Here's to all your Christmas needs and a happy 2015 from Handling Ideas


Michel Reilhac is now running Handling Ideas sessions with a focus on French speaking territories.


Michel writes "I am Head of Studies for the Venice Biennale College Cinema. Last year we invited Paul to give a Handling Ideas workshop with each of the 12 feature film projects in development. The success and impact on each project was such that there was no way we could design our third edition, currently in progress, without Paul and his unique Handling Ideas visualization technique.

But demands on Paul’s time meant that he was unavailable. What to do? There was no way we could have the College without him...

Paul and I have developed a true friendship over the years after Liz Rosenthal, Power to the Pixel invited us to her Pixel Lab. After that, I have invited Paul to do his magic in several occasions in many different countries, festivals, workshops and conferences. I was privileged to watch him in many of his workshops and classes. We then started sharing regularly about the process and how to expand it.  So Paul suggested that I do the 12 workshops myself... 

And I did ...And it was amazing...

Paul shared his science with me weeks before the Biennale College. We exchanged a lot. I practiced secretly. I asked Paul tons of questions. I felt like he was my Yoda, (except with much nicer ears...).

By having Paul trust me enough to do 12 workshops last October in Venice, I learned in the process how much focus, listening and empathy were essential in sharing with a film maker and his/her producer. I experienced some kind of a channeling process in helping the film teams visualize their story-world. I saw how focusing on the actual story and not on the human interaction that usually happens, really did help the birthing process, the parenting of the core essence of their narrative and what it stood for. And it was so much fun doing it...for the teams and me.

I am honored that Paul trusted me to follow in his footsteps. I am pleased that it worked out. The film teams loved the experience and want to do it again for all their next projects. 

Now I am so torn for the next edition: I absolutely want Paul back with us for the next 12 projects of 4th edition next year... and at the same time, I so would love to do it again... do disciples get that feeling when their guru gives them that first chance at flying with their own wings? ... Just kidding, are the master.

Paul : thank you for the wonderful opportunity. The creative people you help with your intuitive science owe you a lot..."


Marseille, France: Michel Reilhac runs sessions for PRIMI. Dec '14.

Michel writes:

"In Marseille, south of France, the PRIMI organization is a publicly funded service for media producers in the French mediterranean coast area, designed to help them learn digital skills, network locally, nationally and internationally, as well as to facilitate co-productions, financing and distribution of their projects.They are strongly committed to spreading awareness and practice of interactive storytelling techniques.

To that effect they asked me to come for a day on December 9, 2014, and share the Handling Ideas wisdom with 4 transmedia project teams.

Each session was 80 minutes. This time I did not use any legos, just toys, things, stuff I collected.We all had a blast. I believe all 4 projects came out of their session with a better understanding of their project. What struck me particularly this time was how far apart some of the participants in one same project were. They each had developped their own images, focussing each on a completely different aspect of the otherwise complex project. They argued a lot around the choices of the objects to place on the table. They were very involved and at some points the discussion was quite agressive (Marseille is a city were people are "hotblooded" as we say ...). But in the end they all agreed and that was liberating, even soothing for all..."



Copenhagen, Denmark: Pitch training and character mapping for film makers at the Danish Film Institute. Nov '14.

Spent the evening working with directors, writers and producers that are part of the Danish Film Institute's Nordic Twilight programme. Launched in June across the whole of the country Nordic Twilight's goal is to drive for originality and strong technical execution within the genre of zombie, sci-fi, vampire and horror.

The evening was split in two: the first part focusing on the way film makers can pitch their work, the second to explore the character constellations and story arcs within their work.

Point of contact: Prami Larsen, Head of the Film Workshop.


Copenhagen, Denmark: Mapping strategy around sales for Eyeworks TV. Nov '14.

Spent the morning working with the Danish senior team to both demonstrate the Handling Ideas method and apply it to their sales approach for local commissioning.

As per their website "Eyeworks is a creative, independent television & film production company that develops, produces and distributes content in different genres including film, drama, reality, human interest and entertainment. Eyeworks was founded in The Netherlands in 2001 by Reinout Oerlemans. Nowadays, Eyeworks has a production presence in fifteen countries on four different continents."


Malmö, Sweden: Identifying opportunities for Sommarscen Malmö tenth anniversary. Nov '14.

For eight weeks of the summer, Sommarscen Malmö presents a programme hosting performing arts and concerts to around 30-40 different sites in Malmö, with around 160-180 performances and concerts - all outdoors and free of admission. In 2015 they'll celebrate their tenth anniversary. So now they're looking for inspiration and guidance to help them define the programme, the concept and the key elements etc. for next year. So me and four of their team mapped out the concept and identified areas to develop for this tenth anniversary.

