Cork workshop on spectre of product placement

Cork Film Festival masterclass to show filmmakers how to emulate Bond franchise


With Spectre dominating screen space in the multiplexes, the business of how producers can leverage brand marketing spend is back in sharp focus, as Bond movies are masterclasses in product placement.

Not surprisingly then, the Cork Film Festival’s new addition to its industry training programme, a workshop entitled “How Filmmakers Can Work with Brands”, taking place tomorrow, saw strong booking for its 100 places.

At the workshop, run in association with Screen Training Ireland, US global finance and distribution consultant Brian Newman, former head of the Tribeca Institute, will give an introduction on how incorporating brands into film financing is helping get more short-form, feature and documentary work to a wider audience.

Working with projects by emerging filmmakers Sophie Windsor Clive, Richard Gorodecky and Iben Ravn he will give them feedback and mentorship in front of the audience.

Irish television, notably TV3, is actively looking for brand support to fund new programming, particularly in product placement. The examples are piling up but include Stork margarine, visible on the worktop in The Great Irish Bake Off and the Skoda that gets Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella around in their B&B road trip.

Other funding workshops in the four-day Cork Film Festival programme include today’s Fund, where several agencies lay out their stalls, explaining how their funding structures work and how to go about securing finance.

According to Ciarán Kissane of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, producers understand they have to find financing from a variety of sources. Next year the BAI expects to distribute €14.5 million in funding (with €2 million going to radio projects). A rule change last year, whereby producers making drama and animation no longer needed the partnership of a broadcaster before applying, has not resulted in an avalanche of proposals.