A seamless blend of creativity, technical innovation and inspiration. This was my first time returning to ‘Flash on The Beach’ in it’s new guise, “Reasons to Be Creative” and the facelift has certainly paid off. R2BC is smoothly run, very well put together and very well attended.
There is so much to absorb over the entire event that I am only going to dip my toe into the details of 3 speakers that I saw over the two days I was able to attend.
The Monday morning session is always popular but for me it was a barometer to the success of the event. Everyone arrived early or on time, and lots and lots of people packed the Brighton Dome.
The opening titles sum up the whole event – they were beautiful constructed (literally) by Dutch company FromForm and are superbly creative.
3 of the best:
Monday evening's inspired session. The emphasis of the inspired sessions is to show the wider more aspirational aspects of creativity and to broaden the audience’s horizons. This inspired session was hosted by the indefinable Mr Bingo.
More a stream of consciousness than a 300 slide presentation, and one that had me weeping with laughter while applauding his creative audacity.
Mr Bingo, a successful illustrator by trade, and all round creative thought machine took us on a journey from his childhood right up to the role he plays in life now – but he took us on a crazy roller coaster of a twisting meandering route that included the following:
Street art, incidental art, hate mail, drawings by serial killers, beer cans, illustrations of famous peoples hair (Amy Winehouse), museum displays of people's hair, revenge, why people pay him to tell them to fxxx off, huge illustrated playing cards surrounding a construction site, rapping (badly), old postcards, restaurant wall art, work for international newspapers, his office, The Mighty Boosh, his approach, Penguin books, his tenacity, and why Mr Bingo does not work for free.
Mr Bingo turns silly things into real things. Shouldn’t we all?
Jon Howard – Tuesday.
A very different session delivered by Jon Howard of the BBC’s Innovation Unit. Jon’s talk circled around a future that offers component-based tools enabling ‘digital creativity at close to the speed of thought’.
What this means is the real time creating of new ways to engage, whether through games or broader commercial applications. Jon nicely moved between a future of hope for those who embrace creative conversation and thinking, and a world plunged in to a dystopian nightmare.
We, the audience were able to interact via a real time web application on our smart devices and answer questions that immediately appeared on screen for discussion. As a result the presentation ranged from component innovation to Skynet, Google’s driverless car to The Matrix and Android teachers to “the singularity”. Frankly it made for a great session.
Jon shared with us the workshop he had led that pioneered a tablet based “game creator”. The tablet’s were given to a group of children under 15, (Jon worked for cbeebies and cbbc), 5 minutes before the ‘start of the session”. Within just that time and without any instruction, everyone in the group had created or collaborated on a basic game – one teenager offered an approach which Jon hadn’t even considered at all.
Hopefully this innovative web application will be available to everyone later this year.
Jon is trying to bring the future a little bit closer. Keep your eyes open.
See more at http://swingpants.com/
Follow Jon @swingpants
Florian Schmitt - Tuesday
Florian is ECD of the agency Hi/Res who produce beautiful, compelling, amazingly complex and/or strikingly simple work across all disciplines.
Florian gave us hands-on advice on storytelling, and narrative tools, as well as a story about Godzilla, Spider-Man and a Kinder egg.
The session was frankly superb. The breadth of work, the complexity and the incredible stories told through so many mediums was outstanding.
At the core of everything however was “the story” and Florian started by showing us “the story wheel” which bullet pointed story features form start to finish. This led nicely to the heart of the approach to any story: “Make me care, because you care”.
Work examples included the quite incredible work for the TV show LOST – a between series “story” that even escaped it’s own boundaries and became a real living thing. Also the in-depth online project for the film NOAH creating the entire ark and populating it with the animals.
An interesting question Florian posed was: “Are we all storytellers?” which was answered succinctly by; “There is space for engaging content, if it is engaging.” That’s the key right there.
Following on and taking a more practical stance we were told to “use technology to enhance your story.” However if you start with technology, you've started in the wrong place.
There were too many beautiful examples to list here so I recommend looking at the Hi/Res (and sister) sites via the links below.
The takeaway mantra’s for me were:
If you are going to tell a story: “Make it remarkable, Make me care, Make me submit to wonder.” And ultimately: “Make people do interesting stuff.” Enough said.
Find out about Reasons to be Creative here: http://reasons.to/