This article presents a case study of Lockdown, an anthology series developed by two production companies under strict COVID restrictions in Flanders, centred on a prison visiting space. Every episode is written and directed by different screenwriters and directors. The case study clearly shows how a combination of creativity of Flemish independent producers, a felt need to counter the damaging effects of COVID on Flemish audio-visual industries, and the need to produce under strict hygienic and social distancing rules, resulted in a unique creative concept, that, ironically, might not have been achievable under normal circumstances. The analysis shows that the smallness of the Flemish market, which over the past decades resulted in an industry dynamism characterized by improvisation, voluntarism, high dependency on collaboration and short term financial planning, is precisely what might have provided the ideal backdrop for the production of this unique series.
Cloud Opera or The Dido Problem (Vaba Lava, Tallinn, Feb-Mar 2019) is a theatrical performance investigating, through artistic means, the human condition in the datafied world. The play was created in collaboration between Vaba Lava theatre and Tallinn University’s Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture (MEDIT). In terms of its representations, the play combined references to man-made data ‘clouds’ with knowledge on atmospheric clouds and suggested that the former are just as unpredictable and uncontrollable as the latter. In this article, Liina Keevallik, the author and the scenographer of the performance together with Indrek Ibrus, a media researcher, discuss the uses of the media archaeological approach both in artistic practice and in creating “Cloud Opera”. We also discuss what media archaeological “findings” we could glean from the scenic elements of the play.
This paper is an exploratory study to understand the content marketing practices in Estonia, a current trend that ties together journalism, communications, and advertising. Estonia is a small market where the ‘guilds’ of journalists and PR professionals are rather intertwined. Trends occurring here may provide suggestions for larger markets and future developments. A qualitative study was conducted in Spring 2018. The objective of the study was to describe the problems and potential complications arising from the reorganization of traditional areas of activity of agents operating in the field of the communications industry – specifically in the context of content marketing, and from the viewpoint of representatives of PR agencies. The article begins with putting the phenomenon of content marketing into a wider societal context – and specifically that of the Estonian media ecosystem. The possible influences of content marketing on such important realms, and such defining factors as trust (Luhmann 2000), social capital (Bourdieu 1995) the integrity, independence, and the interactions between the different fields (ibid) are discussed. The results of the survey indicate that the field of public relations is changing as a result of the forces from the other neighbouring fields, that of journalism and advertising. The paper points out that the issue of trust and trustworthiness and the origins of ‘the media’ need to be addressed in order to provide integrity and transparency.
The Republic of Estonia celebrated the 100th anniversary of its independence on February 24, 2018. The celebration marked a significant milestone for Estonians and, as a way of recognizing this, the Estonian government implemented different marketing and participatory strategies for involving individuals and organizations to take part in the celebration. As such, individuals and organizations were invited to create special gifts for Estonia and its citizens. These gifts could be in the form of tangible presents or in the form of special events and cultural programs. The official gifts were marked by the official Estonia 100 (in the Estonian language: EV100) logo. One such gift to the Estonian population were a number of audiovisual productions that were enabled through special funding from the Estonian government, managed by the Estonian Film Institute. These productions included, besides 40 short documentaries about young Estonian inventors, one animation, six feature films, two documentaries and a TV drama series (EV100 2019a).1 This paper reports a study that explored the impact of the Estonia 100 brand on the production, marketing and consumption of these films and the TV series.
The need to re-structure established media systems needs to be acknowledged. In a situation where new services will be provided by different actors of the digital economy, the role of public service media (PSM) requires attention. If, generally, PSM are under pressure in Europe, the situation in small national markets is even more complicated. PSM are under pressure and also need to find ways to reformulate their role in society and culture. Broad discussions and new agreements between politicians, citizens and the media industry are necessary to change this situation. We will approach the question of whether a specific gap still exists in the media market that can be filled by PSM? The article will seek these answers based on various survey data and collected statistics in Estonia.
Researchers and practitioners have long been intrigued by the role of stars in the film industry (McDonald 2005). Actors with star status can enhance the economic prospects of a film (Wallace et al. 1993). For instance, replacing average stars with top stars has been shown to increase revenue (Nelson, Glotfelty 2012). A meta-analysis of 61 studies collating data from 1545 films has shown the significant effect of commercial star power on Hollywood films’ revenues (Hofmann, et al. 2017). The Hollywood movie industry can be viewed as a system that maintains and regulates the popularity of existing and emerging stars through agents, producers and award systems (McDonald 2013).