The six-day creative academy and networking platform Talent Campus, is a grossly popular (in an almost impossible-to-get-tickets-for kind of way) Berlinale offshoot.This year, its ninth, saw 350 young filmmaking talents from no less than 88 countries descend upon the riverside Hebbel Am Ufer Theatre to absorb the wisdoms and insights of veteran superstars like Harry Belafonte and Isabella Rossellini as well as leading lights from the transformative industry side of things, including Arté TV’s interactive storytelling pioneer Michel Reilhac, Power to Pixel founder Liz Rosenthal and German national treasure/3D explorer Wim Wenders.
Fostering an air of caring/sharing congeniality with daily Rise & Shine Breakfasts, special-interest workshops and master-classes amid the groovy '70s halls of the Hebbel theatre complex, the fervent energy of excited youth meeting their filmmaking idols, adds a valuable creative dynamic to the regular upmarket humdrum over at festival hub Postdamer Platz.
Each year, Talent Campus gives way to ever more innovative international and cross-genre collaborations, offering the world’s filmmaking diamonds-in-the-rough unprecedented opportunities to hone their talents, sharpen their skills and get the freshest low-down on how to create and distribute moving image in the digital age.
Among the maelstrom of lectures, panel discussions, and stars-in-the-limelight sessions addressing the burning questions at the core of filmmaking today, I took the opportunity to humour my personal fixation with cross-media, and zoomed in on Storytelling Expanded - a strand of Campus that addresses the future of cinema, with a specific focus on the impact of new technologies to transcend linear film and create stories that migrate across multiple platforms, engaging the transforming expectations of today’s attention-deficient audiences.
As we all know, our old buddy internet is radically changing the way we tell and share stories, as audiences become active participants in experiencing content, superseding the passive consumers of yesteryear. Immersion and interaction are the new standard for fiction and documentary media productions alike, but with the liberating/baffling blank slate of cross-media storytelling, where do we draw the line with the multitude of production and distribution tools available?
The answer, according to the Campus experts, lies first and foremost with the story (plus ça change!), followed swiftly by selecting the right tools and platforms for the project in question. Allow me to boil it down as follows: what is the story you want to tell, and how best can you manipulate the available technology to tell it to the people you want to reach?
Cross-media: it’s a cinch!
PS you can read full transcripts of selected Talent Campus talks here soon.
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