We took up this year’s task of organising The True Lies Festival. We had a considerably smaller group than last year but rose to the challenge. We all had a great time and ended up with a fantastic result!
Clockwise from left: Sam Moore, Oli Cameron, Aaron Blatt, Luke Herlihy, Emily Chilton, Anna Wilson
We decided to host the festival on the second last week of classes. This not only gave the movie teams time to complete their projects but also capped off the semester on a high note. Thursday the 2nd of October was the date of choice.
We looked at a number of venues to host the festival. These included Rialto Cinema, The Metro, The Academy Theatre, and The Terrace Bar. The main disadvantages of these options included the cost of hiring the venue, having to provide our own seatng and not being able to provide live entertainment for after the screenings.
We settled on The Backstage, one of Dunedin’s premier live music venues located on Bath street, behind The Octagon. It’s capacity is 400 people but with an event like True Lies Festival 2008 a comfortable number to cater for was between 200 and 250. A meeting was held with Darryl Horne, the owner of The Backstage, on Tuesday 29th July at 1pm. A number of questions were asked regarding venue hire, drink prices, judging and sponsorship. He was more than happy to judge for us again.
The set-up: View from the sound desk
We were lucky enough to secure a primary monetary sponsor early into the planning of the festival. Phil Thomson, a fellow student and friend of one of the event team members generously agreed to donate $1,000 for us to put towards major costs, such as projector/screen hire, food and beverages. Phil enjoyed the night thoroughly and has decided to sponsor the TrueLies festival again in 2009.
Our expenses were as follows:
Projector and screen hire: $400
With the $1,000 from Phil, we were confident that we could make the extra money needed from ticket sales.
When deciding on businesses to approach for prize sponsorship, we chose a range of business types (food, movies, music, technology, etc) and selected what we felt were the ‘top’ businesses in the field. We made a sponsors’ brochure containing information on what the festival was about, what the sponsors would get out of it and what we needed from them to make the night successful. The majority of the businesses we approached were really keen to help out, as some had sponsored the event in 2007. We ended up with a total of seven prize sponsors: Custom Print, Velvet Burger, Radio 1, Real Groovy, Rialto, Student IT, and University Bookshop. These generous businesses, along with Phil Thomson, The Backstage and the Design Studies Department helped make the night a success.
The assignment brief was to create short hoax movies to be shown at the True Lies Festival. We wanted to capture this theme strongly through the advertising. The man on the moon conspiracy formed the main theme. Our main visual coordinator, Aaron Blatt created a scene with a space man standing in front of a backdrop. The imagery was used on all promotional media including posters, tickets and flyers. Two flyers drops were made around the university including placements in local businesses. All sponsors received VIP tickets and they happily displayed the posters in their windows. A digital flyer was sent with further information to staff and students of the Design Studies department, and a Facebook event page was set up.
When Darryl met Thomas
For the night we sought out a range of judges from a wide variety of backgrounds. We initially asked the judges from the 2007 True Lies Festival to return, but several had other commitments on that night. We confirmed a panel consisting of: Nick Laird from the Design Studies Department; Trevor Coleman from the Music Department; Aaron Hawkins from Radio 1; and Darryl Horne from The Backstage. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Trevor and Nick were unavailable on the night and so we got a ring-in judge, Thomas Bley, another lecturer from the Design Studies Department. We went with just the three adjudicators, which proved more than adequate. The judges found the quality of the films outstanding, and found it tough with the top three films being only separated by 4 points. In the end the Overall Award went to Half Becca, with Deano Fanshaw taking out the People’s Choice Award.
The providers of the funky tunes
We designed the night so that there was a real flow to hold the audiences attention, making the night a success for both the Design Studies department and The Backstage. We began by opening the doors at 7pm, selling tickets, handing out brain wave blockers (tin foil hats) and the promise of a good night. The screenings kicked off at 7:45pm with some moon landing conspiracy animations and a couple of musical numbers courtesy of Oli and Luke from the Events Team. The musical numbers continued with a small introduction parody before each film shown. Tables were littered with traditional movie munchies such as pop-corn, chips and dip, pretzels, and candy. It may have been the food and drink which softened the audience, but the reception of the films was top notch with laughs and loud applause ringing out through The Backstage. There was a short intermission for people to fill their drinks and then the second half ensued with much of the same. The screenings finished with the judges decision being announced and the People’s Choice Award being decided through audience appreciation. A few kind words were spoken by Ralf, Scott and Alex. What followed can only be described as an aural feast, and the audience was hungry. The launch of Oleh’s E.P. ‘Capturing The Uncatchable,’ was a fantastic continuation of an already great night. Lecturers and students alike were found grooving to the heady beats played by Oli Cameron and his all star ensemble. The rest is history…
One recommendation we would make as the events team would be to have this paper in the first semester, because the whole process of making the films and creating the night produced quite a tight-knit class. This way the project for the second semester would generate better results because everyone would be familiar with how others work and it would be more fun working with people you already know really well.