Assembling a group of 25 women from across North America and beyond for a 3-day workshop – sight unseen – is tricky, to put it mildly. But when it came to creating a resonant storyworld for Amplify HER, we knew that the alchemy of a pristine setting combined with face-to-face interaction was integral to the spirit of what we hoped to accomplish.

Amplify HER was our first opportunity to test out an immersive workshop concept for storyworld-building. The Amplify HER film was in post-production. We had our eye on the Bell Media Fund for a transmedia companion piece. We knew we wanted to do something with art, music and storytelling…but how?

In the end, it was decided that we’d use the workshop as our creative base camp. Through a carefully planned itinerary of group activities, guest talks and improv exercises, a lovely little cabin resort on Galiano Island was transformed into the temporary home for the collective genius of dozens of female creators.

Beautiful Galiano Island, British Columbia

Beautiful Galiano Island, British Columbia

Speaking of the female creators, we’ve been asked how we found the female musicians/writers/illustrators/animators who were selected to participate. We did a few things. We put a CTA on the film’s landing page and social media. We put ads on Craigslist. We perused the Internet, scouring blogs and portfolios. We even cold-called.

Funny enough (though perhaps not surprising) many of the women we approached were suspicious at first. After all, most of them had never met each other and many hadn’t yet heard of Amplify HER. 25 strangers on a remote island, getting paid to write a graphic novel series about six female DJs? There had to be a catch.

The idea that our very-real workshop seemed Too Good To Be True tickled us! It meant we must be onto something groundbreaking and experimental.

And, it worked!