Marketing Intern (Flat packed)

Three weeks have passed since Rachael Yardley first hung up her coat in the Custard Factory as the new Marketing Intern with Flatpack Projects. Where to begin?

Flatpack HQ
Flatpack HQ

A bit of context

Flatpack Film Festival will be celebrating its tenth year next year, 18 – 24th April 2016, and the Festival has a great story behind it. Flatpack grew from a weekly film night held in the Rainbow pub in Digbeth that went by the name of 7 Inch cinema. Now Flatpack Projects puts on a yearly festival around Easter time as well as various events throughout the year. But the great thing about Flatpack is that it has never lost that 7 Inch spirit. Indeed, reminders of Flatpack’s roots can be seen all around the office.

Office adornment from the cinema tent at Shambala Festival
Office adornment from the cinema tent at Shambala Festival

Flatpack is loved for, and prides itself on its eclecticism. Not only concerned with showing varied films (although it certainly does that) this diversity extends to media shown and venues chosen, which have included anywhere from historic houses to buses. Next year is no exception, as a venue of the inflatable variety is in the works – check out Flatpack’s Instagram account for a sneak preview. Films and such are often chosen because of their sheer brilliance, or because they previously have not been given the deserved attention, either in Birmingham or full stop. But it’s about more than films and venues. Flatpack is all about experience; the chance to see something funny, moving or perception-altering, and chatting about that experience over a beer afterwards.

Internship so far

It is this ‘essence of Flatpack’ that I have been familiarising myself with over the last three weeks. I have had the chance to soak up all the filmy vibes, whether by pestering the programmer for film recommendations – which have included Tomorrow Is Always Too Long, a unique, beautiful film that appeared in last year’s festival – or borrowing from the in-office library of film literature.

Tomorrow is Always Too Long, 2014 (dir. Phil Collins)
Tomorrow is Always Too Long, 2014 (dir. Phil Collins)

It has not all been film-watching and book-reading though. My internship with Flatpack is as Marketing Assistant, a role which I am very keen to pursue in the arts sector and one which in my career so far I have limited experience of. I have had a wide range of responsibilities already, from promoting events through the website and social media, to writing copy for the monthly mail out. I have been doing festival prep in terms of scoping out venues, partnerships, and gathering quotes for Flatpack 10’s shiny new brochure. I have learnt how to use new platforms, learnt more about the inner workings of Flatpack, and most importantly had the opportunity to think creatively.

Flatpack year round

As for the festival itself, it’s in its very early stages. But Flatpack does not stop at the festival. I have written copy for some events that are a part of the Celluloid City project, and will be working at these events later this month. Flatpack have also teamed up with Creative England to run Talent Modules for filmmakers in the Midlands, and I recently attended part of one of the sessions, which included a screening of Jeanie Finlay’s superb film Orion: The Man Who Would Be King.

There are a number of exciting things afoot at the Flatpack office, and I have been eavesdropping with a vengeance. Attending sessions and meetings has meant I have met loads of new people and learnt about the festival network in Birmingham as well as the enormous variety of cultural happenings that Birmingham and the Midlands have to offer. It’s always fantastic being part of a talented, creative team and working with people who are passionate about what they do. To top it all off the Custard Factory is a wonderful place to stroll into each morning – from the graffiti covered outer walls to the old posters in the bathrooms…

Custard Factory bathroom posters
Custard Factory bathroom posters
Custard Factory bathroom posters
Custard Factory bathroom posters

All in all, it’s been a wonderful internship so far, and as the festival develops it can only get better!

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