Thursday, September 28, 2006

Saw producer Dan Heffner at Park on Saturday!

Hey everybody,

OK, so they're not MY favorite movies; in fact, I still cringe every time I think about the scenes I saw in Toronto this summer when I went to visit the set of Saw III (ick). But for millions of you horror-movie fans, Saw I, II, and now III are your idea of great entertainment (ick ick). And nobody knows more about the magic behind the scenes that makes all that blood and gore possible than the guy who puts it together: Dan Heffner.

Dan's the producer of the Saw series, among scores of other Hollywood hits (Adventures in Babysitting, for starters), and he also happens to be a Park alum. He's coming to campus this weekend for the sole purpose of meeting with students, and I'm hoping you're all going to show up to make him feel welcome.

He'll be speaking in the Park auditorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday. See you there!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Find Your Inner Seoul....

Screening of student documentary films produced during Professor Changhee Chun's summer 2006 Cross-Cultural Documentary Research & Production course in South Korea. Refreshments will be served following the event!

in South Korea Summer 2006

Documentary Screening
Wednesday, September 27, 7:00pm
Park auditorium
(Refreshments will be served.)

By Zia Florence Anger, Scarlet Basak Geckinli, Goeun Jung, So Jung Kim
Young women's ideas about their bodies and the world around them, in Seoul, South Korea. 15 min.

By Yongtae Kim, Sally Lok, Ji-Yeon Son, Claire Tam
English immersion villages are emerging throughout South Korea to provide English-speaking education programs for Korean students. As filmmakers, we were fascinated by the concept of these camps and decided to visit the Paju English Village. There we met Tabitha Boulding, an instructor at the camp, who gave us an inside look into the camp. 15 min.

By Erin Sager, Jae-wook Ku, Eun Ji Lee, Sukyung Kim
A look at South Korea's rite of passage: the annual college entrance exam. Is it grading students on their ability to perform well at University, or is it testing so much more? 11 min. 29 sec.

By Jeffrey Hellmann, Katie Brillhart, Dylan Luyt, Sung Ho Kim, Yoon-jae Shin
This documentary is an expression of our experience with farmers in Pyeongtaek, their traditional culture and their daily struggle against the Korean government's will to drive them off of their land.
Save the Farmers. . 30 min.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The SGA goes digital....

So sooner or later, it had to happen....and now it has.

Your very own Student Government Association has gone digital, complete with a very complete and interactive Web site (not surprisingly, found at and, yes folks, even its own podcast and blog.

Here's the summary from Mike Dunn, SGA VP (no, that isn't a weird word) of Communications:

The new website is located at It contains a multitude of services including links to the latest SGA Podcast, the SGA Blog, and the SGA “FishBowl” e-comment/e-concern form. Also available on the website is news about SGA, upcoming events, pictures of the senate and e-board, and various other information regarding committees and SGA in general.

The SGA podcast is a weekly broadcast segment available to the world at . You may also choose to have the podcast automatically download into iTunes, yahoo, or a number of other programs each week. To subscribe, simply follow the link on the new sga website. Or, in iTunes, search for Ithaca SGA in the podcast directory. Each week, hot topics like Laundry machine usage, and upcoming events on campus are discussed. The segment usually runs about 5 minutes and it provides essential information to listeners. The podcast also includes weekly interviews with students on campus about controversial issues, which are usually very intriguing and often hilarious to listen to. This week, the podcast team discusses the use of washing machines by off-campus residents.

The SGA blog is now up and running. You can find it on the new website. It provides SGA Executive Board insight to a number of issues occurring on campus, and invites fellow bloggers to respond to our comments.

So get informed and join the conversation, will you? Democracy has never needed you more, and it starts right here at home.....

All My Children streams a Parkie....way cool

Courtney Boches, a senior TVR major, interned at All My Children in New York this summer, and ended up starring (well, OK, co-starring) with three other interns in one of the podcasts now streaming on the soap opera's Web site.

Courtney's the one who talks about being a farm girl. Aiden Turner is the AMC actor who clearly loves mugging for the camera. And the other women are .... well, they're interns from other schools who happen to be in the podcast, too.

