Boyneclarke LLP and WIFT-AT are getting crowd funding expert, Andy Osburn, up early for our 3rd BREAKFAST CLUB! So save January 28th, 2014 and check back for more details!
By Nance Ackerman – WIFT-AT Communications Chair
As we all know the same voices keep cropping up in the news – online, on radio and television – spreading their knowledge and pushing their organization’s brand out over the airwaves. It’s the not-so-secret weapon in the non-profit’s marketing arsenal, as well as a great personal marketing tool for your own individual brand.
Having been a journalist for the last 30 years, one of the things I learned was that we love it when someone else makes our job easier. So if there is a story about women actors in film complaining that tasteful sex scenes were deleted for sexist reasons, we love it when an ‘expert’ on, say, sexuality in film gives us a call and a great interview. After doing one documentary film on drug addiction in Cape Breton, I was asked to sit on numerous panels and government think tanks regarding the issue. The research associated with filmmaking is more than any daily journalist can possibly do, and often more hands-on and personal story driven than the dry academic interview.
When spreading our stories and our brand, WIFT-AT has to remember that the best communications plan includes encouraging the ‘messenger’ to choose our message first – because it’s the easiest and the most interesting message. Reporters are now, more than ever, working around the clock trying to keep up with the online demands of covering stories. Making their job easier and faster will get our message out there nine times out of ten.
But in order to get our message out, we need to find that expert in ourselves. And nurture that part of our own brand.
According to Dan Forbush, founder of ProfNet, a PR Newswire service that puts journalists in touch with experts and sources for breaking stories, “there are two essential approaches to media placement.
One is to persuade reporters that your organization has news worth reporting – this approach is deliberate and release driven. The other is to persuade reporters that there are individuals within your organization who – because of their industry perspective or some form of expertise – are worth interviewing. This approach is opportunistic and pitch driven.”
So over the next few weeks, shine a better and brighter light on what you already have. Fill in some gaps along the way and you can position yourself and your brand as one of the leaders in your field.
1. Own It
You might say, “but I’m no expert.” Sometimes, this is true. Often, it’s not. Even after spending years in a field and producing consistent results, people are wary of standing up and asserting themselves as true experts. It can be scary; the pressure to deliver certainly increases when you claim expert status. But if you’re ready, if you can help your audience get the results they’re after, it’s time to own your expert standing and shout it to the world.
2. Define Your Expertise
Be bold and clear. Would you rather work with the woman who says, “Well, I guess I help people, um, get more visitors and stuff like that,” or the one who says, “I am an online traffic expert”?
3. Create an Expert Tagline
Useful with videos, articles, interviews, and live talks, an expert intro is a powerful tool for establishing your authority with new audiences as well as ingraining your expert status in the minds of reporters and social media audiences. We all know taglines; let’s write one for ourselves.
4. Share Your Credibility Story
Your expert story is critical. It connects you to your audience, establishes authority, inspires hope, and motivates action. How do you accomplish all that with a single story? Start by sharing your struggle to succeed, allowing people to relate to you. Then describe your sources of deep knowledge to demonstrate why you know more than the average tinkerer (certifications, degrees, years of experience, firsthand trial-and-error, etc.). Finally, share your personal stories of success as well as the stories of your successful clients and customers.
Check out HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. After signing up as an expert, for free, you’ll receive daily emails from reporters looking for particular authorities. When there’s a match, you simply reply by email.
Please email Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org with your particular expertise. Here are some ideas in our field:
- women’s rights in film
- children’s issues in film and media
- social documentary issues i.e. poverty, women’s rights, food security, environment, prostitution
- academic qualifications – advanced degree in any story that can be told in film i.e. history of women in film, women’s studies and other degrees
- union or labour issues with regards to women in the communications, media, journalism, film and television industries
- or if you had to spend a particularly long time researching a particular topic for a film (i.e. became an expert swordswoman for a role in an historical dramatic film, or interviewed every last person who spoke the Abanaki language in Quebec..etc.)