Point of contact: Jessica Nilsson Producent/promoter, SOMMARSCEN MALMÖ



Copenhagen, Denmark: Mapping communication needs for Denmark's Health Portal. Nov '14. 

Working with to map out communication needs. As per their website: " is the official portal for the public Danish Healthcare Services and enables patients and healthcare professionals to find information and communicate. This section is primarily for decisionmakers abroad who want to replicate the results."

"Your workshops were really different and a fresh breath of air compared to the typical “lets all make post-its and put them on the whiteboard”. We should have brought you in almost at the very beginning and then started on the story right away. You've got a great product and it can really help companies cut through some of all the process stuff if they dare." Jakob Uffelmann, Innovationschef / Director of innovation at

Point of contact:  Pia Laulund, Seniorkonsulent & Pernille Schrøder, Project Manager.



Køge, Denmark: Generating Ideas for Multimedia Design Students. Nov '14.

How do we generate ideas? How can we apply design thinking to create concepts that will be relevant and desired by a particular target group? How can we prevent ourselves from not falling into the trap of simply making stuff that makes us happy? These were some of the questions I attempted to address in a four hour session with the multimedia design students from Zealand's Institute of Business and Technology (Erhvers Akademi Sjælland). Part theory, part practical the students discovered the value of user insight and how mapping out the system around a subject area provides the most valuable thing when designing: CONTEXT. (see article on INNOVATION HAPPENS WHEN YOU BRING CRITICAL & CREATIVE THINKING INTO THE SAME SPACE.)


Cambridge, UK: Mapping Negotiations: Visualizing, Pinpointing and Solving Disputes for Entertainment Master Class. Nov '14.

Third time back to work with Entertainment Master Class. This time mapping out the decision making programme makers take as they make deals to develop and exploit IP. We were extremely fortunate to have Mark Rowland, CEO, Indiemedia and Chair, C21 Media present a case study and work through various models to enable the participants to explore the different avenues available when getting a property out into the market.

Mapping enabled a helicopter view of all the stakeholder's needs, motives and goals and encouraged an 'arm's length' approach, so necessary when trying to navigate the exploitation of media rights.



Copenhagen, Denmark: What happens when artists start thinking like designers? Nov '14.

Was asked by CPH:LAB (part of CPH:DOX) to provide a three hour workshop to inspire a bunch made up of twenty selected international film makers to see how a story can unfold on various platforms. My aim was to bring design tools into the palette of the film maker. As funding patterns shift to reflect changing media habits by the audience, we move from a world where creatives produce against a pre-defined strategy to one where strategy becomes part of the creative. Within the session we identified their goal and showed how coupling insight around the audience in terms of how they currently react to the theme, might help the film makers as they create strategy for impact. 

In their words: 'CPH:LAB, formerly known as DOX:LAB, was initiated in 2009 by CPH:DOX intl. documentary film festival as a talent development and training program for twenty selected international filmmakers. It was established with the overall aim of stimulating innovation within the framework of an international laboratory-like filmmaking incubator.'

Organisers: Patricia Drati Rønde & Marie Skovgaard

Venue: Gl. Strand, Copenhagen.


Amsterdam, Holland: Bringing visualisation and mapping to script editors - 5th time at SOURCES2. Nov '14.

Handling Ideas made its contribution to this year's Training Mentors for European Screenwriters programme in Amsterdam for Sources 2. The starting point for each session was a two page synopsis. Each group was guided through the Handling Ideas approach, demonstrating the way by which visualisation and mapping can reveal the essential questions that can help in the process of script editoring and mentoring a writer.

Presented a case to a sold-out cinema (135 seats). Their words, not mine:

Paul Tyler – Creative Tools 
Handling Ideas: Getting the Stories out of the Heads and onto the Table. The visionary developer, consultant and mentor, will present a case study. – Wednesday, 5th November 2014, 18:00 – 19:30 at
Rialto, Ceintuurbaan 338, 1072 GN Amsterdam


Copenhagen, Denmark: How to bridge the gap between strategy and content when developing cultural brands. Oct '14.

Was asked to present my work at a seminar here in Copenhagen, Monday. The focus was on the intersection between culture, technology and business. A whole host of speakers peppered the day with their take on how to develop the cultural institutions of Denmark. My focus was to show how simply tools can be used to bridge the gap between strategy and content creation, otherwise we risk a disconnect which renders both unseen.

You can watch my 15 minutes (scroll forward through the initial silence) here.



