National Theatre of Scotland Digital Associate Eve Nicol joins in the social media call for A Christmas Carol, 29th November 2011, at Film City Glasgow and meets some of the participants . . .
The dusty Victorian office of Messrs Scrooge & Marley were visited by altogether more modern guests bearing high tech wizardry that would’ve made short work of the tomes of figures and sums that swamp the high shelves of Ebenezer’s workplace.
More corporeal and far friendlier than the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, these visitors were here to take part in our Social Media Call for the exciting new production of A Christmas Carol.
There was a diverse group of bloggers, photographers and student broadcasters in attendance, with their iPads, notepads, smart phones and fancy cameras raising a cacophony of clicks.
The Company shared three scenes from the show with us, running each one twice to make sure everyone had time to line up their shots – they even tweaked the atmospheric dark lighting to accommodate for slow shutter speeds.
Photographers clamoured over the carpeted seating banks to get the best shots and Graham, the director, made sure no-one was excluded from getting good material.
Whilst the cast and crew were well prepared with what they wanted to show, the course of the morning was very much shaped by those in attendance. Photographers asked for some poses to be held and were able to get the perfect shots.
Broadcast Production students from the University of West of Scotland had come with a full crew and made good use of the freedom of the set to grab some cutaways. Callum Smith from Glasgow University’s SubCity Radio brought along his notepad and iPhone to grab some content. Blogger Alex Cory and photographer Kenny Mathieson, both National Theatre of Scotland social media call veterans, had travelled from Edinburgh for the morning. Our friends from Scottish Opera came along too.
The exciting difference about a social media call, as opposed to a traditional press or media call, is that everyone who attends is doing it out of passion for their area of interest and a love of live performance. Unlike a press call, where attendees might attend many similar events in a month, this is an occasion for participants, true amateurs, many of whom are taking time out of their usual schedule. Spending time in the company of cast and having free reign to take photos and videos of a production is a real treat, and a new experience for many of the cast too.
Social media calls make an enjoyable change for cast and crew, but it can be scary presenting work before independent writers and commentators who aren’t tied to an editorial policy. One disgruntled tweet from a disapproving blogger could be enough to put a poor spin on a show before it has even opened!
With such a convivial atmosphere at A Christmas Carol social media call there is no worry of this happening. As the visitors make their way back to their editing suites and desktops, they leave smiling and perhaps with even more excitement for the production than they had when they arrived!
An hour flies by, and after one last check to make sure everyone has the material they were after, Scrooge’s office is quiet once more. Quiet at least until the arrival of more ephemeral midnight guests.
Find out more about the show:
Listen to SubCity radio’s Christmas Carol feature
Feature starts at 1 hour, 5 mins.