UFVA Membership Meeting Minutes 2013
Norm called the meeting to order at 3:38. He asked how many in attendance were first time attendees, and a smattering of folks raised their hands. He thanked Bob Bassett and our hosts at Chapman University as well Michael Mulcahy for his work as Conference Vice President -- “our half” of this massive conference equation -- and Francisco Menendez for his work programming the conference. Heather Addison will replace Michael, and she took a bow.
Norm discussed the difficulty and expense of running this conference and thanked our vendors for their support and encouraged attendees to talk with the vendors and make them aware of your needs.
CILECT: Norm cited CILECT as one of the organizations we are reaching out to as part of a broader initiative. He talked about the amazing people he has met by attending CILECT events. The CILECT bi-annual Congress will meet in the US for the first time in 26-years at Chapman University next fall. Norm encouraged people to participate in the Congress. He encouraged members to meet the CILECT representatives who are attending the UFVA Conference and engage them in conversation. He cited the importance of international relationships in creative collaborations. UFVA as a founding member of CILECT is interested in helping individual schools and filmmakers make international projects.
BOARD REPORTS: Norm cited the contributions of Board Members. Board members introduced themselves. Joe Brown announced the status of the Graduate Fellowship program. In its second year, the Graduate Fellowship covers conference expenses for six Fellows except for transportation and provides professional development opportunities for those Fellows. The Graduate Fellows were asked to stand, and four of them were in attendance. The next call for Fellows will go out about January 1, 2014. Jen Proctor introduced herself. Adrianne Carageorge introduced herself as Executive Vice President and Grants Officer for the Carole Fielding Grant then noted that Laura Vasquez is about to replace her as Grants Officer. The grant amount is $5,000 each year plus contributions by members. We were at $8,400 this year, which is good seed money for students. Joe thanked jurors who evaluated the Fellowship applications. Mary introduced herself. Francisco Menendez introduced himself. Tom Sanny introduced himself and announced that we are operating in the black, again. Rob Sabal introduced himself. Sheila Schroeder introduced herself. Joe Bierman introduced himself. Michael Mulcahy introduced himself and thanked everyone who was working hard for the conference, including the co-chairs who programmed the respective areas into sessions. He thanked paper and panel reviewers for peer review. Michael noted that there were some glitches in the new review process and apologized to anyone who experienced those glitches. He graciously accepted responsibility for the glitches. Award winners in competitions will be announced Saturday at the Banquet. The conference is programmed by members, featuring material by members, and for members. All of this costs a lot of money. Your fees for the conference go to the conference host institution; it is membership fees that support UFVA, which is why he has sent emails repeatedly about renewing membership. Michael noted his pride in UFVA and his honor in serving the organization.
ELECTION RESULTS: Voter turnout was slightly better than we’ve ever had before. Francisco Menendez, president-elect. Executive VP, Jennifer Machiorlatti. Treasurer, Tom Sanny. Board Members, Jen Proctor, Bridget Murnane, Ashley Maynor. The elections were incredibly close. Norm hopes that other candidates will now serve on committees.
FUTURE CONFERENCES: Montana State University in 2014 and American University in 2015. Lucia thanked the Board for selecting Montana State University as the next conference site. August 6-9 are the dates for the 2014 Conference.
CONFERENCE HOUSEKEEPING: Screenings for Carole Fielding and Kodak winners will be at 10:30 Saturday in the Folio Theater. Tonight is the picnic at Downtown Disney. The Conference photo will be taken at 5:20 then buses will be leaving directly for Downtown Disney. Tomorrow night is the New Media party. Saturday night is the Banquet.
UFVF: The Kodak grant is administered by the UFVF, which is us with Foundation at the end. Norm said that when he started attending the conference he did not appreciate the distinction between the Association and the Foundation. The UFVF money administered by Dave Thomas for so many years has grown, which has made it possible to increase the amounts of grants. Melinda Levin shared that the Foundation is very healthy. She noted that she has been president of both and is happy to explain the distinction to anyone who wants to know. She appreciates that the Foundation is able to serve the Association.
CAUCUS NEEDS: Norm surveyed the leaders of the caucuses to see how well the conference is serving their needs. The results are a mixed bag. Norm solicited feedback from members about how the functions of the caucuses can be improved. He would like to learn particularly how they might function better throughout the year before and after the conference.
PEER REVIEW: Norm says that we will need more participants in the peer review process next year. Michael says that he will send out an email soliciting peer reviewers for next year. The work will take place early next year. The goal is to have more peer reviewers for next year, and the workload is not onerous.
YEAR LONG INITIATIVES: We are moving forward to improve the website. Norm thanked the web committee for its hard work this year. The board approved money to implement the committee’s plan, and we are moving forward to improve the look and functionality of the site. Joe Brown overviewed improvements coming to the site.
Norm introduced Andrea Meyer and discussed the function of the Home Office.
