Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Introducing Martin the Third, our Digital Marketing Manager

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

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We’re pleased to welcome another new face into the Katapult fold…Martin Broadhurst, the newest member of our digital team. Sharing the same name as two of the team, this means that a quarter of people who work at Katapult are now called Martin.

Martin joins us as Digital Marketing Manager from a specialist social media marketing company which he co-founded. His role includes implementing inbound marketing campaigns, focussing specifically on content development, driving traffic and converting leads.

Along with his passionate support of Derby County FC, Martin also has an unhealthy obsession with watching mixed martial arts and likes to think he’s a bit of a funny man.

To help you get to know Martin better, we asked him a few questions:

Q: What sort of projects are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into?
A: “Online ones obviously. I’m particularly looking forward to getting some more measurable campaigns up and running.”

Q: Who or what is your digital inspiration?
A: Phil Higgins. Or Google.

Q: If you weren’t so passionate about digital marketing, what else would you want to do?
A: “Fight in a cage. No, I take that back, I’d get my ass handed to me. I’ve always wanted to be a stand up comic actually”

Me: “but you’re not funny enough?”
Martin: “yeah quite simply”

Q: What is the last film you laughed out loud at?
A: “The Candidate with Will Ferrell on the plane on the way back from India. Everyone was asleep and I was guffawing.”

Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
*Sighs, as if there are many, before saying something rude and getting told off.*
A: “Staying up until 5am and watching sweaty men fight in cages” (the fact we all know this already suggests he doesn’t feel that guilty about his guilty pleasure)

Q: What’s your idea of a great night out?
A: “Derby beating Forest, followed by a trip to a real ale pub, some pork based snacks: pork pies, sausage rolls, pork scratchings, piccalilli…” (he continues for a while on the food related theme) “and a group of friends up to 8 in size, an open fire and maybe some whisky – ideally wintery outside – and then a taxi home to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (On reminding him that 3 of his answers are now fighting related, he responds “and even then, that’s not quite enough.”)

Q: What in your opinion is the greatest invention of all time?
A: “The microchip. It revolutionised the way everything works.”

Martin has already hit the ground running but if you haven’t been introduced yet and would like to give him a friendly welcome, you can do so at martinb@katapult-studios.com

Infographic: Facebook reaches 1 billion monthly active users

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Facebook announced yesterday that the site has now reached 1 billion monthly active users. Have a look at our infographic to find out more about the recently released statistics:

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In the frame with Brian Griffin

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Brian Griffin Format Photography Festival Commission

Normally used to leading on the creative front, a few of the Katapult team earlier this week became the subjects for a new commission by internationally renowned photographer Brian Griffin.

Brian Griffin, coined “photographer of the decade” by The Guardian, came to take pictures of Dawn and the team for his new commission for the 2013 Format International Photography Festival, launching in March next year.

Brian recently launched “The Road to 2012″ for the National Portrait Gallery, producing portraits of some key figures involved in the bid for London 2012 and responsible for delivering the Olympic Park infrastructure. The project aims to showcase a lasting legacy of the London 2012 Olympics Games.

Being passionate about photography and having been involved with the branding and marketing for Format for the last five years, we were proud to be asked to be part of Brian’s new commission due to be exhibited in Derby next year. After a thoughtful recce around our building, judging lighting conditions and use of space in each room, Brian finally decided on a location for the piece. Without preconceptions of how he would construct the image, Brian’s imagination and eye for detail in instructing us how to move or where to stand demonstrated amazing creative and technical prowess, which wowed us all. We’re looking forward to seeing the chosen image and displaying it here in the building for all to see in the new year.

Unfortunately we can’t release the background to the commission; the project will remain closely under-wraps until further details are released by Format Photography Festival in the press later this year.

NB: There are now only three days left for all photographers, artists, curators and collectives to upload their work to the Format Exposure submissions site; the theme this year being ‘Factory’.

Cultural Connections fright night at Calke Abbey

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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What a brilliant summer’s evening and a suitably eerie venue to host another great event for our guests: The Woman in Black summer night’s screening at Calke Abbey.

Having worked with QUAD since 2008, we’ve been hosting Cultural Connections, our joint monthly events for clients, suppliers and partners for over a year now. In addition to last year’s outdoor screening of The King’s Speech at Kedleston Hall, we’ve since hosted some fantastic cultural events for our guests including National Theatre Live screenings, exhibition launches, an Olympic Torch Relay celebration party and various film screenings at QUAD.

Arriving at Calke Abbey at 6pm to entertain guests with Pimms and lemonade and strawberries and cream in the evening sunshine, we watched hundreds of others arrive in the grounds to set up picnics and prepare themselves to be scared – pillows and blankets at the ready! We had also prepared some treat bags with a creepy quote from the film to set the tone for the evening. Some of our guests commented on how original it was to spend an evening of informal networking in such beautiful surroundings.

