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2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011 is open for applications

2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011, a ground-breaking music video competition taking place in Sheffield which randomly matches filmmakers with musicians to collaborate to create a music video, from start to finish, in just two weeks, is now open for applications.

Organised by the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network (SYFN), the competition – in its fifth year – invites competitors to make their new films, in preparation for a Gala Competition Screening of all the work in late May/early June 2011 at the Showroom Cinema.

Dr Rob Speranza, 2Weeks 2MakeIt Coordinator and Producer/Head of Operations at SYFN says: ‘There are great prizes in this year’s competition, including a cash prize, a record distribution contract, some development awards for musicians and fantastic ‘2Weeks 2Make It’ beer from Peak Ales.’

Those who are selected as competitors will be invited to a launch event taking place at the Sensoria Festival of Music and Film in Sheffield on 5 May 2011, at the Showroom/Workstation, Paternoster Row, S1 2BX.

‘During the daytime on the 5 May, we’ll merge our 2W2MI Industry Day with the Sensoria PRO Day,’ explains Dr Speranza. ‘There will be some great training sessions and masterclasses aimed at both filmmakers and musicians, providing guidance about making music videos, getting the most out of your budget, what clichés to avoid and much more!’.

That evening all the competitors will be randomly matched. ‘That’s when we say, ‘GOOD LUCK! You’ve got 2WEEKS 2MAKE IT!!’’ says Dr Speranza. The deadline to complete the videos will be exactly two weeks from the launch, on 19 May.

For more information about 2Weeks 2MakeIt check out SYFN’s short film about the competition on their website:

2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011 application forms are available on, or by emailing Dr Rob Speranza directly on or

For more information about Sensoria visit:


Welcome to 2011: Time for a virtual facelift & Network Hub night!

There’s nothing like seeing in another year to make us reflect on the past – and look to the future. If we’re lucky, we learn a few handy lessons along the way too.

It’s a year since the launch of the copywriting side of the business kicked off, which I proclaimed in my first blog post of 2010 (in the midst of deep snow, just like recent weeks!)

So what was my big professional lesson of last year? Network, network, and network! That’s how I connected with my first copywriting clients and I’ve found face-to-face networking to be fruitful, as well as fun. Some events are more ‘me’ than others, but building business relationships and my company profile this way is something that’s become vital to my working week.

Which brings me to…drum roll please, ladies & gents…Network Hub – the new name for the business social events I put together with another creative professional and friend, Richard Smith. Last Thursday evening, we held our first do of 2011 at the Showroom Cinema Cafe, in Sheffield.

Just like our launch event in October, we were thrilled with the turnout – about 70 proactive guests! By the amount of chatter that hardly seemed to let up, many new connections and re-connections were made over a few drinks, in a relaxed atmosphere, which is exactly what our evenings are all about.

The snapper (yours truly) gets snapped @ Network Hub, Showroom Cinema Cafe, 20/1/11. Photo credit: Elizabeth Birks

Check out a couple of the much-appreciated positive comments received after our big night:

‘I haven’t been to a formal networking event for a long time and to be honest, I was concerned and a bit fearful. My fears were assuaged, however, as I began to meet so many lovely people. As a group worker, I know that a good event reflects the people who set it up and this was an evening of warmth and genuine interest in other people. I found it an atmosphere conducive to meeting people and making connections.’ Valerie Monti Holland,

‘Thanks for the invite & hospitality again last night. There seemed to be a good mix/good buzz/plenty of conversations and connections. Well done, you are a star!’ Jim Lawson,

Our next night’s coming in April so watch this space! In the meantime, our fresh website look’s now live and loud. Any thoughts about the revamp would be most welcome….

Here’s to a fabulous 2011 one & all!

Desperately seeking Peter – a random adventure in viral video

Hands up who knows what I’m talking about when I say ‘viral video?’ Being the kind of media-savvy lot you are, I’d expect it would be quicker to ask who thinks I’m referring to the common cold.

But what exactly makes a seemingly run-of-the-mill fuzzy clip on ‘YouTube’ quickly snowball into a global small screen sensation? Is there such a thing as a magic filmic formula, which can be learnt and manipulated, either for commercial business purposes, to raise awareness for a worthy cause or simply to plain old amuse and titilate the Great British Public?

After popping along to a talk hosted by Sheffield Sceptics in the Pub last week, I came away with much more grounding surrounding this idea – not to mention a mischievous seed forming in my head…

The talk, at the Showroom Cinema, was given by Tracy King, producer of animation film, ‘Storm’ – a 9-minute beat poem by comedian Tim Minchin – which has already attracted over a quarter of a million views on YouTube and has become the anthem for critical thinking worldwide:

Part of marketing professional Tracy’s talk centred on the concept of viral videos and she focused on 6 common elements which feature in many examples – humour, surprise, fear/shock, emotion, skill and embarrassment.

Then there’s the question of why people pass on or share videos with others. According to Tracy this virtual habit is explained by one of the following reasons – reflected glory, being the first to know, being part of the crowd, being part of a shared cultural experience and connecting with the language of your generation.

With my new acquired knowledge, I thought: ‘Why not put these principles into practice and see what happens?’ And I already had a viral video clip in the making – a short film made by my partner Richard Bolam, during Sheffield’s Tramlines 2010 music festival last month.

‘When Richard met Peter’ came about totally randomly, while Richard was filming the Big Wheel in Sheffield City Centre. In the film, we see passer-by Peter’s head suddenly filling the screen and…well, I’ll let you watch the rest:

What makes this clip a potential viral hit? Two of the key elements – surprise and humour definitely shine through. Short, friendly & unexpected, it’s a completely spontaneous encounter captured in all its bonkers glory.

If we were wanting to stage Peter’s warm, playful but marketing-orientated questioning, we wouldn’t have changed a word!

So, dear reader, I’m on a mission – to spread the spirit of Peter and if this leads to us tracking him down, all the better. If you know him, please get in touch…

You know when you’ve been Petered!