Image Alt

About Story to Market


Fusing story development and marketing into a new kind of Development

Right now, in our industry, separate activities are collapsing into each other. Development and marketing are next because having an idea for a story which involves knowing from day one why it will draw an audience is now a basic requirement. Story development and marketing are really just two ways of looking at the same process. S2M is here to show innovative ways that film-makers and storytellers, with marketeers at their side contributing from the start, can successfully create, develop and produce projects with a greater chance of finding their audience and in doing so, make money for its originators.


What is S2M

In Screen Industries, a project’s evolution divides into Development, Production, and Exploitation. Production and Exploitation transformed with the digital revolution. Development resisted, fearing radical change damaged the creative process. But change due to the digital revolution is inevitable for Development and offers opportunities for professionals and companies in Europe who embrace those changes. S2M is a Professional Skills and Project Development program, teaming with market professionals to create stories in a new way, combining story and marketing techniques at a much earlier stage than before. This fuses story development and marketing into a new kind of Development, where professionals learn new skills, add new professionals to their key team, and learn techniques utilizing new, digital tools. S2M is a 12-month program, presented mainly online, through seminars, short online training modules and moderated team discussions, but with key phases of in-person training via a residential workshop, training workshops at selected film festivals, and project pitches at selected film markets.


Why S2M?

The way we have done things in the past has had quite strict divisions and hierarchies, and although some producers and writers have worked outside of those boundaries, most don’t. And that is reflected in the way that for example development is financed. People will happily put in development money for a writer if they think the project is interesting to them, but they would never put in money for a marketing consultant to advise a producer on a story concept before a writer was involved and before anything had been written. The only reason people have a problem even thinking of that is because it contradicts the way we used to do it. At S2M we know these changes are happening and they are going to transform development in particular over the next five or ten years. That’s why S2M exists, to explore these changes, and to help industry professionals understand them and become fluent in story development and marketing at the same time, using marketing tools to help make your stories and projects more interesting not as things to sell, but as stories. And to make sure that from the first moment a project starts to form, everyone involved knows what they need to be thinking about in order to make sure it reaches its audience.


S2M structure

S2M takes story professional teams and market professionals through the program, resulting in a developed project, a set of online story documents, an online project website, and a full marketing plan. The projects will be presented to industry professionals at selected film festivals and markets. S2M creative teams will be trained how to use online marketing materials to explore a story through development. Market professionals will be trained in how to collaborate with writers in this process. Producers will be trained in how to manage, structure and budget this new form of development. New projects, developed this way, will be pitched to the European and international industry. Selected online training modules will be downloadable for European industry professionals to explore the ideas of S2M further. S2M is time-effective. Most of the S2M program takes place online (with important in-person interventions). The schedule is time-limited but intense, requiring good, disciplined work in small bursts that allows space for professionals to integrate S2M into their working lives. Online modules are downloadable to be viewed repeatedly. The residential workshop is intense, but brief, the follow-up online keeps a fast development pace.