Businesses from across the creative sectors create a new way forward with co-operative Future Artists Live and are already to work with Channel 4.

November 24, 2010

Cameron’s Big Society idea happening? Not likely!

The ‘Big Society’ is happening with out the need for Priminister David Cameron as businesses from the big to the small from across the creative sectors are coming together to form a new way forward with co-operative Future Artists Live and are already to work with Channel 4.

LogoIn the face of government cuts companies have come together to cut costs, improve opportunities and access to talent and are announcing the launch event and networking party on the 4th December in Manchester at Fac251 for anyone interested in finding out more.

Future Artists, a Salford based film and new media company that have used innovate approaches that have seen the company grow throughout the recession, have decided to turn part of their company into a co-operative and are kicking it off with live bands, DJ’s and Art.

So far members are both UK and international companies including film distributor Renderyard, the worlds biggest branded video contest and competitions company Mofilm’s President Andy Baker, Music industry thought leader co-founder of Unconvention Jeff Thompson, the world’s most comprehensive visual directory The Chook, the youngest producers currently working in the West End Hartshorn and Hook and the media content producers best friend DNA actors resource as well as Twitter Journalist Ian Aspin

Mark Ashmore of Future Artists explains ‘As a company we pride our selves in collective working and sharing so it just seemed natural that the next step was to turn Future Artists Live arm into a co-operative.’

The co-operative is intended as an informal trade network, knowledge sharing platform with the ability to provide training for members as well as an education resource, due to work with Channel 4’s 4 Talent and the UK’s most successful Twitter Journalist Ian Aspin in 2011.

‘It’s not about politics its about getting up, doing it and sorting it out for ourselves so we’re having a party for people to come down and see what they think’, explains Jenny Inchbald of Future Artists.

‘We are really pleased to have both large multimillion companies right down to freelancers on board. Its a meeting of minds with the great, the good, the old and the new!’ Mark Ashmore added.

Future Artists Live is also asking creatives and industry professionals to submit examples of their work to be screened at the event to show case their talents with each other.

Tickets are priced at £7 each and are available from with all profits going to the co-operative. For more information or to join go to or search Future Artists Live on line.


Please contact or call 07500 256 968 for more information


2010 Sundance film festival Winning Documentary to Screen in Salford on November 2nd 2010 @ 7.30pm

October 26, 2010


The Film is being screened as part of a nationwide new distribution model created by Dogwoof films in London, and Salford Film makers from have been selected to promote the film in Salford, at a non traditional screening venue.

See trailer here

Co-founder of Future Artists Mark Ashmore explains

‘Films like RESTREPO are very important, and challenge an audience, but a gritty documentary about frontline life fighting a war, is not mainstream fair, and would struggle when placed against the latest Hollywood Blockbuster, we got the call with Dogwoof films and RESTREPO after successfully marketing and distributing our own film about Soldiers returning from Afghanistan, a film called ‘Broken Britain’ which was shot in Salford in 2008, ‘Broken Britain’ Will also be screened as part of the nights film program.’

Winner of the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Restrepo is a documentary focusing on a deployment of a US platoon in Afghanistan’s hostile Korengal Valley. Over the course of 15 months two film makers Tim Hetherington (winner of four World Press Photo Prizes including World Press Photo of the Year 2008 and author of upcoming book Infidel) and Sebastian Junger (author of The Perfect Storm and War) lived with the unit shadowing their every move which resulted in extraordinary footage. From spectacular combat and ambush scenes to difficult discussions with local village elders, civilian and military deaths, never before has such access been granted. Restrepo is as close as it gets to seeing what life as a soldier is really like.


Showing at Islington Mill November 2nd 2010,

James Street, Salford, M3 5HW @ 7.30pm

Advance Tickets £6 from

Film Program ‘Broken Britain’ 15min – ‘Restrepo’ 90min + Q and A

Directions :


The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs can be a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.

–      Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

Show Case Your Work to the World

September 24, 2010
Future Artists

(We have decided to share our secret weapon with the rest of the world –!) About the workshop (2hrs)

Need a cost effective way of promoting yourself? How about a brand new FREE platform that is a virtual book, Create a portfolio, with pages that turn, a digital book that contains all your photos, videos, audio clips, and writings. All you need to know, is how to use the platform!

By the end of this workshop, you will be a whizz, and can sack the web designer! and save cash!!!!!!

No hostings fees, update it anytime and in real time!

