2015 INDEPENDENT FILM FEST BOSTON
The inspiration for Independent Film Festival Boston's 2015 campaign came from the introduction on opening night of the previous festival: that filmmaking—a form of storytelling—brings us together into a collective experience. In attending the festival, we are essentially "gathered around the campfire" to share stories of our life experiences and our imaginations.
The glow of fire and film reflect on faces of captivated audiences. (inspiration photos, top: Frontier Bushcraft Wilderness Skills & Adventure; bottom: Pathé Film Company.)
To promote the fun, inclusive character of this festival, our concept invited people to "Gather ’Round" for a week of storytelling in independent films, events, Q&A panels, and parties. We commissioned talented colleague and friend, Karen Kurycki, to create the final illustration and lettering of our design concept.
Subway Posters: In Red Line Stations in Boston and Cambridge.
Lamppost banners hung around the Davis Square neighborhood.
Guests stop in the lobby for a photo. Photo by Barry Nolan.
Lobby poster signed by 2015 festival filmmakers and actors.
Designs for merchandise from t-shirts to campfire mugs sold during the festival.
Our hard working volunteers wearing their easily spotted crew shirts! Photo by Barry Nolan.
1. Gather ’Round Campfire Lounge and Meetup Trailers
Along with campaign material concepts, we presented ideas for in-person events, installations and audience interaction. For the lounge and meetup trailers, we proposed getting an Airstream or VW bus rental donated to promote the upcoming festival, branding it with decal wraps or banners.
We would set up a “campfire site” near various busy spots on nights leading up to opening night. During that time, we’d hand out programs, sell festival badges and memberships, merchandise, and campfire snacks. For festival nights, we'd build barrel fires and set them up at films and/or events with seating around them as beacons for social lounges to keep the communal vibe going between film screenings.
2. DIY StoryCorps
“StoryCorps is a well-known independent non-profit providing people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.”
To be true to the spirit of storytelling that is inherently present in the Gather ’Round theme of this year’s festival, we thought, “why not invite audiences to tell stories, not just watch and listen to those of the filmmakers?”
Utilizing either the StoryCorps DIY app or hosting a StoryCorps event at the festival, we can collect people’s stories and offer the option to post them to the festival site. It engages the community and promotes the underlying meaning of the festival by providing audiences with a participatory, personal experience of storytelling.
3. Exquisite Corpse/Collaborative Stories
“Exquisite corpse is a method by which a contribution of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed.”
We proposed inviting the festival community to participate in an approachable, lo-fi form of collaborative storytelling. We can do this by simply building portable boards at various events and locations for people to build stories through the “exquisite corpse” method or simply share emotions and thoughts around particular themes in this communal forum.