Tag Archives: executive director

Festivals celebrate collective film watching experience

Ashland Independent Film Festival Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz has put together a stunning festival, bringing in numerous films, filmmakers, panel discussions, interviews, live performances, gallery exhibitions and interactive events for a four-day run that concludes this evening, April 16. We visited at Bloomsbury Coffee House to discuss his vision of independent filmmaking and festivals.
RH: A film festival is inevitably a potpourri of things. It’s got to reach a lot of different tastes and audiences. I create a kind of a meta film out of a lot of different movies by creating themes and connections between them. At the same time there is scholarship and education involved.
One of the major themes of the festival this year is the importance of classic film — preservation and exhibition. Without the knowledge of classic film, emerging filmmakers lack a foundation. Being exposed to films done in the past makes you realize that there are alternative ways of doing things than films done in the present. I’ve seen filmmakers, inspired by classic films, do things in a different way. The way we do things now has evolved and will transform again in the future.
EH: What separates a good film from a great film?
RH: I don’t make those judgments. My inclination is to see films historically. Films speak to particular moments. I resist objectifying a work of art. I think works of art are historically based. I do believe there are masterpieces. Continue reading Festivals celebrate collective film watching experience

Historic theater bridges Roaring ’20s, Depression era

Randy Mckay
Randy Mckay

Randy McKay, executive director of Jefferson Live!, is coordinating the upcoming blues concert with Jim Belushi and the Sacred Hearts at the EdenVale Winery on Aug. 29 to benefit the restoration of Medford’s historic Holly Theatre. McKay also manages the Cascade Theatre in Redding, Calif. I met McKay at the Holly Theatre one afternoon.

EH: Walking into this theater takes your breath away.

RM: I’m here almost every day and have been for several years. Every time I walk in here, it’s still pretty impressive.

EH: Is it the dimensions?

RM: I think that’s part of it, because we don’t have a balcony. There’s nothing to break up this huge open space, so it feels even bigger than it otherwise would. If it were a traditional theater, with an orchestra level and a balcony cutting it in half, it wouldn’t seem quite so huge. Continue reading Historic theater bridges Roaring ’20s, Depression era

Doug Burns

Doug Burns
Doug Burns

Doug Burns is Camelot Theatre’s interim executive director. He has a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a long career in theater and advertising. Burns recently returned to Ashland after an absence of 13 years. In the 1990s, Burns was the general manager of the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. We met at Noble Coffee.

EH: What is your attraction to theater?

DB: For me, it’s about the people. I really like actors, singers and musicians. I find these people incredibly creative and open-minded. It’s this traveling community. You bring a group of people together for an intense period; they create this community, and then they disperse. I love their camaraderie. I love their openness, their fun and their weirdness.

Theater itself is that magic of live energy between the performers and the audience. There’s one expression, “Audiences get the show they deserve,” because of their energy and their response to the show. If the audience is with the show, it can go to the heights. One of my raison d’etres for being in theater has always been to make sure the artists are taken care of.

Continue reading Doug Burns