TALLINN: With big multinational content giants increasingly dominating Europe’s audiovisual markets, many wonder in 2017 what the continent has been lacking in order to produce a mighty competitor to the Hollywood studios as well as the big three of of Apple, Google, Amazon and Netflix that have taken the majority of Europe’s viewers.
There are certainly strengths to be mobilised - a large pool of great filmmaking talent, stable public financing structure both into traditional content as well as new forms, significant territories for scaling up the user numbers as well increasingly vibrant start up and entrepreneurship scene that has produced several global success stories. These include Estonian-based fin tech behemoth Transferwise that has revolutionised cross border money transfers with a valuation of 1.1 billon USD, or the Belorussian-made video filter app MSQRD that creates funny masks around the user’s face, which was acquired by Facebook for a whopping 117m USD.
Inevitably one needs to ask why the success within the tech community has not made a crossover to the film and audiovisual sector which boasts a surprising amount of similarities to the startup scene - both are are high concept product driven industries with a focus on quality based teamwork and talent, both require large investments with a high risk ratios and an equally high failure rate, and last but not least - if there will be success, it will be significant.
The answer is the currently slow adoption of Europe’s audiovisual producers and stakeholders to the new dynamic and lean business management and production models that many of Europe’s leading startup’s have internalised not only to stay afloat in the turbulent market conditions, but to give the company a full throttle for rapid growth when the required investments come.
A new joint initiative - Propellor Film Tech Hub - by Berlinale’s European Film Market, the Rotterdam Film Festival, Copenhagen’s CPH Dox and Berlin based consultancy Cinemathon has set out to address this crucial issue by bringing film and and technology leaders together in order to establish discussion points on how Europe’s filmmakers could benefit from the success of the startup and technology sector and innovate together.
The Propellor Speednic - event held in during EFM 2017 brought together 24 key players from the film business and Berlin’s vibrant technology scene for an intensive afternoon brainstorming session to discuss barriers and opportunities for cross sectorial innovation and how knowledge transfer from technology could bring new inspiration and a boost to the film community.
The session produced 11 calls to action to be disseminated:
Propellor’s call for actions will see its first testing at the “Propellor Springboard” - a two day workshop for interdisciplinary teams “to jointly work on ideas that can propel the film industry into the future” held on March 18-19th during Copenhagen’s CPH Dox. The Springboard is the follow up to Propellor’s successful first hackaton session held in Rotterdam that produced concepts for a film curation app dubbed “Tinder for Films” as well as an augmented reality based software enabling users to unfold film-based stories in urban space.
See more on Propellor at: http://www.propellorfilmtech.com/
About the Author: Sten-Kristian Saluveer is festival, film and music producer, technology entrepreneur & media researcher. Along with co-running the industry office at Tallinn Black Nights FF, he consults various governmental and private organisations on European and Asian collaboration, technology and innovation and the impact of technology on the film and media sector.
Sten-Kristian Saluveer was the organiser of the 2016 edition of the European Film Forum conference in partnership with the European Commission in Tallinn within the frames of the Black Nights Industry Days. The event focused on innovation, new technology and the digital single market initiative and other key topics for Europe’s audiovisual industries. Saluveer is an Estonian film and audiovisual media producer, festival manager & programmer, consultant, and film researcher focusing on East-Asian film industries, specifically Japan and South-Korea. He graduated from Concordia International University in Electronic Media and has followed up in Culture Management(Estonian Music Academy) and Japanese Studies (Department of Asian Studies, Tallinn University). Most recently he holds a Master’s Degree from University of Tokyo (Japan) with an awarded thesis on film industry development and international co-productions in Hong Kong, Japan,and South Korea.
Peeter Nieler is an innovator and former film and television producer, developing Virtual Reality technologies. He is a sought-after speaker and - as he calls himself - Venture Catalyst having started already two Virtual Reality companies. Criffin is focused on hardware design and Virtual Neuroscience Lab is researching VR scientifically. His companies already have two technologies in portfolio and some in the pipeline, most important being omnidirectional treadmill for natural locomotion in Virtual Reality.
Jorik Jakubisko is one of the leading European experts in transmedia problematics. He is co-owner of the Prague based Transmedialist which will publish the comic book Bouquet at November (CZ+SK). It is first pillar for transmedia project Czech Grimm.PhD He is student at FSV UK (Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University - Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism) and he writting his doctorate dissertation on Transmedia in context of single European digital market . He also works as a creative partner in Jakubisko Film in Prague together with his mother and father Deana and Juraj Jakubisko.
Agnes Salson graduated from the French cinema school La Fémis and Mikael Arnal, filmmaker, created the project "Tour d’Europe des cinémas", a journey across Europe visiting a hundred cinemas, seeking for innovative ideas and trends for independent cinema exhibition.
Adam Široký is a ventuz designer, data integrator, software developer, VJ XLAB. The Prague based XLAB specializes in 360 degrees video and VR.
Muriel Joly is in charge of business development for Under The Milky Way. She began her career at StudioCanal (Canal + Group) first in the Domestic Home entertainment department, as a product manager (2004-2006) and then as a marketing VP for international Home Entertainment (2006-2009). After 2 years (2010-2011) in consulting, where she became interested in issues of the Video on Demand emerging market, she became in charge of marketing development for Canalplay, the VOD brand of Canal + group.