Exciting Times for Media

Times are a changing in the Media World and we are highly excited by some of the most recent evolutions.   Particularly here in Canada where the new Canadian Media Fund (CMF) has been announced bringing in an experimental element. This is a perfect opportunity for members of the digital media community to get funding and branch out, trying new projects that funds would not have previously been available for.

This is the first year such funding options have existed here in Canada and although the fund’s guidelines are still evolving, it is this open invite for submissions that we feel can allow the creative juices to follow.  The CMF are also widening their view towards the advantages of transmedia storytelling for their more traditional television fund with the convergent program.  This provides exciting opportunities for traditional media to discover new avenues with their storytelling and really have fun with the new challenges and opportunities that the changing landscape of media offers.

In keeping with the times, the Yorkton Film Festival has really embraced the idea of Interactive Storytelling, and has contracted us to help them to tell their online story.  They are rebranding their image, doing a bit of marketing for the festival and the Golden Sheaf Nominees, and acting as a case study example to festival delegates of how interactive tools can be incorporated into their stories.  Way to go Yorkton!  And thank you for inviting us along for the ride!

To follow along on the Yorkton Film Festival’s online story, check them out on:

In keeping with this model of forward thinking and moving towards the future of media, the Yorkton Film Festival is hosting some great workshops on Friday May 28th, 2010 aimed at thinking convergently, including a few with our own Erica Hargreave.  Here is what you can look forward to:

Friday May 28

  • 8.30 am – 9:00 am:  Blast Off – Social Media at the Festival, Ramada Yorkton

A look at telling the Festival’s story using social media and how filmmakers can use this to build the buzz around their productions, with Erica Hargreave.

  • 9:15 am – 10:15 am: Panasonic Workshop and Presentation, Ramada Yorkton

Panasonic Canada presents and discusses the latest Panasonic video cameras and technology, including notes and news on 3D.

  • 10:30 am – 12:00pm:  Let’s Play CanCon Convergence Roulette, Ramada Yorkton

A fun filled game show where panelists compete by trying to adapt new convergent technologies and applications to classic Canadian TV shows. Hosted by Robert Hardy. Panelists Cam Bennett, Trent Haus, Rob Bryanton, Brenton Sawatzky and Erica Hargreave.

  • 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Which Way To The Future? Ramada Yorkton

Spend an afternoon with some of the biggest names in the industry, as they try to make sense of and figure out where the rapidly changing screen based media industry is headed. Hosted by Richard Gustin. Panelists Cindy Witten, Daniel Cross, Norm Bolen, Valerie Creighton and Rudy Buttignol.

Saturday May 29th, 2010 at the Yorkton Film Festival hosts some always needed industry staples, putting you face-to-face with the broadcasters, talking finance and actual production, and discovering how to get your proverbial foot in the door.

Saturday May 29

  • 8:30 am – 9:00 am: Blast Off – Social Media at the Festival Part 2, Ramada Yorkton

Explore ways to use social media as a storytelling device on your projects, with Erica Hargreave.

  • 9:15 am – 10:15 am:  Now’s Your Chance, Ramada Yorkton.

Table-hopping group discussions with industry leaders, broadcasters and distributors.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted answered.  Join industry leaders for straight talking, small group discussions.  A rare honesty that Yorkton offers, unlikely to be found at larger festivals.

  • 10:30 am – 12:00 pm: Oh, Oh! They Said Yes – Now What? Ramada Yorkton

You’ve finally pitched a project that a broadcaster/investor likes enough to make an offer. Join the panel of experts as they share insights and ideas of what has to happen in order to get the proposal into a finished project. Hosted by Joanne McDonald. Panelists Stephen Onda and Peter Raymont.

  • 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm:  My Big Break, Ramada Yorkton.

Five successful Saskatchewan film and television producers discuss their first big “success” and how they found it (or how it found them).  Hosted by Bruce Steele.  Panelists Michael Snook, Jeff Beesley, Dennis Jackson, Melanie Jackson and Anand Ramayya.

Click here to register for this year’s festival.

We hope to see you in Yorkton!

Making Twitter History in Yorkton, Saskatchewan

A very cool thing happened to us at this years Yorkton Film Festival.  We hit the ‘top ten trending twitter topics’!

Festival Social Media Team: Lee, Karen & Tris tweeting away

Festival Social Media Team: Lee, Karen & Tris tweeting away

Now I know what some of you are thinking, so what, we do that all the time at various events here in Vancouver.  Well, what made this hit on the ‘top ten trending twitter topics’ so exciting for both Tris Hussey and myself is that it was the twitter community following along on the Interactive Storytelling Panel conversation from outside of the room that drove us up to the ‘top ten trending twitter topics’.  To the best of Tris’ and my knowledge this had only ever been done with conferences and events from inside the room.  Definitely a twitter first for both Tris and I.

yff09 delegate, Joanne MacDonald, tweeting for the first time.

yff09 delegate, Joanne MacDonald, tweeting for the first time.

To make this even more exciting, this happened whilst one of the main points that we were getting across is that social media is about community and building the community around you. The twitter community demoed this for the festival delegates in real time, as they illustrated to the room how a conversation could go beyond four-walls and those that could not be present could still be a part of the conversation.  The highlight of this for me was not during the panel, but at the awards gala, when @heckofamom could not be present at festival to see her sister, Teresa MacInnes win two Golden Sheaf Awards for ‘Norm’, but she could follow along in real time on twitter and be a part of the night with her parents, brother-in-law and Teresa.  My eyes welled up with tears and I got all choked up when they thanked Tris and I at the end of the evening.

Teresa & her husband, Kent winning the Golden Sheaf for Best of Festival for Norm

Teresa & her husband, Kent winning the Golden Sheaf for Best of Festival for ‘Norm’

Community is also the factor that makes the Yorkton Film Festival so special to me. This Film Festival is a whole community event that the families of Yorkton, Saskatchewan put on for the film community.  The community made us dinner every night for heavens sake.  It was pretty gosh, darn special and I feel incredibly fortunate for having been a part of it.

Members of the Yorkton Red Hat Society at Opening Night

Members of the Yorkton Red Hat Society at Opening Night

An enormous thank you to the twitter community, Yorkton community and yff09 delegates for making this years Yorkton Film Festival so very special to us!

Raising a glass to the following tweeters:

From Outside the Room:

From Inside the Room: