PR & Audience development support
North East Film Archive
“His passion for people and film were central to connecting the film heritage of the North East to local, national and international audiences.“
Between 2018 and 2020 I provided specialist PR and audience development support to the project North East On Film. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the project presented archive film material to the public via a two-year programme of public events and online releases in partnership with organisations across the entire region. North East On Film smashed its targets for both live and online public engagement, and succeeded in the difficult task of raising the public profile of the organisation.
Jonny brings an interesting perspective to the task in hand, followed by a clear focus to make it happen.
It might have been only one day per week but Jonny’s desire, dedication and dynamism in his role at the North East Film Archive made it feel like he was a full time member of the team. His passion for people and film were central to connecting the film heritage of the North East to local, national and international audiences. The numbers speak for themselves, the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project ‘North East on Film’ had a target of 1 million online views – by the end of the two year project online views had surpassed 3 million, and that number is still growing!
Archive Manager, Yorkshire Film Archive & North East Film Archive
UK release of deaf short film programme
Encounters Short Film Festival
“From day one Jonny understood what we were trying to achieve with the project both creatively and commercially.”
In spring 2020 I was engaged to work with Encounters Film Festival on the theatrical release of their deaf shorts programme Now. Here. This. to mark Deaf Awareness Week 2020. Following the impact of COVID-19, we adapted our strategy, making the programme available online for a limited period of one week, accompanied by a special presented screening across multiple platforms. I supported the release with release strategy input, PR support and a quick-turnaround impact campaign.
Working with Jonny was a total pleasure – from day one he understood what we were trying to achieve with the project both creatively and commercially, and was able to add value on both fronts. Combining a creative approach with a strong delivery focus meant that we were totally confident that he would deliver what he promised in a way that would be in keeping with our aims.
Festival Producer, Encounters Short Film Festival
UK audience development support
Sorry We Missed You
Jonny worked on the UK cinema release of Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You as one of our Regional Marketing Officers for the north.
The role required creativity, experience, marketing skills and knowledge of the local area. The aim was to deliver a nuanced grassroots campaign to engage the local community directly and raise awareness of the film and the issues portrayed within it.
Creating a campaign that targeted commuting workers, city centre revellers, trade unions, political parties and activists, Jonny’s work supported the above the line marketing campaign around the film’s release and Sorry We Missed You opened strongly in the north, with Newcastle upon Tyne leading the film’s UK admissions figures.
Impact Producer, Cosmic Cat
Cinema programming and marketing
“Knowledgeable, passionate, and a joy to work with.”
Few people know cinema and audiences like Jonny.
Knowledgeable, passionate, and a joy to work with, Jonny is able to connect venues with their local communities and people to a broad and diverse range of moving image.
With a proven track record of success and an ability to think outside of the box, Jonny is also a genuine pleasure to work alongside.
Artistic Director of Film at HOME, Manchester
and Visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University
Theatrical distribution support
“A pleasure to work with.”
We worked with Jonny to release our feature doc ‘Home’ across UK cinemas. Being new to the process, I have found it so reassuring having Jonny steering it all and making it happen.
He’s got experience, contacts and ideas aplenty, as well as being a pleasure to work with.
Theatrical distribution support
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival
“Jonny’s experience and contacts working with the independent cinema industry has been invaluable.“
I have been working with Jonny for two seasons now, touring the Best Of The Festival around the UK. It’s been a great way to share the inspiring films that the festival programmes. Jonny’s experience and contacts working with the independent cinema industry has been invaluable.
He’s been a joy to work with, and I am really pleased to now be working on our Cycle To The Cinema initiative with him too.
Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and Cycle To The Cinema
Audience development training
“It was a pleasure to welcome [Jonny] to Argyll and I would recommend him to any venue. However big or small, Jonny will be able to work with you helping you to develop your vision for your organisation.”
When we heard that the Oban Phoenix Cinema were going to book Jonny to run a session with their team we knew it would be the ideal opportunity to coordinate this with one of our Argyll Exhibitor Forums to maximise on the opportunity. We asked Jonny to host a round table conversation with venues from Argyll focussed on Audience Development and how they could get the most from their data.
It was great to have a different perspective as part of the conversation. Jonny is flexible with a wide range of expertise that he can bring to different groups from community cinemas through to full time venues. It was a pleasure to welcome him to Argyll and I would recommend him to any venue. However big or small, Jonny will be able to work with you helping you to develop your vision for your organisation.
