FilmTechCampTC: May 2016 Update

[My earlier FilmTechCampTC post questioned whether “filmmaking technology” might be more suitable to use than the term “film tech.” Google searches gave 216,000 results for “film tech,” 28,900 results for “filmmaking technology” and 2,540 results for “filmmaking tech.” Based on that I’ll primarily use the term film tech until I talk with people who actually work in that field and am told that different terminology is preferred or more common.]

A month ago I published the post “Traverse City Film Tech Unconference.” Today’s post is a short update on FilmTechCampTC, an event I suggested the Traverse City (TC) tech community consider developing and putting on.

Meeting To Discuss FilmTechCampTC

TCFF 2016The TC area residents doing the preliminary evaluation of a TC film tech unconference’s benefits and feasibility had a meeting on May 16 to discuss whether it might make sense for the Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) to be an event partner. This is my take on their meeting and FilmTechCampTC’s status:

  • All the people at the meeting were new to the concept of an unconference. I have developed and shared a Google Doc with two TC New Tech members which explains my version of an unconference, specific ideas to be considered regarding FilmTechCampTC, and links to a variety of unconference resources and posts.
  • film tech with reelThe film tech unconference looks likely to be a good fit for the TCFF vision. TCFF strives to plan for the future, e.g. what can TCFF do next to improve. FilmTechCampTC seems highly complementary to the current TCFF direction and participant-driven culture.
  • TCFF 2016 takes place at the end of July, and the TCFF team is very busy with prep work for the event. This means there won’t be a lot of discussion with the TCFF team about a film tech unconference until after TCFF 2016. Delaying the inaugural FilmTechCampTC until TCFF 2017 would be mean missing a huge opportunity, so I encouraged the unconference evaluation team to consider holding the first FilmTechCampTC between July 2016 and July 2017.
  • There was discussion related to whether TCFF had sufficient resources to assist with FilmTechCampTC planning activities and budget. From my point of view, TCFF would not need to contribute to the finances or planning activities, unless they had surplus resources in those two areas that they wanted to put toward the unconference. TCFF’s most valuable contribution to FilmTechCampTC would be endorsing it, giving it publicity, and helping make connections to people in the film tech community.
  • People involved with TCFF are expected to discuss FilmTechCampTC in the next couple of weeks. They’ll likely get back to the unconference evaluation team in early June 2016 regarding whether TCFF wants to be involved as an unconference partner.

next stepsNext Steps

I don’t think there were any formal Next Steps agreed on for the unconference proposal, but here’s what it looks like to me as of May 19, 2016:

  1. TCFF will decide if they want to be involved with the unconference, and will meet again to discuss decision [Ben, early June 2016]
  2. Identify event champion from TC region; champion will lead the effort to form a core team, could even lead the core team [Ben, May – June 2016]
  3. Continue research to identify potential partners and key participants [Bob, May – July 2016]

Questions About FilmTechCampTC

questionsTwo of the TC residents working on the film tech unconference proposal had several questions for me, as listed below. We’re working on developing answers to these questions. Since other people will have the same questions, it’s worthwhile to come up with clear and accurate answers if we’re going ahead with this venture.

  • What is an unconference?
  • Why is an unconference better than a conference?
  • What is the general content focus of a film tech unconference?
  • What kind of film people would be interested?
  • How do the individuals who participate know there is a film tech unconference in TC, and how do you attract good participants to the event?
  • Are there enough local people knowledgeable about and actually doing things with filmmaking technology in the TC region to make it worthwhile to have FilmTechCampTC?
  • What if you have a film tech unconference session about topic X (e.g. VR film capture) and nobody, or almost nobody, in the session knows anything about topic X?

A future post will discuss answers to the above questions.


Background links:

Traverse City Film Tech Unconference
Wikipedia entry for “unconference”
Traverse City Film Festival
Events Wrangling Basics For Unconferences
Unconference Basics — Step 2: Build Core Team To Get To Next Level
Unconference Basics — Step 3: Confirm Key Participants And Supporters



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