Monday, February 9, 2009

Interview with Paige Browning, Big Sky Intern

I talk with Paige Browning, current intern for Big Sky and student at UM in Radio-Television and Environmental Studies, about The Oscars, her position at the fest, and her history with film fests.

T: How did you get involved with the festival?

PB: One of my professors last semester, Gita Saedi, is a Programming Director for the Festival. She briefly talked about the festival and the High Plains Film Institute in our class. I knew immediately that I wanted to be involved because I hope to make documentaries or work with festivals in the future. Gita got me in contact with the people in the Festival office, and the rest is history.

T: What event or film are you most excited about this year?

PB: I am really excited for several of the films this year. My interest isn't necessarily related to just the topic, just the filmmaker, or production style, but a mix of everything. I look forward to seeing "At the Edge of the World", "Ask Not", and the "Dhamma Brothers" in particular.
I also really look forward to the Wrap Party at the end of the week. It should be a pretty fun way to end the week, and meet some of the people involved in making the documentaries.

T: What's the best part about working with Big Sky?

PB: The Big Sky staff is awesome. I love working with them because they teach me new things all the time. I've learned a ton about what works and what doesn't in a documentary, how to network within the community, and a great detail of how to put on a good festival (from the Filmmakers lounge to the screening times of films).

T: What does your position as "intern" entail?

PB: I've had several projects throughout the past couple of months. I don't really have one job, but mostly do work with maintaining info on our website, putting together our VIP bags, advertising around town, creating festival passes for all attendees, and helping work on details of just about all projects within our office. I do a lot of the footwork for things that our Program Director or Coordinator are working on.

T: How did you get the gig?

PB:After I showed interest in the Festival to my professor Gita Saedi, she put me in contact with the Festival Director/Programmer Mike Steinberg. We chatted via email a couple of times in December and I started interning in January.

T: Is the position as cool as you thought it'd be?

PB: This position not only keeps me busy with fun projects, but has taught me a lot. So, yes, it's definitely as cool as I thought it would be. I've been able to help with all the things I wanted to and more, including some basic editing and Photoshop assignments.

T: What's your history in the film scene? Have you worked at fests before?

PB: I really don't have any history. This is my first experience with a film festival, and with the documentary industry. Working at the festival is really a starting point for me to be much more involved in the future.

T: Do you think Heath Ledger is going to win the Oscar?

PB: I sure do. People loved him. It will be more of an award in memory of him than for his talent in acting. (but I do think he did a dang good job as the joker).

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