Quotes from attendees:
‘Was interesting to hear ways in which we can increase our audience numbers by keeping an eye on our audience data.’
‘It was incredibly useful.’
Audience research, development & programming strategy
Square Chapel Arts Centre
“We have found out a whole wealth of invaluable insights into our core audience and audiences who we want to visit more often.”
Jonny has been a huge help in working with us at Square Chapel Arts Centre to find out more about our audiences and their behaviours.
He was really methodical in working with us to develop a survey to send out to customers and then interrogated that data and programme information in such detail that we have found out a whole wealth of invaluable insights into our core audience and the audiences who we want to visit more often.
He is also just a genuinely nice and enthusiastic person and took time to come down to Halifax to find out more about our venue and the local area. He is always a really easy person to reach out to if you need someone’s brains to pick and is excited in seeing how audiences can grow.
It’s almost like he has been a member of the team here for ages and we look forward to working with him more in the future as our cinema develops.
Sales Manager / Film Programmer
Square Chapel Arts Centre
Film programming & audience development support
Phoenix Cinema, Oban
“I would highly recommend Jonny if you are struggling with your audience numbers, if you want to diversify your programme or even if you just want a bit of advice.”
One of the reasons we wanted Jonny to come to Oban was because we knew he had a great deal of experience with both programming and marketing. We were not disappointed. Jonny thoroughly interrogated us (in a nice way) about the cinema and how we chose our films and what kind of marketing we did. From there he was able to see how we could improve our cinema experience for our customers. One of the areas we wanted to improve in was specialised and foreign language films as we felt that area was underserved in our community. Jonny took us on a logical journey beginning with how to start our marketing campaigns and the importance of good data.
I would highly recommend Jonny if you are struggling with your audience numbers, if you want to diversify your programme or even if you just want a bit of advice. Jonny is excellent at getting to the point and taking you there with him. He manages to do this by understanding what you want and how you can do that. He is also a thoroughly nice chap.
Come back soon Jonny!
Oban Phoenix Cinema
Audience / programme review
“Progressive, curious and thrilling to work with, Jonny’s talents are broad enough to cover an extraordinarily wide range of cultural work, while his heart is big enough to genuinely care.”
After Groundwork successfully reopened the former Bede’s World as Jarrow Hall, Jonny undertook a wide-ranging review of this complex site, its offer and how this much-loved heritage attraction could be best positioned to attract new audiences and develop a unique, propulsive identity.
Jonny distilled his excitement for the site’s potential into a foundational report that informed our near-term engagement alongside our major Heritage Lottery Resilient Heritage and Esmée Fairbairn projects.
Progressive, curious and thrilling to work with, Jonny’s talents are broad enough to cover an extraordinarily wide range of cultural work, while his heart is big enough to genuinely care.
Strategic Cultural Development Manager
Groundwork South and North Tyneside
Film distribution & audience strategy support
It Is Not One Way
Jonny has been a joy to work with on the distribution of my first feature ‘IT IS NOT ONE WAY’. His enthusiasm for cinema and experience is second to none.
Trust is an important thing when it comes to independent films and Jonny has certainly earned that with me. Jonny has supported me by creating a plan for the market, advised on every eventuality possible and most importantly build a stage for the film. He completely gets the message and the aims I have for my film.
I absolutely love collaborating with this man and would recommend him to anybody who needs guidance on distribution, marketing and creating a route to market.
Filmmaker, It Is Not One Way
Audience development support
The Gert Lush
Jonny has a very strategic mind that understands not just the way to reach people but how to get people emotionally engaged with your projects. Over the years Jonny has added his insight and expertise to projects of mine ranging from film festivals to documentaries and recently my eccentric vintage bike festival – The Gert Lush – correctly identifying what we needed to do to build a community from scratch.
Thank you, Mr. Tull!
Patrick Collerton Bafta and Emmy award winner
Gert Lush Vintage Bicycle Jamboree
Audience development & business strategy support
“I came away with a much better understanding of how, as a Marketer, I could implement change and propose a strategy.“
Meeting with Jonny was a brilliant opportunity.
He was incredibly helpful and provided a great outsider’s perspective on how our cinema could develop and evolve as an audience/data led organisation.
I came away with a much better understanding of how, as a Marketer, I could implement change and propose a strategy. He gave me great advice and a structured plan on how to achieve our aims.
Feature film positioning strategy
“With Jonny it’s not simply about number crunching: he cares about film, and filmmakers.”
