Please note that the FMMC blog is going dormant, as our new departmental website will be more frequently updated. Please visit there for any news and updates to FMMC.

One of FMMC’s honors graduates this past year, Aaron Smith, wrote a project that warrants broader dissemination, given its timely topic and “prescriptive” tone. Aaron wrote about transmedia storytelling in contemporary television, specifically exploring what lessons can be learned from experiments from the last decade and how future storytellers might devise more successful examples.

Aaron has posted his thesis online, inviting comments through the CommentPress system – you can comment on individual paragraphs, sections, or the entire project. Aaron would appreciate feedback – anyone interested in contemporary television narrative and transmedia issues will find interesting material to chew on here. Below is the thesis abstract to whet your appetite – please comment, reblog, or otherwise engage with his work:

Transmedia Storytelling in Television 2.0” by Aaron Smith
In the era of convergence, television producers are developing transmedia narratives to cater to consumers who are willing to follow their favorite shows across multiple media channels. At the same time, there still remains a need to preserve an internally coherent television show for more traditional viewers. This thesis offers a model for how transmedia storytelling can coexist with and enhance a television narrative, using Lost as a case study. By building a world to be discovered, creating a hierarchy of strategic gaps, focusing on the unique capabilities of each extension, and using the “validation effect” to reward fans for their cross-media traversals, television/transmedia producers can provide a satisfying experience for hard-core and casual fans alike.

The Film & Media Culture Department welcomes the Middlebury community to two events presenting the independent work of our seniors:

Thursday 5/7, 7:30 pm in Dana Auditorium: Independent Video Screenings by Waylon D’Mello, David Ellis, Jason Gutierrez, and Matt Leonard.

Following the screening at around 8:30 pm on 5/7, we will have a end-of-semester reception in Axinn’s Abernethy Room to celebrate the retirement of Don Mitchell.

Monday 5/11, 1:30 pm in Axinn 219: Independent Written Work presentations by Ioana Literat, Jared Rosenberg, and Aaron Smith

Hope to see many of you there.

This week, there are two screenings with filmmakers attending:

On Wed April 15 at 7:45 pm in Dana, we’ll be viewing the PBS broadcast of Planet Forward. The show is a companion to the website, which features short user-generated videos about global warming and energy issues. The show’s producer and host, Frank Sesno, is a Middlebury alum, former trustee, and parent, and he has involved our current students in the project – two Middlebury videos are featured on the show, and one student appears on a panel.

Following the airing, we will watch some of the Middlebury-produced videos in full, and then have a panel discussion about the project and the issues with some of the student video producers, Film & Media Culture professor Jason Mittell, and Environmental Studies professor Jon Isham.

On Thursday, April 16 at 7 pm in Axinn 232, come see Wings of Defeat introduced by director Linda Hoaglund. Wings of Defeat brings viewers behind the scenes of World War II’s Pacific theater to reveal the truth about the Kamikaze-the “suicide bombers” of their day. Interviews with surviving kamikaze, rare battle footage and Japanese propaganda reveal a side of WWII never before shown on film. American vets from the greatest generation tell harrowing tales of how they survived attacks. Wings of Defeat shatters the myth of the fanatical kamikaze to reveal a generation of men forced to pay for an empire’s pride with their lives. The film is the 2009 winner of the Organization of American Historians Eric Barnouw Award.

Justin Haythe ’96 will return to Middlebury to screen Revolutionary Road, which he adapted from the Richard Yates novel. The screening will be in Dana Auditorium on Sunday, March 15 at 7:30 pm, followed by a question & answer session.

Here is a group of festivals that students might consider entering – the FMMC department cannot speak to the quality of these festivals, but rather just offers links for students to consider. If FMMC majors are interested in submitting to this or other festivals, speak with the FMMC chair as we can help fund the entry fees.

