Long days, an endless supply of coffee and thinking on your feet are all part of the process when you work the Toronto International Film Festival.
The memories and lessons learned are endless. One of the most satisfying moments is seeing your talent smiling after receiving positive reviews and encouragement for showcasing what they love to do.
The work of public relations seems effortless in this equation, but the team without a doubt, worked ferociously before, during and after the festival.
Here are a few key PR learnings I reflected on after working through my first TIFF:
- Location is key – With endless client interviews and camera calls it’s essential to have a large, accommodating space. In our case using an unconventional space was the best possible solution. The team rented out popular bar UG3, providing us with unique settings for camera interviews, lots of space and great location. Our talent was able to comfortably relax in between shoots and interviews. The space was also big enough that coordinating multiple journalists at a time was effortless.
- You’re only as strong as your team – No job is too minor or insignificant. From making coffee morning, noon and night, to obtaining reactions after a press and industry screening, it’s all integral to the success of a festival.
- Coffee is your best friend – With TIFF, expect the unexpected. Absolutely anything can happen, so being on high alert is vital for a smooth run. Last minute printing, movie poster hunting, talent handling, the list goes on, so be sure to have your supply fully stocked heading into festival season.
- Timing is everything – With over 400 movies screened at the annual TIFF, the question will continue to circulate in/around your mind, “how can I help make these films stand out?” This involves months of pre-pitching and planning that the team began before the screenings even started.
- Organization will save you – Pre-planning and scheduling is necessary for everyone to understand their daily duties. It’s so easy to lose track especially with last minute changes or interruptions. No detail is too small to include but also expect to adapt, interview times and appointments are bound to change around.