Our conversations with Jonny were hugely informative and insightful, and they provided us a detailed overview of the industry from a distribution point of view; as a result of which we came away with a much greater understanding of how best to take Second Spring forward. With Jonny it’s not simply about number crunching: he cares about film, and filmmakers.
Jonny is passionate about championing independent cinema, especially micro-budget films, and he also brings a wealth of cinematic knowledge to every aspect of his practice. Jonny has a can-do attitude, an ability to think out of the box, and he’s prepared to fight for the underdog, which was just what we, as first-time producers needed.
Independent distribution can seem like a daunting business, but with Jonny involved it never felt impossible.
Writer and Co-Producer
Cinema marketing & programming support
We have been running our cinema for 18 years, within this time we have grown from screening educational films to, over the past two years, a full programme of new release mainstream and indie films. My main reason for meeting Jonny was to get advice on programming for our audience. I decided Jonny was the right person for me as I knew about the amazing work he produced at Tyneside Cinema.
Jonny is super friendly and I really got the feeling he understood my challenges. He provided me with solutions and great ideas and after our meeting, followed up with a structured plan which will help keep me focused.
Rheged Cinema – Penrith
Event, programme & audience development Hinterlands Festival
“His years and depth of experience in the film industry proved an invaluable resource to us.”
Jonny Tull came our way via Film Hub North, as we started to dream up our film festival Hinterlands. Jonny mentored us through the planning process, helping to point us in the right direction, keeping us on track and asking really useful questions about the Why as well as the What and the How.
He has an open and friendly manner and puts you at ease, which means you feel entirely relaxed and can ask all the questions you think might be too stupid to ask.
His years and depth of experience in the film industry proved an invaluable resource to us.
We’re looking forward to working more with Jonny in future.
Audience Development, programming & business development, fundraising and strategy planning
Warwick Arts Centre
“Jonny’s expertise in film programming, marketing and evaluation has been invaluable in helping us prepare the way towards the major redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre“
We have been working with Jonny on planning for Warwick Arts Centre’s 20:20 Project. Jonny’s expertise in film programming, marketing and evaluation has been invaluable in helping us prepare the way towards the major redevelopment of Warwick Arts Centre, which includes the opening of three new cinema screens and a new ground floor gallery.
Jonny has been patient, proactive and practical and we’ll be continuing to call on him for advice and guidance in the run up to opening in October 2020.
Find out more about Warwick Arts Centre’s 20:20 project here.
Warwick Arts Centre
Audience design and distribution strategy
“I’ve known Jonny for ten years or so. He has always been a champion of all types of cinema, and a passionate one at that.“
I worked closely with Jonny while he was programmer of the Tyneside Cinema during the release of my Venice title, Bypass, produced by my company Third, in 2015. It was a pleasurable and rewarding experience for the film and us both.
When Jonny left his post at the Tyneside to explore pastures new in freelance programming, curation, audience development and distribution, Third was at a development point of its cycle with several projects germinating. My experience told me that even as a small independent I needed to bring thoughts of audience design and distribution into much sharper focus much earlier in the process. Why not broach and plan audience design during development?
I approached Jonny with this concept and he jumped at it with the verve, vigour and passion that he displays across all his work. Working with Jonny in this way over the past 12 months has not just brought us closer together as colleagues but allowed my understanding and appreciation of audience and how to reach them to grow. This is down to Jonny and his deep understanding of the sector, married with his engagement and enthusiasm.
I look forward to growing my working relationship with Jonny over many projects and many years.
Theatrical distribution & audience development
Jonny has opened doors for my work that I didn’t even know how to knock on.
He has broadened my audience by distributing Psycho Vertical in over 35 cinemas to date around the UK, assisting and advising every step of the way with energy, positivity and most importantly, of course, results.
My goal for this project was to see my film play in quality venues where viewers would get a real cinematic experience – Jonny has taken that goal and ran with it, far exceeding my expectations.
Programme, audience & business development
We contacted our regional Film Hub when we found out they offered Advice and Experience visits and they put us in touch with Jonny as someone who could help. We were looking for guidance on relaunching our Screen 2 offer, a separate more specialist film programme using equipment awarded through the BFI Neighbourhood scheme.
Jonny went to great efforts to travel by public transport to reach us in rural Shropshire which we appreciated as it meant we were able to spend several hours chatting to him.
