Dots & Loops at Flatpack

Cultural Intern Oli McCall updates us with tales from the Flatpack Film Festival office…

I can’t believe it is now nearly a month since all of us 2014 cultural interns began our placements! I feel as though I’ve fallen into some sort of time warp since starting my placement with Flatpack, where I’ve already been getting stuck in with a whole range of different projects with the team, in the lead-up to the next festival in March. I still feel lucky trotting up to the Custard Factory for work each morning (although if it carries on raining that might be dampened somewhat) and I’m enjoying being at the heart of all that’s going on in Digbeth.

Shortly after starting my placement I got to help with my first Flatpack event, Dots & Loops at the Oobleck. It was a nice introduction to what Flatpack is all about at its core – a cosy pop up screening in a non-cinema venue (with sweets). After an afternoon spent wrangling enough chairs from across the Custard Factory and some venue dressing I helped to run the busy box office and then got to settle in myself to watch the films. Most of the shorts in the evening’s programme were prize winning submissions from the last Festival, including the powerful Emergency Calls, the beautiful Eager and so much more. Animators Peter Millard and Ben Cady were on hand for a quick Q&A.

Since Dots & Loops I’ve been able to join in with a couple of other Flatpack events, and I’m looking forward to helping out at Silent Night III later this month. My day-to-day work at Flatpack HQ has been really enjoyable so far, and I’ve been able to assist the team with a range of Marketing projects, including managing mailing lists (less exciting, though necessary) and writing website blog posts and news mail outs. I’ve also been tasked with selling advertising space in the brochure for the next festival, and I have been liaising with various partners to help maintain relationships, all of which has given me insights into business that are completely new to me.

For the next festival, Flatpack is getting a bit of a makeover, with new branding and colours and an updated website, and I’ve been able to contribute to the design process. At the end of last week the first batch of new festival flyers arrived at the office, which was an exciting landmark moment in the festival count down! As Christmas draws near I’m looking forward to helping to Market the festival across Birmingham, and I’m already starting to view the city centre as Flatpack’s shop window.

In the last few weeks I’ve learnt a lot about the community of festivals in Birmingham, met lots of new people and picked up new skills, so I’d say it’s been a successful placement so far!


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