Program guide editing and synopses creation

The Pitch

As one of the oldest film festivals in the world, Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) boasts a dedicated following of discerning cinema-goers.
The program guide is the Festival’s primary marketing tool and one that is dissected by its readers down to the tiniest detail. Not surprisingly, such a large and comprehensive document needs to be created to exacting standards that meet the scrutiny of the most knowledgeable film consumer.

Having developed a relationship with MIFF as a journalist with a specialty in cinema, Bakewood’s Emma Westwood initially secured the position of MIFF Program Editor in 2006. She stepped down from that role in 2008 but has continued her working relationship with MIFF under the guise of Bakewood in consecutive years since then.

The Solution

Under Emma’s editorial stewardship, the MIFF program guide underwent some significant changes – such as the inclusion of a ‘hook’ at the beginning, and screening times at the conclusion, of each film synopsis. These have become standard features of the approximately 65-page guide.

Nowadays, both Emma and her team at Bakewood, among other writers, assist the current editor of the MIFF guide, Melanie Sheridan, in researching and writing synopses that market individual films without misrepresenting them. These synopses are produced at a fast turnaround and high volume to meet unflinching print deadlines, as well as the launch of the program on the Festival’s website.

The Result

MIFF brought $9.1 million into the local economy during the 2013 event, according to Roy Morgan Market Research.

As one of Melbourne’s most anticipated annual events, it continues to grow with every Festival in the approach to its 70th year, as does the expectation around the release of the coveted program guide.