Congrats to Courtney...and yes, they say she's from Ithaca College. Nothing like a little plug on national television....

Take a look....

One more time....The Ithacan takes gold

We've been doing it for years, but you know, being the best never gets old.

The Ithacan has been named a Gold Medalist for the Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 semesters in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association's annual College Newspaper Critique.

Each year the CSPA uses more than 150 criteria to judge member papers based on overall content, news, depth of reporting, features, opinion/editorial, sports, arts/entertainment, editorial/headline writing and design/graphic. The paper earned 990 points on a 1,000-point scale for both semesters.

The Ithacan has been ranked as a gold medalist consistently for more than a decade.

Congratulations to everybody who works so hard to make the Ithacan the best college newspaper in the country.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Life After Park: 3:50 a.m. and all is well....

This just in from Colorado; there's (great) life after Park (though, OK, so some of it happens at 3 a.m.....)

Hey all,
> It's been a while since I've written one of these emails, so I figured
> was as good a time as ever to do so.
> It's about 3:50 in the morning right now. My show is completely
> stacked, and I'm just waiting to answer any questions that the anchors
> or tech. crew may have before we go on the air. I'm also listening to
> the scanners to make sure no breaking news happens, but it's early
> Wednesday morning, which probably means nothing will happen.
> I'm completely settled in here. I finally have an apartment full of
> furniture, which is nice because it means I don't need to sit on the
> floor anymore. It's hard to believe that I've been out here four
> months now.
> In case you haven't heard, I was promoted at KOAA. I was
> originallyhired as the 5am producer. Now, I've taken over the reigns
> of the 6am show... sort of. We're short a person, so anywhere from
> three to five days a week, I produce both the 5 and 6. By the way...
> two hours of news takes a lot out of a person. The days when I have a
> co-producer here, I just do the 5am. That'll be the case until we
> hire a new 5am producer. SOOOO... if anyone knows of anybody looking
> for a producing job... at the #1 station in market 94... please send
> them my way.
> Otherwise, life is good. I've had some visitors out here, but more
> are always welcome. So if you want to visit Colorado, let me know. I
> actually went to become a Colorado resident, but I had an issue at the
> DMV. Apparently, my birth certificate is invalid, so they wouldn't
> issue me a license. Now I'm dealing with the states of New Jersey and
> Colorado to get this all worked out. It may be possible that I was
> never born, though I think there's sufficient proof to show that
> that's not the case.
> I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone's doing well. I'll speak
> with you soon. Best wishes and, of course, Ithaca Forever!
> -Aaron (Inver)

iMovie? iPhoto? Garage Band? iLife comes to IC

Apple iLife ’06 is the suite of software that comes on Mac laptops -- a collection critics have described like this:

“But making a great machine even better is a suite of upgraded applications called iLife ’06 that take advantage of these new Intel chips and deliver such vast improvements in digital imaging and multimedia programs that no programs on any other platform can even be called rivals.”

— Mike Wendland, Detroit Free Press
Balance of Power and Ease of Use

“We’ve been testing iLife ’06, and found that, overall, its programs provide an excellent balance of power and ease of use. This new version only adds to the suite’s lead over similar software for Windows, and deepens the way the programs work together.”

— Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal

And now you can learn from the pros how to use it.

Apple professionals will be on campus Thursday, September 28^th to give a special presentation for Apple iLife users. This presentation will cover the 5 components of the Apple iLife ’06 software suite including iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iWeb and a special LIVE demo of Garageband.

If you recently purchased a MacBook Pro under the Park laptop program, a long time Mac user, or thinking about switching from a PC to Mac, come and learn from the experts!

Feel free to attend one or both sessions:
Thursday, September 28th 2006 - Park Auditorium
Session I: 8:00-10:45am -or-
Session II: 6:30-9:30pm

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You should have been there....

It was amazing.

Tonight, a group of Ithaca College's most talented and extraordinary women showed about 400 young girls what it means to be strong, beautiful, talented and together.