By Lora Campbell; pictured with Lisa Rose Snow
Almost two years ago I walked into AFCOOP and asked WIFT-AT member Martha Cooley, “So, how would I make a film?” From there I took workshop after workshop and was lucky enough to find guidance from experienced filmmakers like Michael Melski and Cory Bowles to help me with applications as well as meeting the people in the industry who would one day be kind enough to crew my shorts.
I have completed the AFCOOP FILM 5 program and am now taking part in the New Talent Development Program, through Telefilm with Marc Almon and Karl van Allen, which pairs an experienced producer with a new producer and writer to develop a feature film.
It’s a wonderful opportunity but I also wanted to learn more of the day-to-day activities of a producer. How to develop a slate, access development funding, heck- what WAS development funding?!
I spoke to Marc Almon and he agreed to apply for the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)’s Screen Based Media Production Program with me and we began the mentorship in August 2013. As a new producer of short films who has now started to move into features this program could not be more of an asset. With the help of the wonderful Sarolta Csete who is the Manager of the National Mentorship Program & e-Services at the CMPA and Marc, I have been able to, over the last few months, hone my skills in terms of marketplace, funding, application, and overall knowledge about the film industry and what it means to be a producer in Atlantic Canada.
I have attended Strategic Partners at the Atlantic Film Festival and was able to watch as Marc held one 1-2-1 meetings with producers and distributors from across the world, and also attended the Broadcaster/Distributor Forum. I have someone to ask questions to when I am unsure of layouts, regulations, budgets, or any other concerns.
The CMPA Program combines a mentor and mentee in a way that is beneficial to both – as I learn from Marc he also has someone to assist him with various things on a day to day, but also long term basis. For the 25 weeks that I do this program I can actually make leaning how to produce well-organized, marketable, strong films my full focus and not have to work various part time jobs on the side as it is a well funded program.
The CMPA mentorship program is an incredible resource and with 40 positions across Canada a year it is something we new producers have to utilize as much as possible.
There are many women and members of WIFT-AT who have taken the program. The CMPA has a long history of helping out us ladies in the film industry and here is what a few of them had to say about their experiences:
“I did my CMPA mentorship at Big Motion Pictures here in NS with David MacLeod and Susy MacGillivray in 2010. Not only did I get an intensive crash course on feature film / television production financing, budgeting, tax credits, production management, and distribution, but having a mentor producer who is an active CMPA member introduced me to other producers across the country, as well as the current challenges and trends in the industry. This channel is so important when you’re based outside of Toronto. The mentorship opened the door to a permanent position at Big Motion Pictures, and I am currently a co-producer on 2 feature film projects in development and continuing to work in TV production as well. So yes, the CMPA mentorship was a precious opportunity for me.” – Gillian Everill
“For me it was a very positive experience and I learned more about development and distribution during my mentorship. Plus being able to go to the Prime Time Conference in Ottawa was a very valuable experience with fantastic networking opportunities.” – Rebecca Sharratt
Lora Campbell is originally from Newfoundland and is the co-founder of Organic Water Productions, a Halifax based Production Company with Lisa Rose Snow. Their short film Two Penny Road Kill has won multiple awards including nominations and wins at the ACTRA Maritime Awards for best actor and actress in a short film, Best Canadian Short at the Silver Wave Film Festival, as well as best juried short at the Parrsboro Film Festival. You can follow her projects at @2pennyroadkill, @whenfishflyfilm, @loracampbell2, or contact her at email@example.com
Jenna Dufton graduated from the University of Windsor in 2007 with a B.A. in Communications, Media and Film (for no reason other than watching films was really the only thing she liked doing in high school). Equipped with her semi-useful degree she set out to work (glamorous) Box Office positions with the Toronto International Film Festival and the Brisbane International Film Festival before being offered the position of Volunteer Coordinator at the Atlantic Film Festival. She packed her bags and set out for Halifax (the land of dreams) to work the two-month contract with high hopes that it would turn into her dream job (watching movies).
It didn’t quite happen like that but a year later at the Atlantic Film Festival Christmas party (after a series of more glamorous Box Office jobs) she worked up the (liquid) courage to discuss her dream with Festival Director, Lia Rinaldo. Long story short (too late): that next spring Jenna was working as a Programmer for the Atlantic Film Festival and has since programmed three festivals with them and co-founded and programmed the OUTeast Film Festival. Jenna could not be more excited about taking this next step in her career, coordinating Women Making Waves. She didn’t realize it back in high school, but this is what it was all for and she can’t wait to start working with everyone in the WIFT-AT community (yay)!
