30 seconds with...Laura Rothwell


Laura Rothwell is our resident marketer, last year she delivered our TWU16 marketing one-to-one sessions in Glasgow, and runs a marketing agency devoted to all things arts and culture. She gave us thirty seconds...


Laura Rothwell


Marketing person, founder of Crystlsd, marketing for creative organisations.

Three words to describe your feelings about film/cinema/culture

For. The. Soul.

What inspires you daily?

Big ideas. Talking to people about their ‘stories’ and reasons for doing what they do.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film/cinema/culture right now?

From a marketing perspective, trying to be all things to all people, doesn’t work, can never work.

And, the biggest opportunity?

That there are so many new stories to tell to new audiences. We just have to tell them!

What was the last film you saw

Their Finest (2016), Lone Scherfig

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

VoD is a necessary development in the market, the market is responding to demand. It is on filmmakers who aspire to the big screen to make the ‘big screen experience’ worth it. I enjoy Netflix as much as I enjoy visiting my local cinema (Tyneside Cinema). Different moods, different experiences, different demand.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality? Right now?

Absolutely FREAKING essential. Across gender and ethnicity. It’s in no way acceptable that white men run boardrooms/film/production/everything else. (Nothing against white men, some of my best friends are white men).

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

A fun fad that won’t last.

VR in film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling?

Can enhance, but doesn’t eclipse traditional storytelling.

Director / Talent Q&As: insufferably boring or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

I think they could be better delivered, and I think they could engage more people, i.e. thinking about what the barriers for audiences are and allowing the events to cater for that. For example, getting audiences to submit questions via social beforehand (or on paper before the screening) for the chair to ask, would probably improve the experience, by removing that 'fear of asking questions', thus more voices are heard and the discussion is more vibrant.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU 2017?

Finally getting to hear some speakers! Last year I was delivering workshops and had massive FOMO.

What part of the TWU 2017 debate are you most interested in and why?

I’m really interested in the places and spaces that culture occupies. I am wholly against the idea that culture exists only “in a place”, only in a gallery or museum or theatre, and I believe that those organisations must embrace the idea that their presence, influence and responsibility extends beyond their four walls; digitally, geographically, ideologically.

Where can people find you online?

On Twitter @notmacbeth

On Insta @lauramrothwell

Or, for more professional utterings: www.crystlsd.com

And of course, IRL at TWU17 in Hull!

Hull 2017TWU Team