Some of the promise of opening things up around the year is beginning to happen. Norm discussed some of the organizations that UFVA is partnering with, AMPAS, BEA, etc. This will build stronger relationships across schools. Discussions of ongoing webinars and blogs will continue tomorrow at the Board Meeting. We may partner with NAB for some of those programs. We have been sending some UFVA members to BEA in a member exchange. A call for participation in that program will go out this fall. Norm asked if Board members have anything to add. Francisco said he really believes in this organization and that having participated for two decades, especially when he was first in a two-person department, which was a lonely place, has been very meaningful to him. He encouraged people to use the picnic to reach out and meet other people. The relationships he has formed have lasted for twenty-years, and he wants others to enjoy that kind of support. He encouraged people to speak up and meet and get involved. He said that Montana is a peaceful site and a great place to renew, so that should be a wonderful conference. Francisco thanked Sheila for running and said how formidable the slate was. He remembered when he ran against Diane Carson, and said that the president’s job is to make sure that voices can be heard.
Bart Weiss joined late because the basketball game ran over. Bart encouraged people to use their travel money to come to the conference and to recruit other people we know who would benefit from the conference. Share what you learn at the conference and encourage colleagues to attend.
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS FOR THE BOARD:
Diane Carson put in a plug for the journal. Norm echoed that and mentioned the call for the new special double issue of JFV on documentary issues and studies.
Linda Brown asked for day passes as a recruitment mechanism. She asked for a better way for caucuses to meet -- something better than the lunch model, which is ineffective and inefficient. Michael asked about meal packages and noted that this structure is determined by conference hosts. He polled members about what type of meal package they might want. Someone noted that this depends on the logistics of the campus and town (whether or not there are a lot of restaurants around and how close the dining facilities are to the sessions).
Betsy McLane said we need to be more contentious. She did not reminisce because that would make us feel too old. She talked about how the cost keeps students from attending presentations by their faculty members. She encouraged young people to “just show up” at Board meetings to learn how the organization runs and how to be a board member. She congratulated the Conference VP on the Conference but said there are too many things programmed against one another. She suggested that the jury process should get tougher. Norm said the Board meetings are absolutely open We have split the board meeting this year. The first half was on Tuesday, and the second half is tomorrow.
Frank Tomasulo asked Tom Sanny about budget information. He wanted to know if budget information will be available in hard copy or online. Tom said that anyone else who would like to see the budget is welcome to see it. We will put it on the website.
Emily Edwards had a suggestion about the caucuses. The lunch time is not a good time for meetings. Even when we have a cafeteria, that is not conducive to a good meeting. She asked that caucuses be scheduled within the conference itself. Michael asked for clarification. Rob asked if people participate in multiple caucuses. (They do.)
Rob Gold talked about reviving the tradition of sessions with the DGA Educators workshops.
Dennis Conway suggested that business meetings be scheduled within the program to accommodate caucuses. Norm said we should have a caucus subcommittee to reach out and work on solutions.
Jack Lucido asked if we can begin to share peer review numbers in the interest of transparency. Michael Mulcahy recited the submission and acceptance numbers. Jack asked about numbers for films, and Michael said that films are not juried but that scripts are. This year there were enough slots to program all scripts.
Alexis Krasilovsky said it’s an exciting conference and thanks all who put it together. Please don’t put the gender caucus against other caucuses because it marginalizes women. “Please don’t divide us like that.”
Rob Yeo noted that there was a panel on accreditation at Emerson and asked if this is still on the radar of the Board. Norm said it is on the agenda for tomorrow’s board meeting. Rob Sabal said he has talked with people from other accrediting agencies. There were concerns expressed about NASAD accrediting film schools. They will not share standards with us until we become members of a larger accrediting consortium. Norm talked with Stan at CILECT, and there is really no accreditation body in the world that is for our field. Francisco said that, in the meantime, this is a great time to meet senior faculty who might be good to serve as external reviewers when it does happen.
River appreciated all the work that goes into putting the conference together. She wanted to chime in on the caucuses and ways that the organization can structurally support the caucuses. She wants more formal feedback from the board about the dialogue between the board and the caucuses.
Adrianne said one of the things she has been doing is contacting caucus chairs and collecting reports then having them forwarded to the Home Office for posting. She suggests that if there are issues that the caucuses should just contact the board.
Jane McKeever thanked everyone who worked on the conference.
Norm added that this is an all volunteer organization. Francisco added that it might be good to add an event the precedes the conference.
Melinda said that the UFVF discussed accreditation last year. She noted that the Hollywood Reporter list came out yesterday with all the usual suspects. Why do they get to rank us? One of the arguments for us doing this is that UFVA will become more relevant and grow membership. If we are approaching for that purpose, Melinda thinks that is a danger zone. This is to benefit students and faculty and not UFVA. She said we may want to enter initially through best practices or certifications or something as a lower entry point than the massive work involved in accreditation.
Someone asked what is the danger zone?
Melinda clarified that there are all kinds of things that would need to happen – money and staff – and it would require a change in the identity of the organization that is neither good nor bad. Thinking about it as something that benefits UFVA instead of education and the institutions is problematic.
Frank Tomasulo talked about the political ramifications of accreditation.
Betsy McLane talked about the Ford Foundation report on films schools and accreditation in terms of acting programs. Report was published. The issue has been around for a long time. As Melinda said, we must look at the history.
The membership meeting adjourned.