“Republic of Doyle” is a hit in the virtual world as much as it is on TV screens, and its social media expert shared her tips with people in the business Monday.
Kerri MacDonald was guest at the first Digital Dames Summit, part of the St. John’s International Film Festival, which got underway Monday.
MacDonald is “Republic of Doyle’s” social media director and keeper of its Twitter account, updating fans and followers on what’s going on on the show and behind the scenes. The show has been nominated for Best Use of Social Media by the Canadian Media Awards.
MacDonald was interviewed during the workshop by Wilma Hartman of Digital Daisy, a local company that specializes in Internet marketing, training and consulting.
“Social media as a marketing tool is unlike any other form of marketing — it drives people to watch something, but not like traditional marketing does, by telling them to. People feel involved and connected, with tools like Twitter,” said Anita Reilly McGee, executive director of the film festival.
This is the 21st year for the festival, but the first for the Digital Dames Summit, a conference on convergence, and a project Reilly McGee started.
There’s a lot of opportunity in digital technology when it comes to film, both on the artistic side and the marketing side of things, she explained to The Telegram.
This year’s summit was a one-day forum, divided into two parts: the marketing forum with MacDonald and an artistic project called “GDP: Measuring the Human Side of the Canadian Economic Crisis.”
Presented by the National Film Board of Canada, the latter was a masterclass on making an interactive documentary.
The innovative, interactive documentary chosen spanned two years, and involves 12 directors, 17 field photographers, 40 locations, 15 stories — all ongoing — and 200 photo essays.
“Basically, the different filmmakers follow different characters across the country, examining the effect of the economic crisis on real people,” Reilly McGee said. “They would post photo essays and small documentaries — they’d go out and load that up to the Internet so people could get to know their stories in increments.
“It’s a little bit of an unusual way to do storytelling, and it’s quite interesting, because you’re a part of the process.”
Reilly McGee hopes the Digital Dames Summit will expand in future years, becoming a full-fledged conference tied in with the film festival.
The festival officially gets underway today, with an opening gala, featuring a screening of Barbara Doran’s Gordon Pinsent biography “Still Rowdy After All These Years,” scheduled to take place at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre tonight.
About 70 films, including 14 made by local filmmakers, will be screened at the festival over the next week.
More information is available on the website.