Dancing, Drawing, and Dreaming: Presenting Fifty Years of British Music Video innovation on the global stage.

Lead Research Organisation: University of West London
Department Name: London School of Film , Media and Design


This follow-on funding project is a significant collaboration with the British Council which draws on the work of the AHRC-funded project Fifty Years of British Music Video (2015-2017) in order to enhance its impact and engagement with new international audiences in South Korea and Cuba. The grant will be used to produce four 70-minute music video packages themed around Animation, Experimental Film, Dance/choreography and Fashion. The selection of titles and the composition of these packages will be agreed between the project team and Gary Thomas, the British Council's Programme Manager for Film, ensuring flexibility to tailor programming to local communities, taking into account issues of screen censorship and cultural sensitivities on the ground. The project will use its contacts in the recording industry and pay for the services of a specialist music lawyer to license these packages for UK screening and facilitate the British Council's negotiation of the necessary international rights clearances for the proposed territories. The project will then source and prepare high definition digital masters in Apple ProRes (HQ) files for delivery to the British Council who will arrange authoring of the packages for screening. Where possible, in the services of economy and efficiency, music video masters which have already been sourced for the Blu-ray and BFI 100 collection outputs of the Fifty Years of British Music Video project will be incorporated into the British Council packages, but no attempt will be made to compromise the integrity of these specially curated themed packages aimed at distinct international audiences.
The project will also draw on the research generated by Fifty Years of British Music Video in order to provide metadata for programme notes and prepared copy for British Council publicity materials for the screening events in South Korea and Cuba. The licence clearances, masters sourcing and prepared copy production will be completed by a full-time Research Administrator based in London and line-managed by the Co-I. The RA will also organize the two overseas trips to Seoul (South Korea) and Havana (Cuba). The South Korea trip will take place in July 2017 and the Cuba trip will be arranged to coincide with the International Film Festival in December 2017. Working closely with the British Council's representatives, the project will fund the travel costs, accommodation and subsistence of UK creative talent to accompany screening events and lead workshops, cover venue hire and local transportation and event management, and film the events for the British Council's marketing purposes and wider cultural dissemination.
The British Council envisage using the packages for up to twenty public screening events involving practitioners and creative talents from the world of music video. Their existing work in South Korea, typified by the tremendous popularity of their Selector radio show there, will be energised in summer 2017 by the Korea UK Season. UK/Korea Season aims to share the UK's innovation and excellence in the arts of creative industries and develop long-term partnerships. This follow-on funding initiative will extend that programme and augment it with dedicated music video events and a special Selector playlist compiled by Emily Caston. The South Korean events will be followed by a tour to Cuba themed around dance culture as part of the annual Cuban international film festival in December 2017 (http://habanafilmfestival.com). The British Council's Selector is the only syndicated music show broadcasting in Cuba from overseas. A live broadcast from Havana this year (2016) attracted 1.2 million listeners out of a country of 11 million, working with the biggest national radio station. The British Council are excited by, and fully committed to supporting, this opportunity to add music video packages to their existing arts portfolio, drawing on the research and expertise developed by Fifty Years of British Music Video.

Planned Impact

The showcasing of British music video across four themed packages will have considerable public impact in the target territories and the British Council are enthusiastic about using the research generated on our project to engage new audiences and to extend the scope of its international work. The impact strategy for South Korea will be based upon the British Council's existing platform there (working in gallery and music event spaces) and focused around the UK/Korea Season in summer 2017. This arts and creative industries showcase will reach around 1.5 million people across Korea and engage millions of people digitally. For the British Council as a partner there are unique mutual benefits to be gained through cooperation on branding, marketing and communications: association with a series of world-class arts and educational events and integration into its innovative year-long communications campaign. There are around 25 priority projects across theatre, dance, music, visual arts and film. There is strong interest in the planned music video component from a South Korean sponsor, Hyundai Card and a partner, the Hyundai Card Music (http://library.hyundaicard.com/music/index.hdc). The events will provide opportunities to reach new audiences who have little knowledge of British music video and more frequently identify the form as American.
The impact strategy for Cuba will be based upon links with the International Film Festival in December 2017 and will target dance education. Filmmakers from Cuba and across Latin America will be travelling to Havana; the project events will thus attract a wide audience of film-making talent: DoPs and camera operators will learn from a cinematography workshop for example. The dancers are already resident in Cuba at the ballet school in Havana. Dancers and choreographers will benefit from working with a British director and cinematographer specializing in filming dance music videos. Engaging with Cuban dance and film-makers is likely to have a creative impact of their work. In both South Korea and Cuba, the existing profile of the British Council's Selector radio service will be exploited around music video live events and online platforms. This will mean the project's work has an impact on a much wider audience.
The local impact of our planned events will be recorded by the British Council using its own evaluation procedures (audience data gathering and profiling) which it will share with the project team. There will be a post-project report written by Gary Thomas at the British Council that will focus on the effectiveness of this kind of cross-artform initiative. The Korean audience's knowledge of UK arts and culture will be broadened by the project contribution. In terms of popular music most Koreans assume that music artists are American; Fifty Years of British Music Video will have a key cultural role to play in this respect. They will discover much about British popular culture, diversity, youth identity and self-expression. For its own part the project team will arrange for events in Cuba to be filmed as a record of impact. The IP of these tangible outputs will be shared by the University of Portsmouth, University of the Arts London and The British Council. Copies of the outputs will be lodged at all three partner institutions for ten years in order to inspire further work in the field and promote student engagement and potential educational links. Creative Arts and Media Studies students will benefit from learning about how the popular arts can engage diverse audiences, and gain an understanding of how creative skills can be communicated and exchanged across cultural boundaries. For the British Council, the new music video packages will constitute a significant addition to their film portfolio which includes Artists' Film, Grierson Documentaries and BAFTA shorts, and they promise to have future impact potential for audiences in other territories.


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