The program has been devised by Crossover Labs and Sheffield Doc/Fest, with fiscal support from the Skillset Film Skills Fund.
Transmedia workshops and discussion panels are all the rage at US film festivals and their affiliated film institutes, including the likes of New York Film Festival, Sundance and Tribeca, the latter having received a substantial ongoing grant from the Ford Foundation to fund selected transmedia projects).
But Sheffield Doc/Fest was way ahead of the others in pointing out the importance of including transmedia considerations in film projects, and leads the way in its knowledge of and creative approach to transmedia training.
D2D Program Basics
D2D is a comprehensive five-stage program in which participants must be selected to go from one phase to the next.
Stage One kicks off in January, 2012, in London, Sheffield, Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh with half-day regional introductory sessions in the five cities, with up to 20 people participating in each location. After pondering the questions, "What do you need to do to create a project that is built for a new type of audience?" and "How do you get it to them?," participants will introduce their proposed projects Pecha Kucha style, each making their presentations in two minutes and getting feedback for two minutes. Based on the day's discussions and the project presentations, participants will be selected to enter the next stages of the program.
Stage Two is set for February, 2012, in Glasgow, where a two-day creative workshop will train 20 selected participants to keep up with and tap the assets of the quickly changing media world, to discover how to design projects and to develop ideas and concepts that include projected audience engagement from their inception, and how to use new platforms and technologies to fully implement and realize their projects and goals.
Stage Three is also set for February, 2012, where the 20 selected participants plus all those who participated in Stage One attend a two-day Seize The Future Workshop on how to get work seen, and how to target and build a core audience, create social impact, maintain long-term sustainable careers in filmmaking and earn a living in this age of digital media. Transmedia experts Sandi BuBowski and Peter Broderick lead the workshop, which coincides with the Stoke Your Fires Festival in Stoke, England.
Stage Four takes place in March, 2012, in Birmingham, with a two-day market-readiness workshop designed to equip the 20 selected participants to understand how to maximize every element of their transmedia project, including platforms, users, impact goals, money and story, and how to determine to whom they should present their projects-in-development and how to do so.
Stage Five, the culmination of the program, is the D2D Market set to take place during Sheffield Doc/Fest from June 13 to 17, 2012, in Sheffield, with ten selected participants given the opportunity to marshall all of the skills picked up during the program's previous stages to pitch their projects in one-on-one meetings with international funding sources, including foundations, organizational funders, funding experts and consultants in a specially devised version of Sheffield Doc/Fest's MeetMarket.
"We're offering a route to market for those at the cutting edge of production and exhibition and forging a new way for innovative filmmakers to attract investment and get their businesses going outside of traditional funding models and in defiance of the recession and cuts" says Charlie Phillips, Sheffield Doc/Fest's Marketplace Director. D2D is part of a series of training programs developed by Crossover Labs and Sheffield Doc/Fest, each putting in place a unique cross-media developmental process which unites professionals representing different creative disciplines, gathering from across the UK and around the world, to create forward-thinking transmedia projects that have the ability to reach out to new audiences. D2D is funded by the Skillset Film Skills Fund as part of the A Bigger Future 2 Program, seeking to utilize new technologies and digital capabilities to create new business models for filmmakers that can defy the bleak expectations concurrent with economic recession tendencies. The Skillset Film Skills Fund is supported by the National Lottery through the British Film Institute and by the the film industry through the Skills Investment Fund.
The Bottom LineThe overall cost is £210 (about $300), plus tax, covering attendees for, at minimum, Stages 1 (regional introductions) and Stage 3 (Seize The Future). Twenty selected participants will also be able to attend Stages 2 and 4 at not extra cost. Attending Stage 5, the D2D Market at Sheffield Doc/Fest, requires purchase of a delegate pass to Doc/Fest for an additional £150 (about $235), plus tax -- but that's less expensive than the discounted 'early bird' pass (available until November, 2011) that costs £185 (about $290), plus tax. All prices include lunch, tea and coffee, but participants must cover their own travel and accommodations during all stages of the program.
The good news is that you needn't be British to apply for the D2D program. Even better, you don't have to be British to apply for one of the ten grants available to low imcome (proof required) applicants. The application deadline is November 14, 2011. For more information about application and available grants, email Charlie Phillips at Charlie@sidf.co.uk.