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Ithaca is People: Gio Santacroce

The Ithaca is People Files

Week 11: Ithaca in Motion

Through Gio’s lens, Ithaca has always been the ideal place to call home. Follow along as this behind-the-camera guy takes center stage as this week’s #IthacaisPeople takeover, showcasing Ithaca and Tompkins County through film, and a relative newcomer’s eye.

Are you an Ithaca native?

I’m not, no. I grew up in Owego, NY – so just about 45 minutes from here.

How did you find your way to Ithaca?

So I studied film in Florida, and after studying there I came back home and was really looking for a job out here for the longest time and I ended up working in the Vestal area for a while. So I kind of worked my way up and built my reel to get out here, and I applied at Ithaca College and got the position to work here. At first my position was going to be only six months, but they extended it to two years, and now I’ve become permanent. So I can stay in Ithaca, which I’m happy about!

I kind of worked my way to get to Ithaca. I’ve always wanted to live in the area, period. So I achieved my goal. (Laughs)

Your work is surrounded in film and multimedia. How does the video you take outside of work for your personal reel differ from the work you do for Ithaca College?

I think they’re kind of one in the same. The people at Ithaca College, the people I work with, they’re so unbelievably talented and so gifted. I always look at other people because I’m doing interviews a lot, I’m always trying to find out what makes them tick. That inspires me, the whole area inspires me, and it really is the people at IC that have influenced me to go out and do my own thing. I’ve recently been shooting a lot of stuff around Ithaca and I haven’t done it since I got here, and I thought ‘Why haven’t I been doing this?’ - it’s such a beautiful area. I’ve caught the bug of wanting to shoot stuff all the time.

It’s shocking how many people we talk to for these takeovers that have their day job, but then they’re very “I love doing this!” “I’m getting into this business” and that sort of thing. It’s awesome how many creative people are here.

It’s not surprising! I think that’s what so great about it. You totally get inspired to do what you want to do, and it’s the perfect place to be an artist, or a videographer or photographer, or anything like that.

Going off of that, what is your favorite thing or things about Ithaca?

Definitely the food – there’s so many good restaurants to go to.

Any favorites?

Avaga for sure. Ithaca Beer Company – I find myself there at least once a month or so. If my family comes to visit me, they’re like “Let’s go to Ithaca Beer!” and I think “Are you coming to see me or..?” (laughs) But yea, the food is great. And just the nature – you can go anywhere and experience a waterfall for the day. It’s such a beautiful place to live in. I’m lucky because I have such a beautiful campus to work at that, you know, it’s such a great place to do my job and capture in – it sells itself.

What’s your summer been like?

I went kayaking for the first time on Cayuga Lake a few weeks ago. We went to Lansing and had a picnic for the day at the park. And I hadn’t been to that park, Lansing Meyers Park, and it’s a really nice park. They have that lighthouse - and it’s not super far from Ithaca. Maybe 20 minutes up the road. So I did that, and really, I’ve just been shooting more. The college, at IC, we’re embracing more and more the “Ithaca” in “Ithaca College.” It’s awesome. We’re owning our location more and more, and, you know, I’ve been around capturing Ithaca – it’s something that I have thought of doing but never had the opportunity at the time, and now it’s become part of my job, which is pretty awesome.

Are there any hidden gems you love going to?

I feel like there’s so much I haven’t touched here in the two years I’ve been here. I guess that’s a good thing. (laughs) There’s so much to do, it’s overwhelming! I can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

And our last question – describe Ithaca in one word.

Alive.

Follow @VisitIthaca on Instagram for more.

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