3 Day Film Hack and Project Development 7th - 9th March 2016, Toffee Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne

4 selected teams met with CREATEiNNOVATE's two key mentors, cross media story producer David Varela and technologist Tom Armitage, at the three day film ‘hack’ in Newcastle. Each team presented their feature idea and then worked with the mentors to develop ideas and a strategy to utilise technologies to expand their films’ digital assets. The sessions were open and interactive and alongside ideas development covered cross-platform storytelling, augmented reality gaming, building audiences and online narratives. 

Ian Orwin, Light Years

The 3 day course was extremely helpful in shaping the way our direct distribution model will work for Light Years. We have learnt a lot from the guest speakers, especially in regards to crowd funding and the Do's and Do Not's. Being with other film-makers and listening to their experiences / plans and sharing our plans with them has also allowed us to refine our strategy, and how we will continue with LIGHT YEARS. Seeing how various methods of distribution worked and didn't work in regards to social media, has also helped in our overall plan for marketing the film.

Michael Smith, Stranger on the Shore

I went into the first stage of this programme designed to help you with the digital promotion and dissemination of your creative project, like some backwoods King Canute resisting the 21st century digital tides, without a facebook account or even without a mobile phone ... I now go on facebook compulsively and 'like' films of dogs rolling down hills and people's photos of their lunch, and can see clearly why people prefer it to the telly. And apart from just enjoying it, I now realise how powerful it can be in gaining an audience for your work, and kick myself for not exploiting this earlier. I've stuck up several old TV shows I made that had pretty much been lost, to many lovely and encouraging comments. I've also been posting stuff about my new project, little trailers, teasers and giffs, and got lots of excited responses. Thank you NFM for dragging me into the 21st century. I still haven't got round to buying a mobile phone though.

Ian Cottage, Bosc

We flew to Spain and shot our film, 'Bosc',  in the foothills of the Pyrenees.  We went on wild boar hunts, fire festivals and to old safe houses where the Anarchists rested as they fled the civil war.  We pushed ourselves,  didn't get much sleep, the camera broke down, the wild boar came onto our land and the water ran out..We came to the three day course with an open mind and wanting to find out everything we could about strategies to find and engage with an audience.   We were not disappointed. One of the key things we learnt is that any marketing campaign has to have an angle - it could be the subject of the film, the genre, the actors.  In our case it was the way we made our film.  That alone has been a valuable thing to learn. 

Tom and David are fantastic mentors (as were all the speakers).  Informative, open and clever.  It was exciting to find out the different ways to reach an audience. Our heads are still buzzing. We can't wait for the next session. 

Sasha Collington, Love Type-D

The three day hack was really fascinating, from exercises around rebranding my personal favourite film, ‘Back to the Future’, to exploring Miranda July’s incredibly charming website and analyzing why I want to instantly revisit it. The mentors and guest speakers were fantastic and really insightful. I arrived with some ideas for the Love Type D campaign and was able to expand on them, and develop new ones. I’m looking forward to implementing these strategies and working out different and crazy ways to reach the Love Type D audience.