Case Study: EIFF Video Conferencing

9th February 2016

EIFF uses video conferencing to benefit their premieres.

As part of their 2014 programme, the Edinburgh International Film Festival hosted a discussion with Eddie Izzard, star of featured film ‘Castles in the Sky’. At the time of the festival, Izzard was filming in the USA and for him to present the post-film conversation in person was unfeasible in terms of time, cost and carbon emissions.

However the festival took advantage of modern conferencing technology and offered the event as a two-way video call, allowing audience questions to be offered to the Hollywood star in real time, despite the physical distance. This choice saved over a tonne of CO2 emissions from the festival’s carbon footprint, and reduced the time commitment for the artist, allowing the planned discussion to go ahead.

EIFF also found there were unexpected benefits to this post-film discussion format. Audience participation during the video call was somewhat higher than in a traditional setting, particularly amongst a younger audience, who are perhaps less intimidated by such an event due to increasing use of this technology in educational and business settings.

The EIFF team do have some advice though for those interested in running a similar discussion: due to need for high quality and the potential for technical issues to severely affect the event, employing a technical team at both ends of the communication is essential.

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