Country Focus: Belgium
Genre film: let the right transmedia strategy in
by David González
- The Frontières International Co-Production Market in Brussels is in full swing. After presenting the projects at a pitching session that boosted networking possibilites for every filmmaker involved, the gathering hosted a day dedicated to shedding some light on new opportunities for genre filmmaking. The Transmedia & Genre Narratives panel, presented by the Canada – Wallonia Digital Media Incentive for Multiplatform Projects, and introduced by Wallimage head of CrossMedia and Cineuropa editor-in-chief Domenico La Porta, addressed this subject, pointing out the strategies that could be used in order to make the most of the new models of film marketing and distribution that are being discovered as the digital shift rolls in.
Most notably, Wallimage CrossMedia has been involved in genre and animation projects such as Ari Folman's The Congress [+see also:
film profile], and Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and
Benjamin Renner's Ernest & Célestine [+see also:
interview: Benjamin Renner, Vincent Pa…
film profile], and in the marketing campaigns for Fabrice du Welz's Alleluia [+see also:
interview: Fabrice Du Welz
film profile] (launching the online fanzine Faith, which attracted viewers by publishing making-of content as a brand-new, four-edition magazine) and Jonas Govaerts' Cub [+see also:
film profile]. The latter film, the first Flemish-language horror movie, benefited from an interactive game in which QR codes on posters became traps when scanned, which would lead the user and potential viewer to start playing with them until they got to the rewarding goodies. But the idea behind the game also helped to get the crowdfunding campaign going, under the “Buy a trap, kill a cub” label. Potemkino's Peter de Maegd, the producer of the film, stressed that the strategy they used was a very successful one, leading them not only to get people into theatres to see the movie, but also to get the press to talk about the campaign itself. “We even got to be on the front page of the most important Flemish newspaper, over and above a news item about a terrorist fleeing the country,” continued de Maegd. The momentum the film gained close to its release date was enhanced by its huge visibility on the internet, through exclusive videos on different media outlets and an exhaustive focus on social networks, led by the filmmakers themselves.
The other project featured in the discussion, David Muñoz's Once Upon a Time in Jerusalem – defined by Muñoz himself as “The Life of Brian meets Braindead” – also proved to be an illustrative case study on the topic. The film inspired a video game that rocketed to the top of the lists of the most-played games on platforms such as Steam, even before the film itself was made – in fact, it is looking for financiers at the Frontières market.
Believing that visibility and communication on the internet are now key to the success of the theatrical release of films, Wallimage CrossMedia aims to continue working with projects interested in exploring the new tools that the innovative digital world offers to the film industry. “There are expert transmedia architects now that will help you to define a custom strategy for your project, adapting to every need it may have,” stated La Porta.