The Italian Film Festival was a film festival at the Sottile Theatre on George Street that was put on by professors within the Italian department. Many films were screened throughout this four day film festival including some Q&A’s from some of the directors that flew into Charleston to attend. This was an amazing way for the audience to be able to connect with the people who made the films, and ask various questions that went on in the audience’s mind throughout the films. It also allowed the crowd to have a much better understanding on why the director wanted to show what was being portrayed of Italy, the ugly and the beautiful.
Overall, the film festival went fairly well. The largest portion of the audience was college students, but it also included some diversity from others that were visiting Charleston at the time. The biggest flaw that I would change would simply be the promotion to draw a more diverse crowd to get people to attend besides those college students who were required to go, and to have a more even spread of diversity throughout the audience. I had a great time attending the festival though, and I really enjoyed watching the documentaries.
On November 16, I attended Jail Break at the Old City Jail. After attending last year, I absolutely had to go again this year. Within the jail, there are displays of artists’ work as well as people performing interpretive dance throughout the hallways. In the backyard, there was live music, concessions, and dance performances. All of the artists were standing by their work to answer any questions that the viewers may have had. One of the artists even walked up to me and asked me what my interpretation of his work was. I loved the fact that I could converse with the artists, hear about their inspiration, and tell them what I thought.
This event was very well attended, but as it got later and the bands started to come out and perform, it seemed a bit crowded. Because the event spanned for seven hours, it would be hard to put a limit on how many tickets should be for sale, considering most people aren’t going to stay the whole time. However, an excellent management aspect was the fact that they kept a list of people who ordered tickets online. When I purchased my ticket, I never received the email to print it, but I was to get in because my name was on the list. After attending two years in a row, I would certainly recommend this event to anyone. With so many different mediums, everyone can find something at Jail Break that they would enjoy.
I hope you have never heard it… or had to say it, but we all know the cop out- “It’s Not You, It’s Me “. This independent film by Nathan Ives takes a troubled relationship and reveals the internal struggles of both partners in the relationship. This film is currently on tour in the South East and will continue to travel across the U.S. as the ‘pay what you will’ screenings collect donations to support the tour. I heard about this screening through the Charleston City Paper. The film has a website with the trailer, information on cast, crew and a director’s note. This site also includes a list of upcoming locations for screenings. The director and writer, Nathan Ives, has created a Facebook and Twitter account to promote the film and also used local news to advertise for the Charleston screenings.
I went to see the film on Monday night at Terrace Theater. Before the show started Nathan explained to the audience that he is trying to create a sustainable model for touring independent films, as most of them aren’t even seen by the general public. He was so enthusiastic in welcoming the audience as individuals entering the theater and collectively as a crowd. The audience was mostly composed of people over the age of 50. These were grown ups with a great sense of humor. No dirty joke went without a contagious laugh across the theater. The people in this crowd fit the ‘I read the Sunday paper’ type. I also know for a fact that this film was promoted in the Sunday Charleston City Paper. It goes to show that promotion will determine your crowd! For what Nathan is trying to do with this film and for the independent film industry, he has the right target audience in mind.
This past weekend, without any real knowledge of the event I was about to attend, I went to the annual Jail Break art event in downtown Charleston. Held in the Old City Jail, and rumored to be hiding a decommissioned electric chair, walking in I was a bit apprehensive. However, it only took a few moments before I forgot the dark history of the place, and focused entirely on all the different forms of artistic expression filling the different, crumbling rooms. From comedians to theatre to puppets to oil paintings and collages, and even blacksmithing; you name it, it was there. Overlaying all of this was incredible live music performances in the back, where you could buy good food or shop at a small market of local artisans.
What really struck me about the event was the diversity of the audience. There were people ranging in ages six to seventy milling around, at least for the first few hours of the event. Jail Break seems to reach to out to all members of the community, not just artistic-types, and this obviously puts them at a great advantage in advertising, revenue, and general knowledge about the event. I would definitely recommend other people to attend. I know I’m going next year; I can not wait to see what the artists have planned.
For my third and final event, I chose to attend a concert by Selena Gomez, known as the Stars Dance Tour. The concert was at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC on October 27, 2013. The concert was well received, well attended, and overall an excellent production. Selena’s tour promoter, Live Nation, marketed the event well, using email, social media, and musical promotion through various televised promotion. The show was about 95% sold out, with a few empty rows and seats throughout the arena. The event took advantage of the “4 Ps of Marketing” including place, price, promotion, and product. It was a great show and it was definitely worth the money!
On November 6, 2013 I attended the North Charleston Performing Arts Center presentation of the award-winning musical “Jersey Boys”. In 2006, the musical won a Grammy for Best Musical Show and in 2009 it won an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. The production was part of the North Charleston Performing Arts Center’s Best of Broadway Series where they bring in well know shows such as Memphis and The Addams Family for patrons of the area to enjoy. The majority of the audience was over the age of 50 but almost every seat in the house was sold out. The audience appeared to enjoy themselves as much as the actors on stage as they watched the four boys rise to fame.
The advertising campaign for this show had to be extremely versatile to appeal to the wide range of audience members in attendance. The show was advertised from places like the College of Charleston Campus to billboards on I-26. Ticketmaster also sent out emails in regards to the upcoming show to tell patrons in the area that this Broadway show was coming into town for only six short days. The tickets were reasonably priced and well worth the trip to North Charleston. If the show was still in town I would highly recommend the show to anyone who needs a good laugh, likes great music or simply enjoys the arts.
On Friday October 18th the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art held their opening reception for the exhibit titled Tales of the Conjure Woman by the artist Renee Stout. The pieces in the show were all based around the folk stories that originated through slavery among African Americans. The pieces established a story of a root worker and fortune teller named Fatima Mayfield, an alter ego that Renee Stout has had for a while that acts as a source of inspiration for her artwork. The opening reception was prefaced by a dialogue from Renee Stout so that before viewing the show the audience members could get to know the artist better. Renee Stout being present at the reception gave an interesting and exciting experience to the exhibit by being able to look at her art and read about her inspiration and experiences, but then see her in person and hear her speak or have a conversation with. An interesting portion of the exhibit was that on the back of each piece she wrote the title, her name, and the perfumes she wore during the creation of that piece. She then included those perfume bottles in her exhibit to allow the audience to smell them, so that they could get a better sense of the inspiration that went into the art.
The amount of people that showed up for both the lecture and the exhibit was vast as a result of great promotional efforts. The large crowd added excitement to the atmosphere making it not just a quiet walk through the exhibit and encouraged discussion and bolder enjoyment of the show. The event was free and catered food and wine companies were present for the enjoyment of the audience. The no-cost admittance allowed many college students to attend the event which they may not have otherwise if there was a cost. Before the reception I received E-mails and had seen the posters and pamphlets around campus advertising the exhibit. With the Halsey location being on campus they planned their event with their audience in mind. There were also many African Americans there that were interested in the subject of the folk stories created in slavery, and inspired the artwork in the show. I would definitely encourage others to visit the exhibit, especially college students interested in a free art experience that is conveniently located for those with a busy schedule.