Inside Encounters #3- IdeasTap: Road Map

Photo by Anne Oswald

After a busy festival week the first association with the word ‘spa’ could probably be a massage (and wouldn’t that be lovely!), but in fact, IdeasTap provides a kind of spa for your brain. One of their amazing treatments was on the Encounters programme under the name IdeasTap: Industry Road Map.

IdeasTap is a charitable trust that started from one man’s vision to create a safety net for young creatives as they navigate their route to success. It is one thing to get financial support from an organisation like IdeasTap, but sometimes a good word of advice is even better. The award-winning panel hosted by Laura McFarlane and Will Davies (IdeasTap) consisted of director Rob Savage (Strings), producer Gavin Humphries (Quark Films), acquisitions consultant Henry Beattie (Transmission Films) and Madeleine Probst (Programme Developer at Watershed).

Some of the points that came up during the discussion seem obvious by now: it is not possible to overrate the power of networking, collaboration and hard work. Gavin Humphries said that it is normal for him to be working every day of the week, from Monday to Sunday. The four film industry experts gave surprisingly frank insights to the field and we see once again, that at the end of the day, people are just people. Their advice is as follows:

Follow your instincts: The key talent according to all the experts is to have the guts to trust your own instincts and to focus on what you are best at. Folks from the arts tend to come from versatile backgrounds and being able to identify transferable skills from your previous experiences (whatever they might be) is crucial for realising your aspirations.

Reach out: It was a real eye-opener to find out that none of these people considered an impeccable CV to be the most important factor in breaking into the industry. Instead, they would love to see your work! So when you do get in touch with the ‘Big Fish’, have some examples of your previous work ready

Nail the pitch: When a contact has been made, be prepared to provide several ideas. They might like you, but not your first idea. This can work both ways: don’t be afraid to ask what the organisation is looking for. Scan the little logos at the end of the titles of your favourite films and try contacting those sponsors. “It is a good trick to mention in the email that you aim for the same style as the work they have supported before,” says Madeleine Probst.

By Emilie Toomela