Monday, 21 January 2013

Acting face - Pitch Party and digital personas


Somewhat remarkably, my pitch won last night. I've now got a year to do something interesting with it, with the view to create a full-blown play for the stage. So, that's pretty neat. 

A huge congratulations to the team at Re:Play for putting together a fantastic event, The Lowry staff for accommodating my diva-esque tech requests, and well done to all of the acts who performed on the night. It was a tip-top evening . 


Last month, I was shortlisted to appear at Pitch Party, an event for Manchester's re:play festival which will see me write and act out a section of an original piece of work for the stage. Three other talented folks have also been selected and one of us will be crowned winner, going on to have the respective play produced for next year's festival. Which is all very exciting.

So, what am I doing?

For a while now, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of digital personals. How we, as social media users, portray ourselves through sites like Twitter and Facebook. How we spin scenarios and exaggerate events in order to create our perfect digital lives.

The play I’m performing on Friday is called ‘Me, But Better’. It explores how online profiles can become almost fictional versions of our daily life; how what we choose to say, or not say, creates an almost perfect image of how we want to be perceived by friends and followers.

Over the next week, I’ll be posting on the *fictional* Twitter feed @tombutbetter as a prologue to the event on Friday. I’ll use the account to explore some of these concepts and the feed will conclude with the live performance on Friday. If you’re free, do pop by. If only because I need someone to tweet me on the night.

As ever, I'll still be tweeting on my original (and genuine) account @totmac if you want to chip in with your two cents.  

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Creative Mischief by Dave Trott

I caught up with some reading over Christmas. Aside from ploughing through a couple of novels, I finally read ‘Creative Mischief’ by Dave Trott, executive creative director for CSTTG.

The book doesn't have a narrative of sorts, but rather offers a collection of anecdotes and fables from Dave's time in advertising. It’s an excellent read and offers plenty of creative food for thought.

One of the things that struck me while reading the book was just how many of Dave’s tales started with someone giving voice to a risky idea; a ‘that will never work’ concept from a creative director or copywriter which many would have considered too unsafe to run with.
It's a book full of stories about these risky ideas and how, eventually, these concepts evolved into some of the most celebrated and successful advertising campaigns. 

Dave's point is that many risky ideas don't see the light of day because, ultimately, there's a chance they might fail. He argues that, as creatives, we'd rather place our bets on a safe idea with a precedent of success, rather than face the risk of failure with something that's never been tired before. As I said: food for thought.

As an aside, after reading Dave's book, I read an apt quote from ShellSuitZombie the other week about social media: 'If you're not bricking it, you're not doing it right.'

If you feel so inclined, you can download a copy of Dave's book here.