Jesse Erica Epstein is a Sundance award-winning filmmaker. She received an MA in documentary film from New York University. She was selected for "25 New Faces of Independent Film" by filmmaker magazine, and is a member-owner of New Day Films. She also works as a youth media educator, and for three years taught Reel Stories: Sundance's Youth Documentary Lab. Jesse has also taught Girls Make Movies at the Girls Leadership Institute, and has a published New York Times Video Op-Ed "Sex, Lies and Photoshop."
For their digital convergence class, students were asked to create wordpress blogs and write about the content of the film. Really happy that the film was used in this way, and some really cool discussions took place, here’s a taste and some links…
“So here it is – my first post for Digital Media Convergence is about a topic both pertinent to the class, the industry, and the current culture we live in. Photoshop began as a software used to manipulate photos but has now turned into a phrase that describes photo manipulation in general. Twenty years ago our parents never heard the phrase, “That was totally photos photoshoped.” More here: http://emilynhines.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/wet-dreams-and-false-images-reaction/
“When watching the video, “Wet Dreams and False Images”, I was shocked that the men in the barber shop did not think that the photographs of the women were edited. I cannot believe that the men thought that women could truly look that perfect and were judging other females based off those images.” More interesting observations at: http://pattersonanna.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/wet-dreams-and-false-images/
“But are they really improved? Can images that appear in magazines, commercials and all over the Internet really improve society? Yes, these products may be selling off the charts and businesses may be booming, but in turn girls and young women are internally and emotionally killing themselves with unrealistic images and expectations of what they have to live up to, but never will.” More at: http://catevlesourd.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/wet-dreams-and-false-images/
“At the end of the day, the most important thing is for the audience to be entertained. If that mission is accomplished, the show should be considered a success. While some may argue that photoshop allows producers to falsely depict the beauty of models, if the audience (or consumers in this case) are happy with what they are receiving, then the end justifies the means.” http://mmayer4.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/wet-dreams-and-false-images/
Curated by Anne LaPrade Seuthe and Sally Curcio
Exhibition Dates: December 11, 2011 through February 27, 2012
Hampden Gallery @ UMass The Fine Arts Center
Electronic devices like the Nook and the Kindle have already captured huge swatches of the reading public’s loyalty. Quick. Before it’s too late, this group of painters, sculptors, writers, film-makers, printers, and all-round lovers of the printed page, boldly bend, fold, and mutilate traditional books until all that remains are discrete art objects. These one of a kind altered works stand witness to the rapid evolution of the book as we know it.
Embedding the film in a stack of magazines was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Luckily two installation artists own and live in my building in Williamsburg and spent some time consulting on the project. It took a few weeks to put the piece together — through trial and error — and I’m thrilled that it’s now installed in the gallery. It was fun figuring out how to create an art installation with a film, and if you are in the Western Mass area stop by and check out the exhibit and see if you can find the film. (Some press: Gazette Article).
Decided to just take the first stab and figure it out.
Making an outline, but maybe should have started from back.
Installation artist Mary Ziegler consults.
Installation artist Greg Barsamian cuts a metal strip.
Went to a local barbershop and they donated a copy of Maxim.
Working Films Summit — Linking Non-Fiction Films to Cutting Edge Activism.
Screening (Wet Dreams and False Images, The Guarantee and 34x25x36) with workshop and panel discussion.
What an experience! Providing a huge amount of feedback and specific outreach strategies, the event was incredibly helpful. I came away with a large stack of note cards that I am still sorting through – with input from audience members and the panelists about strategic ways the films can be used and who to reach out to. Especially useful was insight from Karina Lynch (panelist from Educational Alliance) and Amy Levine (Sex Ed. Educator) about the process of getting films “approved” for schools. They suggest organizing pilot screenings at High Schools and After-School programs which can be models for more educators. I have screened the films at high schools and after-schools but didn’t quite know how to best build on these screenings to reach out to more institutions. Going to have a follow up meeting with Karina Lynch from Ed. Alliance and make a game plan.
Planning also to follow up on the panel and meet with Connect about partnering on a screening series in barbershops in NYC. Connect has been doing some community outreach and organizing in barbershops and seems like a great partner to help develop a screening kit. My plan is to co-host a pilot screening with barbers from the film Wet Dreams and False Images and have them lead the Q&A.;
After hearing feedback from the awesome girls on the panel from the Lower East Side Girl’s Club it seems like a co-ed screening might be the most effective.
Overall I have to say it was incredibly exciting and energizing to think about new ways the films can be used outside of traditional distribution models. I’m grateful that the films were part of this think-tank with such a high-level panel!
The panel included wonderful people from the Lower East Side Girl’s Club,Educational Alliance, Connect, two Media literacy experts, a Sex Educator who works with teens and parents, and a High School teacher from Brooklyn (who happens to be Dee Dee the barber’s sister).
Now that I have really begun to connect with potential project advisors and partner organizations, the work that needs to be done to get the films into the hands of educators and activists seems more specific and is starting to feel manageable. I’m excited build on the connections made at the “story leads to action mini-summit” this really does feel like team building rather than something I need to do on my own.