Premium Blend, IC's all-female a cappella group, performed down at the Hangar Theater at an event designed to remind girls ages 5 to 17 that they have stories to tell, books to write and songs to sing. Three of Ithaca's most accomplished female writers - Anne Mazer, Ellen Potter and Megan Shull -- talked about their work, the writing life, and where they get the ideas for their characters.

But the high point of the evening was -- without a doubt -- Premium Blend, whose harmonies, rhythm and style dazzled their audience. Me, included.

When it was all over, I turned to my eight-year-old daughter, Annie, and asked whether she wanted to buy one of Anne Mazur's Abbey Hayes books -- which are among her favorites -- to ask for an autograph.

"Not really," Annie said. " But can I get a CD and ask them for their autographs?"

Annie wants to be a movie star when she grows up, and she knows talent when she sees (and hears) it.

Annie is now the proud owner of Premium Blend's "girl" CD (fully autographed), which she played at full volume for the 30 minutes between our arrival home and her bedtime. "I want to be like them when I grow up," she hollered at me as she danced around the living room.

Good idea, I told her. You go, girl.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You ARE the show.....


So you want to be a filmmaker, a music video producer, a documentary producer. And you've already finished your first work of art, a short film you're proud of and would love to share with the world (at least some part of it...)

No worries! ICTV has got the platform and opportunity for you:

Now Playing features the latest and greatest films the Park School has to offer, from drama, to comedy, to everything in between. Every episode contains a wide assortment of Ithaca College related student films, all neatly packaged and ready for your visual consumption. On Now Playing, student films are the show

Interested? Email Allen at

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

One more time!

We never get tired of it, do we?

The Ithacan has once again been named a finalist for one of the top journalism awards in the country. This week the Associated Collegiate Press named the paper a finalist for its Pacemaker Award — an honor widely regarded as "the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism."

The nomination is for papers produced during the 2005–06 academic year. The editor in chief during that period was Elizabeth Quill ’06.

The paper’s website is also a finalist for the Online Pacemaker award. Winners will be announced during the 85th annual National College Media Convention October 25-29 in St. Louis.

Congratulations to everybody who works so hard to make the Ithacan the amazing newspaper it is. We're SO proud.

Center for Public Integrity publishes Park student's work!


I should have written about this two weeks ago -- but no worries, you can still find it online:

Kaitlin Hasseler, one of the eleven students who participated in our Progressive Media Internships program this summer, spent six weeks at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C. She worked on a wide variety of projects, including a major database project investigating the role of the pharmaceutical industry in funding trips for our representatives in Congress.

You can find the story at the Center for Public Integrity

Congratulations, Kaitlin!

Dr. Caligari, an electric cello, and an IC Alum: Don't miss it

This just in from Dr. Patty Zimmerman, a faculty member in Cinema & Photography:

An improvisational duet between avant-garde electric cello and silent film
will be performed on Monday, September 18, at 9:00 pm in Park Hall. The
performance is free and open to the public.

IC music school alum and renowned experimental electric cellist Chris
White will improvise with Robert Weine's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
(Germany, 1919), one of the landmark films of German expressionism as well
as an early model for both the horror and film noir genres.

White’s improvisations combine with virtuoso technique to re-read Caligari
through the aural contemporary soundscape of electrified expressionist
modes. White’s mix of jazz, post-minimalism, sequencers, and tonal and
textural experimentation with cello create nuanced and probing readings of
this classic silent film.

Parkies are so great....

I just have to tell you all that you guys are the best. We sent out an email asking for volunteers to join our Dean's Host group -- the students who give our tours, help out at Admissions events, meet with our (famous) alum when they're on know, help us tell the rest of the world how great the Park School is.

And do you know that more than FIFTY of you guys responded and volunteered? Isn't that amazing?

It's really wonderful to know that so many of you are as excited about Park as we are -- and that you're willing to get involved in sharing our story with the rest of the world.

My thanks. I am so excited to be working with you all.

Monday, September 11, 2006



Now that we're settled in a bit and you're back to reading the blog (see, here you are -- cool, huh?), I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new Professional-in-Residence in our LA program.

