Author Archives: Mary in Manhattan

We are DONE!

It’s been a wonderful, enjoyable process with my beautiful documentarians.   The successes outweigh the frustrations of this production completely.  It was all worth it to meet the people we interviewed, the places we’ve been and spiritual gatherings we have witnessed along the way.

Our documentary, EXODUS, will premiere tomorrow in Park Auditorium at Ithaca College at 2:00.  Please come and support us-if you cannot make it, you can have your own little showing when we post it on YouTube!

Thank you to everyone who aided in the process-Professor Rada and our Documentary class especially, our interviewees and Master Control during our editing process!

-Mary, Carly and Carolyn


Week 7: Final Shoot!

Sunday was probably the busiest day of our lives!  It was the last day of shoots and we got three of them.  First, we attended Palm Sunday service at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in downtown Ithaca.  We interviewed the priest about church attendance and he said some things that really moved our story along (we don’t want to give it away). 



Then we headed over to Laura Mainville’s house in Freeville where we interviewed her and were able to film a reading. We got her view on traditional religion and how it coincides with being independently spiritual. The reading was also a fantastic opportunity for visuals and we took full advantage of that. 




We then met with the psychologist, Bob.  We decided that he is our main character because of his experience as a psychologist and as a person searching for his own spirituality.  This full day of interviews really brought our documentary together and we will be editing very soon!


Week 4, continued-Namgyal Monastery

Monday night, Carolyn and I went to the Namgyal Monastery in downtown Ithaca.  It’s an old victorian house with Tibetan flags strung around the exterior–it so happens that it’s also the North American seat for the Dalai Lama.


The Namgyal Monastery

Here, we videotaped the meditation session and got some great, vivid images and interesting chanting audio.  There, we started meeting more spiritually searching people–which is our goal after having interviewed so many religious leaders.  We met a man there who was at the Dances of Universal Peace at the Foundation of Light, so we’re going to officially interview him at a later date.  We did some on-site interviews of Cornell students, one of which used to be Catholic and is now creating his own religion, and another who is now Buddhist but grew up a Jehovah’s witness.

Was it fate that we met these people to interview?  We think so.  Our next plan is to go to more religious ceremonies and find people to piece our documentary together!






Week 1-Complete!


       Last week, we performed two separate interviews in one day.  That means we’re getting an awesome start.  We spoke to Melissa Hoffman, director of  Foundation of Light at 9am on Thursday the 16th and then spoke to Rabbi Scott Glass of  Temple Beth El at 3pm the same day.  These interviews are already morphing our production question.

Melissa Hoffman, director of the Foundation of Light

Hoffman described the Foundation of Light as a community where all religions are accepted.  She said it is not natural to choose just one religion because people should be open to learning from one another.

Scott Glass is Rabbi at Temple Beth El in downtown Ithaca

Glass expressed that religion is necessary to having a good sense of community.
Planning Process:
      The three of us are working together well.  We meet every Sunday for an hour and a half just to make sure we are on the same page for the week.  We watch previously conducted interviews and take notes, we keep each other updated on our sources, we form interview questions and we make sure we at least have 2 interviews scheduled per week.
 This Week:
We have an interview with a local psychic and David Holmberg, an anthropologist specializing in Buddhism at Cornell University. We will be contacting religious community members of all kinds for week 3 and possibly attending an event at the Foundation of Light.

How Are People Spiritual Today?

This is our main production question. We think people are straying from traditional religion such as Judaism or Catholicism.  Are they pursuing alternative religions? Why are they doing this?  Is it about self fulfillment?

We plan on speaking to leaders from multiple spiritual communities as well as the people who are members of these communities.  Psychologists, anthropologists and historians may also have important insight on this subject.

We are aware that our story may change during production, but we are open to this change.  We are ready to report the truth about what we observe about spirituality in our society.

We’ll keep you updated.  Please feel free to comment over the next few months as we complete our production.


Mary Apesos

Carly Boyle

Carolyn Cutrone