Link it into all of your social media, from facebook to twitter, myspace or Linked in!

Now imagine the book contained all your work to date, laid out, designed to promote you and your business as a creative.

Using the simple easy myebook interface we expect all attendees to be able to create ebooks to the standard of this example.

For more information and to book your place click here.


See what Mark Ashmore, the workshop leader created with his team at future artists so they could self distributed the short film ‘Broken Britain’ via – a world first!

Have a look at the example below.


Facebook penetration by country

August 6, 2010

stats from July 2010

Facebook penetration by country

Facebook users
Percentage penetration

source: Nick Burcher, Facebook, Wikipedia
Download the data

Hong Kong 3408240 7026400 48.51
Canada 15497900 34077000 45.48
United Kingdom 26543600 62041708 42.78
United States 125881220 309114000 40.72
Chile 6944540 17063000 40.7
Sweden 3798020 9349059 40.62
Australia 9009660 22234000 40.52
Israel 3006460 7531900 39.92
Ireland 1597000 4459300 35.81
Belgium 3505920 10827519 32.38
Turkey 22552540 72561312 31.08
Taiwan 6745160 23131093 29.16
France 18942220 65447374 28.94
Bahrain 226480 791000 28.63
Slovenia 582000 2056710 28.3
Qatar 396860 1409000 28.17
Italy 16647260 60325805 27.6
Slovakia 1481000 5424925 27.3
Croatia 1192160 4435056 26.88
Argentina 10542040 40134425 26.27
Malaysia 7317520 28306700 25.85
Greece 2838700 11306183 25.11
Austria 2084840 8372930 24.9
Venezuela 6686300 28749000 23.26
Spain 10610080 46030109 23.05
Lebanon 962440 4224000 22.78
Colombia 10226820 45407000 22.52
Serbia 2064220 9850000 20.96
Kuwait 518540 2985000 17.37
Estonia 227420 1340021 16.97
Philippines 14600300 92226600 15.83
Tunisia 1594700 10432500 15.29
Jordan 923400 6316000 14.62
Hungary 1455840 10013628 14.54
Germany 9949760 81757600 12.17
Mexico 12978440 107550697 12.07
Indonesia 25912960 231369500 11.2
Poland 2772540 38163895 7.26
Romania 1555360 21466174 7.25
Thailand 4216760 63525062 6.64
South Africa 2884080 49320500 5.85
Morocco 1849740 31787000 5.82
Oman 157440 2845000 5.53
Egypt 3581460 78158000 4.58
Algeria 928100 34895000 2.66
Brazil 4757200 192816000 2.47
Libya 156240 6420000 2.43
Palestine 84240 3761646 2.24
Vietnam 1019120 85789573 1.19
Nigeria 1616120 154729000 1.04
Japan 1192220 127380000 0.94
Ukraine 425680 45962900 0.93
Mauritania 29600 3291000 0.9
India 10547240 1179871000 0.89
Iraq 225600 30747000 0.73
Bangladesh 854520 162221000 0.53
Uganda 168720 32710000 0.52
Rwanda 44340 9998000 0.44
Somalia 0 9133000 0
Sudan 0 39154490 0
Syria 0 21906000 0

Google Buys Slide In Social Networking Push

August 6, 2010


Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is buying social app maker Slide, as part of its soon-to-come new entry into the social networking/social games space. Slide, which was founded four years ago by Paypal co-founder Max Levchin, is behind a number of popular social networking apps, including SuperPoke Pets and Top Fish.

TechCrunch, which first reported the deal, puts the price at $182 million; the NYT, which is confirming the news, says Google is paying $228 million.

Either way it’s a big discount to the $550 million valuationput on the company when it raised $50 million in a fourth round of funding in January 2008. Then again, there were signs that all was not well at Slide. It laid off staff a year ago, saying it wanted to focus on bigger ad deals.

We’ll likely have more details on Friday, when the deal is expected to be announced by both companies. Google says it won’t comment on “rumor or speculation.”

see original article at

Just Do It: Get off your arse and change the world

August 3, 2010

Our friends over at Just Do It: Get off your arse and change the world are looking from some support. We suggest you get of your arse and do it!

It’s an opportunity to work on a world changing project with one of the UK’s best and respected producers on a feature film. If I could do web design well enough I would be doing this! See below.

WANTED: Web designer

Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world.

Just Do It is an exciting new feature-length documentary film that follows the mischievous and risky world of UK climate activists.

