Life on the Film Festival Circuit

Sonoma International Film FestivalTechnicolor – Photo: Russ Johnson

Memo to my author friends: If you want to party, make a film

I spent part of the weekend at the Sonoma International Film Festival a tribute to art of  film and the consumption of enormous quantities of wine.

Talking to a few filmmakers, I learned a bit about the film festival circuit, which seems a bit like the 21st Century version of a traveling circus. Only much better.

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Go Local: Four Tips to Explore a New Place When You Travel

MetroSM

 

We really love to plunk ourselves down in the middle of town and wing it when we travel, not enslaving ourselves to guidebooks or hotel staff, but leaving ourselves open to whatever catches our fancy. Granted you might not see every landmark or frequent the restaurant that the concierge is promoting, but with a little advance preparation, real and digital, you can make your experience more real and rewarding:

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Moving to Wine Country: Sonoma, California

Lif eIn A Tourist Town: Sonoma, California

After spending most of my life as either a city dweller or a mountain hermit, I have now opted for the in-between, the idyl of small town life in a tourist destination in California’s Wine Country. I have moved to the middle of a city block. There are houses to the right of me, houses to the left: a retired car dealer, a widow, a forty-something executive couple, a retired diplomat, a few clowns and jokers, notably a gang of 20-somethings that parties every weekend night until someone throws up and guests roar off on their motorcycles. There is a local radio station that mixes small town news with “hey dude” commentary about the 70s drug and rock scene. Recently the local newspaper featured a story about an encounter between a vehicle and a very large sow.

Over the past 20 years or so, Sonoma, California has gained the status of “tourist town.”

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Photography As Theater – Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Vanity Fair Photos

Most travel photographers work casually, keeping an eye out for the serendipitous or waiting for a mashup of subject, action and light in one magic “aha!” moment. Unlike Disney, I have never chased lemmings over a cliff or like Geographic, lit a cave with a thousand flashbulbs. My highest level of management is usually simply waiting for something to happen: for the light to change color and move across a landscape, or two tots on a teeter totter to teeter just right (the fat kid on top and the skinny on the bottom). Sometimes I anticipate a moment and prepare for it, rushing in front of an oxcart so it will line up perfectly with a temple when it passes by.

Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art  illustrates a different kind of art: photography as theater.

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