The National Film & Television School staged a hybrid end-of-year pitch presentation for executives and producers completing its film business training and leadership skills development programme.
The National Film & Television School (NFTS) runs the international film industry development programme ‘Inside Pictures’ for executives and producers.
In 2021, it had 20 participants from across the UK, Europe, Australia, and the US. Comprised of three intensive one-week modules and a tailored project beginning in June 2021 through to January 2022, the final presentations would usually see participants and judges get together at the Vue cinema in Piccadilly to assess the work and conclude the course.
Due to the pandemic, in 2020 the course finale was run entirely online, making it important to the NFTS that this year’s delivery accommodated both in-person and remote guests.
Project pitch presentations needed to be delivered to revered industry executives including investors, legal and business representatives, sales, marketing and distribution professionals.
Turning the event on its head, 10 presentations, each given by pairs of presenters were delivered in three different ways to the panel, who were mostly seated in the Vue Piccadilly cinema, with some also appearing remotely.
Eight destinations including New York, Paris, Berlin, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Finland and London were brought together with presenters and judges on screen, in-person, a mixture of the two and remotely. The pitches took place over Zoom with each location seeing the requisite screen at the appropriate time.
It was streamed over production company AP Events’ 4G-bonded link following a day of rehearsals with presenters, PowerPoint presentations, keynotes, VTs and cameras, plus a chairperson for Q&As. AP brought in Black Magic Design’s Atem mini pro’s, cinema pocket cameras, a Yamaha QL1 mixing desk and six laptops for the job.
With many aspects to co-ordinate, it was imperative everyone knew their cue and understood the etiquette of being on-screen in order to ensure that everyone – present and remote – felt included and connected to the event, thus implementing an understanding of broadcasting was paramount.
Darren, MD of AP Events said: “With these kinds of events and many different aspects to coordinate it is imperative that there is plenty of time for rehearsals. It may increase the venue and AV costs, but it is essential. Planning is vital, questioning and more planning on top, plus keeping an open mind to the possibilities. A stable 4G connection or venue wifi is of course an absolute must and the first question that should be asked.”
From an organiser’s perspective, Corinne Ranaraja from Inside Pictures said “The more one understands about the technical aspect the better to be able to manage guests’ expectations on how the event will be delivered. Zoom etiquette and how to behave is also necessary as people can forget they’re being looked at, making for some interesting viewing! It’s also a good idea to have a chairperson to host questions and bring the remote guests into the room so that everyone feels connected and part of the event. Marrying the online and in-person experience is new territory and needs consideration, planning and scripting.”
Corinne finished by saying: “The event went amazingly well and without a hitch. We received many compliments from panellists and participants alike. We always use Vue for this event, but this was a step-up from what we usually deliver. We were really impressed with Darren’s team and Vue’s ability to accommodate and flex to our needs. We are very grateful to AP and Vue for making this a real day to remember for all the right reasons.”