⌚️Time for a Change- a Reflection
In my previous post, we explored a few of the reasons why I accepted an internship with BLUE Ocean Film Festival as well as a few of the smaller projects I have completed for the event during the my first couple of weeks with Make a Difference Media. Around this same time,not only was I taking a full course load and working as Teachers Assistant for 2 professors, I had a regular job building the website for Patel College. Anyone who knows me will tell you I give 110% 120% of the time.
I am very proud of what i managed to accomplish during my time at PCGS. I started with a broken website, zero social media presence, old flyers, no followers and an ugly blog. I built this blog. Over the course of a single year (while also taking classes) I mixed, merged and converted almost all of the media distributed by and about the school. The network and newsletter (bi-weekly) became a collaborative effort and a resource for sustainability professionals and partners. During my time, the web presence of Patel College increased by 11,000%+ across all platforms and looked fresh everyday. Nevertheless, I was starting to become burned out and beginning to get cabin fever. I’ll cover more of this in Part 3, but the point I am making here is that BLUE Ocean Film Festival became my new focus during a time when I needed change. I wanted to shift my time and energy towards a project where my hard work would be noticed and appreciated, while making a difference. An internship can become just this. It can end up being by becoming the culmination of all of your hard work, wrapped up into a task which has great meaning and a substantial impact.
These days, I am happy with being just a graduate student about to graduate. I did what I could to make the school better. Time to transition and shift from talking about change and doing my part to make sure it happens with a quickness. My internship became a guiding light.
Explorers of The Seas Deserve More Respect
The ocean is a dream for most of us. For the film makers who submit to BLUE, it is home. We are all so lucky to have access to such a robust body of works. Everyone chooses for themselves their level of involvement. Personally, I believe deep sea divers deserve the same amount of respect as astronauts and the oceans, at least the same amount of respect and awe as deep space. Humans know more about deep space than we do about our oceans. BLUE Ocean Film Festival has been the platform and the event for showcasing this importance around the world.
Every year, BLUE Ocean Film Festival receives well over 300 film submissions. Each of these films are reviewed by a carefully selected panel of judges and board members in order to choose the finalists across several categories.
Web Content Restructuring and Ticket Booth 🎟
During my third week of working with BLUE Ocean Film Festival we began making many much needed changes to the official website. This included updating around 60 pages with new information for the 2016 event, updating the Global Advisory Board and adding our new guest speakers and creating a new phone app for St. Petersburg for both iPhone and Android platforms to replace the old one.
In previous years, BLUE had a ticketing problem which had to be solved quickly. In previous years, attendees had to perform the entire checkout process for every single ticket they purchased. This was not sustainable. Not only was this an annoyance but it created an accounting nightmare. So, I got to work on a solution. I needed a shopping cart which could hold multiple items, be able to embed it into the site as well as the Facebook page and automatically require the names of the ticket holders before checkout. It is more complicated than you might think.
I spent close to a week building this new ticket booth. I learned a lot while making it. We went with Eventbrite in the end because it had been used before and added some payment processing abilities that were over my head.Never the less…I’m not sad about it. I have a nice portfolio piece.
You can view a demo of this here.
Skyline of St. Petersburg, Florida
Giving Credit Where Credit is Due
None of this would be possible, of course, without the sponsors and partners of BLUE, of which I will close this post in acknowledgement. In the past 6 months with BLUE I have built out several different iterations of sponsor graphics, sliders, banners and web widgets. My favorite version of our sponsor directory can be found here in this demo model I whipped up to share. Screenshot below:
Stay Tuned for Part Three
In my next post, I’ll show you how all of this work begins coming together as we get closer to the event. I will show you how BLUE Ocean is making an impact locally in downtown St. Petersburg and Globally with BLUE On Tour.
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.