Author: guiltfreeadmin

No matter how you are feeling about the looming eventuality of Britain leaving the European Union, if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s uncertainty.

We shall try here to discern some possible outcomes and impacts on the media and film industry…

– Firstly, as so many of the consequences are yet to be determined there will undoubtedly be a period of instability. Investment and stocks have already taken a substantial hit – please let us know if you’ve any personal experience of this – but until the terms of our exit are secured we have no way of knowing how warranted this withdrawal of capital will prove to be.

– The enormous funding from Creative Europe/MEDIA will undoubtedly take a massive dent. €100m in funding supplied the UK film industry from the EU between 2007-2013. As with many of these negative points they depend on how well Britain can negotiate new deals, so although we certainly won’t receive anywhere near this amount again, there are other non-EU countries who still benefit from Creative Europe funding and other such initiatives.

– The government will have a blank slate for incentives and film subsidies. Changes to current government initiatives must be approved by the EU and must favour all Europeans equally. Outside the EU, UK tax breaks could revert to prioritising those productions with more British involvement.

MEDIA-Brexit-affect-the-UK-film-industry

– Fewer UK films will be distributed in Europe, and fewer international films will be distributed in the UK.
EU funding supports both the export of British films across the EU and allows productions from other European countries to show here that otherwise would not have the budget to do so.

– Potentially it could become cheaper to shoot in the UK for other countries. A substantially weakened pound could make the UK an attractive place for foreign productions to shoot and bring work, especially as we boast a strong infrastructure and pool of skilled workers in the field. Though this is by no means assured and would arguably be a very slim thin lining to all the other downsides of having a devalued currency.

– British programmes will be harder to sell abroad. This is almost certain, as many countries have quotas which allocate large fixed percentages of their programming for EU-based content.

– Non-involvement in the Digital Single Market, and no UK say in the policy reforms of European TV and film distribution.
This new initiative, though not yet fully put into practice, seeks to create a unified marketplace for businesses trading online, with less barriers and obstacles, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Also improving Europe-wide terms for authors of original content and reformed copyright legislation.

– Independent UK cinemas are likely to take a hit. 56 British independent cinemas receive funding from the EU Europa scheme in exchange for committing 67% of their programming to European productions.

Without wishing to paint an overly-negative picture of the referendum’s outcome, the current forecasts are not looking too rosy, though there is a lot still up for grabs in the UK’s exit negotiations. The abolition of EU law in Britain may also enable the government to lay new ground for the industry, and they will surely wish to preserve that which contributes a substantial £4.6bn to Britain’s GDP.

You may or may not be aware of Google’s foray in the world of virtual reality. ‘Cardboard’ is the tech giant’s commercial equivalent to the Oculus Rift headset, and arguably the descendent of such delightfully daring computer game accessories as the 1991 Sega VR.

SEGAVIRTUALREALITY

The instrument itself however is simply a foldable cardboard lens rig to fit your smartphone and costs around £5 – approximately 1% of its gaming-focused equivalent. Unlike the Oculus Rift however, Cardboard’s content is not reserved solely for high-budget game developers; anyone who can source the required equipment and programming expertise can create content for the platform.

CARDBOARD

Games and apps are admittedly fairly basic, although fun-looking! – being powered by a smartphone limits how you can interact with what you’re viewing, but 360° videos are shot using an array of 16 circle-mounted cameras such as the GoPro Odyssey. These videos are viewable on computers as a sort of live action Google Maps and so far mainly seem to be used as such. A few people have made music videos in this format such as the live video of Bastille below – impressively fluid despite the bafflingly terrible sound. (Steer clear of the Avicii offering)

Although still in it’s infancy, this technology has been around long enough now to be taken seriously as a new media form and we’ve already heard of ad agencies getting stuck in to experiments with these immersive experiences. The most exciting news for us was this week’s announcement that Cardboard will now support spatial audio.

From Google’s blog:

Many apps create simple versions of spatial audio—by playing sounds from the left and right in separate speakers. But with today’s SDK [software development kits] updates, your app can produce sound the same way humans actually hear it. For example:

The SDK combines the physiology of a listener’s head with the positions of virtual sound sources to determine what users hear. For example: sounds that come from the right will reach a user’s left ear with a slight delay, and with fewer high frequency elements (which are normally dampened by the skull).
The SDK lets you specify the size and material of your virtual environment, both of which contribute to the quality of a given sound. So you can make a conversation in a tight spaceship sound very different than one in a large, underground (and still virtual) cave.

