Getting Serious for the Oceans
I believe that media can make a difference. I know that communication is as much visual as it is verbal, if not more. For part one of this series, we will explore the ‘if not more’ and begin a short tale of how an internship can ignite a flame under an entirely different side of yourself, previously uncharted. I call this side ocean.
Internships do not just magically appear for anyone- not usually. You must put in the time and effort towards finding an opportunity which best suits your goals. Luckily our Internship Coordinator is in constant pursuit of opportunities for us, but it still requires a lot of work to find the right opportunity. For my Capstone Experience for both masters degrees ( Entrepreneurship/ Sustainable Tourism), I sought an atypical internship experience. I wanted to work for a cause locally while having an effect, globally. In other words, we can all do our best locally to create or inspire noticeable change on a global scale. What better way to put my experience to work for the oceans and in turn, for humanity and all living creatures? What better way to set an example for younger eyes? Scientists say that we know around 5% of the world’s oceans but in the age of crowd-sourced knowledge, this library is growing exponentially. Normal human activity is naturally disruptive. Naturally, I aim to disrupt that.
Where I am Coming From
I like to recycle experience. I like to make stuff with data and code with Anthropology on my mind. At first, I imagined something educational, impactful and simple to love. I pulled from my experience. Since 2010, I have worked in close collaboration with scientists on sailboats, before enrolling to USF, called Beautiful Nation Project. Within Land Surveyors United community, members annually collaborate on the day of the summer solstice for Survey Earth in a Day, remeasuring the entire surface of the planet in a single day with great accuracy. I decided to get involved with an incredible cause in the form of an annual international film festival, as an intern. My mission is a BLUE one.
Where I am Going
Many of you have likely heard about the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, but I’d bet most of you haven’t thought about how much work goes in to actually making an event like this happen. In the coming weeks, I will unfold this story in my blog posts for Patel College of Global Sustainability and give you all a bit of insight into what I am doing to help make BLUE 2016 to be a success.
About BLUE Ocean Film Festival
BLUE is an event administered, planned and executed by Make a Difference Media founders Debbie and Charles Kinder. The first BLUE Ocean event occurred in 2007 in Savanna, GA. Since then, it has become an internationally recognized catalyst for change and education regarding ocean conservation and ocean literacy. You can read more about Blue Ocean Festival here, but I would like to briefly point out how the “5 Elements of Blue” factor into global sustainability.
The five elements of BLUE come together and create a truly unique event which:
• Honors the world’s finest ocean films through the best-in-class film competition.
• Brings together the world’s esteemed leaders and ocean luminaries.
• Presents the world’s most comprehensive underwater film & photography professionals.
• Showcases Science and the Arts for the stewardship of the ocean.
• Changes the way the world sees the ocean.
How Did I Find This Internship?
It all started with an introduction from the wonderful master of coordination, Rhiannon, to the Co-Founder and CEO of Make a Difference Media, Debbie Kinder. We met one day in Rhiannon’s office to discuss the types of help needed to get the film festival planning underway. At the time, I had been webmaster for PCGS for close to a year and Mrs. Kinder had seen all of the work I was doing for the college. The three of us had a brainstorming session and discussed a possible internship, helping BLUE with things like website redesign, social media management, marketing and content administration for the upcoming event in November. I was given the initial task of wrangling all of the existing and past social media footprint and developing a plan for how to best reengage followers, reconfigure existing media assets and ultimately reinvigorate participants and followers for the new year. However, this opportunity came during a time when there was a film submission process in action and over the years the process for submitting films had devolved into something quite difficult and time consuming to manage. BLUE needed a new method of receiving films for review, so my first action item was to build them a way for film creators to upload their videos directly into a single Youtube channel for review. This was difficult due to the fact that Youtube had recently disabled the ability for channels to allow community-style uploads. This meant I would have to build it with the Youtube API as a massive workaround. In fact, I have been told that the only other web app known to exist like this is used by Sundance Film Festival. You can imagine their excitement when I built this for them.
Next on the list was taking inventory of all media assets such as video submissions from previous years so that I might make them fresh again. We wanted to celebrate all of the wonderful submissions from previous film festivals to let contributors know that we haven’t forgotten about them in addition to providing some examples of the types of films we accept. In short, we needed a way to sift through the Youtube Channel videos outside of Youtube. So, I built a way to filter and jump to specific videos using a Google Spreadsheet at the database. You can see and play around with a demo of this project here, if you like.
In my next post, i’ll tell you why I left the Patel College as webmaster in order to convert my internship into a full time job. I’ll show you more of my work geared towards improving media outreach and helping BLUE reach their goals- helping the world thirst for knowledge about the oceans and how we can collaboratively mend the wounds we’ve dealt the oceans inn exchange for so much life.
Get Involved and Spread the Word
If you use social media and enjoy being involved in world changing projects, friend and follow BLUE Ocean Film Festival on the following platforms. Reach out to us if you would like to volunteer towards the efforts set forth and do your part to help increase ocean literacy worldwide.
I will leave you with some action shots from BLUE 2015 in Monaco and a shot of my new office, at the Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach.
That’s all for now. Thank you for reading.