F.A.M.E. Bringing Artists Together to Benefit All

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No need to head to New York City or Toronto for a major film fest… it’s all here at Genesee Community College with WNY F.A.M.E. (Film, Art and Music Event)! Take a break from studying on September 15-17, 2017 to enjoy more than 75 movies, music videos and short films, live music competitions, game show, raffles, workshops, and more at the upcoming F.A.M.E. Event! Entry is free before 5 p.m., after 5 o’clock tickets are $10 for a single block and $25 for the VIP Festival Pass. You can visit www.wnyfame.com to view dates and times, as well as purchase your ticket ahead of time.

 

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F.A.M.E. is run under Beaver Alley Studios, a nonprofit organization. It was created by Rhonda Parker, a former GCC student, and her husband Mark. The organization was established for the purpose of production, promotion, distribution, exhibition and celebration of all art forms especially those from a female perspective. Their main goal is “helping people to follow their dreams.” 

 

I got the opportunity to speak with Rhonda and learn more about her, and her organization. Rhonda is an award winning writer and director, and her love for the arts is what led her to Beaver Alley Studios, her goal being to “bring artists together to benefit all.”

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Beaver Alley Studios was formed in 2014. Originally it was called Kaleidoscopic Productions, but it was changed to its in 2015, they felt Beaver Alley’s Production was easy to spell and more memorable. They chose the name because of the “ironic undertones of female empowerment,” and Rhonda says in every project they create there is at least one scene on the brick road of Albion’s Beaver Alley. Rhonda says her favorite part about working within her own company is being able to follow their visions, and all of the people she has met along the way. She says they have taught her so much both directly and indirectly, and she loves being able to create with the variety of people she’s met during her time with Beaver Alley Studios.

 

Rhonda studied at GCC from 2012-2015, she began as a Paralegal major, with the main goal of being able to help her family with civil rights violations, however her paralegal knowledge also helped her with paperwork when creating her nonprofit organization. However after meeting Barry Chow in a scuba diving class, she learned of all of the different courses GCC has to offer. This led to her interest in film. She later added a second major studying Communications-Media Art. Rhonda says her love for art was not all that spontaneous, it actually started as a child. She has always loved drawing and writing. She wrote her first script in high school, and even turned some of her scripts into films for school projects. It was the inspiration in her early adulthood years that led to her taking script writing more seriously.

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‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends” was written as a “somewhat autobiographical version of events at a time when I hung out in coffee shops writing poetry,” says Rhonda. The talent she met while directing “Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends,” eventually led to her experimentation with short film. Her second feature was with Lonely Bananas where she was given the opportunity to work with over 30 of the best area actors, writers and entertainers. She stepped out of her comfort zone for her third feature, “Message in a Bottle,” which premiered on September 15, in Movie Block 4.

 

Next Rhonda hopes to embark on uncharted waters with the psychological thriller “Lifeboat.” Through her work with Beaver Alley Studios she continues to work to grow the audience base for local artists. Her hopes for this year’s event are to increase public participation, and to create a more relaxed environment for attendees.


Don’t forget the event is free before 5 p.m., so why not stop by and see all that Rhonda Parker and her Beaver Alley Studios team has to offer. Also make sure to purchase your movie block, or VIP Festival Pass ahead of time, and join the fun!

 

The Life of Pablo

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Ryan Schmidt

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As soon as he walked into the union and starting setting up, Ryan Schmidt caught the attention of girls and musicians alike.  He finished setting up, had a quick sound check, which gave on-lookers a taste of what he can do, and they were pleased.  He started performing at 12:30 in the Student Union Thursday, November 14th.  He performed a variety of his own songs, and covers of popular songs such as “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and N’Sync’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”  In between songs, he would told us about traveling and performing.  After the show was over, he had just enough time to sign autographs and take pictures before heading to another college to perform!

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Part of Ryan’s Bio :

“Having recently graduated from Northeastern University’s renowned Music Industry program, Schmidt’s career is coming into full bloom. These achievements have been fueled by a refreshingly back-to-basics recipe of undeniable talent, unrelenting innovation and boundless desire, along with a healthy portion of good ole fashioned drive.  As a mere teenager the New Hampshire native first began digging into the fertile Boston music scene. He took on office jobs within the music industry, making connections and hustling to establish the contacts that would eventually first introduce him to Q Division Studios (where such world class artists as James Taylor, Aimee Mann and Morphine have recorded). It was there Schmidt recorded his first EP, “Burning Bitter Years,” and released it before even receiving his high school diploma, and where he realized his vision for “Black Sheep, Run” and his most recent “White Horse” EP.  It did not take long for the ears of the Boston music cognoscenti to perk up at Schmidt’s first full-length effort.  With a healthy respect for the folk-inspired work of such predecessors as Bob Dylan and Nick Drake, as well as inspiration from more contemporary artists like Clem Snide and The Shins, Schmidt has a defined vision of where he is taking his music.  “I aim at finding a way to combine the song structure and heart and meaning behind some of these older folk songs with an interesting and unique sonic texture,” he states with an understated confidence. “I have a bunch of different ideas past what I have already started that I’d like to do in the next few years. I just want to keep evolving and progressing, to keep lining projects up and staying open to different avenues for my music.”  “I sing pretty hard and I sing with everything I have,” he says matter-of-factly. “A lot of people take notice of that.””

You can find him on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ryanschmidtmusic

Follow him on Twitter:  @Ryan_Schmidt

On Instagram:  http://instagram.com/RyanSchmidtMusic

Website:  http://www.ryanschmidtmusic.com/

You can buy his shirt at http://audiocotton.com/products/ryan-schmidt-happens

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