Today was the second and final day of The Media Festival Arts 2010. This morning was kicked off by Peter Bazalgette and it was followed by a talk on Project Canvas, which was led by its CTO Antony Rose, who said that the project is not just for the ‘big boys’.
Listen to a snippet of his speech.
For those of you who are not too familiar with Project Canvas, here’s a quick overview:
“Project Canvas is a proposed partnership between Arqiva, the BBC, BT, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Talk Talk to build an open internet-connected TV platform, subject to BBC Trust approval.
“The partners intend to form a venture to promote the platform to consumers and the content, service and developer community.
“Project Canvas intends to build, run and promote a platform that solves both problems: providing an upgrade for free-to-air TV, and an open platform of scale that will bring a wide range of internet services to the shared screen.”
With the advent of Project Canvas, the next discussion, entitled Arts + Internet + TV = ?, explored and questioned the opportunities for arts and film organisations (large and small) that will come up as a result of the internet and television converging.
The panel consisted of:
Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer, UK Film Council
John Wyvern, Illuminations
Kip Meek, Chair, Project Canvas
Honor Harger, Director, Lighthouse
Mike Stubbs, CEO, FACT
It was chaired by John Newbigin, Chair, Screen England and Culture 24.
Lots of interesting points had been raised about dominant players and execution of it. John Woodward said that Project Canvas will have a lot of advantages to the UK film industry. He said it will allow the ‘history of cinema’ to go into people’s homes. Films can be found and watched in the comfort of people’s own living rooms. But also, Project Canvas should be a lab to enable producers to experiment on new business models. Let it be that platform.
Project Canvas’ new chair, Kip Meek said that one of the big challenges he faces is how to meet the aspirations of a very big group of people outside White City.
“Project Canvas is a technology which you can use to access a bigger audience… but we need to find a way of dealing with a large community and this is certainly the challenge,” he said.
Then, at mid-morning, two streams covered:
Architecture of collaboration Two: More case studies covering the successes and failures of collaboration in the arts/film/media space
David Sabel, Head of Digital, National Theatre
Judith Dimant, Producer, Complicite
Lyn Goleby, Managing Director, City Screen
Here’s the trailer:
Chaired by: Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution & Exhibition, UK Film Council.
This highlighted how important partnership is with collaborative work and how one has to let go of total control, because ownership is joint with other partners. The case studies featured also show that cross-disciplinary work can result in exciting and innovative projects extending audience reach and providing a much immersive experience.
Build Your Audience: Building community is the new digital marketing
Crucial insights from the digital experts
One of the speakers was Fred Bolza, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Sony Music. He shared insights about its customers – their passions, behaviours and buying habits.
The experts have shared their global learnings and expertise and offered some predictions for the future of digital engagement.
After lunch, it was time for Avant-gaming: What can the arts can learn from games? This session, chaired by iShed Director Clare Reddington, highlighted that game play and interactivity are more ubiquitous than ever and offer many opportunities to engage, educate and extend online and offline audiences. Delegates were presented with a showcase of the best case studies of when arts meets film meets games.
221B Baker Street
Margaret Robertson, Development Director, Hide&Seek
The Curfew Game
Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Education
She talked us through The Curfew Game. The Guardian described it as:
“…an online game offering young adults a brilliantly constructed gameplay experience, and while thematically and stylistically it’s hugely different, in terms of core mechanics it is an adventure game in the classic form. There is pointing and clicking, characters to talk to, scenes to explore, and a narrative tangle to unravel.”
Tassos Stevens, Runner and Director, Coney
Contagious Magazine on Papa Sangre:
“Papa Sangre is solely about sound. It is the first time that genuine real-time, 3D, spatialised audio has been implemented on a mobile device. It’ll be different for every player, too; the pictures in your mind will be different from everyone else’s because audio can stimulate the imagination instead of replacing it,’ says Paul Bennun, director of digital, Somethin’ Else.
“With iPhone in hand and ear phones plugged into your lugs you can dive into this 90-minute psychological zombie thriller set in Papa Sangre’s evil mysterious palace, with the objective of saving the soul of the person you love. The game is set in complete darkness and the player has only sound to navigate through the story, aided by vibrations and movements. Guided by audio alone, the player must avoid man-eating monsters, navigating vast open spaces and small cramped holes. Objects and musical notes can be collected long the way – these can either help or hinder the player and add to the richness of the sonic landscape.”
Next was SP-ARK – building the world’s first interactive multimedia film archive. It stands for Sally Potter Archive and everything that had to do with her film Orlando, from production stills to contracts through to script and storyboards, had been digitised for public access. This was led by Christopher Sheppard, who runs Adventure Pictures.
“SP-ARK is pioneering an entirely new approach to the use of archive material as an educational resource. It is unique in allowing students, scholars and film fans to interact, not just with its database of thousands of multimedia materials relating to every aspect of filmmaking, but also with each other.
“SP-ARK tackles a problem that all traditional archives are facing: how to provide enhanced access to hard-to-find materials in the digital age?”
There was also an archive surgery in the afternoon chaired by the BBC’s Director of Archive Content Tony Ageh. Those who had questions or issues regarding archive, metadata, IP protection vs open access as well as investment choices were able to raise their issues on all this and more to the panel of archive experts:
Mark Duguid, BFI
Christopher Sheppard, Producer, Adventure Pictures
Clare Holden, Development and Outreach Coordinator, Adventure Pictures
Asha Oberoi, Managing Director, ITN Source
Peter McInerney, Producer, Sheridans
Where’s the money? Tapping into funds for innovation and development
This session was chaired by John Newbigin. The panel, Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution and Exhibition, UK Film Council; Adrian Friedli, Director, Visual Arts and Literature, Arts Council England; Alex Stanhope, Lead Technologist, Creative Industries, Technology Strategy Board, discussed what different organisations are doing to support creative R&D and innovation in the digital arena.
And then it was time to end the 48 and a bit hours of TMFA 2010. Festival Chairman Peter Bazalgette conducted the wrap in which he asked the delegates what the biggest revelations or learnings have been over the Festival.
And so that concludes my time here at TMFA 2010. What is becoming more apparent is that we all realise the importance of collaborating with different sectors in the arts, film and media, but there really is a call for more action to be taken. There should be a move towards conducting funded small(er) projects that would test collaborative relationships that could potentially lead to the bigger innovative ones that will help build towards a solid and more sustainable arts, media, film and creative sectors.
Catch some of the Tweets here.