2000] and was accompanied by a post-film discussion lead by guest speakers Sarah Grant of Ideal Organics, Joel Huesby of Thundering Hooves, a pasture fed organic livestock farm, and environmental filmmaker of “Terminator Tomatoes, Suzanne Twining. A mixture of 30 Whitman students and outside community members attended this event and engaged in a thoughtful post-film discussion. The second film event, on Thursday, December 5th, 2002, featured the film “Coming to Light” [Anne Makepeace, Bullfrog Films, 2000] accompanied by a post film discussion lead by guest speakers Susan Schuship of the confederated tribes of the Umatilla and Russ Martin, director of the Walla Walla symphony. Once again, a mixture of 15 Whitman students and outside community members, along with some Whitman alumnae, attended this event and engaged in a thoughtful post-film discussion. Kathy Corangle from the Walla Walla Union Bulletin attended the event, interviewed the speakers, and wrote an article about the event that made the front cover of Sunday’s Walla Walla Union Bulletin.
Problems / Difficulties / Recommendations for the Future
The internship as a whole was a wonderful success. However, as I plan to continue my work on this project, there were a few difficulties that I ran into and now know how to avoid them in the future. It is really important to be persistent in following up with people, especially speakers and advertising contacts because their contribution to the film events is not always the highest of their priorities. Also, it really helps to meet with the projectionists 15 minutes before the event to make sure that the videos are rewound and that the lights, sound, and video equipment are working correctly. I also hope to increase attendance numbers with more advertising. I plan to go through Whitman’s weekly, The Pioneer and to distribute more paper fliers to the surrounding schools and stores that allow advertisements.
The advantage of living in a small town and going to a small college is that things are easily done. I thought that scheduling was going to be a nightmare, but it was incredibly easy! I definitely spent about four hours a week, sometimes more depending on what needed to be done. However, the outcome of the film events reflect my own work and I believe that these film events will enrich others with environmental awareness, so I enjoy every second I spend on this internship!
Barbara Preas – Whitman College’s scheduling goddess
Jim Cunningham – Whitman College Tech Services
Professors Don Snow and Bob Carson – environmental studies
Professor Michael Carolan – environmental sociologist
Professor Heidi Dobson – head of the biology department and plant enthusiast
Caroline Cummings – Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network
Judith Johnson and Kevin Scribner – Kooskooskie Commons
Kathy Corangle – Walla Walla Union Bulletin
Shirley Muse – Walla Walla Audubon Society
Patti Moss – advertising in the Science department
I have really enjoyed this year long internship. I have met all of the people behind scheduling and advertising in Walla Walla and have learned how to create and contact speakers. Additionally, I have learned how to create, schedule, organize and host environmental film events! I love working with Judith Johnson, my internship sponsor, because she has taught me many career tools and is my friend as well. We are both quite flexible, which makes things work out perfectly and to our liking. Whenever either of us is out of town, we have no problem comunicating via e-mail or phone. The actual film events were most rewarding and what I learned most from. At the events, I learned that the surrounding Walla Walla, Washington community is very interested in environmental issues as half of the attendees were from outside of the Whitman community. I say that the events were rewarding because I saw people learning from the films we were showing and engaging in thoughtful conversation with the speakers after the film. Attendees and guest speakers thanked me for putting together the event and I felt fulfilled having spread a little bit of environmental awareness. As a studio-arts major, I have been incorporating film into my multimedia art performances as this internship has reminded me of the power of film as a medium that conveys messages with both images and audio.