Steven Ginsberg, who has been an adjunct faculty member in the program for several years, will this year be with us full-time, teaching and advising student internships (among a million other contributions he will undoubtedly make....the guy has ENERGY). We are so happy to have him with us in this new capacity.

For those of you who already know Steven, no introduction is needed. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, here's a little background:

Steven Ginsberg has worked as a screenwriter for numerous films studios and independent production companies. He wrote Family Prayers, an original coming-of-age drama starring Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, Patti LuPone and Paul Reiser, and has written and developed scripts for such actors as Brenda Blethyn, Richard Dreyfuss and Peter Fonda.

A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Ginsberg began his career as a film critic and reporter for Daily Variety. In that capacity, he originated its first weekly national film box office column, which sparked a nationwide trend in reporting on the true business of Hollywood films. He has also worked in film marketing and publicity for such directors as Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich and Lawrence Kasdan, and has written for both series television as well as for the stage.

For the last six years, Ginsberg has taught screenwriting and other industry-related courses for such schools as Ithaca College; Hobart And William Smith Colleges; and National University. He has also served as a guest lecturer at UCLA and the University of Texas at Austin, as well as both the Seattle and Palm Springs International Film Festivals.

Susan Reiner, who was a valuable member of our faculty in LA for three years, this summer returned to her professional career as a producer. We will miss her....but she does promise to stay in touch.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I know, I know, most of you have gotten so used to the new Park lobby that it looks....well, normal to you.

But at least some of the blog's readers are off campus this semester, and they've been asking me to post some photos of our new space. Kim Gregson posted a link to her Flickr photos a couple of weeks ago, but apparently some people are having trouble finding it. So I've decided to post a few of her photos here, where they're easy to find (thanks, Kim).

And speaking of blogging....

I started this blog two years ago so I could keep in touch with you all....there are so many amazing things going on in Park all the time, it's impossible to keep everybody in the loop through email (talk about flooding your inboxes).

But my office is far from the only source of great info on Park. In fact, the Cinema & Photography Department has started its own blog, full of news about current programs, future plans, and alumni activities. Add the link to your bookmarks and check it out:

Take a look: Pretty cool, eh?

Hey everybody,

Professor Changee Chung took a group of students to Korea this summer to shoot a documentary; they had an amazing time -- life-changing, according to one student -- and I thought you might be interested in taking a look at the photos. They're at :

(Sorry I can't make the link live; pretty stupid, but Blogger isn't all that Mac friendly....)


Tune in: It's almost show time!

Hey everybody,

As you may have heard, Chris Wheatley is teaching a radio news mini-course this weekend in which 15 students have devoted the past two days to covering the AIDS Ride for Life; they're producing a radio documentary on the event and the cause. The show airs in 50 minutes -- at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Be sure to tune in; I'm sure it will be worth the effort.


Saw update: Mark your calendars!

You may have already read the announcement that Dan Heffner, Park alum and producer of the Saw movies (among other films) is coming to Park this month.

If you scroll down the blog, as a matter of fact, there's this pretty bizarre photograph of me sitting in the Saw bathroom. (People who haven't seen the movies really wonder why the dean is sitting on the floor in a filthy old bathroom, grinning ear to ear....oh well).)

Well, we realized that we had scheduled Heffner to come to campus on Homecoming Saturday, and his presentation was going to conflict with the football game. I happen to be a Bombers fan myself, so we decided to ask Dan if he could postpone his trip one week, until Sept. 30.

Turns out that works better for him, anyway. So mark your calendars: Heffner will be in the Park Aud on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. to talk about the films, the business, and anything else you want to discuss.

Be there. He may even show some clips of the new Saw III movie; I was on the set for two days. It is so totally gross. Like ick.

You'll love it.

In the "Wish I Were There...." category

Steve Ginsburg, our new Pendleton Professional-in-Residence in the LA program, emailed this morning, just to keep me up to date on what's new and exciting out there on the West coast. Thought you might find it interesting....I did!

