DAILY NEWS Feb 12, 2024 6:37 AM - 0 comments

Film and TV Producers Turn into Digital Storypreneurs

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    A new online course that looks at changing business realites in film and television, and the emerging strategies for success in an online media marketplace, has been developed in Canada, and is being marketed around the world.

    Becoming a Storypreneur: Digital Marketing for Screen Media was developed by Annelise Larson, who has been teaching digital marketing skills to filmmakers and other storytellers since, as she puts it, the Internet got fast enough to carry an effective video signal. She's also currently working on a variety of screen media projects across the country and is developing a course in digital story extensions for TV series with the National Screen Institute of Canada.

    While she lived and worked almost 20 years in Vancouver, Larson returned to Saskatchewan just before the cancellation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit in 2024. “It has been a challenge,” she acknowledges, “but there are exciting things happening here. People are open to new ways of approaching their storytelling businesses, because they have to be.”

    “These skills and knowledge are needed no matter where you are based. Universally, storytellers need to move beyond the ‘my job is just to tell a good story’ mentality where they hand over the business reins to someone else, to a place where they deeply understand their audience and have a solid plan for reaching and engaging them online.”

    “We’re very proud this course is hailing from Saskatchewan,” says Vanessa Bonk, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Media Production Industry Association, which along with Telefilm Canada and Creative BC has provided bursaries for participants. “We are in the process of rebuilding our industry and recognize digital is an important part of the future. To have someone of Annelise’s calibre based here and able to reach an international market like this proves the power of digital platforms.”

    “Annelise turned my thinking completely on its head,” says Dawn Bird, a Saskatchewan producer of the award-winning feature Bread Thieves who participated in the first cohort. Marc Almon, Nova Scotian producer of the indie hit Blackbird further noted, “I know digital is the future for these kinds of projects. My team feels much more confident in the plans we are making.” While Alyson Richards, Ontario producer of the TIFF success story Guidance says, “I learned a lot from Annelise, but also from all the other participants. You don’t often get that kind of access. It multiplied what I learned many times over.”

    Becoming a Storypreneur is currently taking applications for Cohort 2 from now until March 16, 2024:


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