Currently in post-production and coming to a cinema near you in early 2011, Just Do It is a film pushing boundaries. It is an experiment in crowd-funding, group production and community-engaged documentary filmmaking.

Please have a look at our current website to find out much much more

We’ve reached the limit of what we can do with our website in house, it’s totally unbranded and is in desperate need for a make-over!

We’re looking for an experienced and creative web designer to rebrand & redesign our website. You will be required to produce a set of photoshop or fireworks templates which will then be converted into a wordpress theme, previous WordPress experience a big bonus!

The right person will have experience designing accessible websites with a focus on typography with horizontal and vertical grids. The files you produce must be well layered and labeled for easy integration.

This project is not for profit relying on donations and grants so for the right person we can negotiate an appropriate fee and dip into our piggy bank but don’t expect big bucks!

Please get in contact with Lauren with a CV and links to previous work.

Filmonik folks are at it again, will they never learn!

July 19, 2010
Filmonik Open Screening #49, featuring The “Gorilla” Micro Kabaret!

Micro Kabaret: Saturday 7th - Sunday 8th August.

Screening: Sunday August 8th, 7.30pm till Late, Deaf Institute,
Grosvenor Street, Manchester

Filmonik is the North West’s premier “open screening” night for
filmmakers, offering a warm welcome and a censure-free public platform
to all filmmakers, be they Industry Professionals, self-styled Media
Guerrillas, or relative novices still finding their creative voice.
Films are not pre-selected, but simply booked in, and screened, sight
unseen. Anyone is free to submit. Anyone is welcome to attend. This is
a place to try out new ideas, and unlikely creative collaborations, to
network and discover like-minded talent. This is your chance to have
fun with film and not get arrested for it.

For the next screening, we’re planning something special - the
“Gorilla Kabaret”!

The concept is simple. We will be arranging a “pitching session” at
10am on Saturday 7th of August at an informal meeting place (Location
TBC). Here introductions will be made, weapons revealed (skills,
cameras, computers, lighting, props, ideas etc), and collaborations
forged. Participants will then have from the end of the meeting until
show time to make a film for Sunday’s screening. That’s just 34

Every film must arrive at the screening by 8pm, and must contain the
credit "Gorilla Kabaret #1, Filmonik screening #49".

NOTE: We will of course still be accepting films in the usual fashion
from those who have not been part of the Gorilla Kabaret. If you’ve
something to show, all you need to is contact us and book a slot, or
just bring it along on the night. If you’re simply keen to see what’s
happening in the world of low budget independent short film, then come
on down. We want full houses and enthusiastic audiences!

For more information, visit or join the facebook
group for instant updates at!/event.php?eid=103135489739820&ref=mf

or email

How Facebook will take over the world

July 13, 2010


Facebook will announce its 500 millionth user any day now, and that’s around 22% of all internet users globally. That’s a pretty impressive milestone, but founder Mark Zuckerberg has already said he expects Facebook to reach one billion users before long.

But given that take-up among those key demographics in the developed world isn’t far from saturation, the next phase of growth will be in developing markets and will prove harder work for the firm in the face of domestic incumbents, technological differences and government censorship. So how is Facebook moving in on those markets?

• Venturebeat interviewed Facebook’s head of international growth, Javier Olivan – the guy who led Facebook’s crowdsourced translation project. He described the development of a free, low-bandwidth mobile version. Facebook is making deals with at least 50 operators across India, Russia and more that means the expense of using data services is carried by the operators rather than users.

global domination by orphum.

Photo by orphum on Flickr. Some rights reserved

• Across Asia, the growth pattern varies from one extreme to another. Indonesia is just 500,000 users behind the UK, Facebook’s biggest userbase, and is top, according to comScore, in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. But in Vietnam and China Facebook is blocked, and elsewhere, like Russia, it faces an uphill struggle to overtake domestic rivals.

• Facebook acquired a Malaysian contact importing service called Octazen Solutions, which means it can tap a wide range of email services in the region.

• In India, the site built a database of school details to pre-populate lists and make it easier for users to search for friends, one of a number of ‘under the hood’ strategies for growth.

• Facebook is closing in on Google’s Orkut in both India, which appears to be stalling, and Brazil, where it has a quarter of Orkut’s traffic.

• In Japan, where it has 5% of the traffic of market-leading Mixi, Facebook had to focus on making a decent mobile web version rather than replying on apps. In Japan and South Korea, more users access social networks via mobile than by desktop, so Facebook has some substantial catching up to do given that Olivan admits its mobile site was “unusable” eight months ago.

