Spark is New Zealand’s largest and most established telco. In 2017, we launched a new creative platform – “Little can be Huge.” Whether it’s a little extra value that adds up for their customers, a little call that turns someone’s day around, or the huge opportunities that a little connection can unleash, “Little can be huge” is a versatile platform for a company that shows up in every facet of New Zealand life.
“Little Can Be Huge” is equally as evident in film. With over a billion vertical films shared online each day, Spark and Facebook joined forces to create the Tall Shorts Film Festival – the first film festival made, viewed and judged on a phone, all in vertical format, all on Facebook.
We sought out to elevate the humble mobile film to the world of cinema, inviting Kiwi filmmakers to embrace the vertical format to see what’s possible.
With a marketing budget of just $22K that went mostly to paid social and display, we relied heavily on word of mouth: contacting film and media schools across New Zealand to include Tall Shorts in their curriculum.
We produced a series of 10 second films that played off the well-known ‘framing hands’ filmmakers used when planning a scene – except this frame was vertical. These were used as calls to entry on Facebook and Instagram, inviting Kiwis to submit films no longer than two minutes in portrait format. We also produced a set of street posters and display banners with similar visuals.
Kiwi film hero and 2017 New Zealander of the year Taika Waititi judged the entries, with the entire showing and judging conducted through the Facebook Live platform. He chose the winner of the $10,000 grand prize, and thumbs up emojis went flying.
With so many great entries and only one grand prize winner, we created a Tall Shorts Spark award for the film that got the most laughs and heart eye emojis, plus a compilation wrap film with a 2 second clip from each entry.
The inaugural Tall Shorts Film Festival received 71 well-crafted entries across all genres – drama, comedy, horror, animation and romance, with many using native mobile and social tools in genre-bending films.
That’s nearly half the total entries the New Zealand Film Commission’s Fresh Shorts received, with one percent of the marketing budget.
The Spark Tall Shorts Film Festival is now an annual event.