PLATFORMS | MARCH 2015
Supported by Creative Skillset
November 2014 – March 2015
Lighthouse, Brighton, UK
Lighthouse studio programme Platforms brings together creative practitioners from the fields of film, art, design, music, technology, games and more, to develop and produce their own projects – ones that use online platforms to collaborate with peers or communities of interest, to raise funds, or build an audience, to distribute work or sell products. A diverse range of creatives from Kickstarter to Vimeo, Shapeways to Twitch, will learn how to thrive on digital platforms, through a structured programme of workshops, project development and peer-to-peer support.
In all areas of creative practice, the skills needed to produce work and find an audience are constantly shifting, driven by evolving technology and audience behaviour. New forms are emerging, and there is ever greater movement between fields such as film, games, design, music and art.
Arguably the most disruptive innovation in the creative industries today is the rise of online platforms: websites, online services and mobile apps that allow creators and audiences to connect in many new ways. They include platforms for audiences to discover and share work; platforms to exhibit and distribute through social networks; platforms for communities of fans to fund the production of new work; and platforms for audiences and practitioners to collaborate together, redefining the relationship between producer and consumer.
Platforms is a response to these challenges and opportunities: a programme designed to equip creative practitioners with the new skills needed to thrive in this world. Run within our interdisciplinary studio, it takes the form of a shared residency period that blends core skills workshops delivered by experts in the field with peer-to-peer learning, and culminates in an open Lab and accompanying online resource that shares the learning with a wider audience.
Platforms is run by Lighthouse, and the scheme is supported by Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund, which is funded by the BFI with National Lottery funds, through the Skills Investment Fund.
We’re thrilled to welcome four projects to the Platforms programme from a diverse range of disciplines. Our residents are:
Elhum Shakerifar and May Abdalla – Cold Rush
Neil Cargil & Simon James – Akiha Den Den
Sophie Giblin – Nice To Meet You
Sophie Lucas – From the Plantation to the Penitentiary: Maintaining The Slave Trade in Obama’s America
Lighthouse Studio brings creative practitioners together to work in a collaborative research, production and audience-facing environment. It is driven by three main principles:
Web first: We seek to work with practitioners who use the web as a primary medium, for production, collaboration, audience development, distribution or sales.
Cross-discipline: We consistently see greater innovation and creativity in environments where practitioners from different disciplines mix and work together. While we don’t force collaborations, we do aim to foster an environment of peer support.
Sharing the process: The studio supports and shares the process of making, as much as the finished product.
The Platforms Programme
Platforms is a semi-structured, part-time, shared residency programme at Lighthouse in Brighton, UK, running November 2014 – March 2015.
We programme some activities, talks and workshops for the participants, and sometimes for a wider audience. We also have some regular, scheduled times for progress reviews, peer critiques, show-and-tells, and other informal peer support sessions. The remainder of the time residents are free to work on their own projects.
The structured parts of the programme take about 2 days of every fortnight. For these two days, the residents are expected to be at Lighthouse in Brighton. The rest of the time, they are able to spend here, subject to discussion, or can choose to work elsewhere. During this time, they are free to develop their project, and explore the possibilities for collaboration with other participants.
Confirmed workshop leaders
We’ve just announced our first workshop leaders, who are working with us to deliver some of the key workshops in the programme. They’re all leaders in their fields, experienced teachers, and creators themselves, and we’re very excited to be working with them. They are:
John founded Smithery in 2011, on the principle of making things people want. He’s worked as a teacher, a consultant and a maker. He’ll be leading our opening session on audience.
Matt is the founder of Storythings, a studio that develops new ways to tell stories. He’s creator of the inspiring The Story conference, and the forthcoming The Money, about hybrid funding models for culture. He’s going to be running our session on – no surprises – telling your story.
Chris helps arts organisation use digital technology. His blog is a goldmine for practical advice on how to use the web. He’ll be leading our hands-on session on tools and techniques for promoting your creative project online.
Further workshop leaders and speakers to be announced. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest, or keep an eye on this page.
Planned programme content
All programme times and content are subject to change, as we confirm workshops. Our current plan for content is as follows:
w/c 24 Nov: Orientation and planning
Introduction to the programme, to the Lighthouse team and building, and to other participants.
Participants share their projects and expertise.
Working as a group, we will identify the opportunities and challenges for each project.
Each project will develop an action plan and establish key milestones and targets.
w/c 1 Dec: Audience Insight and community engagement
Understanding who your audience is, what their interests are and how to engage them, what incentives/rewards might work, how to create ambassadors/champions.
Research tools and methods: lightweight research, data analysis, tracking tools etc.
Using audience insight in project development.
Network development, from immediate fans, to institutions, influencers and decision-makers.
w/c 8 Dec: [Week off / project development]
w/c 15 Dec: Pitching and storytelling, Co-creation
Sharing a compelling story about yourself, your project, and the process of making.
Using audience data to inform stories, testing stories.
Collaborating with your community.
Open licensing and IP models.
w/c 22 Dec, 29 Dec, 5 Jan: [Break for Christmas]
w/c 12 Jan: Creating assets
Project videos, trailers, photo stills, product shots.
Interviews and video/audio diaries.
Blogging, updates and ongoing dialogue with your audience.
w/c 19 Jan: [Week off / project development]
w/c 26 Jan: Online campaigns and promotion
Using social media collaboratively.
Tactical communications: campaign planning and execution.
Press and PR.
w/c 2 Feb: [Week off / project development]
w/c 9 Feb: [Break]
w/c 16 Feb: Preparation for public lab
w/c 23 Feb: [Break]
w/c 2 Mar: Delivery of lab and reflection
Sharing of participants’ projects and learning outcomes through a public lab event.
Reflection and evaluation of the programme.
In addition to these workshops and talks, we will hold group peer review sessions, where we can support participants, and also informal workshops led by programme participants (see ‘What we ask of participants’ below).
Platforms is not just a training programme, it’s part of the studio. While some of the time is programmed, we encourage participants to work together and with us in whatever ways are mutually beneficial, either during the timetabled activities, or in the ‘free time’ around them.
Lighthouse studio residents are able to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the Lighthouse team, with other participants, and with our wider network of creative collaborators.
We’re always looking for ways to share the work of the studio with our local network through live events at Lighthouse (see past events), and more widely through online activity, and to develop projects that can take place after this programme is over.
Several past studio residents have gone on to carry out funded projects with Lighthouse, or work with fellow residents after their residency.
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