It is obvious he is committed to all things film and cinema and has a wealth of experience which he is willing to share to make sure any venue is making the most of their space for screening purposes, while focussing on the question ‘Why do we do film?’ and the importance of embedding this in an organisation’s mission statement.
Having asked questions about our particular situation and our aims and objectives, he provided us with some practical suggestions for a way forward. As a small venue run primarily with the support of volunteers we are working with particular constraints but Jonny’s insight and suggestions certainly gave us plenty to think about in terms of setting up an informal programming group and choice of film, and how to create an offer that would appeal to different audiences.
Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton, Shropshire
Skills development (film distribution)
Northern Film + Media
Devising and delivering the day-long event ‘Open The Gates – Getting Your Feature in Front Of Your Audience’ for north east filmmakers
“What he also brought was unstoppable enthusiasm and a meticulous approach to the organisation of the event. It made my job very easy indeed.“
I worked with Jonny recently on an event for North East filmmakers looking at the relationship between programming, sales and distribution. Having previously worked together during his time at the Tyneside Cinema I knew that he would do a really thorough job, bringing his unparalleled knowledge of the programming landscape and deep empathy for those who actually make the films to bear on the experience. He did that in spades, but what he also brought was unstoppable enthusiasm and a meticulous approach to the organisation of the event. It made my job very easy indeed.
I would recommend Jonny Tull without hesitation as a consummately professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.
Northern Film + Media
Programme, audience & business development Sunderland Shorts Film Festival
“Above all Jonny’s a really nice guy, a great listener and very perceptive and I would recommend him highly as a mentor and advisor, not just for the film sector but for the broader creative industries too.“
I knew of Jonny by reputation while he was still with Tyneside Cinema, but we had never met. As the Sunderland Shorts Team were developing the 3rd edition of the festival for 2017, I wanted some guidance on audience development as we were a bit disappointed with the attendance in our 2nd year. So I contacted Jonny in February 2017 and over a coffee and a very long chat he gave me some great advice, changing some of my pre-conceived ideas. Our 2017 attendance was much improved.
When Jonny set up as a freelance mentor later in the year we spoke again and I brought him on board to work with the team on our overall strategic aims and then with a growth and on-going development strategy, which we’re working on now.
Jonny has real ability to work with me as Director and the SSFF team with endless enthusiasm and energy and, importantly ‘tells it like it is’ . He’s great at pointing out what you do well but also at sharing his immense knowledge and experience of the sector to develop both staff and the strategic direction of your project. This has been of huge benefit to me as Team Lead because, although I am an experienced Project Manager, I didn’t have a great deal of industry knowledge, but Jonny is improving that and has really supported my confidence levels. Going into 2018, I am more positive and even a little excited about developing SSFF2018.
Above all Jonny’s a really nice guy, a great listener and very perceptive and I would recommend him highly as a mentor and advisor, not just for the film sector but for the broader creative industries too.
Senior Sector Specialist for Creative Industries, Sunderland City Council
Mentor, Creative United Prosper Programme
Festival Director, Sunderland Shorts Film Festival
UK & Ireland grassroots marketing campaign for the release of Double Date
Munro Film Services
Knowing how well Jonny understands cinema audiences and how best to engage with them, we had no hesitation in inviting him to work on a grassroots marketing campaign for a recent film release we were attached to.
What can I say? Jonny’s expertise and methodology were very impressive. Not that I doubted it for a second, but great to have it confirmed first hand. It was lovely for us to entrust this aspect of the overall marketing campaign to him, which he ran with great aplomb, whilst adding invaluable insight and lots of workable new ideas to the proceedings.
At a personal level, Jonny is fantastic to work with, as he is upbeat and a great communicator. Top man all round.
Munro Film Services
PR consultancy and book launch event support
Keith Jewitt, Poet
Jonny’s experience with film events has taught him the key principle that preparation is the main ingredient in event management. Jonny helped me to plan in advance both the logistical requirements of my launch event and the messages which I needed to deliver to the audience.
Jonny also used his contacts and experience to widen the reach of my book launch. The challenges and anxieties were dealt with, so far as possible, in friendly and relaxed meetings before the event:
When the event arrived, I felt fully prepared and primed to talk about my creative vision.