Hi Dianne: Just wanted to check in and let you know what’s been going on:

l – L.A. Shorts Fest opening – I arranged for and took a group of students to the opening night of the LA Shorts Fest Tuesday night at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood. It’s a 10-day event and literally the LARGEST shorts festival worldwide (this is its 10th year), showing hundreds of shorts from new and veteran filmmakers. I think it’s a great potential venue for students to get new work seen by people out here and a nice potential credit to put on their resumes. It also provides networking possibilities and a chance to interact with all types of filmmakers. In fact, at the opening session we attended, there were a number of filmmakers outside the U.S. who were to have films unspooling on other nights.

The event we attended included a diverse panel of directors talking about their filmmaking experience and breaking into the biz. The included: Paul Haggis, who wrote and directed “Crash” and was the screenwriter of “Million Dollar Baby”; Jason Reitman, who directed one of this year’s hit indie comedy-dramas, “Thank You for Smoking; as well as others like Grace Lee, a Korean American UCLA grad who showed her 30 minute thesis short film that starred Sandra Oh (“Grey’s Anatomy”); and Joe Nussbaum, a USC grad who’s short “George Lucas In Love,” is often shown to production classes all across the
country and has gotten him work directing several feature films since. Adrien Grenier, who is the star of HBO’s “Entourage, “ who had just directed his first short (a little star power never hurts) was also on the panel and showed his film. And he actually did have an entourage of his own (!).

All talked honestly about how the films came about, breaking into the biz, the myriad of jobs they had in addition to filmmaking, and the roundabout ways their films, financing and careers came together. Grace Lee, in particular, had no connections at all and was able to get Sandra Oh to do her movie through a mutual friend who gave her Sandra’s phone # and said she could send her the script. The actress signed on because she liked the project (there was NO money involved), and I liked the fact that the students saw that indeed, if you really devote yourself to your craft and keep plugging, there are ways to actually get to people you might not think you can get to. By the same token, there were some cautionary tales but also very specific ways to subvert the system and get your work out there from people who had done it.

The fest gave a “pioneer” award to Paul Haggis because of his success in the indie world and he gave a great talk – remembering his really awful jobs and early experiences writing for sitcoms like “Different Strokes” and “The Facts of Life.” Really modest, self-effacing and eager to take questions and help. Some students got to talk to him individually at the party afterwards.

...A few of our students volunteered to work at the fest and one student, Angel Yau, was given a camera to film the entire opening night event.

On other subjects:

...One of our students working at the Hollywood Reporter just got his first article published; another at NBC News actually was sent to cover to a NASCAR event (they needed someone who knew NASCAR for an afternoon news show and she was a big fan) and her live interviews became an integral part of the piece. They loved her work and had never given an intern that much of an opportunity. So kudos to Stephanie Stevens....

...We’re putting together a panel of recent and veteran IC grads that will come to speak to the students in early November about breaking into the industry. Should be helpful since we have a lot of LA program grads out there doing many different things. It’s been 10 years since the school’s been operating out here!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Be the (happy) face of the Park School! (great food, cool sweatshirts...)

When I first arrived in the Park School two years ago, I used to walk around behind the campus tour groups, just to get a sense of the campus and its communities; it was a great way to be introduced and to see the college through the eyes of our prospective students.

That experience taught me a few things, though -- at least one of which was that most of the tour guides didn't really like giving tours of the Park School and often weren't really all that sure about all of the details (who can blame them? take a walk through the first floor and try to imagine what it would be like to NOT live down there....).

After about a year, I decided that the best way to improve the experience of our visiting families AND the tour guides was to create our own Park School student group, a community of "Dean's Hosts" who: a) are as excited and enthusiastic about the Park School as I am (OK, well, close, anyway); b) really like speaking in public (small groups of public); c) know a lot about the school or are willing to learn what they don't know; d) like to serve the community as student leaders; and e) like to order takeout once a month and have lunch with me to talk about cool projects and whatever else happens to come up.

A bunch of really great students volunteered, and we spent the whole year talking about our ideas, eating Chinese food (mostly), and setting up a new tour system. Everybody agreed that it worked much better, and the students who participated said they enjoyed the opportunity (not to mention the Park sweatshirts and the lunches).