As a location for outdoor cinema screenings, Calke Abbey is not just expansive and visually impressive, but possibly much under explored as a place of historical interest in the region. Currently in the care of the National Trust, the Grade I listed country house estate has an interesting history dating back to the sixteenth century. Before the National Trust took over the care of the property in the 1980’s, it had remained almost untouched for over 100 years. As such, the crumbling paintwork and overgrown courtyards provided the perfect creepy backdrop for The Woman in Black, sharing much in common with Eel Marsh House from the film (and perhaps it even has a ghost or two?)

As the sun began to go down, Calke Abbey came into its own, creating a chilling atmosphere before the film had even begun. Shadows were cast on the walls of the house by people’s torches and candles, really putting the audience in the mood for the jumpy bits that would follow.

Watching everyone settle on the sloping bank on chairs and blankets with candles and bottles of wine waiting for it to get dark, created a feeling unlike that of being in a cinema. It is hard not to feel part of the action on screen when you are out under the stars, not to mention making a film like The Woman in Black hit even harder with its scary punches – cue lots of screams and shouts from the audience along with people ducking under blankets they had brought along (myself included).

With the outdoor cinema events, QUAD have done such a great job in making the most of the limited summer we have; with outdoor screenings taking place at numerous venues around the county between May and September. However, most importantly I think, the Summer Night’s Film Festival has encouraged people from in and around Derbyshire to venture out into the county and explore some of this country’s most spectacular historic properties; and what better way to showcase Derbyshire’s fantastic heritage than providing the setting for some brilliant cinema?

Dawn is running the Virgin London Marathon

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

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Over the past 4 months, you may have seen Katapult MD Dawn Foote hitting the streets of Derby as part of her training for the London Marathon on April 22nd.

Inspired after watching last year, Dawn signed up and was unexpectedly awarded a place in the ballot. Having never ran more than 10k previously, the prospect of running 26.2 miles is a huge challenge – there have been aches and pains aplenty over the last few weeks as her weekly mileage increases with “the long Sunday run” now up to 14 miles.

Dawn is raising money for REACT, a charity close to her heart, having completed a volunteer conservation placement with the organisation in 2009 in Borneo. The endangered animal charity connects volunteers to various conservation projects over the world, informing people of ways they can contribute to vital fundraising or conservation projects to protect and conserve the world’s most endangered animals.

Dawn will be hosting a charity auction after she has completed the Marathon (no pressure!) but in the meantime please support Dawn by visiting  Virgin Money Giving. All donations and support are hugely appreciated.

Expect the Unexpected – PechKucha Night Derby #4

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

PechaKucha Night Derby #4

After three fantastic events, PechaKucha Night Derby has gained an impressive following of those who hunger to hear all things inspiring . PechaKucha Night Derby#4 on Thursday 26th January promises a line up of speakers as entertaining and inspiring as those who went before them.

PechaKucha Night Derby #4 lineup:

# Peter Gibbon – Cuba 50 Years On
# Ben Spiller – Challenging Perceived Barriers, Meeting in the Middle and Finding Common Ground
# Keith Jeffrey – Noir
# Chris Wakeman – What Would Olaf Mellberg Do?
# Simon Foote – Chapter 28
# Adam Russell – Self Organising Word Soup
# Clare Foye – What’s Love Got to Do With It? (Using Statistics to Explore the Abstract World)

Due to the popularity of the event it would be best to arrive early to avoid disappointment, as entrance is on a first come first served basis.

PechaKucha Night Derby #4 will be held in the Box at QUAD at 7.30pm on Thursday 26th January. Entry is £3 or free with a valid student card.

Have a look at the pictures taken of the enthusiastic presentations from PechaKucha Night Derby #3 to see what you can expect.

Also see the Pecha Kucha Derby page http://www.pecha-kucha.org/night/derby/

Proposed cuts to arts and culture could threaten future business investment in Derby

Friday, October 28th, 2011

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I speak for us all at Katapult when I say that we were shocked and hugely disappointed to read that Derby City Council are proposing to make drastic cuts to arts and culture in our city. The plans show the intention to completely withdraw funding to two of the city’s key venues, QUAD and Deda over the next four years. Alongside other cuts to cultural and community organisations, this sends out a very concerning message about our city, its ambitions and its future.

The ‘Revenue Budget Proposal’ acknowledges that these venues will now need to source alternative funding and/or become self financing. These organisations were never supposed to be solely commercial venues and would never have received Arts Council Funding if that were the case.

The 2009-2011 Cultural Strategy for Derby ‘Action Plan’ outlined its vision in ‘ensuring that the importance of culture in the economy of the city is better understood’, which is now just one of many points which seems contradictory.

Culturally incredible progress has been achieved in Derby in recent years. Format has been internationally recognised as a leading photography festival and Derby Feste, founded by Keith Jeffrey (QUAD) and Stephen Munn (Deda) attracted over 25,000 people to the streets of Derby last month. This demonstrates the potential for cultural activities and their associated opportunities.

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As well as the social impact, businesses in the supply chain to these venues will be directly affected. QUAD spent £377k with local suppliers in 2010/11, ironically this is more than Derby City Council invested in the venue. Between them, QUAD and Deda have generated millions of pounds worth of international profile for the city, helping to attract new investment. Drastic cuts not only devalue these organisations and their impact, but demonstrate a lack of understanding over the social and economic benefits that culture plays in the development of the city.

