Copenhagen, Denmark: Demonstrating interview & mapping technique to Danish TV Industry at CPH TV Festival. Aug '15.
When you’re developing a project there’s often a strange reluctance to go back and double check that the stuff you’re being told right now fits with the stuff you were told earlier. “Hang on, could you just rewind a little,” or “can you remind us what you said at the beginning” somehow suggests you weren’t paying proper attention or not able to keep up.
Yet this is key to development. Being able to constantly refer back and check continuity enables you to sense check the logic of the project and reveal the strengths or weaknesses of all new ideas as well as your initial goal. If people only focus on going forwards to prove that they’re getting somewhere, you’ll end up nowhere.
Asking the right questions as you go along and mapping the answers in a form that enables you to constantly refer back is the secret to really moving a project forward. It’s also the secret to what I do when I visit a team.
Seventh time back to work with SOURCES2 and second time to Film Camp. As per last year, I was asked to work across all of the projects attending their Script Development Workshop. We spent the time exploring the story logic of their projects, in particular the relationships between characters, setting and theme.
Fouth time back to work with the Entertainment Master Class this time to add to their Pitching Ideas masterclass. With a session titled "What’s Your Narrative: Visualizing The Pitch Story" I set out to show how important it is to understand your project in the context of the needs of those from whom you need airtime and money. This session sat within a workshop that had been designed by veteren television executive, David Lyle.
Cluj, Romania: Mapping out a writer's story at the Transilvania International Film Festival. June '15
Ran a two hour session focusing on one project that was selected to attend the Transilvania Pitch Stop. The Romanian director and writer in question was Mihai Sofronea with his project "The Windseeker". Also in attendance was his producer Bogdan Crciun from Libra Film, the other participants of the Talent Lab and tutors Konstantinos Kontovrakis (pictured, right) and Christian Routh.
Taken from their website "Transilvania Pitch Stop is an industry event initiated as part of Transilvania Talent Lab (TTL) during Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF). It aims to discover a strong selection of Romanian projects, giving first and second time feature film directors and producers the opportunity to be part of a custom made story development and packaging workshop during Transilvania Talent Lab. The project will finish with a public presentation in the presence of a number of potential international financial partners."
Point of contact:Alex Trăilă, Head of Industry, Transilvania International Film Festival.
Overlooking the Kongens Have (the King's Garden) on Kronprinsessegade, sit &Digital, an up and coming agency that's evolved from the former company Wemind. Over a two hour session we mapped out their working processes and formulated a strategy for defining the company.
Point of contact: Walid Orfaly. Present: Ea Luise Andersen, Jens Nielsen, Heidi Røpke Lundø and Mette Just Jakobsen.
Second time back to run two three hour sessions for Denmark's official portal for the public Danish Healthcare Services. This time working sepcifically with their "Modning og innovation" team (Maturing and Innovation) to focus in on internal and external process.
Point of contact: Jakob Uffelmann, Chef for Modning og innovation. Present: Jens Rastrup Andersen, Forretningskonsulent, Louise Færgemann, Forretningskonsulent and Marie Uhrenholt Olesen, Innovationskonsulent.
Handling Ideas worked with Sundhed.dk's senior management team back in November to map out their communication needs.
Having worked on one of Smarthouse Film's projects in development at the script development workshop, SOURCES2 in Hindås, Sweden, I was asked over to Amsterdam to work on four new works for both Smarthouse Films and Pupkin Film. The objective in all was to map out the characters, their relationships to one another and identify the underlying themes.
Points of contact: Danielle Guirguis @ Smarthouse & Iris Otten @ Pupkin.
Third time in a row to moderate the SPOT Interactive conference. This year's theme 'Beyond Entertainment' with the specific aim of addressing “Is it possible to address everyday problems in our society using the skill set from within the creative digital sector? From the way we receive healthcare, education to interacting with public services and utilities?”. Shareplay gathered a number of international speakers, all of whom had experience of this emerging phenomena. The morning focused generally on exploring trends and perspectives, with the afternoon narrowing down onto specific case studies. This was my personal take on the day:
"Live Work Play Better". New York PSFK's Tim Ryan revealed some of the findings from a report published with the same name. He presented numerous examples of one-solution-fits-one-need type applications that are designed to enhance our daily lives. They revolve around three areas: Effectiveness & Productivity, Balance & Awareness and Growth & Personal Development. A great start particularly as it demonstrated how much we're relying on a second brain to keep track on how we live and keep us in check. Would seem that anyone developing in this field needs to have a bit of anthropology and sociology up their sleeve. There's a slideshare that summarizes their report.