Copenhagen, Denmark: Designing fun with sheep, vikings, Gods, Frankensteins, scouts, dragons but no pandas. Oct '14.

Second time at DADIU working with student teams as they shape their game concept designs. Each team consisted of around six members - game designer, level designer, art director, sound designer, project manager and lead programmer. Having just decided on a game idea and theme, we worked through their concepts, thrashing out the game play across the levels and ensuring there was consistency between the game rules and the universe rules coming from the chosen themes. Next week the teams will sit down with their coders to start a six week developement period. One of last year's games, Punish Panda was a recent download by my nine year old son, proving that these students have an eye on real markets.


London, UK: running Think Tank designed to help funders find models that stay relevant as media and audiences evolve. Oct '14

The third time I've designed and ran the Power to the Pixel Think Tank. This year, situated at the swanky Quebec Goverment office in London, it's aim was to identify opportunities to innovate within support and funing for media. In Power to the Pixel's words "Bringing together the worlds leading funds, distributors, entrepreneurs and creators, participants of The Think Tank 2014 will work together to construct a new set of business models relevant to the current media climate. You can find out what the outcomes of the Think Tank are in The Think Tank Report, free to download from The Pixel Report – preregister for your copy here.

In the meantime, take a read of the new white paper Understanding Funders. Download your copy here."



London, UK: Pitch training lab participants for Pixel Market. Oct '14

OK, so there isn't a Power to the Pixel poster in the gents toilet of the Royal Society of Arts, but for the past three years, I've marvelled at the purest green decor when needing a break. This is the third time Power to the Pixel hase invited me back to coach the Lab participants through their pitches in preparation for the Pixel Market. Inspired by Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Black Swan, I took the casuality root - human beings like things that add up. There are two stories you should pitch, your story and the story of why you need to tell it.


Göteborg, Sweden: Revealing to film makers the place between the pen and the spoken word. Oct '14.

When we talk about out projects, we find ourselves adapting what we said an hour ago to fit with what we're saying now. When we write it down, we're confronted by having to concretise our thoughts, but forced into a  medium that's hard to open up around a table. Spent the afternoon with Västsvenska Filmdagarna showing film makers how visualising and mapping can help them develop their stories within their teams, how it enables collaborating and confronts the creative with their idea, mapped out in front of them.


Erfurt, Germany: Back 'home' running a workshop for Germany's leading children's media academy. Oct '14

Eight years ago I started working for the Akademie für Kindermedien as their Interactive mentor. For five weeks, spread out over six months the academy provides invaluable insight and practical input around media aimed at children – film, animation, TV series, books. Having left four years ago, it was fantastic to be invited back to provide a workshop during this year’s qualifying week.

The three-hour session started with some thoughts around Design Thinking and user-centered design, leading into group work. Four teams were created, with each receiving a video interview of a child recalling their media habits over the past week. The participants of the workshop were tasked with mapping these activities, extrapolating into the preceding and subsequent weeks.




Malmö, Sweden: 3 days mapping business models for SWIM LAB projects. Sept '14.


Three days to work on six projects: Bikes vs Cars, Land, Recho, Yabai!, Passionaire, Story Music. The focus was to map out their individual 'value chains' within a broader 'value system' context thereby helping the project owners see how to finance their projects. Participants included:

Elin Kamlert, Producer & Margarete Jangård, Producer
Glynnis Ritter, Junior Producer
Mads Damsbo, Producer & Åsmund Sollihøgda, Designer
Simon Klose, Producer 
Peter Eriksson, Director
Pelle Folmer & Kristian Sønderby, Director

Copenhagen, Denmark: Digging into the detail with Danish-Chinese start-up. Sept '14.

Without giving too much away around this hush-hush project, worked with young Danish entrepreneur Kristian Landerslev, to dig deep into target group habits and behaviours in order to identify the sweet-spot for this new app.


Copenhagen, Denmark: Pitch training for the third time for the Nordic's brightest's stars. Sept '14.

Two days to work on fifteen projects: Handling Ideas was asked back to the Danish Film School to work with the very best film makers that have recently graduated from across the Nordics. Working in parallel to DR's Karoline Leth, we set out to prepare the post-grads for their 'pitch & Q&A' to both a jury panel (Executive Director of Eurimages Roberto Olla, animation film director Kari Juusonen (FI), Director of Programmes at TV4 Åsa Sjöberg (SE), Executive Director - Promotions & International Relations at The Norwegian Film Institute Stine Helgeland (NO) and Director Annette K. Olesen (DK).) and to the great and the good from across the film industry at the Nordic Talents event, 2014