Rebecca Hardy is the Director of edge21 and her Clwstwr seed project, Reel Reality, is exploring new outlets for public engagement with screen content. Here, she shares her first month of R&D.

I’ve always been a massive fan of films and TV. Over the years I’ve brought way too much merchandise, stood in line for premiere screenings and lapped up exclusive content.

For many of us our first cultural experience was going to the cinema - it’s certainly an early experience we’re likely to be able to recall. I remember sitting in floods of tears on my mum’s lap watching E.T. (I have not forgiven the police in that film to this very day) and the memory, and power of that moment, has fondly stayed with me.

For most of my career I’ve turned this passion into making films: promos, short films, dramas and documentaries and I’m hoping to move into feature films once the world is in a better place.

But I’ve always wanted to do something more ‘fan’ based. You know, cool fan stuff. A celebration of film and TV, a sharing of information, an experience and interactions which feed into our inner passions and love of this type of culture.

When a friend told me about the Clwstwr Ideas Lab and subsequent R&D seed funding, my ears pricked (not in a Star Trek kind of way). However, after 20 years in the industry and quite a bit of digital experience I still doubted myself. Doubted if I’d be ‘good’ enough to get this sort of funding and, most importantly, would my idea be strong enough? That said, I knew this would be an amazing opportunity to bring to life the idea I have around locations, AR and extended film and TV content.

After finding out I was successful in getting seed funding I was like a Gremlin feeding after midnight (very excited and overindulging in celebratory food) but would I enjoy the R&D process? And what would this really mean for me and my business?

Then COVID-19 struck and like so many freelancers the work dropped away and the world changed. It was a huge worry.

After some cake and a period of transition I realised what an even bigger gift the Clwstwr seed funding had become; I had more time to invest in it, more head space to immerse myself within the research and more opportunity to turn this into something that could help my career in the short, mid and long term.

Subsequently, I’ve hugely enjoyed the research aspect. I’ve learned so much about app creation, business law, developing products, IP, user research and alternate ways to share film and TV content. I’ve received excellent support from the team at Clwstwr who have enabled me to think in different ways and put me in touch with some brilliant people. I’m not going to lie - I feel like Miss Marple on one of her greatest cases.

So maybe, just maybe, with my love of film and TV and Clwstwr’s support I can bring my product/s to market and leap into childhood dream territory. 

If you also regard yourself as a film and TV fan I’d be really grateful if you could complete my Film and TV research survey (thank you in advance):

Clwstwr currently have an Open Call window and I can’t recommend it enough! Get involved here.