"Building Functional Storytelling" was presented by Uncle Grey's Lars Samuelsen. Through a couple of examples delivered by the company (ONLY clothing brand & Weber BBQ), Lars demonstrated how both clients and audiences were attracted to deeper, richer and more engaging content. The need for such sophistication and complexity was a reaction to the abundance <> scarcity paradigm, where as content becomes more readily available, attention was harder and harder to secure. Lars had noticed that the credit list for such work was now longer than before, suggesting a broader talent base is required. However budgets weren't necessarily increasing.
"Open and Agile Smart Cities". Looking to the audience as the ones to 'operate the levers' of the cities of the future, Martin Brynskov introduced us to the notion that some of the biggest clients to require effort from the creative sector will be those people that run the cities. The fact that the world's cities account for more than 80% of GDP should focus the attention of the creative looking new work. Another sweet spot was the space triangulated by 'society', 'art' and 'technology'. Martin, wears numerous hats including Associate Professor in Interaction Technologies at Aarhus University, chairing Connected Smart Cities and director of the Digital Design Lab. A great talk, broadening the opportunities for those assembled.
"Building the Clever City". Ross Atkin continued the theme of the smart city or in his words, the 'clever city'. He rejected the top own approach advocated by large networking companies with 'networking' ambitions. Ironically one of the most compelling points of the day which reinforced the role of the creative, came in the form of an advert from IBM for its smart city approach. The irony coming from the fact that the creatives producing the advert had reconnected IBM's top down approach with an interventionist approach to making cities better for people. With other examples showing his bottom-up approach, Ross delivered a manifesto. An inspirational talk, which showed how design needs to grab hold of one problem, find stakeholders who would benefit from the solution, both from a need and financial pov and getting on with it. The word 'partnerships' was mentioned many times, something that would be reiterated by others later in the day. My tag line for Ross would be "Sort out the crap in small ways".
"Creating a Game Changer for the Passenger Experience" was the first case to be presented after lunch. Aarhus' DesignIt's Frank Jepsen and Stine Skaarup introduced us to their company's approach to design thinking. They demonstrated how their holistic approach gave them the opportunity to compete (and beat) a number of architects who competed for the tender to deliver Brussels' Airlines new airport lounge. It would seem that thinking beyond simply the use of the lounge but to the whole passenger journey gave them the edge to clinch the deal. "Don't be limited in your ambition" they told us, whilst keeping their feet firmly on the ground.
"Crowd Sourcing a Cure for Cancer" gave London based Alex Hryniewicz a chance to show how television still recognizes its power to champion a cause by being the best place to create a call to action. Maverick TV used this position to center itself between a broadcaster, a charity and a interaction developer. Alex illustrated how Maverick's creative skills were used to turn the potentially dry and laborious task of processing cancer slides into an addictive game. What was remarkable was that when they were prevented from using their TV platform to drive the call to action, they turned to YouTube & Instagram as a way to drive an audience, particularly amongst a younger demographic.
"Bridging Game Development and Industrial Manufacturing". Following on the theme of gaming, Serious Games Interactive's Mikkel Lucas Overby showed how nine years of pushing the serious gameplay buttons had enabled him and his team to gain a large European grant and contract to deliver a simulation tool to help the car industry reduce costs and time to market. "Use gaming where appropriate" were Mikkel's words of advice to anyone wanting to develop something along similar lines. What was noticable was how Serious Games Interactive had branded their proposition (website, name, colours) to fit within the types of company's it was serving and away from it's own look and feel.
"Fun Learning - How the Digital Creative Industry Inspires Learning". Vice President of Rovio Entertainment, Sanna Lukander told us how she had left education to follow her ambitions within the gaming sector by joining the makers of Angry Bird only to find herself utilizing the huge potential gaming had to offer the education sector. She remarked that it's important to get going now, rather than wait for the findings of any study which would create a five year lag between understanding digital's potential and its impact. She recognized that she had the potential to combine two great brands: Finnish Learning and Angry Birds.
The day finished with a panel session where Sanna, Alex, Tim and Ross joined the stage to address the central question of the day (see top). There appeared to be a consensus around the notion that the creative sector had a lot to offer the public and corporate sectors, in terms of storytelling, visualization and gaming. Find the right partners, think small, work from the bottom up, and be aware of what you do what you do and do it well. As a final shout out, Ross Atkin encouraged creatives to explore the MIT App Inventor.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Revealing method to Magnetix team and audience of company employees. April '15.
Magnetix is an interesting company, a heavy weight in the Copenhagen scene of weg agencies, describing itself as "an integrated direct and digital agency. We set new standards for customer relations based on insight and intelligent use of technology." A chance to show how the Handling Ideas method can increase understanding at all stages of concept and project development.
