The Beat Girl Goes On

the beat girl goes on 1

With technology changing the way we consume media, ‘multi-platform’ releasing is considered the future of film distribution.

Under traditional methods, a movie is released in cinemas initially, followed by a DVD release as late as six months later. Dublin production company BeActive Media are bucking this trend with their latest release, ‘Beat Girl’, the tale of a young girl’s journey through Dublin’s DJing scene. In May, the film will hit theatres in Ireland and across Europe, while at the same time it will become accessible online through ‘On Demand’ services like Netflix and 4OD.

Triona Campbell, Company Director of BeActive, spoke to NewsFour with great enthusiasm about this ground-breaking venture, “We try to be everywhere our audience is. If you really want to connect with an audience you need to be on all platforms.” Beat Girl began life as a novel before hitting YouTube in the form of serialised “webisodes”. Spurred by its online popularity (over four million views and counting), BeActive decided to adapt the story for a feature film.

The company was formed in 2008, their first production being ‘Sofia’s Diary’, which Triona describes as “an interactive teen series”. The series originally debuted on the website ‘Bebo’ before being acquired by Channel 5 in the U.K. “It was one of the first series to cross from the internet to television,” Triona says.

Beat Girl was shot entirely in Dublin by first-time director Mairtin De Barra. “We filmed a lot in the Grand Canal area which has great reflective light. “We shot all around Dublin 4 so you’ll recognise a lot of our locations,” Triona says.

The film has impressed renowned American producer Ben Silverman, whose company Electus have optioned the rights for a U.S made-for-T.V remake. Silverman is responsible for hit shows like ‘Ugly Betty’ and ‘The Office’. Triona describes the producer as “incredibly skilled at taking European formats and translating them for an American audience”, having adapted BBC’s original British version of ‘The Office’ for U.S T.V. “It’s the first Irish drama to be picked up in this way,” Triona says.

Netflix subscribers will be able to view Beat Girl from May, while Jasmina Kallay’s novel can now be purchased from Amazon. The original web series is available to view on YouTube.

By Eric Hillis