A Cinematic Hybrid Event: Occupy Love, Occupy Twitter

This post published on December 13, 2012

still image from OCCUPY LOVE: Anonymous masked occupier with sign "Always remember you are loved - The Universe"At last week’s Victoria premiere of OCCUPY LOVE, we took our innovative hybrid event model to town! Not only did the upbeat standing-room only crowd occupy the Victoria Event Centre, but we also managed to occupy the twittersphere too: according to hashtracking.com we reached over 44, 000 followers within 24 hours! Holy hashtags, batman! Read the Storify archive here.

A Hybrid Event Map

hand drawn venn diagram outlining the live/virtual/hybrid interactionsPreparing for a hybrid event can be a little mind-bending – a bit like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time! It’s all about coordination! To help me get it all straight in my head, I drew a Venn diagram to map out the live and virtual elements and the ways they will interact, well er hybridly (is that a word?). Talking of language, during our tweetchat meetings, Angela Hemming and Marylou Wakefield and myself kept marveling at the ways new social networking concepts and vocabulary can be strung into complex sentences — that we all understand!

Live and Virtual Guests

photo of Velcrow Ripper

Velcrow Ripper self-portrait during #opencinema tweetchat

Adding a virtual guest into the mix was a dynamic addition to this event, that made it more complicated than our previous hybrid events. We were beyond excited when Velcrow Ripper agreed to participate in our #opencinema tweetchat from his home in New York City. And we knew it would also mean a more complex engagement strategy. So we were thrilled when the folks at Social Coast agreed to help us out by providing a couple of talented tweeters to join our team.

The #opencinema Tweetchat Team

photo of Stacy White, Social Coast volunteerphoto of Tweetchat team Marlou Wakefield, Carol-Lynne Michaels and Angela Hemming

I’d like to take this opportunity to say what a delightful pleasure it is to work with the #opencinema tweetchat team, pictured above sitting at the so-called Power Bar. Our regular tweetchat team, Angela Hemming (above, right) and Marylou Wakefield (above, third from the right) were joined by Social Coast volunteers Stacy White (above, left) and Carol-Lynne Michaels (above, second from right). I love working with these talented digital peeps!

Ready, Set, Tweet!

photo of the film and twitter screens ready for Occupy Love

So the stage is set in the live and virtual spaces, all synced and ready for our cinematic hybrid event: the Blu Ray player and powerpoint prezi are hooked up to the main digital projector, the tweetchat window with the #opencinema hashtag stream is refreshing every 10 seconds on another side-wall projector, the Ustream channel camera feed is ready to broadcast the post-screening discussion live to our website and facebook page, the tweetchat team are locked and loaded, the candles are lit and phew, even the Fernwood Coffee is brewed!

Standing-room only at Occupy Love Victoria Premiere

Standing Room Only

You know it’s going to be a busy night when you sell out of advance tickets 3 weeks ahead of time and there’s a line-up to buy the few remaining tickets when the doors open at 5.30. The energy in the packed room was alive with excitement and anticipation, for the film, the post-screening discussion — and the hot pizza from The Joint! We sold 150 slices to the capacity crowd of about 175 peeps.

photo of Ian Mackenzie and Layth Matthews

It was a special treat for us to have Co-Producer Ian Mackenzie (far left) in attendance at the event, along with our fascinating post-screening discussion speakers Layth Matthews (left), Michelle Buchanan and moderator Rachelle Lamb.

photo of Angela Hemming discretely tweeting during OCCUPY LOVE

Tweetchat Surprises

During the film screening, the tweetchat team discretely tweet about the film and invite tweeps to join the post-screening discussion. Don’t worry, they are neatly tucked up at back, well away from viewers so that it’s not a distraction.

One thing we didn’t anticipate was how powerful it was to be in virtual conversation with the filmmaker during the film! While Velcrow offered a virtual director’s commentary (DVD extra’s style, only in 140 character bytes!), the tweetchat team were sharing cinematic moments and audience reactions with the twittersphere: laughter, applause, pin-dropping silence and waves of recognition and understanding that rippled through the room. Velcrow was really moved: “I can feel the love from here in NYC!” he tweeted!

photo of Rachelle Lamb, Layth Matthews, Ian Mackenzie and Michelle Buchanan

Revolution: Right Here, Right Now

The post-screening discussion was nothing short of inspiring, as each speaker shared their perspectives on love, revolution, spiritual practice, transformation, communication and how to engage the 1%.“The revolution is happening right here, right now.” commented one speaker. What a power panel! Left to right: Rachelle Lamb, Mindful Communication facilitator; Layth Matthews, Financial Advisor and Victoria Shambhala Centre Director; Ian Mackenzie, Producer; and Michelle Buchanan, writer, media activist and People’s Assembly of Victoria (Occupy Victoria) member.

The Beauty of a Hybrid Event: It’s Archived!

As if we need another good reason to love the hybrid event format – not only can you engage people live across oceans, boundaries and time-zones, but it also serves as an archive of the event! So you can check out the livestream and the tweetchat yourself, which I have compiled into a Storify timeline, along with photos.

Read, watch, click and scroll through the whole multi-media archive of the evening here.

We’d love to hear your thoughts about cinematic hybrid events. We think it’s just the beginning of a very exciting new model…

┬áNEXT UP: January 23rd, 2013 “In Organic We Trust”


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