• Interestingly China appears a no-go area, with Google’s problems and eventual withdrawal, the current block on Facebook and the dominance of domestic sites like RenRen, 51 and Kaixin001 presenting too much of a challenge at this stage. Olivan puts this down to “an ROI calculation that goes into every country we consider entering”.

• The New York Times also points out that though Olivan only has a team of 12, he is backed by Facebook’s $1bn annual revenues, which means significant investment in new products and a steamrolling of its rivals. It also means Facebook can continue to hire much of the world’s best developer talent, which it regularly poaches from Google.

Will Facebook reach 1 billion? I don’t doubt it. We can expect them to focus on the highest growth countries with strong commercial potential and the least established incumbents. But this will still be like Bagneres-de-Luchon to Pau on stage 16 of the Tour de France. Tough, in other words.

Also in Facebookland

• The New York Times has helpfully compiled an introductory guide, for those who might have been living in a cave for the past four years. Or, my mother.

• A Futurescape report predicts Facebook will fight Twitter for the $180bn global TV ad market as these social networks and back channels are formally built into new TVs. While social media has some impact on TV ratings now, the report predicts recommendation, discovery and content sharing will be central to pay-TV services in the future.

see original article at

Babelgum & Channel 4 Team for Episodic Doc Prequel

July 13, 2010


Babelgum has entered into a co-production deal with Native Voice Films that sees the web platform working alongside traditional media partners to support the release of the documentary featureThe Bengali Detective.

The new project is a co-production between Babelgum, the Channel 4 British Documentary Foundation, DR2 Denmark, Commonwealth Broadcasting Trust and Salty Sea Music. Further production and broadcast deals are being confirmed.

Babelgum is to broadcast, starting today, specially commissioned prequel episodes for the film. The exclusive customized episodes will roll out on a weekly basis. These mini-documentary episodes will then be used to virally promote the feature film festival appearances and theatrical release of The Bengali Detective in 2011.

The feature-length documentary centers on the day-to-day investigations of Rajesh Ji. He is a dance-obsessed gumshoe with a motley band of helpers who look to expose the secrets, fears and covert lives of today’s middle-class Indian society. The accompanying doc series takes a look at modern India and highlights the real-world characters investigating cases in Calcutta.

“This deal is a crystallization of what we have been working towards at Babelgum’s film division,” said Karol Martesko-Fenster, the senior VP and general manager of the film division at Babelgum. “A true 360-degree production approach that doesn’t just pay lip service to the online dimension—but rather where online and mobile are the driving factors, working with, not against, traditional media, to virally create interest in the project before it is released on traditional platforms. Bearing in mind the ever-fragmenting nature of the media landscape and the need to target audiences across all platforms, it is the kind of approach that filmmakers will increasingly be adopting. We are excited to be working with Native Voice Films on this fantastic project.”

Phil Cox, director for Native Voice Films, added, “At Native Voice Films, we’ve always strived to make films built on strong storytelling that challenge our audience’s view of the world, while at the same time revealing the essential humanity of our subjects. We’re especially excited to be working with our co-producing partners at Babelgum on the premiere of The Bengali Detective. Together we’ve crafted a fresh, compelling approach to distributing the film, first as an episodic prequel and then as a full-fledged theatrical feature, harnessing their platforms to reach the widest global audience possible. It truly will be a landmark event and hopefully a guidepost for other independent filmmakers.”

see original article at

YouTube Sets Up Grants to Fund Video-Makers

July 13, 2010


YouTube is investing $5 million in grants for select new and emerging partners, to further the creation of high-quality videos.

The YouTube Partners Grants program will serve to help fund the production budgets of a small group of YouTube partners who are leading innovation in their video-making. The site is selecting partners based on factors such as video views, subscribers, growth rate, audience engagement and production expertise. Selected partners will be contacted by YouTube and invited to submit a grant proposal. Proposals will then be evaluated based on signals such as projected performance, distribution plan, marketing plan, cost requirements and appeal to advertisers. Once approved, the video-making partner will receive funding to get started on their project.

“Youtube Partner Grants represents another step forward in the evolution of both video and YouTube,” said George Strompolos, partner development manager at YouTube. “Our hope is that through these investments we’ll help nurture talent and bring more great videos to YouTube for all of you to enjoy.”

see original article