A social networking site for the Philly creative community.
For the fourth installment of our spotlight on local websites series, we decided to feature local film and food website Tinsel & Tine founded by Le Anne Lindsay. Philly has a great film community. And as Katie Briggs talked about in our last installment, Philly is also a foodie town, too. It only makes sense to come across a site, which happily marries the two. And when I say "happily" I mean happily. Le Anne loves what she does. And it shows.
Q: When and why did you start Tinsel & Tine?
A: It was actually a school project for my Data Comm class (2008). Our Instructor was going to be away for a week and creating a Blog was one of the assignments he left for us. I wasn't into it at all. I really felt it was a waste of time, and just busy work. So choosing an unorthodox name, seemed like a fun rebellion; I called my blog, Suck My Pretty Toes! It originally was about pet peeves and things that made me mad. Kinda an Andy Rooney rant. This was fine to get graded on the assignment, but to my astonishment, I really liked blogging! What I decided I didn't like, was writing from such a negative place.
Actually, I was already do some writing. At the time, my sister had an online magazine and I was a frequent contributor. I also wrote a screenplay with a friend; I would best described it as “The Others” meets “The Philadelphia Story” but features a gay male lead.
Anyway, if I wanted my blog to come from a positive place, I needed to write about things that made me happy – Film & Food. I still feel like a child every time I go to the movies. When the theater darkens and the movie begins, I get giddy. And I've always been lost in stories. Any medium that tells a good story, but film encapsulates storytelling in a way that's finite. And I LOVE to eat! Look forward to every meal; big on comfort foods and trying new things. Love the moment you enter a restaurant, commandeer a table, take in the surroundings, peruse the menu and after ordering, anticipate the presentation of your choice.
So like a naughty child, I learned my lesson from my earlier rebellion and changed my blog name to Tinsel & Tine.
Q: How would you categorize the local film scene?
A: Alive! Philadelphia is a film city. There are several film festivals throughout the year: Philadelphia Film Festival, Jewish Film Festival, Asian Film Festival, Blackstar Film Festival, QFEST, WCL Film and Music Festival.... Then there's events and screenings throughout the year hosted by The Greater Philadelphia Film Office, The Philadelphia Film Society, Reelblack, Cinémathèque Internationale of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Cinema Alliance, screenings at Universities, and most of all, seeing preview screenings through the PR agency Allied-THA. There's always much to cover.
Q: Do the food and movie communities intersect in any interesting ways in Philadelphia?
A: This year GPFO decided to add a theme to their Set in Philadelphia screenplay competition. All submitted screenplays must feature a prominent food element in the script. It can be set in a restaurant, the characters can be foodies, chef's etc..., it could just have a really good food in film moment... I actually went to cover the PitchFest auditions; this is the part of the competition where writers/filmmakers pitch their screenplay idea in front of a panel of judges. Here's a link to the post - http://www.tinseltine.com/2012/10/comcast-market-gpfo-phillypitch.html
Q: What’s your favorite food-themed movie and why?
A: I really enjoyed “Eat Pray Love” Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the book the movie is based upon) really gets the sensuality behind food. Plus this was a book that really spoke to me; so much so, I worried the movie wouldn't live up to my experience of the book. But it did, the movie was a bit more lighthearted; but stayed true to the essence of Gilbert's words.
Q: Are you a total foodie when it comes to watching movies? As in- do you have to eat while watching flicks?
A: I do like to sneak food into the movie theater. I once hid a large pizza box under my coat. If I'm home watching a DVD, I'm often also eating lunch or dinner, or maybe indulging in one of my drugs of choice: Cheez-its or Doritos. But the only time I really plan a menu is during The Oscars!
Q: What opportunities have Tinsel & Tine opened up for you?
A: Well, the blog keeps growing it audience, which brings things like ticket giveaways and guest bloggers, press screenings, red carpet openings, roundtable interviews with directors, all good stuff!
However, the one opportunity I really want is to figure out how to make blogging lucrative. Even if I had time to really go after sponsors, that wouldn't be enough money. I so enjoy Tinsel & Tine and every part of myself that I put into it, but working a full-time job along side of it, means every evening and weekend, I'm either attending a screening, or dining experience, interviewing someone, writing/editing a post, researching, formatting, emailing, promoting, linking, social media-ing or downloading photos. It's exhausting, and I don't have enough free time.
Q: If you had one absolute wish for the local food and film scene, what would it be?
A: Just what I said above, that somehow I could be paid for my content, that it would be beneficial to some organization or company to link to Tinsel & Tine.
Q: How important can film be to bringing attention to food issues?
A: Film, particularly documentaries, are at the heart of bringing attention to any issues. Which is why it's great that docs in general, during the last decade have developed a bigger audience. I think in terms of food issues, docs like “Supersize Me” & “Food Inc” definitely made an impact. Not a significant change, but an awareness.
Q: How have you seen the Philly film community progress since you started Tinsel & Tine? Where would you like to see it go?
A: Two years ago when Sun Center Studios opened out near the airport, I thought this was going to be a mecca for the Philly Film Scene. It had plans of becoming the east coast version of a Burbank film lot. But thus far, it hasn't garnered a lot of attention. Films are being shot there, most recently, M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth," starring Will & Jaden Smith. Yet, I don't hear any real buzz about Sun Center, hopefully this will change soon.
Q: Recommend any upcoming films?
A: I'm looking forward to seeing “Cloud Atlas” “Middle of Nowhere” & “Les Miserable”. Films I recently reviewed and liked: “Looper”, “Sleepwalk with Me” and “Pitch Perfect”.
Q: Are there any ways in which readers can interact with Tinsel & Tine?
A: I do have a couple of guest bloggers and depending on the strength of a person's writing, would accept others. Particularly food bloggers. I've really been woefully neglecting the Tine side of Tinsel & Tine. I also hope to free up time to interview and highlight local, up and coming filmmakers. And I do have an ad rate sheet on the site, along with my Google Analytic's stats. If anyone wants to advertise on T & T, feel free to contact me!