By Andrea Levesque
This year was my first time at Silver Wave, and I have to say, I was very impressed!
A few highlights:
The venues: Every city should have an arts centre like the one in Fredericton: It’s a beautiful old building, and watching the scruffy filmmakers edge past the adorable little ballerinas who were lining the halls waiting for dance class was priceless. It also made the film community feel like it was part of the community as a whole, which was a really nice thing to experience.
The films: I loved beginning to recognize the local crop of actors and other names in the credits in the shorts selections. Just like in NS and NL, there is a core group that is working really hard in getting script to screen, and the quality that is coming out of NB is pretty incredible. It was also a real treat to see local gal Gia Milani’s film, All the Wrong Reasons, screen at home.
The organization and parties: Cat and Tony and the team had everything moving smoothly, and you could feel the friendliness and sheer love of film that was pervasive through the festival started with the NB Film Co-op team. They should be very proud of the festival, and of fostering a film community that is vibrant, skilled and talented.
As a relatively recent (but permanent) transplant to the east coast, I have really been enjoying getting to know the different film communities around Atlantic Canada; and I can’t wait ’till next year!
By Valerie Bachynsky; Photo by Ann Bernier
Frances Leary offers advice on leveraging the power of social media for film and television
“Be creative and think outside the box; there are no limits.” That’s the advice of Frances Leary, president of internet marketing firm Wired Flare, who was the speaker at November’s BOYNECLARK LLP/ WIFT-AT breakfast event in Halifax.
Frances handled marketing for Red Horizon, which made it to the Top Ten spot in the pilot cycle of the CineCoup film accelerator. Following a successful project to build audience engagement, their project has a strong pitch package and has been optioned for development.
Frances provided details on the CineCoup process, and how Red Horizon used various social media techniques to build visibility and audience support for their film concept. Facebook, Twitter, engagement of the sci-fi community, character narratives, a Be Brave campaign, engagement of the support local community and events all contributed to a successful project.
Trends identified by Frances include:
. online narrative, such as an air safety video, using Hobbit characters, for Air New Zealand;.
. audience engagement, through apps and on-line games; and
. crowd funding.
Before 2013 ends, I must mention the 100th Anniversary of the first feature length dramatic film made in Canada, Evangeline, based on Longfellow’s famous poem. It was made by the Canadian Bioscope Company of Halifax, directed by American stage and film actors William H. Cavanaugh and Edward P. Sullivan, and written by Marguerite Marquis. Its running time was 75 minutes and had a budget of $30,000.00; quite a bit of cash for 1913! It received both commercial and critical success in Canada and the United States. Happy 100th Anniversary Canadian film industry!!
The Devour Food Film Festival, organized by Michael Howell, Lia Rinaldo and Cheryl Hodder, was the big film event in NS this month. For five days, foodies and film fans alike gathered in the small town of Wolfville to feast on gourmet food, watch films with a culinary theme, attend food-themed workshops and hop on buses to sample the various award-winning wines at the local wineries. There was a fair representation of women film makers from all over the world, including our own Lisa Rose Snow, Gwyneth Christoffel, and Sheila Provazza.
A couple of months ago, the first annual Dieppe International Film Festival recognized Shandi Mitchell’s, The Disappeared, by awarding the film with the Coup de Coeur de la Mise en Scène Award. The film screened twice to enthusiastic crowds of over two hundred film goers. The award of Mise en Scene is given for the most powerful feeling of atmosphere in a film. “The Disappeared was able to encapsulate audiences, transporting them to the shores of Nova Scotia all the way from their theatre in France.” – The Disappeared Blog. It then went on to have a very successful opening (and was held over!) at the Carleton Cinema in Toronto in early November.
Shannon Tweed was in our fair city of Halifax this month making a guest appearance on SEED Season 2. Shannon and her daughter, Sophie, will start shooting their new Canadian reality series next month in Vancouver, LA and Whistler. It will air on W in 2014.