Now we're looking to expand the group. And we would love it if you would join us. (I've already invited one first-year student into the group; she is the most enthusiastic and energetic freshman in the history of the school, I am sure of it).

Here's what you need to do:

1. Email me and explain why you think you would like to be a dean's host. We're looking for all different kinds of students from all different parts of the school. We want this to be about Park, in all of its shapes and forms and manifestations. If you're the kind of student YOU would have liked to meet on a college tour, we want you in the group.

2. If you're selected, you would have to participate in a training session in Park and another training session through the Presidents Hosts over in Admissions. Cheryl Horihan coordinates the program, and she would schedule you to conduct a Park tour once every week; usual hours are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, though we did schedule a few extras last year.

3. You'd be asked to participate in other kinds of 'special events,' including some orientation sessions. And I would ask you constantly for ideas about how we can do a better job reaching out to high school students and their families. You remember better than I do what it's like to be a high school student, so I am always looking to you all for brilliance and innovation and effective strategies. And lots of times, you actually come up with them.

So do think about joining us. It's fun and not too much hassle. I promise.

Email me by Friday, please. We'd like to get the group together by our first meeting on Sept. 12.

Passion and Commitment: That's Park

I just received this in my inbox from the parent of one of our students. She's writing to Janice Levy, a faculty member who teaches photography in the Park School. And she's talking about a clip from a documentary film project currently posted on the Park School's Portfolio page (off the school's homepage).

First, read the email. Then check out the video if you haven't seen it already.

Pretty amazing, huh?

Dear Janice, I am a mother of a student at Ithaca and my duty and joy is to cruise around the Ithaca websites see what is new and exciting at the school. I came across your video that you did for Park on your trip to Antiqua. I cannot describe the excitement I felt when I saw what you shot and your feelings behind the trip. I have always loved taking pictures and when you get that one fabulous photo I liken it to golf - all you need is one great shot to keep you on the course. When I come across unbelievable stories and pictures like the ones you took I cannot help but say, thank you. You are giving kids in your class a gift of your passion. I have forwarded the Ithaca website to a friend's daughter interested in photography with the hope that she will pursue her passion and take it to the artistic, creative and human level you have.

And BuzzSaw, too....

This just in from the BuzzSaw staff (I love it when people read the blog!):

We are having our Buzzsaw Rush Night this Wednesday, September 6th, at 8:00 in IC Square. are more than welcome to come (and write for us!) if you are interested.

You know, that's the best invitation I've had in months...I may just take them up on it.....

Back from Chicago...and ready to start again!

Hey everybody,

I spent the end of last week in Chicago, attending a meeting of the national Accrediting Council of schools of journalism and mass comm; that's the group that decides whether a school is accredited, and I have just been elected to a three-year term. That's good news, though, because it means that I am going to be spending some of my time this year traveling around to other programs and reviewing their curricula and staffing. It will give me the opportunity to benchmark Park against other schools and to bring home the best ideas....imitation is the greatest form of flattery, you know, and I'm a big believer in adopting great ideas, even if we didn't think of them first.

This week is the 'real' start of school -- at least it seems like that to me. It was great to see so many of you at ICTV Rush Night last week, and I am really sorry to have missed VIC, ICB and the Ithacan's; there was no way around that trip to Chicago. But I heard they were great, too. And iMPrint t is this week, as is PRSSA; here are the details:


MPrint Magazine: College Life's Internet Magazine, named best online magazine in the nation by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, will hold rush night on Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. in Clark Lounge in Campus Center.

iMPrint is seeking enthusiastic writers, editors, web designers, promoters and advertisers to continue to become the hub for college life on the Internet.


What: Informational meeting for the two marketing communication clubs on
campus - there will be candy and other various snacks yum
PRSSA - Public Relations Student Society of America
AAF - American Advertising Federation

When: THIS THURSDAY, September 7, 7:00 pm

Where: IC Square

Why: You should come because I love you all very much and want to see your
bright smiling faces. These organizations also look good on resumes and we
do many cool things if my love for you isn't enough.

fyi - PRSSA meets on tuesday nights at 7 in park

Show up. Sign up. Be a part of it.