Data: Bigger, Purposeful and More Open


On 21518 I attended an event at the BFI called Crunching the Numbers: the Figures Behind the British Film Industry. Whilst the event did not quite deliver on addressing it’s question of whether the numbers can help us predict where it’s [the British Film Industry] headed, the specific projects of Lucy Wales,  Melanie Hoyes, and Edward Anderson, were really interesting to learn about. Of particular connection to my work was Mr Anderson’s use of open linked data and applied examples of SPARQL queries, as well as the efforts to bring together database systems and their use were very good to hear. They connect quite closely with projects linked on these pages from the Nesta Digital R&D Fund and Open Data Incubator Europe (image below and details here).

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On 24518 I will give evidence to the Screen Sector Committee on the role of film data and it seems from reading the reports of previous sessions that my submissions have been taken up: CTEER_meeting_papers_2018.05.24 2 report screen sector 5 

I am very happy that KH of EIFF backed my position (column 7 -page 7) , and that the evidence from the independent exhibition sector helpfully indicated the important and substantial amount of work to do.

The committee has released an interim report that states its intent to recommend an independent screen unit. Their attention to governance issues in this respect was very helpful.


On first learning of the position it was easy to think solely that this move would be, like fully backing sufficient studio capacity, a long overdue effort at rectifying the mistakes of the last decade. However, the attention to addressing the lack of a film expert in the board level decision making process and the issue of how different agencies could or should be involved are salient points crucial to this current context. I hope that in any set up of Screen Scotland time and money are not wasted on areas that do not add value specifically to the screen industry, and that any potential reduction in involvement of Scottish Enterprise does not undermine potential financial support for the sector.

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