AFCOOP, in partnership with DAL, presented Vancouver based filmmaker, writer and visual artist, Anne Marie Fleming. Her visit included a screening of her feature length documentary, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, as well as an artist talk with a screening of short films. Her film work includes animation, documentary, musicals, experimental films and feature-length dramas. Recently, she was recognized for I Was the Child of Holocaust Survivors, which was included in TIFF’s Top 10 films of 2010 and was long-listed for an Academy Award.
Sherry Smith is an actor/producer/writer originally from Labrador but has recently made her home in Nova Scotia with her husband and three children. She has appeared in a few films, a multitude of plays and is the past-president of ACTRA Maritimes.
WIFT-AT Members Garner Major Hardware in Awards at the 2013 SWFF
Congratulations to all the WIFT-AT members who won major awards at the Silver Wave Film Festival 2013.
Lex Gigeroff Excellence in Screenwriting Award for a NB short Drama – Britany Sparrow for Chopsticks
Viewers Choice Award Winner – Gia Milani and Tony Whalen for All the Wrong Reasons
Jane LeBlanc Filmmaker Award – Jennifer Mawhinney for Porta Party
Best Canadian Short – Two Penny Road Kill by Lisa Rose Snow and Lora Campbell
Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama – Patricia Leger in The Bannisters
NB Documentary Gets Into 20th Edition of Slamdance
After receiving over 5,000 submissions this year, the Slamdance Film Festival has announced their Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition programs for the 20th edition.
The Feature Competition Programs present breakthrough films by first-time feature film directors working with budgets of less than $1 million and without US distribution. This year’s showcase includes 10 narrative and 8 documentary films, including 11 World Premieres, 4 North American, and 1 US Premiere. The 2014 Slamdance Film Festival will take place from January 17th – 23rd, 2014 in Park City, Utah at the Treasure Mountain Inn.
A New Brunswick filmmaking team has had their documentary film accepted into this prestigious festival.
Elliot - (feature length documentary)
Directors & Screenwriters: Matthew Bauckman, Jaret Belliveau, Moncton, New Brunswick, (Canada) World Premiere
The bizarre story of Elliot Scott, his supportive partner Linda Lum, and their cast and crew of outrageous dreamers all striving to achieve success.
Cast: Elliot Scott, Blake Zwicker, Linda Lum
Check Out “Alone” Starring Alex Vietinghoff
This past summer, Alex Vietinghoff and Brock Torunski co-wrote a short post-apocalyptic film called “Alone”, which they shot in one day and uploaded straight to Youtube. It’s at almost 13 000 views now, and steadily rising with lots of demand for a sequel, which they are in the process of writing. They were also just contacted by Tank Jones and Harvey Lowry. They were looking to feature ‘Alone’ in ‘The Shorts Network’ (basically Netflix for Short Films) which debuts soon as a website, app, and a Youtube channel.
Tank Jones is a successful actor and hip-hop/ rap artist and Harvey Lowry is an in-demand operations co-ordinator and Hollywood make-up artist. Both have an impressive resume in the film industry. Tank Jones has been cast in Breaking Bad (Hank’s Physical Therapist), CSI: Miami and much more. Harvey Lowry has done works in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, X-Men, Watchmen, A Beautiful Mind, Will & Grace, and more.
Alone follows the last man on Earth as he goes about his day-to-day routine of surviving. He doesn’t know why everyone died, and he is left with memories and chores to keep himself sane with no human contact.
Watch the film on Youtube here: http://youtu.be/wbTc81JmQTs
Fredericton – New Collaboration Between Screenwriting and Film Production Courses
For the first time at the University of New Brunswick, instructors Robert Gray and Tony Merzetti created a collaboration between their screenwriting and production courses so that the films the film production students made were selected from a pool of scripts written by the screenwriting students.
Students in ENGL / FILM 3183: Screenwriting for Short Formats wrote one-minute silent scripts and three-minute scripts that were then read and considered by the FILM / MAAC 3998 (now FILM / MAAC 2999) production students.
This was an excellent opportunity for the writing students to see what makes a script shootable and appealing and to see a script go from idea to produced film. The collaboration also freed up the production course students to focus on film production training rather than script development.
