How many of you are familiar with the terms ‘citizen media‘ or ‘participatory media’? Most of us take part in some form of social media. Be it by tweeting or updating our status on Facebook, we are using these tools to communicate our thoughts. However, the purpose of citizen media is more significant than sharing recipes and links to funny videos. Here, ‘citizen’ refers to engaged individuals who actively participate in creating their own content for the sake of informing and helping their community. Thanks to the digital revolution, reaching out to people in different communities is getting easier, but there is a major problem: not everyone is included!
Nearly 10 years ago, I was beginning my formal education in the arts at John Abbott College. In one of my favorite classes, we studied “The Nature of Art.” Basically, we were taught the point of Art as understood by big wigs through time (from Plato to Derrida) followed by our angst ridden classmates lengthy debates over said thoughts. Consensus was usually reached… till we hit the 20th century.
Just these two words are enough to make my skin crawl! Since we started Bis Films in 2008, we’ve been struggling with the question of whether we need to write one or not at all! Following a Yes Montreal conference, Youth Employment Services, the topic was brought up several times and the opinion was unanimous: Get it done! Then after assisting a separate four-part seminar teaching start-ups the basics on writing a kick-ass business plan, I finally decided to stop putting it off and to chip away at it one question at a time. I have to specify that I started working on it during winter and had already experienced three months (out of five!) of looking for work. I knew I had a gloomy task ahead, but I was motivated!
In 2009, when we first heard of this young filmmaker making waves at Cannes for J’ai tué ma mère, I must admit I was pretty skeptical, albeit jealous, of his acclaim. Somewhere, I though it wasn’t fair for such a young and unknown filmmaker to gain such recognition, let alone get into the festival at all!
Well, I have seen both of his films now and have surrendered to the Dolan charm!
For months we have been talking about starting a blog and we’re proud to be writing our first post!
It’s often that we sit around and talk about tons of things relating to art, film, business, life, and philosophy that really excite us.
We have realized that we need to share these thoughts with a larger community in order to deepen and challenge them. What is the point of thinking and conversing if it is something that will stay between four walls?
There are several themes our conversations have been following over the last little while and that we would like to present to you, hoping that some of it will resonate and make you want to join the discussion…
1) Community: As you may or may not know, we’re a ’boutique’ production company that creates custom video and communication solutions for clients. Alongside our corporate content, we also create different genres of short films (music videos, dance and experimental films). Over the past two years, the different projects we have taken on have sparked a strong desire to learn more about the creative community that surrounds us. Montreal is a hub for great talent and we are actively seeking to learn more about it and the people behind it.
2) Inspiration: Everyday we come across new things that inspire our work and lives. These little inspirations that we may find in a headline, an object, a photo, video, or conversation have an incredible ability to spark new ideas and set us on new adventures. This will also give you, our readers, a better sense of who we are by getting to know what makes us tick!
3) Starting a Business: We both graduated from Communications Studies at Concordia University where we specialized in film. Our education gave us many of the tools we use to create and communicate our art and our work effectively. When we started our company two years ago, we did not realize how little we knew about the business side of things. Through much research, effort, and mistakes, of course, we have come to develop the business side of our company. This theme has been pretty dominant over the last few years as many of our friends have also been discovering the nuts and bolts to starting a business. By contributing to this section of our blog, we hope to create a transparent and approachable forum in which entrepreneurs can exchange tips, concerns, and questions.
Thanks for reading and please don’t be shy to leave us comments!
Many and Katherine