It’s certainly important to Katapult, which is why we have invested in and supported cultural activities in the city. A strong cultural offer is key to attracting and retaining creative professionals which is important to our business.

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A city to invest in?

The cuts raise a wider discussion on the future of Derby’s city centre. We know that Derby is home to some strong and established businesses that provide the economic backbone of the city and we hear great things about the city’s industrial strength. However, every top-drawer city has more to offer than industrial heritage.

By further developing the cultural offering – more independent bars, shops and restaurants for example – we could increase footfall, encourage localised spending and help attract new business to the city. It is only through long term commitment and investment that success will be achieved.

The Council states that it expects to make a loss in rental income from Derby’s indoor markets of £210,000 in 2012/2013 and a review of markets will take place to understand the pressures faced. This provides a perfect opportunity for the Council to work proactively with independent and creative retailers on finding a potential solution to these pressures.  The aim should be to produce a more attractive retail offer in line with the type of markets found in nearby cities such as Leeds and Birmingham.

Reports such as the Centre for Cities ‘Shifting the Gears’ claim that Derby must reach out beyond its borders and its traditional industrial base to grow. Shouldn’t now be the time that the city looks to further invest in the creative and cultural industries: the third fastest growing sector in the UK?

The short-sightedness of the council makes businesses like ours concerned about the future of our city.  Culture is a vital aspect of an aspirational city, not just a nice-to-have.

Here’s how you can make your voice heard and support the ‘Save Derby Arts and Culture’ campaign:

1)      Get informed about Derby City Council’s specific plans by looking at the budget proposal
2)      Fill in the feedback form. The section relating to arts and culture cuts is under the ‘Neighbourhoods’ section. You have until Friday 18 November to do this.
3)      Send your stories in a polite email to Derby City Council leader Philip Hickson and deputy leader Hilary Jones.
4)      Share your stories on the Facebook page Save Derby Arts and follow the campaign on Twitter @SaveDerbyArts
5)      Write to the Derby Telegraph with your stories and ask the editor Steve Hall and entertainment editor Nigel Powlson to run a campaign.
6)      Support the organisations affected by the proposed cuts by going to their events and exhibitions, eating and drinking in their cafes and bars and taking part in their participatory projects.

Author: Dawn Foote, Managing Director

Celebrating 10 years of Method and Magic at Alton Towers

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Team Katapult and kids at Alton Towers

What better way to reward and celebrate 10 years of Method and Magic than a trip to Alton Towers!

The team, along with partners and kids, celebrated Katapult’s 10th birthday this weekend. Favourite rides of the day included Rita, Air (with front row seats), Thi3teen (which frightened a few of us more than we expected) and Enterprise (three very brave Katapult kids and three very nauseous adults on a wheel that spins very fast. The youngest to brave Enterpise was Amelie aged 3 and the oldest to bottle it was Neil, aged 40+). With fast track tickets to get on all the rides, we managed to have a full day of fun and fear. Job well done.

It was a great way to mark the occasion – as you can see above from our slightly bedraggled group shot of those we managed to rally together at the end of the day and the rest of the team on the rapids, below, we had a good time. Shame we couldn’t take Brad though.

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Making Magic (and Method) in the Digital Studio

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

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We are pleased to announce Katapult are now the official sponsors of the Digital Studio at QUAD, to mark the occasion the Katapult team decided to test out some of the equipment last night when we took part in one of QUAD’s team-building animation workshops.

We started off with an introduction by Darius Powell, QUAD’s Digital Resources and Training Officer, by which point we were all itching to start creating and the ideas began floating around the room.

Within 4 hours we were aiming to come up with a stop-motion animation piece for our Method and Magic values to replace the Flash animation we currently have on our website. After a brainstorming session, storyboard and a bit of a debate along with lots of paper cutting, plasticine moulding, doodles and illustration the Method and Magic finally came together to produce a fun and quirky animation.

Apologies to QUAD for any plasticine clouds or worms we may have left behind!

The animation is currently undergoing a few tweaks from Phil, applying his post production k-motion magic and we expect to have a version on the Katapult site soon.

For more information on the digital and creative courses available in the Katapult Digital Studio please visit QUAD

Courses range from learning Digital SLR Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Animation, Screenwriting, Film Production, Music Production and Graphic Design. The studio also works on a wide range of education and community projects which can be seen on their blog.

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Duck design secrets revealed…

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

After winning Derby’s Best Dressed Duck Award on Saturday, we thought we would reveal a few design secrets, in the making of our ducks…

Orville

Orville the Duck

Above: Green spray paint + some green fluff + fabric glue + a towel for a nappy + a giant safety pin.

Orville the Duck

The end result!

Katapunk, the doodle duck

Katapunk Duck

Above: Some white spray paint + a punky pink mohawk + some black and pink (waterproof) Sub ink illustration pens

Katapunk Duck Design

Katapunk duck being sprayed in the car park – away from cars!

Katapunk the doodle duck

The illustration begins!

half way katapunk

Katapunk….

Katapunk