Our goal is to share environmental education and awareness to Whitman College and the Walla Walla, Washington community by showing one to two Hazel Wolf Environmental Films per month that are accompanied with a post-film discussion lead by guest speakers, who are experts or are involved in the particular environmental issues, and the audience. Logistics of reaching our goals and objectives were quite varied. I met with Judith once a week for an hour or two in order to discuss how things were going and make a plan for what needed to be done. I first tackled scheduling by working with Barb Preas to find dates for the entire school year in which no other big events were already scheduled and that the Kimball Theater could be reserved from 7-9pm for the events. I then also reserved the projectionists for the confirmed dates through Linda Reyburn of Technology Services. It is important to make reservations as far in advance as possible. From there, Judith and I chose films, speakers to go with the films, and found dates that speakers could make in order to decide when a film would be shown. The Hazel Wolf Environmental Film network's website (http://www.hazelfilm.org) has a list of its films and accompanied with film descriptions. Additionally, Judith owns other environmental films. From this collection of films, Judith and I worked together to choose films that we thought would be educational and of interest to the public. In order to supplement our opinions on which films would be good to show, I created a survey asking Whitman students to rate their interest in certain environmental films and on different environmental issues themselves. Once the dates and films were chosen, I would e-mail Caroline Cummings of Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network (email@example.com) and make sure that the films we wished to rent were available for the specific dates we needed the films. For the most part, guest speakers consisted of Whitman professors such as Craig Lesley, Don Snow and Rudo Sanyanga and Environmental film directors and producers. Together, Judith and I would think of speakers to match with each film event. Many times, Judith, being on the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network Committee, already knew some of the film directors or also knew of environmental speakers who would be ideal for the events. However, a major part of this internship was contacting and communicating with people, especially speakers. Once given the e-mail or phone number of a speaker that Judith and I wanted to have for an event, I would e-mail or call the speaker to invite them to speak at the film event. I had to persistent with my communication with the speakers in order to get the speaker to commit to be at the event. Once I knew a speaker was scheduled to come, I made sure to make arrangements for the speaker. If a speaker would be spending the night, I would reserve a room for them in the Baker Faculty Center with Barb Preas of Scheduling and Events or in the Douglas Guest Room through Janice Wright of Residence Life. Sometimes speakers wanted to be paid a stipend for coming to Whitman, so I would then try to find a professor who might pay speakers to come speak in their class or an academic department that might help fund the speakers. Once the film and speakers of film events were confirmed, I turned my energy to advertising. I send out a least one e-mail a day for the entire week before the event happens. I also e-mail Shirley Muse (firstname.lastname@example.org), of the Walla Walla Audubon Society, the film event information so that she can advertise the event through the Audubon Society's newsletter. It is good to get this information to Shirley as far in advance as possible. It is very important to get the film event information to Lenel Parish, Senior News Service Officer. She is very friendly; I would simply e-mail her (email@example.com) the information and she would advertise it anywhere she could, including the Whitman Calendar and Walla Walla Union Bulletin's Marquee. I also made sure to e-mail Patti Moss (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the science department asking that she forward the film event information to Bob Carson's lecture list. I also e-mailed professors asking that they offer their students extra credit in exchange for attending the film events and Judith sometimes asked me to send special invitation to the event via e-mail. Additionally, I made colorful paper fliers that I personally posted all around campus. In order to have fliers posted at Reid Campus Center, I would simply ask Paul Dennis, the Administrative Assistant for the Campus Center, to give my fliers a stamp of approval and then the fliers could go up! I also made sure to post advertisements at Coffee Perk, Merchants, the Walla Walla Community College, the Seventh Day Adventist College, and Andy's Groceries. I also asked clubs such as the Organic Garden Club and Campus Greens to help publicize the events and personally made class announcements for the film events. Advertising is the key to having people attend the film events. The more people the better. This spring semester, we put on three successful film events. The first event, on April 16th, featured films "The Echo of Water Against Rocks" and "Homecoming" on wild salmon and artificial dam issues with guest speakers Professor and Author Craig Lesley, Professor Don Snow, and Environmental Film Producer of "Homecoming" Kevin Scribner. The second event, on April 24th, featured films "SUV Taggers" and "Cost of Cool" on responsible and eco-friendly consumption with guest speaker Professor Rudo Sanyanga. The third event, on May 7th, featured films "Turtle World," "Not for Sale," and "Net Loss" on sustainable living with guest speakers, environmental film directors of "Not for Sale" and "Net Loss" and environmental activisits Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin.
Problems/Difficulties/Recommendations for the Future
The internship as a whole was a wonderful success. Judith and I managed to create film events that never existed and with the system of how to do things, as described above, the film events went pretty smoothly. My one disappointment was my inability to attend the actual 2003 Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival because I was already obligated to take the Wilderness First Responder at that time. Judith went and had a wonderful time; I suggest that the person who takes this internship over should leave room in their schedule to attend the film festival! However, I might also add that one should acknowledge creativity with this internship because the possibilities are infinite. One idea I had for the future of this internship was to put on an actual weekend long environmental film festival in which Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network films and student and community made film would be shown and accompanied with post-film discussions.
The advantage of living in a small town and going to a small college is that things are easily done. I originally thought that scheduling and advertising was going to be a nightmare of a job, but it was incredibly easy once I knew what my resources were. I always give my internship priority over most things. However, this semester I have been very busy and fully scheduled, so sometimes I didn't have as much time to do things as I would have liked. I could have easily made this internship into a full time job. In general I probably spent about 4-6 hours per week on my internship.
Judith Johnson -- Internship Sponsor
Barbara Preas – Scheduling and Events
Linda Reyburn - Technology Services
Lenel Parish -- Senior News Service Office
Janice Wright -- Residence Life
Caroline Cummings – Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Network
Shirley Muse – Walla Walla Audubon Society
Patti Moss – Science department