ARKANSAS CINEMA SOCIETY-- "FILMLAND"
One sign of maturity, I suppose, is to be able to admit when one is out-classed. As someone who has helped organize 24-hour-film competitions, screenplay writing contests, and motion picture education seminars, I know the challenges and work involved. Kathryn Tucker, Jeff Nichols, Graham Gordy, and everyone at the Arkansas Cinema Society, however, have taken to a new, higher level the building of an Austin-like film culture in Little Rock. In just its second year, the ACS has just completed the resoundingly successful, four-day FILMLAND event.
The official ACS Mission Statement is worth quoting: "We're building a film community in Arkansas where film lovers can watch films, share ideas, connect with each other, and nurture the new and existing film talent within our state through increased exposure to filmmakers and their art."
I'll leave the recent pesky details and name-dropping to practitioners of the journalistic and public relations arts, but can attest that the proverbial good time was had by all during the first annual FILMLAND. Congratulations. Can't wait to see what Kathryn, Jeff, Gordy, their sponsors and associates do next.
Ron Robinson moved on to an honored celestial marketing executive position on August 14. His agency--Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods--had been a favorite production client for decades.
Ron was one of the three Little Rock movers-and-shakers who were charitable enough to write letters of recommendation when I applied to the PhD program at the Department of Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University--Jonesboro. He was the first person to address me a "Dr. Jones"--long before it was legitimate to do so. Ron was one of those individuals to whom the terms "icon" and "larger-than-life" were NOT hyperbole. He will be missed. We are not likely to see his kind again in the Little Rock market.
You can watch Ron's tribute video here. It was produced by Deborah Grace and edited by Seth Padgett. Dr. David Stricklin--director of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies--delivered one of Ron's eulogies. You can view it here. One of Ron's lasting legacies is the CALS Ron Robinson Theater. I created a series of work-in-progress and Opening Night videos of the theater. Check them out here.
And, of course, it should be fitting that Ron has the last word.
TOO MUCH INFORMATION (?)
In the olden days, I would mail out a printed Hype & Jive newsletter more or less every month. I never knew how many tri-folds wound up in the trash without even having been read. In my self-delusion, I imagined that EVERYBODY read every witticism and were all suitably impressed. :-)
In this day of marvelous technology, however, one can tell exactly how many people OPEN an email and how many people actually CLICK THRU to watch a video. More to the point, one can determine all the recipients who DELETED an email without bothering to UNSUBSCRIBE. This sort of precise snd unequivocal feedback is....well, sobering. For example, for a perfectly wonderful video I sent around a few days ago, the open rate to date has been 37% with a 9.9% click rate. Seems discouraging--except that the average "Marketing & Advertising" statistics are a 16.48% click open rate and 1.74% click rate. In other words (for you math-challenged creative types), the industry average for every 100 emails in less that two people watching/reading your message. By those industry standards, Gary Jones Video is doing "pretty good."
Alas, I miss the days of printing bulk rate postage stickers, dumping the printed newsletters into a mail box, and reveling in self-delusion. :-) Of course, one can IGNORE the email program reports and remain blissfully ignorant of the challenge of direct email...but where's the fun in that. :-)