One of the films, Secret Agent Frank, written by screenwriting student Gordon Mihan (and, starring him) was featured at the annual New Brunswick Silver Wave Film Festival recently.
The collaboration between the two courses will continue this winter. Both Gray and Merzetti see this as just the first steps in refining and specializing the curriculum so students who want to study film at UNB will be able to benefit even more from the university’s unique combination of film theory and practice.
Cat LeBlanc has been membership services director at the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative for 17 years and is co-organizer of the annual Silver Wave Film Festival. She also does production management/catering and music for independent shorts for her volunteer work.
HOLD FAST hits the theatres this week after an amazing festival run!
Here in Newfoundland, we are delighted to hear that Hold Fast, written and produced by WIFT-AT member Rosemary House, is hitting the Cineplex theatres in St. John’s and Halifax starting Friday, Dec 6. I’ve been lucky enough to see this film twice already and it easily invites a third screening.
Hold Fast is a feature film whose themes of freedom and belonging is resonating with audiences around the globe. Directed by Justin Simms, this is a poignant coming-of-age story of Michael, a smart and stubborn 14-year old from the Newfoundland outports whose world is turned upside down when his parents die in a car crash. CBC’s Karen Pauls reported from the Berlin film festival that “Hold Fast… had people both laughing and crying..” Screenings at festivals here in the Atlantic have had packed houses.
When I asked Rosemary how she felt about the release, she said, “I’m thrilled by the success Hold Fast has received internationally; it was amazing to receive the Audience Award in Seoul and to realize our Newfoundland story was resonating with audiences around the world. And now we just want to get the word out to as many people as we can. Come see this great Canadian film!” So we’re helping her do just that. Remember, it’s important to get out to the FIRST weekend of a Canadian film so that other great audiences will get to see it the NEXT weekend!
So play your part and help spread the word too. Success breeds success.
You can find out more about the film, its stars and the creative team behind it here:
Ruth Lawrence is an actor/writer/filmmaker whose most recent film Talus & Scree won the 2012 Linda Joy and 2013 WIFT-AT All Access Pass Award and was screened at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival in October 2013. www.bluepinionfilms.com
Sold Out Show in Charlottetown
The Island Media Arts Co-op screened four Island-made films to an (over) sold-out show in Charlottetown on Nov. 15th called FILMS FROM HERE. The four films screened were those PEI films that were accepted into the Atlantic Film Festival this year.
Queen of the Crows, directed by Harmony Wagner, was the recipient of the 2012 CBC 321 Award and screened at the Atlantic Shorts Gala at the AFF. The film was also recently nominated for Best Canadian Short at the Silver Wave Film Festival.
Island Green, directed by Millefiore Clarkes and produced by Paul McNeill of the National Film Board, is a lyrical documentary contemplating the future of agriculture on PEI with a hopeful question ‘what if we went all-organic?’, and features the poetry of Tanya Davis. Island Green has been invited to screen at a number of conferences across Canada.
No Parking, directed by Justin O’Hanley, is a comedic short that was recently purchased by CBC’s Download and also screened at the Atlantic Shorts Gala at the AFF.
The Crow Agenda, directed by Jason Arsenault and Jeremy Larter, is a humourous look at small-town life through the issue of a giant murder of crows in Charlottetown.
The crowd at the screening was laughing and crying and cheering. The mood was elevated as Islanders reveled in the experience of seeing their own stories on the big screen. Plans are in the works for a regular screening series of the same name.
Just Passing Through – Web Series Success
PEI director Jeremy Larter has struck success with his latest web-series endeavor – Just Passing Through. Just Passing Through was funded by the Independent Production Fund and is a 22min/episode, 7 episode series that follows the hilarious (and oft-times raunchy) antics of two island boys in the big city of Toronto. The first episode alone has reached almost 50,000 hits in three weeks, and has been reviewed in the Globe and Mail. Go to: http://justpassingthrough.ca/ to watch the series.
PEI Pulse is compiled by Millefiore Clarkes. Millefiore is a filmmaker and documentarian from Prince Edward Island. Her work can be viewed online at www.onethousandflowers.tv