Back for a second year to work with the writers and producers selected for Filmregion Stockholm-Mälardalen STHML Debut programme. The objective was to map the five accepted projects so that all assembled would understand the stories being developed.
15 stories in two days. A marathon session mapping out stories that spanned the globe in order to help producers and writers make the important decisions in order to move their development forward.
MUNSBACH, LUXEMBOURG: Imprisoned women, floating chestnuts, Colombian mother-in-laws and so much more. March '15.
So second time round to the land of men in black, not the film but the bankers that scuttle their way through the airport as you arrive. Worked over two days on eight projects for EAVE's producer workshop. A mix of projects found their way onto the table.
Point of contact: Kristina Trapp, CEO
"Thank you it was the greatest experience all week!" Noémi Veronika Szakonyi, Screenwriter (above, middle).
"Thank you for everything! I think it was really helpful for us!! A real psychological game! And especially for our film these kind of experiences are needed." Julianna Ugrin, Producer (above, right).
"It was indeed very useful to see the film mapped out like that." Srdjan Keca, Screenwriter.
"I loved the exercise we did and, of course, it was extremely valuable for me and for the project. Thank you so much for that! I will also highly recommend you." Maria Camila Arias, Screenwriter.
"We definitely took away very useful insight into our story and will spread the word about your method." Henning Kamm, Producer.
Photo - Johan Ström
Driving the day's objective "to increase young audience’s viewing of innovative, high quality and multi-faceted children’s films across Europe with particular focus on live action features and cross platform." through a range of topics and speakers including: the founder of the design the Berlin Branding agency Heine/Lenz/Zizka, Peter Zizka; Head of marketing, local productions and acquisitions for 20th Century Fox, Germany, Germar Tetzlaff; Latvia's Alise Gelze, Founder and Producer of Tasse Film and a whole lot more. For the whole agenda, see here.
Points of contact: Annette Brejner & Viola Gabrielli.
"You did a great job structuring a day of very diverse subjects and speakers." Karin Quinn, Art Director & Project Leader.
London based The Bureau asked Handling Ideas to come in and work with writers and producers on four scripts, all at varying stages of development. Always interesting to see how they each use the table - the one above capturing one of the tightest constellations I've seen in a long while. Nice to be asked back and doubly nice as I've enjoyed watching films such as The Weekend, the product of this independent house.
Point of contact: Valentina Brazzini.
Writers/directors: Alex Child, Al Mackay, Harry Wootliff, Nico Mensinga & Peter Mackie Burns.
Was asked by the Danish Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Associations to moderate the two day conference held at Børsen. A very strong international line up helped the audience of start-ups, entrepreneurs, established companies explore the technological, legislative, cultural, political and economic issues within this growing field of resource building and finance. A quick glance of their agenda will show you the variety of speakers, from twenty something's building empires within the tatto industry to ministers grappling with the challenges of cross boarder taxation.
"You did an excellent job of hosting Crowd15 and I loved your touch of sarcastic British humor, kept people happy". Frederikke Antonie Schmidt, Creative Director at roccamore
"Paul Tyler recently moderated Crowd15, the biggest Nordic conference on crowdfunding and crowdsourcing. The conference took place at the Old Stock Exchange in Copenhagen over the course of two days, and brought together 250 participants from start-ups to multinationals as well as from public institutions and authorities.
Working with Creative Director Berthel Ravn Berthelsen and his development team at the headquarters of Warner Bros Eyeworks Denmark in the heart of Copenhagen to map out the mechanics of a new reality TV format. The three hour session created a physical representation of the format, enabling all present to explore and challenge the roles, goals and conflicts of the participants and the rules by which they'd compete. As Berthel stated afterwards "It was the equivalent of doing three weeks of creative work into one three hour session".
Eyeworks team present: Berthel Ravn Berthelsen, Trine Frovin, Ulla Kayano Hoff, Rune Bjørk Mandsbjerg, Jens Brockhoff & Bonnie Bagger.
Warner Bros present: Ed Levan & Eve Kindred
Understanding what motivates key stakeholders in a new project is crucial, starting with the person that’s being paid to help you.
Third time now to be invited to FIPA's Smart Fip@, the interactive / crossmedial arm of this renowned International Film & TV festival. This year I was invited to talk on how the plethora of channels, media, platforms etc. are affecting the way we tell stories. Distancing myself from any definitions, I took a bottom up approach, sharing tools and approaches that encourage the media maker to be certain as to why they are doing what they want to do, hence the title “Knowing your "Why" helps the "What", "Where" and "When". I wanted to show that the strategic role is shifting from the commissioner/financier over to the media maker.