In A Magpie’s Eye – The Jesmond Year In Haiku
Cinema programming support & membership scheme redesign and relaunch
Jam Jar Cinema
A more diverse audience and more loyal ‘regulars’
We arranged for Jonny Tull to work on two specific audience development projects. The first piece was looking at how we can more regularly introduce diverse, challenging and specialised film into our programme. We were increasingly being asked for films that fell outside our typical programming policy. To be honest it scared us. We have very limited knowledge of more cultural, foreign language and smaller British titles. The other challenge we face is when we have dabbled in this area we frequently hear “it’s a great film but i saw it a few weeks ago at a different cinema”. Jonny proposed we created a dedicated stream of films for audiences that like to explore different films from time to time. As a single screen site we were looking at taking titles week 5-7 of release and Jonny created the branded season of EXPLORE films.
He recommended titles and also supplied us with copy and marketing resources to talk directly with our audience. The season launched in October 2017 and has been a resounding success. As a 50 seat screen we have achieved an average capacity of 70% occupancy (the target was 20% / 10 per screening). The added revenue has assisted us in persuading our board to release additional marketing resources and moreover we are now working together to create an EXPLORE programming group.
As a full time, community focused venue we have a loyal and keen audience who want to shape our programme. So it makes sense to let them. Jonny and I will be working with a new volunteer programming group, comprising of local people, offering a slate of specialised films to be curated by our community. These films will form the next EXPLORE season. It’s a bold, brave and exciting way to engage our audience and leading edge for the sector.
Jonny’s time and support have been invaluable in making this happen.
Membership scheme relaunch
The second piece of work we have commissioned was for Jonny to analyse and make recommendations for the development of our friendship/membership scheme. We have a really loyal audience and a “good” scheme with close to 200 members, but I know we can build upon this, earn extra revenue and also create a more engaged and frequenting audience. Jonny analysed our admissions data, our reach and profile and the benefits we offer compared to comparable schemes. He has also surveyed our members and used all of this information to make recommendations on how we can take the scheme forward. Again he has provided everything we need to make easy adjustments to engage people.
Following this process our board has now signed off on us recruiting an apprentice who will be looking at young peoples’ programming and be responsible for engaging our members. It’s an exciting time over in Whitley Bay and Jonny’s work has been instrumental in helping us shape our future.
I’ll be really honest i’m really busy, I often work an 80hr week (it’s a habitual problem of the cinema owner) but Jonny’s commitment and capacity to work independently is such a resource. He’s so forgiving if I can’t get back straight away and he gets that sometimes life gets in the way.
I’d recommend him to anyone
Jam Jar Cinema
Jonny Tull offered us expert advice. He clearly has years of knowledge in the industry and works hard to achieve the best result for his clients. The pace at which Jonny works, which was very important to us, was fast but also thorough. I would recommend his services to any potential clients.
Head Of Events
Programme, events & marketing consultancy Jarrow Hall
Groundwork STAN took on responsibility for Jarrow Hall following an approach by South Tyneside Council in 2016. The site was successfully opened in October 2016 to great anticipation and acclaim, our full launch taking place in April 2017.
As a charity with a mission to change places and change lives we have a strong track record of engaging communities and have harnessed great local support. We have developed a very basic business plan for the first year of delivery with the focus on delivering an outstanding visitor experience and gradually rolling in additional activities, events, clubs and supporter schemes as we move forward.
To assist with our planning beyond year one, I asked Jonny Tull to spend a day with me on the site to explore our future. Pragmatic and hands-on with a laser focus on visitor experience and audience development, Jonny worked with me to parse out the unique aspects of our site and how these assets could be intentionally and meaningfully communicated to our incredibly broad audience.
From our work together Jonny delivered an outline brief of our options around experience, audience development and marketing for the immediate future, as well as a proposal for longer-term planning and the option to engage him further in our work on site in the coming years.
Open and amiable with an incredibly positive and propulsive attitude, Jonny fully understood our vision for the site, began to develop our nascent ideas into defined outputs, and also brilliantly uncovered new opportunities to explore on our site, again fully in-line with our long term vision. I look forward to working with Jonny again in the future, and I would not hesitate to recommend him to others.
Operations Manager Culture and Heritage
Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle
Jarrow Hall Anglo-Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum
Programme & audience development support
Having worked previously with Jonny regarding film programming and cinema projects, it made perfect sense to turn to him once more to draw on his vast expertise and knowledge of the industry. This time the focus was a new film festival for the region: Baltic/Nordic Film Festival: New Perspectives. He certainly put us through our paces as we presented our initial proposal and we came away with so many excellent suggestions to convert a fledgling idea into a successful festival.
Thank you so much, Jonny!
Dr Jacky Collins