The United Film Festivals are calling for your films!  Film festivals are an excellent way for young filmmakers to gain exposure and to make contacts.  We would like to encourage you to share the following with your student body!
About UNITED
The United Film Festivals are where art and creativity come together to create a united film community.  Showcasing films which reflect a wide range of topics and experiences, the festival’s focus is to bring together talented filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, thus creating a “United” showcase of creative energy and talent.
The 6th annual Tulsa United Film Festival concluded our 2008 season which was our biggest and best one yet.  So to continue the excitement we’re thrilled to announce that after two successful years of running United Film Festivals in Los AngelesNew York we are expanding again to include San FranciscoChicagoLondon in 2009..  With this growth our rich tradition of screening humorous, touching and sometimes provocative films will be reaching a much wider audience.  This is one film festival you won’t want to miss!
*This season we will be screening more films and an equal number of narrative & documentary feature length films.
UNITED Specials
Short Films (Under 30 min.)
3 Festivals = $35 ($11.66 each)
6 Festivals = $50 ($8.34 each)
Feature Length Films (Over 30 min.)
3 Festivals = $65 ($21.66 each)
6 Festivals = $110 ($18.34 each)
*You choose the cities for the 3-festival package!
**If you’ve already submitted to one of our 2009 festivals, and are interested in one of these specials, contact us and we’ll deduct the amount you’ve spent.
Individual Submissions
Special Deadline ($15 Short Films) ($25 Feature Length Films)
Early Deadline ($20 Short Films) ($30 Feature Length Films)
Regular Deadline ($25 Short Films) ($35 Feature Length Films)
Extended Deadline ($45 Short Films) ($55 Feature Length Films)
*Check individual festival websites for submission deadlines.
Festival & Submission Links
Los Angeles United Film Festival – http://www.losangelesunitedfest.com

– May 2009

San Francisco United Film Festival – http://www.sanfranciscounitedfest.com

– June 2009

Tulsa United Film Festival – http://www.tulsaunitedfest.com

– July 2009

Chicago United Film Festival – http://www.chicagounitedfest.com

– August 2009

New York United Film Festival http://www.newyorkunitedfest.com

– October 2009

London United Film Festival http://www.londonunitedfest.com

– November 2009

Submission Flyer
United Film Festival Submission Flyer http://www.theunitedfest.com/United_Submissions_Flyer_09.pdf

This is a good opportunity for FMMC students to get work seen at a regional festival:

The Skidmore International Student Film Festival kicks off its sophomore year in 2009. All genres are being accepted and competition is for currently-enrolled students only. The entry fee is only $15. The final deadline is March 13th. See the website for application information.

Film scholar Laura Mulvey will give a lecture entitled “Back to Modernity: thoughts on reality, narrative cinema from another technological age” on March 6, 2009 at 12:30 in Axinn 229.  Ms. Mulvey is a professor of film and media studies at the University of London, teaching this year at Wellesley College as the Mary Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities.  Mulvey, one of the most prominent film scholars of the past 30 years, will discuss the new possibilities of spectatorship opened by digital technology and how these possibilities impact the field of film theory. The lecture is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the department of Film and Media Culture.

The Ivy Film Festival started in 2001 as a place for undergraduate and graduate filmmakers to share their work, and interact with other student filmmakers as well as established figures in the film industry. The 2009 Ivy Film Festival will take place from April 20th through the 26th, at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. We present selected films and screenplays to a wide audience, and a panel of celebrity judges (including directors, producers, writers, and agents) views the best selections from the festival.

Please submit films (short or feature length) and/or screenplays (short or long form) to the 2009 Ivy Film Festival online or through the mail. The deadlines are as follows:

Late deadline (February 14, 2009):
First film or screenplay submission – $30
Additional submissions – $15

Without A Box Extended deadline (February 21, 2009):
First film or screenplay submission – $45
Additional submissions – $20

If there are any questions, then feel free to email us at iffpublicity2009@gmail.com. Thank you!

FMMC’s Digital Media Intern Sam Morrill has written and directed a film, La Milagrosa, which will be screened in Dana Auditorium, 8 pm on Tuesday Jan. 27th. We hope to see many of you there!