How common this hardware will be in households still remains to be seen, but what can be said for sure is that the possibilities for creators of 360° content are increasing rapidly and the application of these innovations undoubtedly holds immense creative potential.
You could get gloriously carried away with ideas for this. Suggestions anyone?

GF x

ogilvy21

When he realised he hated that he started selling cookers door-to-door. Let me just reiterate that: one of the most successful advertising geniuses of the modern age was a traveling salesman.

He was so good at it that his employer asked him to write an instruction manual. Thirty years later, Fortune magazine editors called it the finest sales instruction manual ever written.
Here is that manual:

“THE PERFECT AGA SALESMAN COMBINES THE TENACITY OF THE BULLDOG WITH THE MANNERS OF THE SPANIEL”.
An AGA Cooker Sales Training Manual
FOREWARD
We may divide modern industry into three interdependent parts: design, manufacture, and selling. The Aga, designed by Dr. Dalen and manufactured by master English steel and iron founders, demands a high standard of selling.
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TidalGFJay-Z has finally unveiled Tidal – a premium ‘HiFi’ audio service that apparently provides ‘the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial’.

The brand-spanking new service – owned by Alicia Keys, Win Butler, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Jack White, Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, J. Cole, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Niki Minaj, Rihanna, Taylor Swift & Usher – already offers more than 25 million songs and 75,000 music videos to more than half a million subscribers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland.

In light of so much negative press for it’s main competitor ‘Spotify’, it can certainly be seen a kind of revolt by some of the world’s most-successful artists.
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filmspost

Behold – some of this year’s best upcoming releases:

The Revenant

Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).
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sohosquare

We at Guilt Free have our roots firmly planted in Soho, the company was born here and it’s where we do all our business. We’re not only convenient for the neighbouring companies we work with, we’re nestled in the creative hub of one of the best cities in the world.

Being in the heart of W1 is a huge part of our identity – whether we’re walking out of the studio doors across to the historic French House pub, or popping over to the Algerian Coffee Store for our daily caffeine consignment. Not to mention the food stalls on Berwick St, without which our lives would be a bland blur of Pret sarnies.
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bbc

As you may be aware that the BBC’s yoof channel, 11 year old BBC Three will cease from terrestrial broadcasts this year in the corporation’s bid to slash £100 million from expenditure.

Itself a rebranding of what was originally BBC Choice, the channel has struggled to be taken seriously despite its early success in launching seminal comedy serials such as The Mighty Boosh and Gavin and Stacey. Aside from safe bets like nightly reruns of early Family Guys, the channel has taken to fleshing out the schedule with such sensations as ‘Snog, Marry, Avoid’ ‘Hotel of Mum and Dad’ ‘Invasion of the Job Snatchers’ and ‘Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents’.

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sony

Sony this week announced their latest modernisation of the ‘Walkman’ brand of personal music players. The well-established trademark is remembered by most as a tape player but has undergone decades of revamps and renovation.

The original Walkman was released in Japan in 1979 for ¥33,000 … at the time almost $400 USD

The new 2015 ‘NWZ-ZX2′ boasts super high-res audio capabilities, allowing it to play studio master quality 24bit/192kHz files but interestingly using Sony’s ‘S-Master HX’ digital amplifier and DSEE HX audio processing can also upscale CD and mp3 files to what Sony claims is ‘near Hi-Res quality’. A bold declaration indeed.

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livevicenews

Journalism phenomenon and mavericks of media Vice have plunged a finger into yet another publishing pie, by teaming up with live entertainment company LiveNation.

An early issue of Vice magazine
From its humble beginnings as a printed Montreal periodical about ‘the things we’re ashamed of’ (mainly sex and heroin at the time), Vice has gone from strength to strength. The company now has 2 major TV series, a publishing arm, an array of online sites and in the last 10 years has bought up Brooklyn digital agency Carrot Creative, i-D fashion magazine, and – bizarrely – The Old Blue Last pub in Shoreditch.
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tomthorn

Last week Thom Yorke sprung his second solo album on an unsuspecting public. The prolific Radiohead singer revealed a characteristically twitchy video for lead single ‘A Brain in a Bottle’ and released the album ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ via peer-to-peer file sharing protocol BitTorrent, for a small cost of 6 US$.

BitTorrent is commonly associated with the illegal distribution of pirated copyright material, but this album, the company’s first ‘pay-gated bundle’, marks their intent to shake this image. It claims to have no control over what people share via its networks, and is actively working with artists to instigate fresh distribution models that can bypass the ‘self elected gatekeepers’ of digital music (as Yorke calls the
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