Evolving Audiences: Cinematic Futures
Guest Blog: Irish Industry Trust Presentation and Screening Day, Dublin 2019.
On February 12, 2019, the Irish Industry Trust for IP Awareness hosted its first Presentation and Screenings Day at the Odeon Cinema Point Square, Dublin. After a busy and successful 12 months Chairman Dave Burke and I decided that it was time to create an opportunity to showcase our activities to an audience of film exhibitors, supporters, influencers and industry insiders with whom we felt a kinship and connection that could be built upon.
The Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness is the film and TV industry’s consumer education body, promoting the value of copyright and creativity. Our aim is to increase interaction and use of legal service providers through consumer education interactions and outputs.
It was my pleasure to open the day with a showreel of some recent Moments Worth Paying For campaigns. These campaigns showcase the amount of talent and time it takes to make a movie and 2018 saw a top-notch slate of studio partnerships and some spectacular talent (Chris Pratt, Sandra Bullock, James Cameron) speaking directly to our audiences inspiring them to see films in their natural habitat – the cinema. Over 3million Irish people annually see these campaigns and statistics have shown that they do drive behavioural change to reduce impact of copyright infringement.
We were extremely fortunate to have two excellent keynote speakers in Liz Bales CEO of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness and Stan McCoy, President and MD of Motion Picture Association (MPA) EMEA. This made the event a ‘must attend’. Both Liz and Stan spoke to the challenges of piracy; Liz confirming that infringers are often avid moviegoers, consuming content at a high rate – and a high percentage of them with a great love of cinema. Stan outlined the various actions being taken by the MPA to combat piracy in Ireland and at global level and confirming that this is work that continues each day.
The Irish Trust has established a strong partnership with the MPA and in 2018 collaborated on a series of online campaigns #imakemovies, that focused on telling the behind the scenes stories of those working in the industry and their passion for their jobs. We were honoured to have Stan launch the latest MPA/LOVEMOVIES.IE #imakemovies campaign featuring 2019 Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon.
Evolving Audiences: Cinematic Futures was the title of our lively panel discussion moderated by Derek O’Connor Editor of RTE Culture.ie. Derek maintained a well-paced and extremely informative discussion between the panelists, which consisted of Stan and Liz, and Mark Anderson, Owner of Omniplex Cinemas and Dr Eileen Culloty, Dublin City University lecturer of Future Media and Journalism. The focus of the panel provoked some interesting thought pieces – who is pirating film, the threat of the set top box, what initiatives are taking place to change behaviours – and that change will take time, with communication and collaboration at the center of success.
Eileen built on points made by Liz in her presentation confirming the youth market is not troubled by where their content comes from and does not feel this is their concern. The industry will need to work harder to find ways to engage with these audiences and guide them to legitimate content. Site-blocking, educating and engaging with advertisers are very positive steps forward.
The take-away from the panel is that as an industry we must be open to the evolution of our audiences – or take our chances with the consequences. Although debate was heated the post-match analysis revealed agreements on more collaborative approaches.
All this activity was punctuated with Sizzle Reels and presentations from Irish Trust Members Sony, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros and finished with an exclusive screening of The Sisters Brothers from Universal Pictures. When we get the chance to be together in the company of cinema owners it is good to remind ourselves of the great cinematic experiences. The day reminded us just how much we love being part of the 18,000 working in film and film related industries in Ireland today.
The landscape of the piracy conversation has changed since I started working with the Irish Trust 5 years ago and there is a constant stream of work to be done overall. Chairman Dave Burke summed up the proceedings be stating that ‘We are better when we work together’. February 12th at the Odeon felt like the start of an important new chapter for the Irish Trust, and we are already planning 2020.