Independent digital agency Lash Creative has been working with Tropfest on ‘Watch’, an immersive film viewing experience that showcases a back catalogue of Tropfest films in a space that fans can access anytime and from anywhere in the world.
The brief was to create a platform that offers a richer and more engaging short film experience for the Festival’s massive online audience.
A year in the making, the creation of ‘Watch’ was brought to a halt when the news of the Festival’s cancellation broke last year. However, with the event now revived so too is the launch of ‘Watch’ with Lash Creative hitting the button to go live today.
Alicent Platenkamp, client services director at Lash Creative said, “The day that we got the call that Tropfest is back on, we had the biggest smiles on our faces and everyone in the agency was brimming with relief and happiness.”
“We are super excited to reveal what we’ve been creating with Tropfest for all these months. A lot of hard work has been put into it from both sides. It stands for what Tropfest is all about, and what makes it the world’s largest short film festival. Launching it along with the ‘revival’ of Tropfest makes it so much more special!”
Founder and director of Tropfest, John Polson, said ‘Watch’ is an important tool for bringing short film to global audiences.
“Our mission at Tropfest has always been to provide a platform for filmmakers; to connect them with the largest possible audiences. Tropfest’s online audience is a big part of the picture. We know that our channel is the most popular film festival channel on YouTube globally. Our films have been seen close to 40 million times so we know there’s an audience out there really keen on experiencing short film.”
“What Lash has done is create a curated online space where short film dominates. It’s a huge thing for Tropfest to be able to offer our filmmaking community even more exposure to their work. Tropfest is about celebrating storytelling, and what ‘Watch’ does is embrace that ideology and take it to even greater heights.”
B&T spoke to finalist Tristan Klein, who co-directed short film Postcards For Ulay with Nick Baker, and is also a film director and a student of the Billy Blue College for Design.
Klein said the films that have been crowned previously have tended to get us in the soft spot.
“A lot of films that have won are heart-tugging…so we’ve aimed for that trend,” he told B&T.
“It’s such an important, iconic event,” he added. “There’s such a big viewing, and the scale is so big, and so many people go to it.
“It’s an envious achievement to get.”
You can see a sneak preview of Klein and Baker’s short film here, which harks back to the space race when Russia allegedly sent a stray dog they found on the street into space.
“What we did was say, what if that dog had an owner?'” Klein said. “It’s a story about a guy and his dog getting shot into space.”
More than 1.6 million people have attended a Tropfest event since it was established in 1993. The event today attracts a live national audience of around 150,000 and draws in hundreds of thousands more via the live TV broadcast on SBS 2.