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ShAFF – A case study of a full BoomBeam deployment

We started working with ShAFF 2015, you read more about the experience gained with our work with them here.

What started out as a digital tool to help them with a voting process, now provides a near full service film festival organisation platform.

When we first started working with ShAFF, one of the first film festival challenges we wanted to solve, was the “on season” and the “off season”. We were very aware that film festivals come alive during specific period of the year and then quite often their digital platforms and communities aren’t touched again until 10 months later when the process all starts again. We wanted to break this convention, but also support some of the real challenges this can present from an archive point of view. We’ve done this via our reoccurring site functionality, which allows a site to redevelop itself on a year by year basis, bringing forward content it needs from the year before and auto-archiving the content that’s not needed. This has solved an issue with a loss of content depth that happens on a year by year basis as a festival archives its programme from the year before. This in turn allows a festival to stay engaged with their audience throughout the year in a relevant and contextual way. It still takes some effort on your behalf to make this happen…

BoomBeam’s role in delivering the festival now really starts at film submission. We’re currently looking at integration with possible submission platforms such as Film Freeway, to ease this further. Currently film makers can submit a film to festival via a number of cloud storage services and we get involved at the meta data point as a film submitter (director/maker/producer) adds all the details they want to include with their film as they submit it to the festival. This allows us to create an accurate film record for the festival from the off, before any decision has been made to show or not show a film. The film submitter is able to view their film record via a private portal and submit edits for approval, helping them feel more involved in the festival from the off.

These film records are then reviewed by the ShAFF Festival Director and refined down to a “possibly showing” list, this is managed by the system in the admin interface by the Festival Director. Once refined, the suggested list of films can be shared with a Judging Panel, all of whom have specific accounts for their roles within the festival. The judges are able to append their notes to the existing notes on each film to allow them to make their decisions about the awards process. Some of these notes are public notes which are used later.

Once the film selection has been completed, the programme for the online guide should follows quite easily on from this as the film records will have been added to as this process is completed. It might be the some films need images etc. adding as the programme forms. The BoomBeam platform manages this easily via a CMS interface.

The ShAFF team can then publish the Film Programme on the public website. It allows for ticket integration with external third party platforms, as we know every film venue uses a different ticketing system. Films can be made part of reels (if multiple films are shown in a sequence), reels part of screenings (multiple screenings of the same reel) and screenings can be part of events or standalone film events; all of this is managed in the admin system by the ShAFF festival team.

This process gives the team at ShAFF the most comprehensive view of what’s on when at the festival. The festival online programme also incorporates non-film events such as talks, social events and market stalls etc. For a festival visitors point of view the programme is accessible on all devices and updates automatically to tell them what’s on next.

In terms of content now for festival audience members, they’re able to access all of the film records with the added public content that’s come from the festival director and the judging team, which includes recommended alternate films for each film at the festival – it can be overwhelming trying to choose what to watch at the festival.

ShAFF still continue to use the tool that was initially developed, which is the People’s Choice voting tool. This encourages all visitors to the festival to score the films they see through a simple and screening unique interface, this is prompted by a physical ticket with a unique code handed to them as they leave the screening. After they’ve scored the films we can enter them into random prizes draws, giving an incentive to participation and also an opportunity for festival sponsors to getting involved with prizes and awareness, but also potentially drive footfall to any sponsors present at the festival during any prize fulfilment. We also provide the audience member with other tips on films to see based on their film scores from a curated service driven by the Festival Directors insights.

We’re always present at the festival, driving interest in participation at helping create a stronger community spirit at the festival for all audience members. We help the marketing team with a data supply as it’s generated via the admin system, to encourage voting. We’re also able to provide the Festival Director with live data feeds on which film is leading the People’s Choice award.

The user accounts created by audience members can be reactivated the following year, allowing them to remind themselves what they watched last year and what they liked, helping them to make informed decisions about what to see the next year.

Talking to audience members, we’ve received nothing but positive feedback about the voting process, families in particular finding it another layer of involvement and fun for their children to be involved in.

Once the festival is over we can set an end time on the voting, we often find many audience members remember to vote few days later when they find the unique ticket in their pockets, so we give them some time to finish voting. Declaring the People’s Choice winner is a simple score aggregation process and requires no overhead of ticket counting etc. The data collected in this process also provides many other interesting insights into audience likes and dislikes about genres etc shown at the festival.

The site then supports any ongoing event management during the “off season”, before a new occurrence of the site is created for the next year and the archiving of last year’s programme is automatically generated.




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